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Toyota Sienna Future Models



  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    It's unusual for Toyota to keep the same design for so many model years. And there is no hint of a new Sienna model (which is already out since 2004), although I believe one is expected in mid-2009 as a 2010 model - but I am not sure.

    Is there really no information out there? Is it possible that the release date was pushed back after the release of the new Chrysler vans with all kinds of gadgets and they're trying to compete?

    Prices for the Sienna are still going strong, hint that no newer model is on the way.

    I am very curious to know what's next for the Sienna.
  • lab88lab88 Posts: 24
    I also heard that a 2010 new model is coming out in 2009.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Being now in a 2008 Chrysler minivan lease, and being quite disappointed of the quality and so many problems, I am really warming up to switch to a Toyota as my next choice.

    However, I would like to share my thoughts and point out some of the major features that draw me to Chrysler over the Toyota in the first place, so Toyota should take notice and offer these features in their new lineup of minivans.

    First of all, it’s well known that Chrysler has the best features when it comes to entertainment. The built in MyGig music system with 20 (30 for 2009 models) GB of room for your music and pictures is just great. No schlepping iPod’s and other players and connecting thru AUX IN. And the navigation and integrated bluetooth is also terrific. (However they’re full of bugs and very unintuitive and complicated designed, and many key features are missing.)

    I would stop here for a moment and request Toyota to stop all the legal stuff in their vehicles. Like agreements acceptance, and bluetooth name/numbers not appearing when in Drive, etc. That’s just an absurd.

    I would also like to ask if possible – to offer several entertainment system choices – for example, I don’t want a rear DVD entertainment system, but would still like to have the upgraded stereo and GPS navigation and other gadgets – but without the rear DVD system and save the chunk of money.

    The seats in the Chrysler minivans are more adjustable, travels higher and can be more angled. The center row seats are well known for their swiveling or stowing. While the swiveling seats are more like a gimmick, the stowing seats feature is very useful – however they’re extremely uncomfortable. The swiveling seats are very good, though. Whatever they do, the in-the-floor storage bins below the center row seats is something special, it keeps everything well-organized and out of sight.

    While Toyota has illuminated ignition key ring, it bothersome that they’re still the ONLY manufacturer who doesn’t offer illuminated controls for power windows, door locks & mirrors.

    I would love to see the interior white LED lighting. It’s so nice and elegant in the Chrysler vans. In general, the Sienna has very bad lighting; it is not bright enough, especially in the cargo area. Also a light in each glove box is important and welcome. And illuminated cup holders & interior door handles would be a plus.

    Speaking of the inside door handles, I must point out that the tiny interior door handles on the current Sienna must go. Recent Toyota models are better, like the Camry, but still, the Chrysler/Dodge minivans have ultra big & very comfortable handles.

    On the power sliding doors, in the Chrysler/Dodge vans you can OVERRIDE the power feature and open/close manually with no extra effort, while on the Sienna (and any other minivan for that matter) you can’t.

    Oh, and offer the rear power liftgate on all models as an option, not just on the XLE and Limited.

    Please continue to offer the 8 passenger seating option, and also on the higher-end models.

    On the automatic temperature control, make simpler controls, the more dials and less push buttons the easier it is. And knobs should be larger sized, like in the new Highlander. Take the clock out of the temperature controls, and make a different screen for that, and perhaps add the date & day of week.

    Offer a backup camera on all models as an option. Either into the rearview mirror, or on a small LCD as on the Highlander. You could also offer the rear parking assist. Most people could use it as a safety feature; it’s not by any means a luxury feature.

    Bluetooth option on all models would also be very welcome. Most people already are using cell phones, and in most places it’s against the law to speak on a phone while driving, and it’s not safe at all.

    The Chrysler on the T&C Limited has the “mirror tilt on Reverse” feature.

    In the models with the HID lamps, offer auto leveling, not manual.

    Chrysler/Dodge vans feature a “Tip Start” — Quiet start, and prevents double starts.

    Chrysler/Dodge vans, especially in the higher models, has an information and message center, and all options are user accessible to set (with controls on the steering wheel). In the Sienna, most features that you can change settings, you need to go to the dealer. That’s wasting time of both, the owner and the dealer. By the way, in the higher-end models, the information center shows you the exact tire pressure of each wheel.

    On some models of the Chrysler/Dodge vans, the center row seats feature integrated child booster seat which folds up from the second-row seat to maximize convenience and eliminate the extra bulk and clutter of separate aftermarket child booster seats. It is very useful in many situations.

    For 2009, the better-equipped Chrysler/Dodge models feature many new improvements, like a “Blind Spot Detection System”; SmartBeam intelligent headlamps which automatically adjust intensity; Rain-sensing wipers, and more.

    Anyway, I think it’s enough. If Toyota would include these features, plus continue their own, it should really be the “Cadillac of the minivans” – like it was called when the 2004 design was released.

    I hope my dreams will come true.....
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    I agree the Sienna needs lighting in the glovebox and better lighting in the cargo area but overall it's pretty bright.

    You can get bluetooth on any model with the JBL system which means it's now available on the LE.

