New Toyota Sienna offers a feature to save drivers' vocal cords
By Ben Coxworth
July 21, 2014
"I'll pull this car over right now if you kids don't stop misbehaving!" It might be an effective threat, but it won't make any difference if it's not heard in the first place. That's why the 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan has an optional microphone system that lets the driver relay announcements via speakers in the back.
Known as Driver Easy Speak, the feature is one of several accessed via an optional 7-inch touchscreen in the console.
The idea is that drivers won't have to raise their voices to be heard by passengers in the back, nor will they have to turn around to face them. To that end, buyers can also opt for a pull-down conversation mirror, which allows drivers to glance at their rear-seat passengers without turning around or readjusting the main rearview mirror.
There's currently no word on pricing or availability of the 2015 Sienna.