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Toyota Sienna Future Models

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  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    Fact:
    - AWD is better than FWD in any slippery condition:
    not only in the snow, in rain or wet road condition as well
    - AWD not only helps in stand-start situation, it also helps in cornering and handling.
    And in very slippery condition, it helps whenever you step on the throttle.

    The bottom line is that AWD is the best in all road conditions; at the expense of poorer gas mileage. It is just more stable and more neutral in handling, and yes, it's safer too. Can you get by with FWD - certainly. Can you get by with RWD - certainly, afterall, you still see a lot of BMWs and Mercedes' in the winter, do you not?

    Which one would I choose? The best of course, ie AWD. It's a personal choice though. Some may elect not to pay the extra expense, that's OK. There may not be any snow in your area, that's understandable. But saying that it is "not necessary" for everyone is unjustifiable. At most, you may say it is not necessary FOR YOU. Afterall, I have seen claims from M3 drivers saying their cars drive just fine in snow.

    The "false sense of security" argument is plain silly. We should all know the limits of our cars and our driving abilities, period. No matter what car you are driving. Should we all drive underpowered cars so that we won't drive so fast? Wouldn't FWD cars gives you false sense of security as well? FWD car can go too fast and understeer in snow; while RWD would remind you to slow down everytime you step on the throttle. By the same argument, shouldn't we all drive RWD instead?

    Many of the nay sayers (I said "many", not "all") gives advice based on their experience of FWD cars in winter. And I am sure some of them would change their mind after experiencing the extra benefit of AWD cars in winter, first hand.

    My advice: AWD is the best; but you have to judge if you would pay the extra expense. I would definitely go for it instead of, say, a DVD entertainment system. FWD is OK if that's what you have chosen; but it is not the best nor the safest.
  • I agree with you that it is wrong to ascribe a viewpoint that pertains to everyone.

    'It's a personal choice though. Some may elect not to pay the extra expense, that's OK. There may not be any snow in your area, that's understandable. But saying that it is "not necessary" for everyone is unjustifiable. At most, you may say it is not necessary FOR YOU. '

    Unfortunately you fall victim to the same type of argument when you say 'We should all know the limits of our cars and our driving abilities, period. No matter what car you are driving.'

    Not everyone knows the limits of their cars, their driving abilities, the conditions of the road for that matter. Others simply choose to ignore such safe measures because i.e. they have different risk tolerance or choose to ignore them.

    Giving advice is easy and cheap. I would be more interested in your experience with AWD and FWD as you say.

    Let me share mine. I have a vehicle with AWD and it definitely handles snow with aplomb and gives me great confidence. I have fallen to overconfidence with the AWD and skidded off track a few times. Luckily without damage.

    I also have a FWD mv w/TC and have driven it in snow, much moer cautiously and never gone off track. Both get the same snow tires - Michelin Arctic Alpins. which would you say is 'safer' for me? The AWD is superior to the FWD w/TC in overall traction. However, total safety for me comes up about even because of that difficult to measure personal driving habit we all have. So for me to comment on what is best for you is not possible and would make me foolish to say. I accept your comment as something that challenges me to think about my driving habits as it relates to a cars abiulities and driving conditions
  • rtl2rtl2 Posts: 7
    This is anectodal evidence, but what vehicles are most often seen in the median or off the side of I-93 up in these parts during the first winter storm? SUVs with the superior traction of AWD. Mindset appears to be that with AWD, I don't need to slow down for cornering or allow for longer stopping distances.

    Agreed that we all should know the limits of whatever vehicle we drive. My driving style varies based on whether I'm driving my FWD sedan or 2WD pickup and of course based on road conditions.

    What is ridiculous is that so many people have been convinced that they need AWD to safely drive in winter conditions. My hat is off to the marketers that have convinced these folks to needlessly part with additional money. A "need" has been effectively created in the minds of so many potential buyers. AWD is fashionable and people are willing to pay to be part of the herd.

    Stock tires are a compromise and the point that I am trying to make is that four winter tires considerably increase traction. Personally I'd rather be driving a RWD or FWD vehicle with four winter tires than AWD with all season tires. AWD with four proper winter tires would of course be the best of all combinations.
  • I think thay have all been seen before, but here they are again, all together:

    http://www.carsontoyota.com/html/2004siennaphotos.html
  • When I wrote above, I thought I said that AWD would help those in Western New York. However, in many parts of this Great Country, a good set of Aquatreads would be more beneficial.

