The Perfect Family Car for a Cross Country Road Trip


From the lofty heights of the continental divide some 12,000 feet into the Colorado Rocky Mountains, with snowcapped peaks piercing heavenly blue skies, to the dramatic depths and oppressive heat of Badwater Basin, a staggering 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley National Park in California; and then up and down in Yosemite, resting at the foot of the legendary valley with El Capitan towering above and the aura of Ansel Adams ever-present; around the rim of Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos; into the hectic urban meccas of Denver, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Los Angeles; through farms and pastures aplenty, there’s simply no better vehicle for a cross country family road trip than the Toyota Sienna.

Listen, you can go ahead and get your family into an RV to enjoy copious amounts of bandwidth inside your roving hotel suite but there’s no way you are exploring Mulholland Drive and the Hollywood sign in one of those behemoths; no chance of circumnavigating the traffic of a capacity Rose Bowl crowd for an FC Barcelona match; and forget about squeezing into downtown Indianapolis for the remarkable Children’s Museum. The Toyota Sienna does all of that and so much more, with leg room, suitcase room, souvenir room, entertainment room, family fun room, and rocks-from-the-entire-country room to spare.

There’s simply no better vehicle for a cross country family road trip than the Toyota Sienna.

Having done this once now, a cross country family road trip in a Toyota Sienna, we’re already planning another, a northern route through the Dakotas, into Glacier National Park, and all over the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. There’s no way I’d dare embark on cross country family road trip 2.0 in anything other than a Toyota Sienna. Why? It’s the big things — keeping us cool, comfortable and safe in the 117 degrees of Death Valley, energized climbing the Rocky Mountains, in style to the great amusement parks of Denver, and safely cutting through a torrential downpour to Go Ape in St. Louis — and the tiny well-designed touches like hi-beams that dim when another car approaches going the opposite direction, the self-managed cruise control that deftly adjusts to the traffic in front of you, the multiple zones of air conditioning and heat control throughout the cabin, the massive pantry-esque center console in the front seat for storing weeks worth of snacks, and the zillion cupholders, some of which double as a photographer’s dream stow, grab and go office for capturing the whole of the country without fumbling through a camera bag.

The 2015 Toyota Sienna made our family’s 3-week cross country road trip a spacious, relaxing joy ride from beginning to end. The Sienna minivan is not only the best family car for everyday life with kids, but also the perfect vehicle for a cross country road trip with kids.

*Toyota graciously loaned us a Sienna for the cross country road trip. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always. The Toyota Sienna was remarkable, and absolutely perfect for us.

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