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Toyota Sienna 2004+

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Comments

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The limited slip aspects of the Sienna (ML, X5, RX330, Sequoia, etc) AWD is implemented in software, therefore "virtual", intangible, etc.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If the final drive ratio at one end is 2.92 and the other is 3.12 how can the torque distribution ratio possibly be 50/50? It was a Lexus factory representative that just recently told me the differing final drive ratios F/R were used to establish unbalanced torque distribution F/R in the RX300 and other makes of AWD vehicles.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    No one has said anything about any vehicle's ABS pump being subject to over-heating due to other uses except the Sequoia, RX300, and now possibly the RX330 and the Sienna.

    In the case of the RX300 that is exactly what I was told by the mechanic/technician at Bellevue Lexus.

    I have no reason to believe, no foundation, that the X5, ML, etc, do not have a robust enough ABS pump to keep up with the needs, continuously, of the VSC/Trac/AWD capability.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I could readily imagine that the pressurized brake fluid flow rates for ABS itself would be fairly meager, overall, in comparison to the flow rates required of a virtual AWD system, or even a VSC/Trac system.

    When you apply the brakes, even with "maximum" ABS "activity" you will reasonably soon come to a stop. You will not need the ABS pump again until you accelerate. Duty-cycle requirements of the ABS pump, for ABS alone, are substantially limited.

    In some wintertime roadbed environments you might find you need virtually continuous virtual AWD activity. That's going to require a more robust ABS pump than one used simply for ABS.

    Or the AWD firmware needs to predict when the ABS pump motor has reached it maximum short term use and shut it down for a cooling off period.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    With respect to actual AWD capability I have always been torn between the Chrysler AWD T&C minivan and the AWD RX300. The Chrysler definitely wins the AWD contest.

    I have owned three AWD T&Cs, a 97, a 98 and a 2000, and unlike others, have had absolute success with their overall reliability. Had to have the rotors turned at 20k on the 2000 is about all.

    I had all but decided to buy a new RX330 once the market cools a bit, say late fall before the snow flies.

    Today I discovered the new MY2004 Toyota Sienna AWD minivan.

    WOW !!

    It has exactly the same engine, transmission, driveline, VSC/Trac, and "virtual" AWD system that the new MY2004 AWD RX330 has.

    It doesn't have air suspension. Maybe only a minor negative.

    But it does have room between the rear tires and the suspension for snowchain installation.

    I was about to pay approximately $43k for an RX330 with air suspension but I can get an AWD Sienna XLE Limited that seats 7 (or 8) for about $37k.

    Anyone see any downside that I don't?

    Oops, almost forgot another BIG advantage of the T&C and the new Sienna. Electrically open/close the rear quarter panel winglet windows from the driver's seat.

    Eliminates the really PAINFUL helicopter BOOMING problem of the RX and Highlander.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I took delivery of an XLE FWD with package #14 today. I am very impressed with the smooth, quiet ride, the fine drivetrain, and the comfortable driver's seat, although it could use more thigh support. Wind noise at 70MPH or less is hardly noticeable. Handling is good. The only objection I would have at this point is the lack of comfort in the front passenger seat--too much lumbar support and not enough thigh support. Full power adjustability would be nice.
    I also wish the car had a memory driver's seat. All-in-all, it's an impressive vehicle. I also considered the Pacifica, but I wanted a vehicle that could accommodate 6 people and their luggage,and the Pacifica can't. There are other plusses and minuses to each. They cost about the same, although I suspect large discounts will be available on Pacificas in the near future. They're already piling up on dealers' lots around here, whereas the Siennas sure aren't. Incidentally, I had never considered buying a minivan before. If there's an image problem, it doesn't concern me. I test drove an RX330, and didn't think it drove much better than the Sienna. In fact, the engine seemed noisier. It holds less people and cargo, and is ugly, too. It would be nice if the Sienna had some of the RX330 amenities, though. (Where is the Lexus minivan?!)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I thought about you a week or so ago while reading about the AWD Sienna, Willard. Then I forgot to invite you over this way. It does seem a good fit for you and those trips over to Montana and up to the ski areas.

    Steve, Host
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    > The limited slip aspects of the Sienna (ML, X5,
    > RX330, Sequoia, etc) AWD is implemented in
    > software, therefore "virtual", intangible, etc.