    The 2007 and newer Sienna's do have Tip Start, just turn the key let go and it starts the rest itself. Our 04 Sienna didn't have it but our 07 Sienna does and I love it.

    I'm sure they will add smartbeam and rain sensing wipers on the redesign since they already offer it on the Venza and other Toyota's.

    I still think the Sienna is the best Quality minivan you can buy. That's why we traded our 04 Sienna AWD in for a 07 Sienna FWD.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    If you sit once in the Chrysler at night and see the interior lighting, you'll see that you can't compare it.

    We just bought in our company a new 2009 Sienna. I agree it's very smooth and feels of high quality, though the interior design is pretty dated and is really due for an update.

    Our company van has a remote starter, and one of the drivers didn't know exactly how to operate it, and he "started" the car again while engine already running - which is not good for the engine. In the Chrysler vans this can't happen, since the electronic starter prevents double starts.

    I am certain Toyota will feature the keyless starting in the higher-end models, like in many recent Toyota's; However for the lower end models without this feature, the "tip start" is very safe and the way to go.

    I also love the front-end of the Chrysler vans with the giant grille and nicely shaped headlamps, and can't take Sienna's tiny smiley grille. I hope they will have something better, as they do have better in most - if not all - other Toyota models.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I also hope they don't mess up with the electric steering like they did with the Corolla..
  • It has been 6 years (Feb 2003) since Toyata released the current design Sienna. Is a new version coming, or is the Sienna going slowly away?
  • I have an 08 Limited and carefully researched the 08's chrysler before buying the Sienna.

    You talk about all the "high points" of the Chrysler and on paper they sound great. But as you pointed out, in reality, its a piece of junk.

    1) The interior fit/finish/build quality looks like it was done by the same people who design and build the junk toys they sell at wall mart. Reach under the seat to activate the tilt and prey you don't slit your hand on cheasy shart plastic

    2) I've had lots of nav systems, both portable and integrated (including Lexus & Infiniti). Once you get used to it, the Toyota/Lexus is the quickest to use for everyday operations. I do agree the legal nanny's with the prevention of use while moving is very dumb. I'm in the tech industry and I couldn't figure out how to use even the most basic functions on the chrysler system. the screen was so crowded and relatively low resolution and crude graphics. The usable area to show the map was very small. In addition, the stereo itself sounded very weak compared to the toyota (although both were weak compared to my old IS250)

    To put it simply, if I had to buy the chrysler, I would still have to go out and buy a portable GPS to have a usable solution. It's garbage.

    3) The satelite tv is a gimick. 3 whopping channels at very low resolution.

    4) The center console literally was wobbly. Again, shoddy interiors. Dashboard looked typical chrysler cheap. The only chrysler I''ve seen that has a half respectable interior is the now discontinued crossover stationwagon they had. can't think of the name.

    5) The chrysler was noticeably smaller on the inside. Especially the rear storage area. The seats were way too close to the floor (the price of that so called wonderful underseat storage). That also meant headroom was less than the toyota when moving around.

    6) I know its a matter of opinion but the chrysler is now one of the ugliest minivans. The last generation was much more attractive then these new box on wheels look..

    7) The lighting is adequate. I've had LED lighting in the lexus, and yes it is nice. My real beef is that if somebody manually turns on an interior light and you leave the car, it stays on until the battery dies. There is no way from the front to shut off a light without shutting off all interior lighting. Very dumb.

    That being said, the 2 of the 4 lights of the showroom chrylser I saw were lose. You had to jiggle them to get them on. Again, crap quality.

    8) The AWD is great. you get suv security in the northeast with minivan practicality. Chrylser gave up on it to keep room for those supposedly great storage compartments.

    What good is underseat storage if you can't get to where you need to in bad weather?

    9) I will admit the digital hvac controls aren't that intuitive and its very difficult to control separate fan and temperature for the rear. They should do like lexus where the hvac is part of the all in one nav/radio system. I'm betting that will be the case for the next gen once they catch up.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We should see one this calendar year. They had a concept a short while ago, but I wasn't crazy about it to be honest.
  • What makes you think that its this year? I haven't seen any talk of test track drives, spy photos, etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, but I didn't see the Venza up until it was shown in production form on the auto show circuit, either.

    There's still the New York show in April, that is unless they postpone the intro by a year due to the economy.
  • FIrst I would like to say that I have enjoyed reading everyone thoughts about the Toyota Sienna. I have lived in Japan for almost 17 years (Navy) and have seen what the Japanese get to drive vs. what the US gets to drive. I have never really like the Sienna. I thougth its predecessor was a better van. If you could see one now, you would truely agree with me. Just google Toyota Estima. Or even Toyota Alphard. You will see both vans are truely superior to the Sienna. I have owned a DGC for three years. I love the 2005 body, but hate the new one. The only thing that I hate about my DGC, it its not a Toyota. The quality is shabby at bets, but it does offer the best options in the class. Toyota really needs to start sharing the welth, espically in this economy. Why design cars for different countries, when you could just sell the same ones in all of them. As an Americian living in Japan I would love to be able to bring an Estima or Alphard back to the US and be the envey of the entire neighborhood.

