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Sienna vs Grand Caravan/Town & Country



  • Its a shame he regrets his decision - its such a large purchase.

    But what you say point out my earlier post that there are an amazing number of differences in the features between MV. I really don't understand why - most of the desirable features are not mutually exclusive.

    We had the advantage of our prior car being fully loaded, so we already knew which bells and whistles would be ignored. The reasons we bought the Sienna are the very features we use everyday. (Favorite features: Way 2nd row middle seat slides forward and integrated seat belt, different seat configurations, windows roll down, MP3 player)

    I always wonder how much research someone does who regrets their decision soon after?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My friend showed me the 3 surveys he has received concerning the 2006 Sienna LE. The last of the 3 was much more detailed than JD Power or Toyota.
    He likes his new Sienna but would like it even more if it had all of the nice features contained on my 2002 T&C addition to the things he likes better on the Sienna.
    The Sienna is quieter, has more comfortable driver's seat, 5 speed AT, more cargo space behind 3rd row seat, fold into the floor 60/40 split 3rd row seat, fore and aft movement of 2nd row seats...but he likes the DC separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and the easier to use stereo controls of the DC better than the Sienna.
    The 2006 GC SXT has most of the nice features of each but the interior looks cheaper in the 06 GC SXT than the 06 Sienna LE or even my 02 T&C LX.
    Would still be very difficult for me to choose between a 2006 GC SXT and a 2006 Sienna LE. :blush: The Odd EX would be the 3rd choice.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    " He likes his new Sienna but would like it even more if it had all of the nice features contained on my 2002 T&C LX"

    Why didn't he get the Sienna XLE LTD which has even more features than any T&C?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    $ 10,000 extra cost. ;)
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    The Sienna is a very nice van but like all Toyota vehicles it is overpriced.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Slightly quieter than our 2002 T&C LX that we still own. Each has advantages with the Sienna being slightly quieter with a more comfortable driver seat but the Town & Country having a nicer trip computer, better HVAC and radio controls.
    The Odyssey lacks too many features of either the Sienna or Town & Country so we now own BOTH a T&C and Sienna. ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    We found the Sienna to ride like a boat on a choppy sea compared to the non choppy ride of the Odyssey. The Sienna is a beautiful van but we thought the Ody rode better.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    It would seem to be a bit of a waste of money to have two minivans in the same family. Granted they are versatile vehicles, but do you really need more utility than one minivan? Why not one minivan and one midsize or smaller car for two drivers?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Did you check out the Sienna XLE LTD AWD? It has a lot more features than T&C or any minivan.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Posts: 130
    I plan to replace my sedan for a van in 4 years and become a two van owner. Main reason being kids. With a 4 yr old and 2 yr old an another coming ... god willing ... we need the space. With all the carting of the kids around we both need vans. She usually takes the kids in the morning to sitter/preschool and I pickup after work. 3 kids in the back of a sedan is not going to work out too good. Hopefully the 2008 T&C will address some of the current vans shortcomings ... like engine and drivetrain improvements along with added stability control.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No other vehicle has the utility, comfort, and decent gas mileage of a minivan...except the Scion xB. The Scion xB would NOT be satisfactory for us on a long trip. :cry:
    Our Sienna LE is quieter, more luxurious interior, and more comfortable driver's seat than the T&C LX. Sienna has a 5 speed AT while T&C has 4 speed AT.
    The T&C LX has better controls for the radio/stereo and a better HVAC system than the Sienna LE. The T&C has separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger with 5 speed fan while the Sienna has same temperature with only a 4 speed fan.
    Too bad I can't have the best features of each in either.
    We use the T&C for driving around town and Sienna for long trips. We also will loan the T&C to our daughter and family to go on trips as I do not trust her 212,727 mile 1991 Astro.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    As I turned a corner onto a 6 lane highway from the stoplight, I stomped on the accelerator in our 2006 Sienna LE with 3.3L V6 and it read 65 MPH at the same spot the 2002 T&C LX with 3.3L V6 had reached 55 MPH. Surprise was the Sienna shifted gears at a lower RPM than did the T&C. :confuse:
    Advantage: Not as much worry getting a speeding ticket in the T&C. :shades:
  • I'm about to buy a van for travel, and have driven the Sienna and the Odyssey, as well as the Ford Freestyle. I'm concerned about American quality in general. Any good feelings abot the DC or the T&C quality? Also, mileage is one of my main concerns given direction of gas prices.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    BUY the minivan that you like best. I have had excellent experience with T&C and one son excellent experience with a 2002 GC Sport and one daughter has had excellent experience with a used 1999 GC SE.
    My youngest son has had excellent experience with his 2001 Ody EX. One niece has been very satisfied with the used Windstar she owns and her sister has had good experience with her Aerostar. Our eldest daughter has a 1991 Astro with 212,000 miles that still runs well.
    You can read horror stories about any minivan...but most people have NO problems with any brand.
    In addition to experience driving the 2001 Ody EX many times, my 2002 T&C, son's 2002 GC Sport, and daughter's 1999 GC SE, we test drove a 2006 Ody EX-L-NAV and a 2004 Sienna LE. The Sienna LE was quieter and performed better than the Odyssey EX-L-NAV. The Sienna is also quieter than the 3 DC minivans in our family and is getting slightly better gas mileage ;) .
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Much lag or hesitation in either van when "stomping" on the accelerator hans?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I did NOT notice any...but I had just turned the corner and was driving only 2 or 3 MPH at time of "stomping" on the accelerator or each.
    I had heard of lag or hesitation with "drive by wire" arrangement of the Sienna and Odyssey but have never noticed it in the 2006 Odyssey, our 2006 Sienna, the 2004 Sienna I test drove, or our 2002 T&C LX.
    As written earlier, I was disappointed with the downshifting of our 2002 T&C last year when it shifted down 2 gears instead of just one...and there was more roar than go at about 45 MPH while the 2004 Sienna seemed to LEAP forward under the same condition.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    What sort of load (pass & cargo) are you traveling with? I really didn't need the super-capacity of a full-sized minivan, so I bought the Freestyle. For me it's a great car. MPG in the mid-20's, drives and feels more car like and less van or SUV-like. Plus you can get AWD if you live in snow country. I don't, so I bought the FWD with side safety curtains, aux heater a/c in the rear, dual front climate control, all for $25K. We've put 23K miles on it in the past year. For most of our road trips we've only used the first two rows, but we have done road trips with six people and just put some stuff on the roof (we have a giant stroller, crib that we bring with us, and other baby stuff). The luggage space behind row 3 is pretty big, but again not as big as a full size minivan.

