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2011 Toyota Sienna



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " hazard.."

    Yes, the area behind you that you wish to see is down low. Having the wiper arc from above is just idiocy.
  • I don't consider it to be major issue when the wiper is mounted above. In fact, I prefer it that way. On my Rav4, if there is a build-up of snow, the wiper won't move at all. If it were mounted above, you would have gravity available to help it move and then the excess snow & ice could drop off.
    I understand your concern, but that is why you also have 2 exterior mirrors and one interior that is also mounted high to look down behind you. If you are going in reverse, you have the camera to also assist.
  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    Appreciate all your comments.

    I have taken pictures to compare both rear window areas on my 2004 and my 2011 Siennas but unfortunately I haven't figured out how to paste them here. If someone can tell me how to get pics in here, I'll let you decide for yourselves which you consider most safe.


    And keep those "cards and letters coming". At least we started a discussion on this matter.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You have to host them on a site like Picasa, then you can share the link.

    Problem is the photos sites keep folding, even Edmunds CarSpace did. :(
  • bulbmanbulbman Posts: 1
    While driving on I-94 at 65 mph my drivers side rear panel- side glass exploded- I called customer service at toyota and they have yet to call me back about the repairs. This is 3 month old vehicle and It it time for them to step up to the plate and pay for repairs.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Good luck. I had the windshield crack from the bottom edge (under the rubber gasket) to halfway up windshield within 10 miles of picking up a '97 Camry. They refused to accept responsibility. Can't believe I continue to even shop their products...including a 2011 Sienna. Great vehicle...terrible dealers. Nothing has changed since I bought my first one in 1992.
  • caw1caw1 Posts: 2
    We own a 2011 Sienna that makes metallic sounding clicking noices (my wife said it sounds like two aluminum beach chairs rubbing together) that seem to be coming from the 2nd or 3rd row seats or possbily from behind the 3rd row (hard to pinpoint). Brought the car back to the dealer and they could not repair and said that Toyota is aware of the problem. They said I have to wait for Toyota to investigate and recommend correction for the problem.

    Has anyone else had this problem??
  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    Sorry I can't help you on this one. At least just yet.

    Am leaving next Friday for 1300 mile trip. I'll let you know if that sound manifests itself.
  • Wow! I visited the Honolulu Auto Show last weekend. The new 100% Japan-made Quest and Toyota Sienna were directly across the aisle from eachother, so comparing the two was very easy. I learned that there are glaring differences in quality.

    The quality of the Quest's interior materials & design felt and looked far superior to the Sienna's. The $43,800 Sienna's leather seat stitching (below the front seat headrests in the rear) were crooked and wavy--very visible to rear seat occupants. Not very good quality control there....The front seats on the Quest were almost LaZBoy-like in comfort compared to the hard, shallow uncomfortable front seats in the Sienna. The front door elbow rests on the Sienna had a thin layer of cushioning on cheapish vinyl, while the Quest's had much more padding and a thicker, plusher feel to it--very Infiniti-ish. The soft pad dash on the Quest contrasted greatly to the Sienna's hard plastic dash pieces, which sounded cheap when tapped with the fingernail.

    The Sienna's electronic auto-folding rear seats--although appearing novel--partially crushed a cardboard oil change box I put in the rear bay where the seats fold into. Although the mechanism stopped, it didn't reverse like auto windows do to avoid pinching fingers. What if that was a baby stuck down there? I really like the fact that the Quest's permanent storage coves in back don't require you to move stuff out of the way to fold the seats down. Even the tall roof sills allowed for easier ingress/egress than both the Sienna and Odyssey. Lastly, the one-touch open/close sliding doors were fantastic!!!! The Sienna requires you tug and pull the handle for the door to auto-slide.

    I was not a fan of previous-generation US-made Quests. But now with this new generation Quest--the first to be manufactured in Japan (Fukuoka)--the quality difference is so obvious. The design & materials felt and looked better than even Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi--especially the lower-end models.