    Apart from full mechanical system such as Torsen and viscous coupling, most other systems rely on sensor/computer/software to work, e.g. Honda's VTM-4, Haldex, Subaru Legacy/Outback Auto's electronic clutch etc. So by your definition, all of them are "virtual"? Limited slip at differential level, drive shaft level or brake level should make no difference.

    Sorry, your use of the term "virtual" just bugs me :-) It gives other people a wrong impression that it is not a real AWD system. In actual fact, it is a very REAL AWD system.

    > how can the torque distribution ratio possibly be 50/50?

    For RX330, it IS 50/50; you can check Lexus web page for confirmation.

    > No one has said anything about any vehicle's ABS
    > pump being subject to over-heating due to other
    > uses except the Sequoia, RX300, and now possibly
    > the RX330 and the Sienna.

    Sequoia, RX300 and RX330/Sienna all use totally different AWD system. Why would you generalize from one vehicle to another? I would not encourage such unsubstantiated speculation.

    > In the case of the RX300 that is exactly what I
    > was told by the mechanic/technician at Bellevue
    > Lexus.

    Sorry, I don't believe him. I would like to see references or technical service bulletins. I simply cannot see how you can overheat your RX300 ABS pump even in Winter driving; and remain disabled for 10 to 15 min! This is not normal and this sounds dangerous. As I said, it seems more like a mechanical problem to me.

    > I have no reason to believe, no foundation, that
    > the X5, ML, etc, do not have a robust enough ABS
    > pump to keep up with the needs, continuously, of
    > the VSC/Trac/AWD capability.

    Until proven otherwise, I have no reason to believe that Sienna/RX330 do not have a robust enough ABS pump to keep up with the needs of the VSC/Trac/AWD capability.

    I am not saying that it will never overheat. Just that under expected winter driving condition, this should not happen. In addition, engine power is moderated and can be reduced to reduce the chance of overheating/overtaxing the brake system.

    Regarding RX330 vs Sienna AWD, I agree with you. Sienna AWD is better value and better packaged. But for many buyers, their mindset is SUV and nothing else; so Sienna probably would never cross their minds.
  • jd_ottawajd_ottawa Posts: 20
    There were some issures with the RX300 system that have been resolved for the RX330 & Sienna.

    I read a really good review on the RX330 recently on it's new awd system comparing it to the RX300. The review discussed situations when the RX300 didn't perform very well but the new set up was excellent.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I would be willing to bet good money that the very same ABS pump/motor assembly is used across the entire Toyota/Lexus product line.

    Lexus was perfectly happy to market an RX300 as AWD when it really wasn't as is Toyota with the Highlander. As has been said many times, how many of the 300,000 purchasers are going to actually need true AWD capability, and then with the new RX330 how many will discover it bails at 30-45 seconds, and then how many of those will even have a knowledge basis to complain?

    I guess you have to be in the computer business to equal software implementation of an "object" as being "virtual".

    Not a negative connotation at all just a way of stating the facts.

    And I am really glad to see that someone still believes, religiously, in marketing hype.

    But again, maybe you can explain to the rest of us, how can you have differing final drive ratios to the front versus the rear and still have equal torque delivery?
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    Can you site the source for the review comparing the RX 300 and RX 330? Thanks.
  • tommy38tommy38 Posts: 32
    Wwest, your previous posts imply that AWD in the Sienna is NOT 25/25/25/25 under normal driving condition. If not so, what would be the actual torque distribution under normal condition then?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If both final drive ratios, front and rear, are the same then three open diff'ls will yeild 25/25/25/25% torque distribution as long as all four wheels offer roughly the same resistance to the motive source.

    The RX300 has differing F/R final drive ratios and Lexus has advised me that the RX330 will also use differing F/R final drive ratios.

    Since the AWD 04 Sienna shares almost all drivetrain aspects with the RX330 my presumption would be that it also has differing final drive ratios F/R.

    When I bought my first RX I was told the torque distribution was 70/30 F/R. Upon testing my 01 AWD RX300 on a 4 wheel dynamometer we determined that the actual torque distribution was closer to 90/10 F/R and only increased to something close to 75/25 once the viscous clutch was forced to stiffen up.

