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Buying a Used Sienna



  • I am in the market for a used mini van. I like the Odyssey but I have found they are above my ideal price point and the Sienna seems to be a better value. I am looking to spend 10-12K so I am focused on the model years of 2005 and older. Any input on good model years or bad ones? I have found prices, mileage, options and model years all over the board and am now VERY confused!

    Please advice!! Any and all help is MUCH appreciated!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 1MZ 3.0l V6 in the 2003 and prior Sienna was known for sludge issues, so a safer bet is the 3MZ 3.3l in the 2004 and later models.

    2004+ is basically the current platform, too. Much bigger than the prior one, 2nd row windows roll down, 3rd row folds in to the floor, etc.

    So aim for a 2004+.
  • I have been looking at a 2008 Sienna AWD model but am concerned about some of the information I am finding on the Web, The used ones I have found available all seem to have very low miles, and in a number of cases, have apparently been sold, and then put up for resale within months - which would probably indicate some inherent problem that is being found by the purchasers. A number of posts indicate very bad mpg problems and I wonder if this might be the problem being discovered.
    Furthermore, I drove one of these vehicles yesterday for the first time and noticed that it seemed to slow dramatically as soon as I took my foot off the gas. Even the salesman at this Ford dealership acknowledged that this seemed unusual.
    Is this normal with this vehicle because of its AWD?
    Thanks for your input!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is drag from two axles, so to some extent, yes, it's normal.

    My guess is it's the run-flat tires, which come with AWD. They're the most common complaint by far.

    Some people replace them with conventional tires and add a spare to the cargo well.
  • Hi a neighbor friend that works at a local dealership has offered me a 2004 Sienna XLE Limited with factory nav and factory DVD systems.

    Visually it appears in very good shape with 77,000 miles.

    He is asking $11,900........

    What do you guys think?

    Ps. Did the loaded '04 models include Bluetooth?
  • Seems like a good price for that car according to

    While it is a good deal- personally I would spend a little more to get a newer van with lower miles. I would look for an 07 or newer with the larger motor (Timing chain instead of timing belt )and better safety features (door beams came it 05)

    For example I just bought an 07 Certified CE with 40,500 miles for $14,950. I worked with a car concierge service to find a newer model low miles Sienna for a great price.

    Personally I am not a fan of bells and whistles though- Its just more stuff to break over time. The LE and CE models come plenty well equipped IMHO. Forget NAV- get a Garmin! You can also consider an after market DVD if you need one.

    Read up on the Sienna Forum about the new motor, the power sliding door problems, and other things Sienna. You are sure to get the car you want if you are well informed and patient.

    My advice- Buy it if it is exactly what you are looking for - if not have him find The ONE at auction.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure, but I'm guessing no on Bluetooth. I think that came in 2008, at least for LE and XLE with the upgraded JBL sound.
  • zinderzinder Posts: 2
    The price seems high to me but the van does have only 8,800 miles on it. This is a private-party seller in the SF Bay Area.

    Does the price seem reasonable with the low mileage?

    For reference a CPO 2008 XLE with basically the same options but 22k miles is listed at $29k at a local dealer.

    Any opinions on the above are welcome.

  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Yes, way too high. A brand new 09 Sienna XLE has invoice of 27,550. But there are a lot of packages available. So dont know whether the van you are looking at has any extra packages ,any navigation ,moonroof etc.. More info will be needed.
    But a base XLE has a invoice of 27550 and this is a 3 yr old model albeit with low miles. Hope this helps.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    Dealers in the Bay Area are crazy in what they try to ask for late model used Siennas. When I was shopping in 2008 for ours I checked around on used vans before going with a new. What I found is that 80+% of the late model used Siennas are retired rentals with relatively high mileage (all LEs with with a slightly de-contented EVP1). For the privately owned trade-ins the dealers wanted outrageous prices. By the time I was done dickering, I was getting offers for a brand new 2008 Sienna for nearly as much used side of the exact same dealer wanted for a similarly equipped 2006 (with the weaker engine!!!). I tried using this as an argument for the used van to come down on the price and they still wouldn't budge. I told them they were crazy and they responded that they didn't have any problems selling them at that price. I took Toyota's 0% financing had a lower payment than if I financed the used van through my credit union.

    As they appear to still overvalue the used vans, I would recommend going new. Taking into account the incentives that Toyota offers for financing, buying new can actually come out to less cash payout over time in addition to the luxury of getting to be the first owner.
  • zinderzinder Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replies. Luckily I don't have to buy right now so I can wait for the right deal. I'll probably just wait a couple months until the 2011s drop to see what that does to the market. I would like the 2007 but for quite a bit less like ~22K I think, I'll watch it to see if it stays on the market.

    I also agree about the prices for used Sienna's around here. I have no problem with the dealers if they can get it, but who would BUY a used for the cost of a new?
  • I am looking into buying a used minivan. We live in the Seattle area which usually doesn't snow but when it does, it's a pain (with hills around).. and we go skiing a lot so I am considering buying a AWD. However, I see so many complaints about the run flat tires and AWD vans are a lot less to choose from.

    a dealer recommended vans with traction and stability control feature and said it does well in snow.

