Toyota Sienna, Avalon Get IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

With the oceans of ink that covered the Toyota recall story in the media still wet, the Japanese manufacturer finds reason to take pride in its vehicles from time to time. Yesterday for instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded two of its vehicles, the 2011 Sienna and 2011 Avalon, the Top Safety Pick award.

As you know by now, to qualify for the award, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of “good” in the IIHS’ front, side, rollover, and rear impact tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.

The Sienna and the Avalon managed to top all those tests and meet all requirements, the former becoming the first and only minivan to have earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick since the introduction of the rollover test.

The Sienna, which retails in the US starting from $24,260, is offered in five grades: Sienna grade, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. There will be two DOHC engines available, both paired with a 6-speed ECT-i automatic transmission, namely a 3.5l V6 (266 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, EPA rating 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway) and a 2.7l four-cylinder (187 horsepower at 5,800 rpm, EPA rating 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway). There will also be an all-wheel drive offered, but only on grades LE, XLE and Limited equipped with the V6 engine.

The 2011 Avalon will be available in two grades, Avalon and Limited, both equipped with leather-trimmed power driver’s seats, back-up camera, dual zone automatic climate control with air filtration, moonroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. Limited will add rain-sensing wipers, Smart Key and cooled leather seats.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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