Features & Gadgets

Among the many dizzying differences between trims are the electronic gadgets that come with each. You can't add a bigger or better stereo to a given trim as an option, you have to buy whatever trim comes equipped with that stereo, navigation system or rear entertainment system.

When you move up to the EX-L, the stereo system features an 8-inch color display and USB port. All your iPod songs are displayed with artwork, which looks pretty snazzy.

An all-new navigation system is offered on the EX-L Navigation and both Touring trims. This has a higher-resolution 8-inch screen and a number of high-tech features that we detail in depth here.

If you want rear entertainment options, there are only two trim levels to choose from. The EX-L with Rear Entertainment System (RES) features a 9-inch LCD screen with two wireless headphones and an RCA input — the norm for the minivan class.

But it's the top-of-the-line Touring Elite that will blow your little kids' minds. It comes packed with a 16.2-inch widescreen display and 650-watt surround-sound system with 12 speakers. Yes, kids can listen to a movie (or two if you split the screen to show two different sources) with wireless headphones, but the surround-sound system is stunning. Parents can shift the sound to the rear two rows so nothing comes out the front speakers. You can still hear the movie up front, but it isn't completely distracting. I tested the system with the animated movie “Cars” playing quite loudly, enveloping me in racecar sound effects, but up front it sounded like background noise. The system also comes with an HDMI input for digital accessories.

Other nice touches include integrated sunshades for the power-sliding doors and a pop-up trash bag ring that can fit a plastic shopping bag to collect all the trash that kids seem to generate out of thin air. Rear passengers can also control their temperature and fan speed in EX trims and above.

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