    Maybe someone out there can look up the final drive ratios for the Sienna (or the RX330?) and compute the "native" (non-slipping) torque distribution ratio. Except from having been told by Lexus that the differing ratios provide differing torque distribution F/R I haven't a glue as to how to compute their actual values.

    But I do know, absolutely, that a lower gear ratio is used to "multiply" engine torque.

    RX300, and likely the Highlander, has 3.291:1 front and 2.928 rear.
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    > Maybe someone out there can look up the final
    > drive ratios for the Sienna (or the RX330?) and
    > compute the "native" (non-slipping) torque
    > distribution ratio.

    I don't see the point of this exercise, as I have little reason to doubt manufacturer's official specifications. There is no marketing advantage in misrepresenting the torque split ratio specs (unlike engine horse power for example).

    Why would you put more trust in your dealership's tech/mechanic than official Toyota source?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Well, first of all, it is becoming more and more well known that FWD, or FWD biased AWD, can be extremely hazardous in adverse roadbed conditions. The salesmen I talk to often ask why I want to know and then share with me that more and more people are asking that question.

    Trusting my mechanic/technician...

    Because he was responding/troubleshooting an actual failure, and the failure, indications, and symtoms made sense (only) in the context of what he said. The mechanic told me the ABS pump had a time-out to prevent over-heating, nothing was said about FWD biasing.

    Does anyone out there know of ANY vehicle that is available as FWD and AWD that isn't FWD biased in AWD mode?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I gotta go out and buy a Corvair, now!

    Got a source for that "extremely hazardous" statement?

    Steve, Host
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Posts: 64
    I just read the following info on the toyota web site. Anyone concerned that the side airbags might cause serious injury to the kids? Don't lean against the windows? Don't recline the seats?
    I just ordered this option today. Hope I did the right thing.

    Here's what Toyota web site says:

    "The Toyota driver, front passenger, front seat-mounted side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags are Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS). The driver and front passenger airbags are designed to deploy in severe (usually frontal) collisions where the magnitude and duration of the forward deceleration of the vehicle exceeds the design threshold level. The side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags are designed to inflate in severe side-impact collisions. In all other accidents, the airbags will not inflate. To decrease the risk of injury from a deploying airbag, always wear seatbelts, sit upright in the middle of the seat as far back as possible from the airbag modules and do not lean against the door. Do not put objects in front of an airbag or around the seatback. Do not use rearward-facing child seats in any front passenger seat. The force of a deploying SRS airbag may cause serious injury or death. Please see your Owner's Manual for further instructions."
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    Wwest wrote:
    > FWD, or FWD biased AWD, can be extremely
    > hazardous in adverse roadbed conditions

    ???

    > it is becoming more and more well known....

    ???!!!
    Then count me as ignorant then, as I have not heard about this. You may argue that AWD is safer, but calling FWD "extremely hazardous"??
    And you'd better inform Volvo for its safest-SUV-XC90 and Acura for its MDX...

    For the general public, SUV is SUV, AWD is AWD. They may question full time vs part time AWD, but few would ask about torque split or front/rear biased.

    > Does anyone out there know of ANY vehicle that is
    > available as FWD and AWD that isn't FWD biased in
    > AWD mode?

    Sienna and RX330 ;-)
    To be honest, I was a little bit surprised by this as well. But since the same specs is listed for both vehicles which have the same system, I would believe it until proven otherwise.
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    There are two types of side airbags: the front passenger seat mounted side airbag, and the 3 row side curtain airbag.

    For seat/door mounted side airbag, yes, it could be hazardous to kids if they are leaning against the window; as they would be right against the point of airbag deployment. But it is only available in the front passenger seat and you are unlikely to allow your kids to sit there, it should not be a concern.

    For side curtain airbag, it deploys from the roof, so the danger to kids is much less. The airbag is supposed to deploy against the window, and worm its way between the head and the window. But as we are talking about explosives here, there is no guarantee. And if there is a car coming towards the door, the airbag deployment from the roof is the least of your concern...

    Yes, you have made the right decision. All things considered, it is still a safer option. But you should try to educate your kids not to lean against the windows.... yeah, I know how hard this could be; you could only do your best. If you anticipate that they may fall asleep during long trips, you may consider bringing a pillow to put against the window or the door.