    I am also aware that the Previa was available in either AWD or 4WD, and wonder where the owners of the Previa stand in this debate, as it would be most relevant.

    I presently live in Central NJ, and with the exceptions of days like today (6 inches of snow), we rarely see much packed snow or ice. Of course, on days like today, the schools are closed and the Sienna stays in the garage.

    And with regards to other slippery conditions, such as rain, which we used to get a lot of (we had a drought last year), if you hydroplane, you're SOL if you make any sudden movements anyways.

    It's really a judgment call in a slight bit of added safety (and maybe a false sense of security) versus price and fuel economy.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Jack,

    You still dreaming.....Oh I laughed hard!

    6 pages? In your dreams pal!

    You know they don't go over 4 pages! Not for no Mini-Van!

    Look forward to seeing what ya got soon!
  • AWD vs FWD vs RWD:

    I have been involved on racing for many years and have spent much time playing with Audi’s (A4 & Quattro Coupe), VW Golfs and BWM 3’s. Tires are for sure the most important factor when it comes to staying on the road but AWD does have advantages. It’s common sense AWD does provide better grip (straight or in a corner) as four wheels are biting for traction vs two.

    If you get sideways, AWD also provides better odds in powering out of the slide than either awd or fwd. The only disadvantage I can think of is that is does allow (and tempt) you to drive faster in not so great conditions because you feel the better traction that you are getting. The problem - stopping performance is not improved with AWD, only tires, and the faster you are going the more trouble you are going to get in.

    AWD for normal driving will help the vehicle remain in control even at low speed in bad conditions. Provides a huge advantage in snow and ice particularly when changing direction (changing lanes), once again due to two extra wheels providing pulling/pushing power.

    Fwd & rwd are fine, especially with today’s tire and traction control technologies, but awd cannot be beat if you really want that extra comfort.

    If you live in a snow belt area, just visit a dealer and test a truck out were you can turn on & off the 4wd. It will give you some sense of the difference.

    On the other hand my favourite car was a modified VW golf GTI that was fwd and tricked rear hand break. You could really play with that car. AWD was in a sense too boring with the added traction.
  • I know I thought that was the best part of the dream too...6 pages! What's even more ironic is the mag came in the mail that day too! But no article. :(

    Jack

    Oh, only 6 more days! ;)
  • danhirsh wrote:

    "1) They need to keep pricing down to compete in this market. They are not competing with Mercedes, Lexus or Porsche."

    I do think that there is a potential market for luxury minivans. One reason for the lack of that market is that there are just no true luxury minivans in existence. If Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Audi etc. would take the risk and build such a vehicle, a market would develop IMHO.

    Sure, there should be affordable minivans. Some want or need such vehicles. I just think there should be a WIDE range of choices.

    I think about a Lexus version with increased sound insulation, power passenger seat, luxury rear seating options (similar to the Maybach), an awesome sound system, and the other components of luxury vehicles. I would love such a vehicle. Unfortunately this is not an option. Since SUV's will not work with my wife's wheelchair lift, I will have to buy an existing minivan.

    I just hope one manufacturer will take the risk and give this segment a try.
  • Hi, just curious if anyone has seen any "max" weights for the new Sienna? I've seen figures on the empty weight but nothing about the recommended maximum payload. Cargo/people capacity seems to be one of the few strengths of the Grand Caravan Sport. Friends bought a 2002 Ody last year and have noticed it "squats" (very little travel left in the suspension and the top of the back wheels tilt toward the body) when loaded with the 4 of them and their camping gear.

    As with most of the folk here, we would like to purchase a minivan replacement this summer (for our most loyal and still rust free 88 Corolla (still not sure how I'm going to break the news to it...))
  • I'm sorry that today's mass-market automobile manufacturers aren't meeting your demands. Perhaps you can purchase the minivan that best comes close to satisfying your requirements, and then secure after-market modifications to get you the rest of the way there.

    I'm quite certain that with enough time, money and effort, you can swap out the stock passenger seat for one with power controls, exchange the JBL stereo for a Mark Levinson unit, remove rear seats for your Maybach-style Lazy-Boy, improve the sound dampening, etc.

    Perhaps you might even find a way to remove the engine and drop in a BMW M5's 400hp V-8 if the existing minivan's performance didn't meet your demands either.

