Toyota Sienna?


#1

Anyone have one and would like to offer your thoughts? I am finding terrible reviews 50% of the time and good reviews 50% of the time....not feeling too hopeful!

We are looking at a 2006 leather interior 8 seater.


#2

Well, I'm a self-professed gear-head, and I don't like Toyota or their products. Toyota has done a lot of cheap corner-clipping recently in their design and engineering, relying on their ill-gotten "reputation" for quality to sustain them. ("Hey, it's a TOYOTA, there' can't be anything wrong with the car... it must be the driver doing something wrong!") I never did, and still don't, buy into their arrogant line of self-aggrandizement.

Actually, I don't really like mini-vans, (or the Toyota "Swagger Wagon" http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/facepalmsmiley.gif ) either; but according to "the experts" (whoever "they" are) the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler/Dodge minivans are the best of the genre. Were I a young parent with children, I would scrutinize both of those vehicles, along with some other family-friendly crossover-sort of vehicles. Mini-vans are a big bear to handle in the city, particularly for a younger, petite (~size 4) woman. Unless you really need the volume of a van, a crossover vehicle is probably better.


#3

I hate minivans, but as far as they go, I like everything about our Sienna except (a) how it looks and (b) the turning radius, which is quite wide for safety reasons (no roll-overs).

It's roomy enough for the family, has lots of safety features and gets decent mileage. Take care of it, and it will last a long, long time. Ours is a 2000 and we just turned 90k on it and intend to drive it until it dies in about 8-10 years. By then, I won't need a minivan any more and I'll never have to own another one. :-)


#4

Ignore Sienna problems you have heard related to 2003 and older models. Those had a 3.0 liter V6 that was prone to scorching the oil and early engine failure. Anybody with one of those would be wise to invest in synthetic oil (more heat resistant). The 2004 makeover involved an engine redesign that has FAR fewer problems. Since that year, the Sienna is probably the highest rated minivan for reliability (which pains me to say as a guy with tendencies to commit GM purchases).

A 2006 is likely to be fundamentally reliable, but I also agree that it is NOT your father's Toyota as far as being rattle free and nearly bullet-proof. Personally, I hate the electric sliding doors as nobody makes individual parts for the mechanism. When something fails, the whole motor assembly needs to be replaced to the tune of $900 (parts and labor). Stupid frill.

Dodges for years had a terrible transmission rep that appears to have improved greatly in recent years. They are probably the value sleeper on the used market. Toyotas (at least until recently) had crazy high resale values. If you do find a reasonably priced one, go for it.


#5

[quote="Ponyguy, post:2, topic:203287"]
Well, I'm a self-professed gear-head, and I don't like Toyota or their products. Toyota has done a lot of cheap corner-clipping recently in their design and engineering, relying on their ill-gotten "reputation" for quality to sustain them. ("Hey, it's a TOYOTA, there' can't be anything wrong with the car... it must be the driver doing something wrong!") I never did, and still don't, buy into their arrogant line of self-aggrandizement.

I am on my second Toyota and love it. I lease and have a maintenance free car for three years - well after two years I have to pay for the oil changes and maintenance. The service department at my dealership is wonderful and never a problem. Hondas are great also. My last GM car was a piece of junk and fell apart at 50K miles. Thought I was buying an American car and this particular car was assembled in Mexico.

[/quote]


#6

[quote="Ponyguy, post:2, topic:203287"]
Well, I'm a self-professed gear-head, and I don't like Toyota or their products. Toyota has done a lot of cheap corner-clipping recently in their design and engineering, relying on their ill-gotten "reputation" for quality to sustain them. ("Hey, it's a TOYOTA, there' can't be anything wrong with the car... it must be the driver doing something wrong!") I never did, and still don't, buy into their arrogant line of self-aggrandizement.

[/quote]

[quote="dachsiemom2, post:5, topic:203287"]

I am on my second Toyota and love it. I lease and have a maintenance free car for three years - well after two years I have to pay for the oil changes and maintenance. The service department at my dealership is wonderful and never a problem. Hondas are great also. My last GM car was a piece of junk and fell apart at 50K miles. Thought I was buying an American car and this particular car was assembled in Mexico.

[/quote]

Many American branded cars are presently assembled both north and south of the American borders; and many foreign brands are assembled here in the states, too.
What car could be more "German" than a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW? Both makes are assembled in the USA, in Alabama and South Carolina, respectively.
And what car could be more typically "American" than a Ford Crown Victoria police car? They're built in Talbotville, Ontario, Canada at Ford's Saint Thomas Assembly Plant. Thank Jimmy Carter and NAFTA. :rolleyes:

If you can afford it, leasing is a great way to "have" a car. There's never a worry or a problem about repairs, and when you're through with it, you're able to get something different if your family's needs change or you decide you don't like it. You're always going to be able to have a reasonably "current" model, if styles concern you.
But, after the lease is up, all you have for equity is a stack of canceled checks, so you're never going to own what you paying for. I generally drive a car until my needs change or it's worn out. Presently, my two "new" vehicles are both 6 years old, with about 50k miles on them, and given my age and health, they are likely going to be the last vehicles I'll own.

Best of luck with whatever vehicle everyone is driving! :thumbsup: :)


#7

[quote="sanctareparata, post:1, topic:203287"]
I am finding terrible reviews 50% of the time and good reviews 50% of the time....not feeling too hopeful!