    Other car show observations: Even the Hyundai Sonata's interior was much nicer in design and quality than the C & E-Class Benz and BMW 3 series. The Canadian-made VW Routan exuded Chrysler Caravan cheap everywhere. The hard plastic non-variable-adjustable rear armrests were hard and pathetic. There were even stickers on the driver's door and in the engine bay prominently displaying 'Chrysler Group'. Very cheap and not very comfortable inside too...and overpriced. The Honda Odyssey appeared to be better in quality than the Sienna, but fell short in design, in my own perspective.
  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    Just finished our first long distance (1200 miles) on our new Sienna LTD. Have the following comments:

    The Advanced Tech Pkg. (laser guided cruise control) system is not as responsive as the version I had on my 2004 Sienna XLE LTD. On one occasion, a car pulled into my lane and the car did not respond at all. Had I not braked, I would have rear ended him. The old system would have beeped loudly and braked immediately. I wonder if the old wave-guide located on the right bumper was a more efficient laser install rather than the current one installed on the front grill. It occurred to me that perhaps the lucite screen covering the laser unit in the grill may have been dirty from road grime and the receptivity was impaired. Since this option is not available to dealers in the NE and the mid=Atlantic states, I wonder if dealers in these locations are familiar with the system. Will try and get the system re-calibrated but I'm not optimistic about a solution. May have to go to a Lexus dealer for help.

    The middle captain's seats were a boon to our grandchildren w/the extended foot rests (like airplane recliners). Also, the seat slides allow for moving these seats up against the 3rd row for max space. Good design here.

    Driver's functionality: barely satisfactory. The center console box is completely dysfunctional on a trip in comparison to the old 2004 Sienna. One big box that holds everything (must have been designed by a man 'cause a woman would have been more practical here): just can't dig down deep enough when driving on an interstate. Center panel under the radio has two cup holders: nothing else. Old system had 4 different slots to hold cups, and other little goodies that were easily accessible when driving. Also the old center console had a flip up panel w/pen and pad holder that allowed for quick note taking. And under that panel was another small stowage area. The under that was a place for head phone storage. The small stowage in the doors in the old Sienna were also quite handy. Nothing on the new one.

    Bottom line: the design in the driver's compartment is regressing in comparison to the old 2004. Whereas Mercedes and other European mfgrs. are adapting their designs to US needs for functionality and function over form, the new Sienna is going in the opposite direction.

    The laser cruise control speed display is hard to read w/sunglasses. They should improve the digital readout speed display with brighter numbers.

    This is perhaps the most expensive minivan sold today (mine has every option available), and I would have expected better out of Toyota.

    Would appreciate comments re the ATP performance (and any other areas). Do others have the same problem?
  • nobonobo Posts: 305
    Sad to hear that Toyota is charging more and giving less in their current generation. Seems like they are following the path GM began years ago.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I won't defend the Sienna, but I will join the Cost Cutting Police and point out where Nissan cut corners:

    * you give up about 40 cubic feet of total cargo space
    * floor isn't flat, you have gaps and holes
    * 3rd row seats are child-sized
    * Cargo floor falls about 10" short of fitting a sheet of plywood
    * peach fuzz headliner is awful cheap
    * sun visors also cheap
    * arm rests are vinyl, not leather
    * storage cubbies are seriously lacking
    * none of the cup holders can fit mug handles

    The seats are plush, and I like the pin-striping. You can fold all the seats forward easily and don't have to store them. The arm rest angles adjust like 2006 and prior Siennas did.

    Mixed bag, for sure.
  • rgccrgcc Posts: 11
    Appreciate your assessment of the Quest vs. Sienna. Thought the first 4 items particularly important and reaffirms my decision to buy the Sienna LTD (Fully loaded).


  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    It's sad to read all these comments on the new Sienna, especially that the previous generation Sienna was THAT MUCH better. All the critics, magazines, testers, and private owners attest the same.