    Oi vey.
  • UNC8185, you may get your wish...somewhat. Since the mini van market is flattening and there are pressures to increase performance/luxury/MPG in SUV’s, the trend is moving towards the so-called grand sport tourers. This is definitely more appealing to the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Acura, etc. 2006 is supposed to be the real beginning for this market. A little smaller than the big mini’s but much larger than a stationwagen, awd, seating for 6-7, sporty handling & more aggressive looking like a SUV.

    Off hand, In the works are SAAB, Mercedes, Chrysler, Cadillac and Audi.
  • jenr1jenr1 Posts: 17
    When do you think we'll hear about price??? March 14th for bleepin sake?
  • FYI - I saw a post on one of these Sienna threads that noted that Mercury is coming out with a luxury minivan this fall. I know it's domestic, but may be worth looking at?
  • Twinmom, it's a Mercury, which means it's a Ford, which means . . . get your children and run, as fast as you can, in the opposite direction! Get a Toyota! Get a Honda! Even get a *gasp* Chrysler! But DON'T get a Ford minivan, especially in its first year of production. Just ask me and the other thousands of disgruntled Windstar (now a Freestar! New name! So nobody will associate it with its history of unreliability and customer dissatisfaction!) owners/losers.
  • hschultz - If everyone were to follow this logic, there would only be basic vehicles in every category. In sedans, there should only be Camry-level cars. If you want the features that are available on a Mercedes E500 or Lexus 430, you will have to add them yourself. Only basic Caravan-level vans should be manufactured. Good luck in retrofitting the disappearing rear seats of the new Sienna. If you want such seats, you can add them. In SUV's, a basic Explorer-level is adequate. The Lexus GX470's or BMW M5's features - Who needs them as options?

    I basically feel that minivans should cover the entire range of vehicles. Car manufacturers seem to think that the luxury end should not be represented.

    BTW - My wife indicated that she didn't want the rear Maybach-type seats. She wanted one in the front passenger seat. :-)
  • etniesetnies Posts: 18
    Does anyone know if the Rear Parking Sonar will be available on the '04 Sienna?
    Like the one on the GM and Ford Vans.
    I know that the navigation system comes with a rearview camera but I really want the rearview camera and the Parking Sonar.
  • The grand sport tourers will likely address some of these issues. I looked at the Meredes Vision GST concept car's reviews. It appeared to offer the possibility of style, performance, and general usuability. In many ways, I thought of the Lexus RX330.

    It remains to be seen if these tourers will grow to include more of the minivans' features. These include the height and easy internal movement. For us, height is the most important aspect. Minivans are almost the only vehicles that offer 41+ inches of rear-opening height.

    Thanks for the tip on these tourers.
  • Wow, the rate of postings has tailed off considerably. What I am waiting for is:
    1) Real pricing information
    2) A first drive report from a major automotive magazine

    Standing by.

    Cheers
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Cadilac has one this fall based on midsize platform. Its a car, or a "tall Wagon". This months Car and Driver has a review. Will have both 8 and six months later 6 cyl engine.

    currently, the Chrylser Pacifica due in late march is the first entry. We would rate this offering very high on our short list.

    While I agree that a high line Mini van would be nice, I think that there are price points that make it a difficult segment. The sport tourers will be a more visually attractive offering, but not as space effiecent. Mini-vans still have that stigma.

    UNC8185: I can certainly understand this would be attractive to you. Car companies can afford to invest in huge demographic studies before the massive investment it takes to tool up and manufacture. Does not mean they are wrong!
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    "AWD not only helps in stand-start situation, it also helps in cornering and handling."

    Actually AWD only helps in cornering and handling if you are accelerting with enough force to break traction while cornering. While this is how rally drivers pilot there cars, in the words of a former president, "it wouldn't be prudent" in normal driving.

    Snow tires actually help your lateral traction.

    Is AWD better than FWD all things being equel - yes it is (for traction - obviously not for fuel economy). If you have AWD without snow tires and think you are doing all you can to be safe on the road and protect your family - you are very much mistaken. Snow tires are much more important than AWD.

    You are not likely to get killed by not being able to accelerate faster than everybody else, but plenty of people get killed by not being able to stop. Stoping fast is not as sexy as going fast, but it is vastly more important.

    If you do feel you need an AWD Sienna please do yourself a favor, and pay the relative pittance for 4 snow tires - you will be much better off.

    There are also other dangers besides driving in the snow - the extra range from the better gas mileage of a FWD Sienna might keep you from having to stop for fuel in a bad neighborhood, or might keep you from running out of gas on a deserted road. Food for thought.
  • Does anyone know if the Rear Parking Sonar will be available on the '04 Sienna?
    Like the one on the GM and Ford Vans.
    I know that the navigation system comes with a rearview camera but I really want the rearview camera and the Parking Sonar.

