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2011 Toyota Sienna



  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I agree with you. Based on current Kia redisgned model, there may be some surprised from Kia to bring a better Sedona. This van needs to step up.
    I too can't believe so many misses from Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Their new vans do have some good thing to go for but it seems like the last gen van (except Quest) has better overall function/quality.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited May 2011
    Quest is the unique one, and the materials inside definitely improved compared to the last one I sat in (the first year the last one came out).

    It's odd, though, in that it's more SUV-like with the seating.

    Look at a Sedona and the new Ody side-by-side. Check out how tiny the rear-most side windows are. The Sedona's glass positively drwarfs the Ody's. So the uptick in the window is style over substance. They made it look like they tried to make the window bigger, but the window is actually much smaller than it could be.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
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  • Count us in the 'sad' bucket. We have an 05 XLE and an 06 LE. (and a FJ Cruiser) I had hoped to replace the XLE with a new Sienna this year when the new model came out. The dealbreaker for me (besides the quality issues and the general 'cheap' feel of the interior) is one I haven't seen others mention. With 4 kids in car seats, the fact that the new Sienna reduced the number of LATCH positions is a nonstarter for me. Who do they think their target audience is, if not families with young kids?

    We'll hold out another year or two at least, and consider other brands at that time. We have had so many other Toyota products (two 4 Runners, a Sequoia) but the past 2 years has been disillusioning for me.
  • drews578drews578 Posts: 2
    Remember that LATCH is only good to 45 pounds
  • drews578drews578 Posts: 2
    We are debating AWD vs. FWD. We live in the snow belt of the great lakes. I don't know what to think about not having a spare tire and getting run-flats instead. I always get snow tires on my vehicles. I dont like the idea of not having a spare. Any other issues with FWD vs AWD I should consider?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    edited May 2011
    We planned to buy the AWD but walked away with a FWD. The run-flats were a deal breaker along with what appears to be (looking at real-world posts on various forums) MUCH lower mpg. The AWD system also is very basic in operation (only shifts power after slipping, limited amount of transfer available, eventually gives up in very slippery situations). We will install a full set of wheels/snows come winter and I have no doubt we will get along ok. I would have installed these on the AWD as well but there was also limited choices in snow tires with the run-flats.

    The only other downside was the FWD Ltd has a power 3rd row which I'm not a fan...the AWD has the normal manual folding 3rd row.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...only shifts power after slipping..."

    No, the new Venza, Sienna, and RX350 all have a new F/awd system that automatically apportions a measure of engine torque to the rear at the times otherwise most likely to result in front wheelslip/spin. Even any minor level of acceleration from a low speed, or from a stop, will result in engine torque being apportioned across all 4 tire treads. Bias always remains toward the front.

    But you are correct on the second part, ANY wheelslip/spin at all and the F/awd system goes TU in favor of TC. Hopefully there is a TC disable switch.

    In my opinion this would be an excellent F/awd system with a few end-user modifications. There is absolutely no reason for the re-apportioning of engine torque to the rear unless the roadbed is suspected, or KNOWN to be poorly tractive. So I would use a switch to entirely disable the rear coupling clutch, eliminate ALL driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing, except when I have an expectation of need.

    But my next step would be to have a switch that locks the rear coupling clutch, locking center diff'l "effect", when driving on a consistently low traction roadbed. Note that this can result in over-stressing the driveline components and/or excessive tire wear if left active on a tractive surface.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    You're right it does send some power to the rear when accelerating, but at very low %. It doesn't send the higher amounts until there is slippage. Even if you could mod the system to disable the rear clutch you're still turning an extra driveshaft and worst of all, the AWD has a lower final drive. So even out on the open road it's always turning a higher rpm.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2011
    "...but at a very low %..."

    I don't consider 50% as being very low, which is the MAXIMUM amount routed during hard acceleration. It even partially locks, ~30%, the center "diff'l" while turning. Accelerate while turning tightly and that amount might actually grow to 50%.

    Having a serious level of engine drive torque on the front wheels in the above circumstance can turn hazardous quickly.

    " doesn't send the higher amounts until there is slippage.."

    Even with a TRUE 4WD system it will generally do no good to "lock" the center diff'l AFTER wheelspin/slip has begun. The only reasonable reaction is to first slow the vehicle to regain traction, lock the diff'l, then proceed.

    No, NOT!!

    Due to the front torque bias it will almost always be the front wheels that initially develop slippage. That brings the vehicle to the precipice of danger to life and limb. Allocate some of the front wheels/tires traction coefficient to turning and the suddenness with which you reach that precipice will amaze you.

    So, develop wheelspin on one of these new F/awd system, or ANY F/awd system for that matter, and the INSTANT result will be entry into the TC/TDC, Traction/Directional Control.

    Your insurance rate would undoubtedly go into orbit where the factory to ignore the hazards of FWD or F/awd in these instances.

    "..worst of all..."

    No, part and parcel.

    The extra weight and frictional losses (PTO) of a F/awd system is what requires the lower final gear ratio. A given engine MUST produce a tad more HP due to the above. So the factory optimal gear ratio computation comes out in favor of a slightly higher engine torque level at a given or average road speed. Chicken AND egg.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    I don't consider 50% as being very low, which is the MAXIMUM amount routed during hard acceleration. It even partially locks, ~30%, the center "diff'l" while turning. Accelerate while turning tightly and that amount might actually grow to 50%.

