I wonder if CR's road test factored in the availability of AWD, which IMO is a non-trivial advantage.It looks like the overall score was the highest due to the MPG being the best. I think that what made the difference. The MPG is probably a high impact factor on the overall score. Otherwise...it scored the worst in the road test and braking!!! It's disappointing. With that said...I don't really trust Consumer Reports..
Also, I think Sienna's futuristically high fuel economy affects the overall ownership experience in more ways than just saving a few bucks at the pump. Actually, is $7-8K over 150K miles, if the gas prices stay at 3.50 average.
IMO, in order for any mechanical system to run super-efficiently - in fact 50% more efficiently than the baseline - it needs to be kept in the optimal range of operational parameters. This, in turn, will almost necessarily translate into increased longevity, improved reliability, lower maintenance costs and higher resale value.
Also, 36 mpg vs. 24 mpg means 50% less pollution - gotta be worth something for all who lives on this planet. The only habitable planet we know.
Speaking of which .... if we remain on the current path towards a carbon-neutral transportation, in the next 5 years I expect to see our gas-guzzlers to be progressively taxed off the public roads. Everyone (except Honda and GM) is working to put hybrid powertrains into their larger vehicle for the MY2023+, they must be aware of something.