Minivans have a lot of great attributes — but the sliding doors have got to be tops. The 2023 Toyota Sienna is no different. Yes, we have enjoyed its comfort, fuel efficiency and cavernous interior since it joined our long-term fleet this winter, but man — sliding doors are just so useful.
And there’s so many ways to open and close them in a modern minivan, like our Sienna Platinum AWD. Watch the video to see me demonstrate some of them.
My go-to is the key fob. With children and sometimes a golden retriever streaking toward the van, the door slides open with the push of a button. If my son arrives at the Sienna first, he knows to push the small rubber button on the handle. You can also kick it old school and actually pull the door handle like it’s 1983.
There are also door handles inside, naturally, and a command center over the dash where the driver can open the doors and trunk.
Are your hands too full to even grab the key fob? You can use a kicking motion under the door, and it will open as long as the key is in your pocket. This guy does a good job demonstrating it. Those are the main ways to open and close the sliding doors. I feel like I’m forgetting at least one set of buttons, though.
Modern minivans are highly evolved pieces of technology. Our long-term Sienna is a luxurious hybrid that costs more than $56 grand. But at the end of the day, the sliding doors are still a key selling point. And literally at the end of the day when your hands are full and everyone’s tired and you just need to be in the car — the sliding doors are a lifesaver.