    I suppose that's true if driving hard on dry....although Toyota's documentation seems to be a bit vague whether it's actually 45% or 50%. Not that it really matters as hard acceleration/cornering isn't high on the old family hauler must-have list. My point was more directed at slippery conditions which is where we are interested in the won't be hammering the go-pedal so there will be lower amounts of power transfer until slippage. Unless you just get your jollys from hot-lapping a monster-van with mediocre handling at best.

    Yes the frictional losses and weight require more oomph from somewhere and in this case it gets it from lower gear ratio. So even if you could turn off 90% of the frictional losses it's still far less efficient. Negative in my book regardless.

    When it's all said and done the cons far outweighed the pros. Mediocre system, substantial economical/efficiency losses, run-flat nonsense....pass.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If I unintentionally implied that the 50/50 only applied under hard acceleration, my apologies. It is my understanding that any level of low speed acceleration, certainly so from a full stop, will result in approximately a 50/50 torque distribution.

    Since actual road conditions cannot be determined in advance the system is designed to always assume the worse.

    Stupid, yes, but when you start out with a base FWD the choices become somewhat limited.
  • mc2857mc2857 Posts: 1
    I bought a new 2011 limited sienna last night and it rained all night and this afternoon openned the trunk and the floor of the trunk is soaked (like you described). I am pretty dissapointed. This van was just delivered to the dealer 2 days ago. I thought problems would be resolved since they have been producing them for over a year now. What dealer did you take it to? I am wondering if I can have this Toyota service department contact your service department. Who did you talk to, if you don't mind me asking? Thanks!
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    Actually if you look at Toyota's information on this system (Venza, Matrix, Sienna, RAV4) it applies various levels of amperage to the clutch pack during "acceleration, tight cornering, or when one or more wheels is spinning. If the ECU sends low amperage to the solenoid, a lesser amount of pressure is applied to the disc pack resulting in a smaller amount of torque directed to the rear wheels. Higher amperage sent to the solenoid produces a larger actuating force on the main clutch disks...... The amount of torque to the rear wheels is infinitely variable through the application of current as directed by the 4WD ECU up to a maximum of 45% rear and 55% front torque distribution".

    I had read the 50% figure somewhere online as well but according the the docs I have here it says 45%. So it shouldn't be pulling much power at normal acceleration.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Okay, consider the design problem the engineering team faces in designing a F/awd system, "this" system.

    Bottom line, like an actual FWD, once a wheel slips, FWD always a front wheel, for F/awd most likely a front wheel initially, ALL is lost.

    The F/awd system must now INSTANTLY switch into "RECOVERY" mode. With any level of front wheelspin/slip, even the slightest level, the threat of loss of directional control is just to great to ignore.

    So the F/awd system's next action will mean nil, TC (VDIM) is now the BOSS.

    So, the engineering decision is, MUST be, at the instant the vehicle begins initially moving from a full stop, use the MAXIMUM front to rear coupling coefficient (45%, I'm okay with that). Now, as the vehicle picks up speed the coupling level can, by design, decline precipitously.

    MUST decline precipitously, actually. Rising speed always means sufficient roadbed traction for the level of acceleration present. Forward momentum also becomes an important part of the traction equation.

    NOT reducing the coupling level cognizant with rising roadspeed would result in premature failure of driveline components due to driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing.

    So, absent your "scan-guages" ability to plot a real-time curve of roadspeed vs current flow, dutycycle, you will not be able to "see" how the F/awd system is working.
  • nmflyfishnmflyfish Posts: 1
    Getting close to purchasing a new Sienna SE. Hesitant to "pull the trigger" based on some comments that the build quality is not up to Toyota standards. My 97 T-100 and 05 Prius have been excellent long term vehicles - no rattles, no mechanical issues, etc. I have a quote for under invoice ($500) - thoughts on pulling the trigger? Thanks, Andy
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For me, it's now close enough to wait and see what the new model year brings....I4 AND F/awd...? and even better deals for "this year's" Sienna.

    Even better yet, I4 adopts DFI, 210HP, f/awd....and...improved FE.

    Toyota has to start adopting DFI fleetwide soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree...question is how will they distinguish their Lexus models? Right now most add DI to Toyota's plain engines.
  • You are correct that most lower anchors only are approved up to 45 lbs, but I'm really talking here about the tether anchors. (I should have been more clear in my original comment). I have 4 kids in convertible seats, all of which use tether anchors to improve installation and reduce head excursion, even when the seat is using seat belt path. Gee, which kid in the back row do I sacrifice since Toyota decided to eliminate one of the tether anchors back there? Sorry. I will keep my 05 awhile longer and see if they add the anchors back or I will get another brand minivan to replace this one.
  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    This is another case of the driver's functional designs in comparison to the 2004 Sienna. Can someone at Toyota explain why they took out all the front console functionality and replaced it with four cup holders for the driver and front passenger? If I include the door bottle storage, the front seat section has places for 2 bottles and 4 cups? As stated in a previous post, this must have been designed by a man who was brain dead when it came to practical/DRIVER FRIENDLY design.
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