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The New 2011 Sienna Minivan - Mommy Hate



  • AXM23AXM23 Posts: 64
    tfaw - I found this post by searching for "cracked navigation" in the Toyota forums.

    I am very interested to know what happened because my navigation screen on my 2011 Camry cracked as well. And like yours, ours cracked without any undue pressure. I was attempting to enter a destination address on the screen with 1 finger. Toyota is claiming that the warrant does not cover it because I "damaged" it. I am going to try and fight it.

    Please let me know what you would up doing.

  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    I own a 2004 Sienna XLE LTD (Loaded including the laser guided cruise control). I also just took delivery of a 2011 Sienna LTD (FWD) also loaded and have 850 miles on the car. Probably the most expensive van on the road today!
    My observations follow: The rear wiper rotates from above rather than from below as was the case in the 2004 model. Given all the snow and road mist of the last two weeks, the rear window presents a driving and safety hazard. Taking some approximate measurements of the rear window area, total area approximates 7.625 sq. ft. The total clean wiping area is 2.5 sq. ft. giving a 32.7869% clean area. The lower left quadrant is particularly bad for the driver to observe cars directly on the rear left quarter. Why would someone design a wiper that only cleans less than a 1/3 of the rear window? The design engineer should be fired and the safety engineer should be re-trained.
    The center console is totally dysfunctional. The old console had a small tilt up panel with a pencil and pad holder. Under this panel was a small storage area, and below was a large storage area for the head phones. The new console is one large box. Imagine trying to find a pad and pencil and other items put in the only driver's stowage area. This is akin to a woman w/a large purse having to empty the whole purse to find a pencil, comb or a set of keys.
    Gear Shift is too close to the wiper lever on the steering wheel. Old model Sienna had a purse holder in the front passenger compartment which we used to hold small AAA plastic trash bag. New model eliminated this nice feature.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Probably the most expensive van on the road today!

    I'm guessing you haven't priced a Honda Ody Touring Elite?
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    So in other words do you think you like the 04 better than the 11?
    We had an 04 LE AWD and was thinking about getting XLE AWD on 2011 but kind of on hold due to many "not to happy" reviews and the problem with power sliding doors, cheap inside....

    One thing you probably know but haven't mentioned, the sunroof on the 04 is WAY bigger than the 11 :) especially when in open position.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My timing was lucky but I think the best years were '07-10, because the 2GR engine replaced the 3MZ, giving you a bunch of extra power with no penalty at all in mileage (real-world mileage seemed to go up slightly).
  • Don't know about the '04, but I went from a '08 Ltd. AWD to a '11 Ltd. AWD. I wish I had kept the '08 -- or at least had not purchased the '11.

    As stated in so many posts, Toyota has cut corners on their newer models and this has certainly taken a tole on the final product. The interior of the '08 was much richer (better leather, no hard plastics), the ride was better, there was great little storage compartments throughout the van and the car just felt like a better, higher quality vehicle.

    Also, many new Siennas, including ours, have problems with the sliding doors that Toyota has been unable to resolve: When opened from the handles, they often stick and, after a delay, pop open (see my post # 437 in Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Problems). Since the problem has progressively gotten worse, I mentioned it again this week, when I had the van in for its 10,000 mile service. The service rep. who checked me in went on and on about how this is a big problem with the new Sienna and how Toyota was working on it. She told me they would look at it again, but not to expect anything because there is no known fix yet.

    When I checked out, the repair bill said that "sliding doors are operating as designed depending on how fast handle is pulled will cause pops noise as per Toyota normal operation."

    First point - its interesting that the service reps are willing to tell you outright that its a problem that Toyota is working on, but can't put it in writing -- Cover Up???

    Second - if this is "normal," then Toyota will soon be looking up to Chrysler for build quality. Many people, myself included, purchased these vans loaded with options carrying MSRP's in the mid 40's. This is knocking on luxury vehicle price territory. For Toyota to tell their customers that this "normal" is shameful and frankly, disrespectful. It show's the new "normal" for Toyota.