    Can you comment on will stability control good enough to drive in snow (not in heavy snow everyday but highway to ski resorts, etc.. )

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Doesn't seem like you'll see lots of snow, so FWD should be adequate.

    Consider a set of Autosox for occasional traction needs.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    Its interesting the prices dealers want for used cars.I looked for a used Civic ( 2 years oldish or so a while ago) and soon realized new was cheaper! Same thing with the car I bought my daughters ( ford focus) A new one was cheaper than a 1 year old used one.
    Regarding Sienna's I have an 00 with 138,000 miles and its been essentially bullit proof.Other than a sensor about 4 years ago all I have done with the car is follow the recommended maintenance.But buying a 2-3 year old one probably doesn't make sense.Buy new and keep it a long time would be my advice.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    My guess is two factors at play. The first is that there is a glut in global production so there are lots of incentives to push vehicles out the door to keep the factories and sales floors humming. The second is the inertia of conventional wisdom that says you take a hit just driving it off of the lot and that buying used saves the depreciation hit so you should always buy used unless you just have to have a new car. We aren't great it looking rationally at every decision and tend to depend on recieved wisdom for many of our decisions- it simplifies life.

    The first pushes down the cost of buying new and the second props up the price of used. The biggest problem with the conventional wisdom is that while, yes, you do take a hit driving it off of the lot, you take a similar hit on a used car. The the tax man and the dealer want their cuts and the reputations of Toyota (and Honda) are so good people will pay the premium even for a used one even if it is not the most rational economic decision.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    When I was looking for the used Civic, I remarked to my salesman that the prices were so high I didn't even know how negotiations on price could even start (I had bought a new CRV from him a year or so earlier).He told me that because of the extended warranty on certified honda's that they could sell the used ones for the prices quoted.Given the price of an extended warranty on the new car we bought (around 900 to bring the coverage to 7-100,000) that explanation didn't make much sense to me either.
    I simply think that buying certain cars slightly used makes no sense.(most toyota's and Honda's and even the ford focus )
  • I currently drive a 03 Town and Country. I am looking to buy a 8 pass Sienna used, but no older then 2008. I am curious how people feel about the 8 pass?
    I do childcare and could always use the extra seat but is it really useable?
    How about access to the third row?
    How long should I expect a Toyota to run without many major issues (my 03 van now with 70K miles is starting to give me issues, so I am unsure looking at a 09 with almost 40K miles)

    Any thoughts about these prices.

    09 LE w/39,400 miles for $19,876
    09 LE w/34,924 miles for $21,422
    08 LE w/44.330 miles for $19,650
    08 LE w/ 26,963 miles for $20,975
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Dont worry,the Sienna is the most reliable van out there and they will easily run more than 125k miles with no major problems. Just a few questions:

    1.Your budget range--max budget??
    2.8th seat is usable but small-- Is the 8th seat absolutely necessary? Is it a must have or can you do without it?--b`cos 8 pass Siennas are rare compared to 7 pass.
    3. 04-06 Sienna is the redesigned model whereas the 07-09 is the updated version of the 04-06 model.So practically no difference between the 07-09 Siennas.
    4. Any specific features you need-like leather/navigation/AWD ? Or is the base LE OK with you as you quoted prices just for the LE model ?

    I would never buy an 09 or 2010 models with more than 25k miles as these are mostly rentals.So any 07-09 Sienna should be OK and the mileage should be of a bigger concern. Let us know. :shades:
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    The 8 seats are all comfortable enough for adults and we are very pleased with our 8 passenger van. We use the middle 8th seat in the "front and center" position with our youngest so it has even more room and he was in easy reach when he was an infant.

    Access to the 3rd row is easy... as long as you can leave at least one of the outboard seats without a car seat. Also, if you are using car seats the rear seat has 2 LATCH positions on the third row for a total of 5 LATCH positions- 2 more I recall any other van having.

    Reliability on the Toyota is generally excellent and I should expect you will get many more than the 70Kmiles you have on your Chrysler. Based on the model, and mileage for age I would guess those are retired rental vans. Some here say they have gotten excellent service out of retired rentals, but my experience leaves me wary. Still, you should get more than the what you seem to have gotten on your Chrysler.
  • madams1madams1 Posts: 101
    We were going to get a new 2010, but not that many in our area. Basically, the dealers did not want to deal since most would have to find the vehicle, plus they low balled the trade on the new one. They had a 2008 LE with both sliding doors and homelink on the lot that was previously owned by one of the salesmen. Had 37K miles, kind of high for an 08. We paid 20K and they gave us kbb good for our trade(much more than they would give us towards the new one). Probably could have gotten a better deal if we looked around some more or maybe could have found a 2010, but it was the right time. Our 4 year old granddaughter loves the 'magic' doors(power). If you have kids this is a good feature.

    Good luck with your search.
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