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Toyota Sienna AWD models concerns
1. AWD system – I can’t find any technical explanation as to how Sienna’s AWD system works. Aside from some references from various forums to the system being very “basic” and “outdated” no technical details seem to exist anywhere. The dealer was not very helpful either.
2. Tires – since in their infinite wisdom Toyota decided not to include the spare tire (and yes, I know the space is occupied by the transfer case now, but I don’t believe there was no other space for it that could be found) I have yet to see a positive or even neutral comment about the RFT that the van is equipped now with. I understand that positive comments don’t often fine their way to forums, but my research so far shows that the tires live on average for about 15-20K miles and often times cannot be repaired after catching a nail even if the sidewall is not damaged by either the nail or driving on it for a while. Tire selection is also very limited – only one model for All-Season and two versions of Blizzak (one being older generation and one extremely expensive) for Winter. Additionally, due to the nature of RFT being heavy and stiff, I understand that the performance of AWD’s version of the van is subpar to the FWD version equipped with regular tires.
3. Alignment – I am hearing that even on AWD version the rear wheels cannot be aligned and front alignment needs to be done often – based on what I’m seeing on the forums that problem seem to be following Toyota on these vans since 2006 or so.
Any personal or professional experience or any input otherwise is greatly appreciated! We’re looking to upgrade in the next couple of month and right now deciding between late model Sienna AWD or ’13 Pathfinder