    Toyota still makes some terrific vehicles, but they seem to go downhill/backwards with every refresh or new release. IMO the Sienna and Corolla are the strongest examples. The new Sienna do have some nice standard features over the previous generation, like Bluetooth and backup camera, but they eliminated so many useful ideas from last generation for no apparent reason, like all the stowage areas and bins, and many more.

    What's going on? Go figure.
  • Yes, I agree. I owned a 2004 which was a great vehicle and the 2009/10 version was even better. For two years I looked forward to buying the new 2011 version, test drove one for several hundred miles via a car rental agency and was ultimately very discouraged. The rental agency also said that the 2011's are not as good as the earlier version due to some hardware failures not seen in the last version. I will, regrettably ,not be buying one.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    We're pretty happy with ours. In 2005 we easily picked the Ody over the Sienna. In 2011 it went the other way. I actually still prefer the Ody but the wife was sold on the Sienna, particularly the trim/features of the Ltd. Beyond the dash material I really don't have any serious complaints. We have had LE model rentals and they seem to be pretty low-rent all around so if our budget was quite a bit lower I don't think we would have gone with the Sienna.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    Owned a 04 LE AWD, and planned to get an 2011 XLE AWD. Until the day I supposed to sign the paper, I back out. I just didn't have the same excitment. Although the 04 didn't have leather, sunroof but still feel more useful/nicer then the 2011 XLE.

    We ended up getting an used 07 Highlander knowing it probably hold value better in a year or 2. By then we will get back to the minivan market hoping there are some improvement on the Sienna.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I really don't think smaller cargo space = cost cutting or concern cutting.

    The reason Quest has less cargo space is the way the van is designed. The fold flat 2nd row might work good with specific buyers. Same for the 3rd row, small family might like the flat cargo over the seating space if they like to go to homedepot all the time.

    I checked out the van in person, same as the Odyssey, some good and bad but one thing for sure, the 1st row is VERY NICE :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, that's not cost cutting per se, just less utility out of a vehicle targeted at people who want utility.

    The cargo isn't totally flat and there are gaps and holes when the seats are folded. I recommend a tarp, cardboard, or something to line the floor that will seal up those holes.

    I liked the front seats also, the piping on the seats sure looks upscale.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm anxious to see the new Sedona, because I honestly think the segment leaders have dropped the ball and left the championship among minivans up for grabs.

    Read Ody reviews, by the way, it's no longer the driver's minivan it once was. And you get a 5 speed unless you spend over $40k, too. CR dropped its score in their review (as they did for the Sienna).

    If I were buying today, to be honest, I may go CPO on a 2010 Sienna.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I agree with you. Based on current Kia redisgned model, there may be some surprised from Kia to bring a better Sedona. This van needs to step up.
    I too can't believe so many misses from Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Their new vans do have some good thing to go for but it seems like the last gen van (except Quest) has better overall function/quality.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited May 2011
    Quest is the unique one, and the materials inside definitely improved compared to the last one I sat in (the first year the last one came out).

    It's odd, though, in that it's more SUV-like with the seating.

    Look at a Sedona and the new Ody side-by-side. Check out how tiny the rear-most side windows are. The Sedona's glass positively drwarfs the Ody's. So the uptick in the window is style over substance. They made it look like they tried to make the window bigger, but the window is actually much smaller than it could be.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter is interested in speaking with consumers who wanted to purchase a Honda or Toyota but decided to purchase something else because inventory was tight.

    If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to and include your name and email address.
  • Count us in the 'sad' bucket. We have an 05 XLE and an 06 LE. (and a FJ Cruiser) I had hoped to replace the XLE with a new Sienna this year when the new model came out. The dealbreaker for me (besides the quality issues and the general 'cheap' feel of the interior) is one I haven't seen others mention. With 4 kids in car seats, the fact that the new Sienna reduced the number of LATCH positions is a nonstarter for me. Who do they think their target audience is, if not families with young kids?