    Tim in Japan
  • it was slated for this coming year as a 2010 model but it has been pushed back another year. if everything went according to plan, the newly redesigned model should be in production in 2010. rumor is no hybrid for the first year introduction but might appear in 2-3 years. a 4 cylinder is also possible.

    to comment on previous post, the '04 model was touted as a 'lexus of minivan' and not 'a cadillac ...' by the press
  • the reason is that the japanese minivan is smaller than what we americans want. the demise of the mazda mpv is a good example. it was the first to have roll down windows and slide-together seats (on the go too i might add) and slide forth and back seats too. it even has stow-in-the trunkt third row. it drives much nicer than the sienna and possible on par with the odyssey. however, it was too small so it dies but the japanese has just updated a really nice mazda mpv for its home market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very true, I'm sure the JDM vans cannot match the 148 cubic feet of cargo space.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    Americans like Big. Japanese don't have the room for Big. The markets were big enough to support different models so the US got a big one. Gas prices looked like they were going to change American tastes but since the bottom fell out of oil with the rest of the economy I doubt Toyota wants to spend the money to certify a small JDM car with limited appeal in the US. I would also point out the the Sienna is 80% US sourced parts so they don't have nearly as much freight costs as shipping overseas.

    I'm curious what specifically impressed you about the JDM vans versus the Sienna?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The odds of a new small minivan being launched in the US are right about at zero.

    Toyota brought the Venza instead, for instance.
  • decondecon Posts: 56
    Wasn't this the photos for 2010? occer-game-in-sight

    Is it true that the new model will be pushed back another year? I was waiting for the 2010 to decide whether to get that or 2009 model.
  • Take a look at what the Japanese get to buy. This is the Alphard. If it were to come to the US, they would most likely bring it as a Lexus. Toyota Alphard. Also take a look at the Estima. This too is far better than that the US market gets. Maybe if there is enough interest from the US market, Toyota will get the point and stop making the current Sienna and bring one of their own, home grown vans to the US. Toyota Estima
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't really like that Alphard. Way too square. It looks like the old Ford Aerostar to me. And those wheels look tiny, what's up with that?

    The Estima looks very modern (I like it) but I'm not sure the Jetsons look would do as well in the US.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    The Alphard is a pretty odd looking beast. The Estima hearkens back to the GM "dustbuster" style minivans from the early 90s... not a good thing in my opinion. The Sienna isn't pretty, but it is the least ugly of the three.

    I'm skeptical that Toyota could support 2 minivans in the US market, and the Sienna size would sell more vans. If there really was a strong demand for smaller minivans the Mazda 5 should have a bigger market share. US Market minivans keep growing with each generation because that is the way most of us want them.
  • Well I guess everyone has their own opinion. Trust me, how could anyone compair a Ford to a Toyota. I have no idea what Mazda was thinking when they placed the Mazda 5 in the MPV's place. You should see the new one over here in Japan. Take a look at the interior snap shots of the Alphard.

    Interior of Toyota Alphard

    I drive a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan, and this van is larger than mine. Also the Estima is just as large as my DGC, but 1000 percent nicer. The only reason I purchased the DGC was because I was coming back to the US three years ago, and you cannot bring over the Alphard or the Estima without paying thousands of dollars in conversions.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    I grant you that Alphard is very lux. I can only guess at what it costs with that much kit. It does look big, especially so with the small wheels, but am curious to know how the interior volume competes with the current generation of the three major US market vans. It would need a lot of de-contenting for a base level model if it were to replace the current Sienna, otherwise it will be a Lexus selling to the mature audience rather than the family market that buys most of the minivans.

    I'm not necessarily comparing the Mazda 5 to a Toyota directly, but if a market exists for the small minivan then the one company offering a vehicle in that class should do well. Witness Chrysler's intro of the first minivan- not a great quality product but it filled a niche and they owned the market for a long time. The Mazda 5 is not a poor quality vehicle and it is built by Mazda and only rebadged as a Ford in some international markets.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587


    You don't see any resemblance?

    Check out the A- and B-pillars specifically. It looks like a modern Aerostar would look. Almost exactly.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    Wow. And I thought the Estima looked like the Dustbuster generation GMs. The resemblance of the Alphard to the Aerostar is amazing.

    Come on Toyota. Look in better places for inspiration!
  • Well, I guess this is what makes America great. We can all agree to disagree. Trust me, if you were able to see the Estima or Alphard in person, you would never again think that a Ford looks anyting like a Toyota. Even if it did, the Toyota would still be better built that any Ford ever thought about being built.
  • IMO the Estima is the right vehicle that's needed in the USA, Much better than the Mazda 5.The Venza is a glorified station wagon with huge 20 in. wheels.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    Toyota would still be better built that any Ford ever thought about being built.

    Now brother that is the truth and why I bought my Sienna.

    I have yet to find a car that looked better in person than it does in the glossy publicity shots. Most don't live up to the hype. If they can't make it look good with perfect lighting and shooting the best angles, it is just not going to look good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm only referring to the exterior styling. The interior looks fine. I'm sure it's a fine van.

    My Sienna is far from pretty, but it's still the best van sold here, IMHO.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Still no clue?? Anything??
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