    Third - The van has already been recalled once (unbelievable stupid break light design). Are we looking at a second recall when Toyota figures out how to fix this -- or finally realizes that it has to fix its mess rather then continuing to dismiss customer complaints.

    The bottom line is that this is not the same quality van as you currently own. And Toyota is not the same company that it appeared to be years ago. If I was looking for a car today, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't consider this vehicle.

    However, I suggest you take a test drive and see for yourself. Turn the wheels and hit the gas. Listen to the engine squeal like a pig and feel the torque-steer as it pulls the wheel in your hand. Take your finger and indent the cheap plastic bumpers. Grab them from below and shake them back and forth like a leaf --- feel the quality (more like the lack thereof!). Run your hand over the rock hard plastic. Knock on the plastic with your knuckles and hear the hallow-door like sound. And, try actually sitting in the middle row in a reclined position. Looks good in the brochure, but certainly not where I'd go for refuge.

    A minivan has its advantages, and the Sienna is the only AWD minivan available but, given my recent experiences with this van and Toyota, I would STAY AWAY.

    Not sure how long I will keep the '11, but will certainly dump it before the warranty expires. I don't expect this van to hold up as well as my past Toyotas have.
  • I have a sienna xle AWD 2005 and love it but I recenty test drove the 2011 xle AWD with premium pkg and was very disappointed at the corners that have been cut. The obvious being-- no more adjustable arm rests, no auto controls on front passenger side seat (my 05 has them)and plastic everywhere where it used to be leather. With a sticker of 44k it's just pathetic. Not to mention, I am sure that corners have been cut in other areas not as obvious on a quick test drive. Sadly, having to say no to Toyota this time 'round. And on a side note-- the leg rests are not exactly little kid or mom friendly. Hard to close up and annoying to have the kids playing with them. And as for the side door popping noise. On my 05 that is what happened prior to the door breaking which costs 1k to fix. Now the other sde is popping and will likely go as well. Important to report problem to toyota bc that is the only way they will issue a recall. They know it's problem but if people don't complain they'll be happy to keep accepting their money to fix it.
  • kacmkacm Posts: 5
    We are considering the new Sienna to replace an 04 Ody, however we're nervous to buy based upon the problems we see people listing.
    I emailed a dealer this morning that we've been working with to get his opinion re: water leaks, tailgate issues, sliding door issues and seat rattling. His response was:
    "all the problems have been corrected on any 2011 vans we have had less than 90 days which is all of our instock vehicles. New parts have been installed to correct these problems on all of the 2011 and any 2012 models that will be coming."
    Anyone think there's truth to this statement? Says the info. came directly from the service manager.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2011
    New parts, what new parts? I think he's just saying whatever he thinks will get you to come in. Doesn't seem honest at all.

    Ask him for a parts list with part numbers, he'll trip over himself coming up with bogus excuses.

    I'd find another dealer.

    PS Stay away from the problems threads if you're shopping, people come here to complain, so even reliable cars seem like nightmares. Search the Dodge or Honda transmission problems threads, you'll come running back to Toyota.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Are you absolutely sold on buying new? We went shopping for a 2011 Sienna LE to replace our '02 Honda Odyssey EX. The Honda was a rock solid vehicle - 9+ years old with nearly 140k miles on her.

    We were most unimpressed by the new Sienna. So much so that when my wife complained about the things she didn't like on the 2011 but loved on the 2002, the salesman took us around back to see a 2008 (last generation Sienna) in for reconditioning. We didn't buy that one, but ended up buying a similar Certified PreOwned 2008 from another dealership. It drives like new, is fully warranted, and cost about $12k less. Most important, my wife is happy!

    The new Sienna certainly got off to a rough start. You might not remember the issues that the 1999-2000 Odyssey had, but by 2002-2004 it was a great van with literally hundreds of redesigned parts. I'm sure that the Sienna will get there also. Old saying - NEVER BUY REV 1.0 OF ANYTHING!!!!
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