[/quote]

This is one of the reasons why we avoided Toyota. :o

[quote="Ponyguy, post:2, topic:203287"]
Toyota has done a lot of cheap corner-clipping recently in their design and engineering, relying on their ill-gotten "reputation" for quality to sustain them. ("Hey, it's a TOYOTA, there' can't be anything wrong with the car... it must be the driver doing something wrong!") I never did, and still don't, buy into their arrogant line of self-aggrandizement.

[/quote]

My husband would completely agree with this assessment; this is basically what he told me when I suggested getting a Toyota minivan.


#8

I am on my second Sienna, after my ex-FIL accidently squished my first one with his big GM truck. That one had 225,000 km on it and was still going strong when it was crashed into and destroyed.

I have always had a Toyota, and find they are reliable and last a long time. I currently own a 2005 (without the electric sliding doors; I find that feature annoying because it is so slow) basic model and am quite happy with it. There have never been any problems that require me to take it in to be checked. I just keep up the regular maintenance and expect it will last me til the kids are gone.

I love love love vans because they are so roomy and allow me to take the kids friends with us, or car-pool, and give enough room for camping gear.:thumbsup:


#9

We had a GM van for 9 years that cost us a fortune in repairs. We bought a 2008 (new) Sienna. No electric sliding doors. We love it. In fact I have thanked God often for it. And contrary to what someone said about the wide turning radius of an older Sienna, our 2008 (and probably those since) have a particularly narrow turning radius. I notice it often.

We also have a 1998 and a 2006 Corolla. We've had no problems with any of them. I don't know if you need it, but our Sienna is AWD, and that has been very beneficial to us in our Ontario hills. Best of luck in your search.


#10

We have two Sienna 8 seaters. One is a 2003 and the other is a 2007.

The only complaint I have about either one of them is that the doors freeze shut on the 2003 model in the winter time, but not on the 2007. I think it was a problem that was remedied right away, so the 2006 should be okay.

If you don't like automatic sliding doors, they can be turned off.

As far as a comparison with the Honda 8 seater, the main reason we decided against the Honda was because the 8th seat (middle seat, middle row) is so small, it cannot really be called a "seat". The Toyota seats are all rather roomy.


#11

I'm not going to be much help in the Toyota yea or nay department, but since DH and I just went through the car-buying process, I thought I would give you something we discovered:

We had a Chrysler Town & Country minivan and loved it. However, when we discovered that we were going to be expecting baby #5, we also discovered that 3 car seats will not fit across the very back seat.... not even 3 backless boosters. And even the supposed "8-seater" Chevy Traverse would not fit 5 car seats in them. (We ended up with a Suburban.)

So, just something to think about :shrug: in terms of future planning, because I know you still have little ones like we do that will need to be in carseats/boosters for some time yet.


#12

[quote="sanctareparata, post:1, topic:203287"]
Anyone have one and would like to offer your thoughts? I am finding terrible reviews 50% of the time and good reviews 50% of the time....not feeling too hopeful!

We are looking at a 2006 leather interior 8 seater.

[/quote]

We have 2006, we love ours!!!:thumbsup:


#13

We bought a Sienna in 1999 after some serious comparison with a Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Grand Caravan and a Ford Winstar. I will tell you with absolutely zero hesitation that the Sienna is the best vehicle we have ever owned. I have driven that van to the east coast (3 trips), the west coast (2 trips), Colorado (4 trips) and Las Vegas (1 trip) along with many shorter trips and it is the best ride I have ever experienced. It was not unusual to get 28-30 mpg on the highway even when carrying 6 people and associated luggage.

My wife still drives it (currently has ~225,000 miles on it) and, while it is not in quite the shape it used to be in, it is still a solid vehicle that gets ~23 mpg in town. We probably won't replace it with another van because both of our sons are grown and out of the house, but if we were in the market for another van, I don't think we would even look at other models.

Peace

Tim


#14

Thanks, all, for the good info!

We have decided on the Sienna and will hopefully be purchasing one here in a few more days.... :)


#15

[quote="sanctareparata, post:14, topic:203287"]
Thanks, all, for the good info!

We have decided on the Sienna and will hopefully be purchasing one here in a few more days.... :)

[/quote]

Oooh, let us know when you get it!! I love leather interiors. :cool: I don't think I will ever willingly go back to cloth seats.


#16

It's not going to be leather. :( It sold, and there isn't another anywhere nearby.

I was bummed till I realized that over 50% of the seating would be covered over with carseats anyway. :) DH and I will get leather at some time in the future.....


#17

[quote="sanctareparata, post:16, topic:203287"]
It's not going to be leather. :( It sold, and there isn't another anywhere nearby.

I was bummed till I realized that over 50% of the seating would be covered over with carseats anyway. :) DH and I will get leather at some time in the future.....

[/quote]

:(

Oh, I'd be bummed, too, Hon. But like you said, most of the seating will be covered anyway! Is it still a 2006?


#18

[quote="sanctareparata, post:16, topic:203287"]
It's not going to be leather. :( It sold, and there isn't another anywhere nearby.

[/quote]

Perhaps the Good Lord has spoken and intervened...


#19

[quote="Ponyguy, post:18, topic:203287"]
Perhaps the Good Lord has spoken and intervened...

[/quote]

:rotfl:


#20

2009, it looks like. As in, if we get it before it’s sold. :slight_smile:


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