    Front and Rear Sonar should be available as part of a Limited upgrade

    Go to Jack's Bowelville Garage website and look at the package availability. Look for Sequoiasaurus on this board and you'll find the link
  • dkrilldkrill Posts: 20
    Well, I think we've heard more than enough on the AWD vs FWD argument. Those on the AWD side will always point to the traction control aspect as well as the starting capability; those on the FWD side will always point out that FWD with snow tires is better for winter (snow) driving; and both will agree that neither will help on ice.

    So, as Rodney King said, "Can't we all get along?" Can't we agree to disagree? I think Toyota engineers went through this already and that is why they will have FWD with AWD as an option. Those who want the extra capabilities of AWD+TCS will pay a premium for the privelege plus bear the cross of lower mileage. Those who don't will be happy with the standard feature and higher mileage and will shell out another $500 for snow tires.

    I, personally, will gladly get AWD+TCS (especially after this winter in upstate NY) and also buy some snow tires. (I like TireRack for snows.) The safety of my family is more important to me than a few hundred dollars for some extra safety features, and I'm pretty sure that I won't be ignoring basic safety or try to drive more recklessly just because I have AWD. Features are no replacement for common sense.

    Let's progress to other, more important issues, such as pricing, warranties, features, repairs, quality, etc., and stop arguing about AWD vs. FWD.

    BTW, any news on a First Drive or a Road Test Review?
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    I guess your trying install your opinion as the last word.

    If you get a flat with snow tires on AWD, Where is the spare? Do they have runflat snow tires?

    I think its not been argued that AWD is better or not, just personal preferance as to whether its worth it or not. Of course AWD is better, but for some its not needed.

    In the end its all subjective. Nobody right, nobody wrong.

    Rodney King is a philosopher.
    Socrates move over!
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    of any real new info, typical of a car forum. we wait, we wonder, we speculate, it arrives, we cheer, we share real world buying and driving experiences. The fact that AWD and FWD as well as many discussions proceed, is we lack SIENNA SUBSTANCE. We must wait, which is hard to do with instant gratification internet.

    Information drives these forums, look at the honda future vehicle board. It's a desert...dry as a bone, speculation without substance is dry, unhelpful and boring. tight lipped honda and toyota drives us nuts.

    C YA till it arrives
    Color me G-O-N-E..............
  • This Wednesday the Chicago Auto Show kicks off. The Mecury Monterey will be unveiled along with possibly the new Ford Freestar minivan.

    Also FYI
    Sienna production number thus far are as follows:

    Week 12/30/02-1/4/03=0
    Week 1/6/03-1/11/03=0
    Week 1/13/03-1/18/03=0
    Week 1/20/03-1/25/03=72
    Week 1/27/03-2/1/03=167
    Week 2/3/03-2/8/13=308
    Total 04s built as of 2/8/03 probably about 750

    These numbers only include Mon-Sat production for some reason and I'm not for certain whether or not Princeton works on Sundays.

    Jack
    Bowellville Garage
    Toyota Minisite
  • dkrilldkrill Posts: 20
    No, I guess YOU are trying to "install" the final word. And, if you read the whole post, what I said was that there is no right or wrong. Leave the cynical, snide remarks out of this board. And if you can't tell sarcasm (Rodney King as philosopher? Get real!), then don't address it.

    Jack, Ken and the others have been trying to inform, enlighten, and encourage others. Try to stay on subject and be constructive.
  • crv16crv16 Posts: 205
    Since the run-flat tires have significantly stiffer sidewalls than conventional tires, ride quality is going to suffer. This has been noted in car magazine reviews of other models with run-flat tires.

    Don't know if that has been mentioned before. Not to mention that the cost of replacement will be significantly higher as well.
  • Will the new Sienna be at the Chicago Auto show?
  • dkrilldkrill Posts: 20
    If you go now to the Chicago Autoshow website, click on the "See It Live" link, go to Camera 3 from the drop down menu, and look just left of the Lexus sign, left of the Ford sign, left of the Toyota sign, towards the top, you can zoom in on the new Sienna, sitting there. The website is up and running and has four remote-controllable cameras so those of us who are not going to the show can see the cars. Right now they are setting up the show, but many of the cars and displays are there. Go take a look!

    http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/index.asp?id=1857
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