    We'll hold out another year or two at least, and consider other brands at that time. We have had so many other Toyota products (two 4 Runners, a Sequoia) but the past 2 years has been disillusioning for me.
  • drews578drews578 Posts: 2
    Remember that LATCH is only good to 45 pounds
  • drews578drews578 Posts: 2
    We are debating AWD vs. FWD. We live in the snow belt of the great lakes. I don't know what to think about not having a spare tire and getting run-flats instead. I always get snow tires on my vehicles. I dont like the idea of not having a spare. Any other issues with FWD vs AWD I should consider?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    edited May 2011
    We planned to buy the AWD but walked away with a FWD. The run-flats were a deal breaker along with what appears to be (looking at real-world posts on various forums) MUCH lower mpg. The AWD system also is very basic in operation (only shifts power after slipping, limited amount of transfer available, eventually gives up in very slippery situations). We will install a full set of wheels/snows come winter and I have no doubt we will get along ok. I would have installed these on the AWD as well but there was also limited choices in snow tires with the run-flats.

    The only other downside was the FWD Ltd has a power 3rd row which I'm not a fan...the AWD has the normal manual folding 3rd row.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...only shifts power after slipping..."

    No, the new Venza, Sienna, and RX350 all have a new F/awd system that automatically apportions a measure of engine torque to the rear at the times otherwise most likely to result in front wheelslip/spin. Even any minor level of acceleration from a low speed, or from a stop, will result in engine torque being apportioned across all 4 tire treads. Bias always remains toward the front.

    But you are correct on the second part, ANY wheelslip/spin at all and the F/awd system goes TU in favor of TC. Hopefully there is a TC disable switch.

    In my opinion this would be an excellent F/awd system with a few end-user modifications. There is absolutely no reason for the re-apportioning of engine torque to the rear unless the roadbed is suspected, or KNOWN to be poorly tractive. So I would use a switch to entirely disable the rear coupling clutch, eliminate ALL driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing, except when I have an expectation of need.

    But my next step would be to have a switch that locks the rear coupling clutch, locking center diff'l "effect", when driving on a consistently low traction roadbed. Note that this can result in over-stressing the driveline components and/or excessive tire wear if left active on a tractive surface.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    You're right it does send some power to the rear when accelerating, but at very low %. It doesn't send the higher amounts until there is slippage. Even if you could mod the system to disable the rear clutch you're still turning an extra driveshaft and worst of all, the AWD has a lower final drive. So even out on the open road it's always turning a higher rpm.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2011
    "...but at a very low %..."

    I don't consider 50% as being very low, which is the MAXIMUM amount routed during hard acceleration. It even partially locks, ~30%, the center "diff'l" while turning. Accelerate while turning tightly and that amount might actually grow to 50%.

    Having a serious level of engine drive torque on the front wheels in the above circumstance can turn hazardous quickly.

    " doesn't send the higher amounts until there is slippage.."

    Even with a TRUE 4WD system it will generally do no good to "lock" the center diff'l AFTER wheelspin/slip has begun. The only reasonable reaction is to first slow the vehicle to regain traction, lock the diff'l, then proceed.

    No, NOT!!

    Due to the front torque bias it will almost always be the front wheels that initially develop slippage. That brings the vehicle to the precipice of danger to life and limb. Allocate some of the front wheels/tires traction coefficient to turning and the suddenness with which you reach that precipice will amaze you.

    So, develop wheelspin on one of these new F/awd system, or ANY F/awd system for that matter, and the INSTANT result will be entry into the TC/TDC, Traction/Directional Control.

    Your insurance rate would undoubtedly go into orbit where the factory to ignore the hazards of FWD or F/awd in these instances.

    "..worst of all..."

    No, part and parcel.

    The extra weight and frictional losses (PTO) of a F/awd system is what requires the lower final gear ratio. A given engine MUST produce a tad more HP due to the above. So the factory optimal gear ratio computation comes out in favor of a slightly higher engine torque level at a given or average road speed. Chicken AND egg.
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