    I'd say for a family of 4 or 5, the Freestyle is a great alternative to a traditional minivan. But if you do a lot of road trips with lots 6-7 people and lots of stuff, I'd go with the minivan.

    And a comment for the person buying a second minivan so they could both haul their kids around. Consider getting a Mazda5 as your micro-minivan, since it seats 6 in three rows and can be used for the pick up and delivery of the kids, and then use the full-size minivan for the weekend road trips. The Mazda5 will cost less than $20K, get better mpg, and is a lot smaller for zipping around. Why have 2 full-sized vans, when you only need one for the big road trips, since the other will be mostly just picking up and dropping off?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Another benefit to the Electronic Throttle-by-wire is the fact that no "slack" build up in the pedal as occurs with traditional throttle cable systems. My 96 Honda has a little play in the throttle pedal before hitting the engagement threshold (maybe a centimeter's worth). My Accord engages immediately (as does my aunt's 2005 Ody) with no play in the pedal. No throttle cable to get loose or worn with an electronic throttle.

    I do have a question, though, that may help some others, too. Is there any way to tighten the connection in the pedal/throttle cable realtionship to eliminate this play in the pedal? Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated by me, and maybe others.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Nicest looking interior of any minivan for less than $ 26K. All seats as comfortable as any minivan. OUTSTANDING gas mileage (27.7 MPG average in first 1400 miles).
    Why have 2 minivans?
    Both minivans are paid for. The 2002 T&C gets good gas mileage ( 22.3 overall average since purchase), has a 7 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, and has been VERY reliable. A smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle is NOT economically viable since depreciation on a new vehicle would greatly exceed the small amount saved in better fuel economy than the T&C needs.
    The Sienna is quieter with better fuel economy than a DC minivan BUT the DC minivan HVAC and stereo controls are better on the DC than either the Sienna (or an Odd).
    My research and test drives narrowed the choice to a GC SXT, Sienna LE, or Odd EX. All 3 are very nice and each has some advantages. There were pleasant, low pressure salesmen at dealerships for all 3 and the decision was difficult. ;)
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731

    Congrats for your new 2006 Sienna and I’m glad you love it. However, except for the few differences from the T&C you mentioned (HVAC & Audio controls, seats, quietness – which you already mentioned in the past at least 5,000 times :) ) I would like to know how you take the many other differences?


    1) Gated shifter sitting on the dashboard

    2) Wipers in the right stalk, working totally different than the T&C (I prefer the way of T&C)

    3) Cruise controls; and how about the power window controls (which is lighted in your 2002 T&C)

    4) I think that the Sienna interior lamps are much dimmer compared to T&C, especially in the cargo area. Wouldn’t you like the flood lamps on the liftgate as T&C? And when opening the rear door, the front lamps does not come on.

    5) Do you miss cassette player from the T&C? Do you love the AUX-IN jack in the Sienna?

    6) What do you think of the ANNOYING armrests in the Sienna, which in order to adjust you push it down all the way and then bring it back up slowly?

    7) Are you satisfied with the sun visors without an extender as your T&C?

    8) Braking performance and steering feel are both softer in the Sienna, the steering wheel smaller;

    9) How about the fold-into-floor rear seats in the Sienna?

    And so many more. You should know better since you own them both. I think you should write a full comparison review!

    And again, congratulations, and enjoy them both!
This discussion has been closed.