    As for reclining seats, this has nothing to do with side airbag or curtain airbag, as the seat belt is useless in a reclined position. It could not achieve its restraining effect, and the occupant would slide forward or backward in case of collision.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just read the section in the RX300 or RX330 owners manual about the use of snow treads, say M+S, on the front and regular tires on the back. Front drive/engine vehicles start out being naturally hazardous, the roadbed traction is already biased by engine weight at the front.

    Yes, FWD has a definite advantage for getting up and GOING on snow and ice, but that advantage can quickly turn into a hazard for stopping or slowing on snow and ice, especially downhill.

    Adding any additional roadbed traction at the front, snow treads, snowchains, simply serves to exacerbate the dangers.

    I have heard folks complain for many years now about tire shops not being willing to install studs on only the driving wheels of FWD vehicles, they always seemed to feel that it was simply a way for the shops to rip them off. Maybe enough of them are now getting the message.

    And since FWD is cheaper, less expensive overall, to manufacture, and allows more cabin space with a flat floor, why do you think GMC and FMC are moving "backward" to RWD as rapidly as the realities of design, manufacturing, and the market will allow?

    The way I read the brochure the new 4runner appears to have a method of changing the engine torque distribution ratio away from the front when turning, going from 50/50 to 30/70 if I remember correctly.

    Quite a reasonably solution.

    The fact that the RX300 and the RX330 have a higher reduction final drive ratio in the front vs the rear is available in printed form. does anyone think you can have 50/50 torque distribution in that circumstance?

    And can someone find me, in printed form, somewhere that Toyota or Lexus attests to the "native" (no slippage) torque distribution of the RX300 or the Highlander being 50/50?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That's a lot like jumping from the frying pan into the fire!

    Not having ever driven a Corvair, but:

    The Corvair and the Porsche 911 likely share the same type of hazard, dramatic over-steering!

    The new Boxster or the 968 likely offer the best overall balance in this venue.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Seems like most owner's manuals these days recommend that you don't mix and match tires, and lots of tire dealers even refuse to sell you two new tires if they'll be a bad match for the two other tires on your vehicle.

    I'm still looking for a cite that says FWD cars are extremely hazardous under certain road conditions.

    Steve, Host
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,937
    >>> And since FWD is cheaper, less expensive overall, to manufacture, and allows more cabin space with a flat floor, why do you think GMC and FMC are moving "backward" to RWD as rapidly as the realities of design, manufacturing, and the market will allow? <<<

    In a word: performance. You only see automakers employing RWD on their high-performance cars. It is well known that a RWD car can offer superior handling by getting closer to a 50-50 weight distribution, which is practically impossible to get on a FWD car. Also, engines are becoming so powerful on high-performance cars that they would probably rip the wheel out of your hands in a full-throttle start with a FWD platform. The implication that automakers are moving to RWD because FWD is "extremely hazardous" is ridiculous.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I will always well remember my first drive in one of these. Floored the accelerator just as I pulled out to pass a slow truck. Torque steer caught me so completely by surprise I almost ended up in the ditch before I could get my foot off the throttle.

    Scary, DAMN scary!!
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I agree for driving dynamics rwd does better as hp increases (adding horsepower can be done with more efficicency--aka honda ody, sienna, altima)i don't like toque steer but with rwd easier to add awd as an upscale option for additional models i think all that go rwd from fwd will have AWD as an option to increasee appeal and$$$$$profit
  • Steve,

    Why doesn't the Sienna board have an "Options & Aftermarket Accessories" discussion like the Odyssey does?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It's hiding over in the Owner's Club:

    Sienna Owners: Accessories & Modifications

    It must be pretty well hidden since there's only one message in there that I see. Maybe that's because there's another one:

    Toyota Sienna Aftermaket parts and upgrades

    Guess we should try to consolidate them. Try a keyword search on the left for "Sienna" to see if there are any others you may have missed.

    Steve, Host
  • I had looked earlier today, but didn't see it. Got it now.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Posts: 64
    I know that it is going to be sold with my LE #7 van, but I don't know what it is and where it goes?

    Thanks,
    Bev
  • s1ginss1gins Posts: 51
    Wouldn't a simple explanation of the different ratios be that since the distance is different from the engine the ratios need to compensate. Usually horsepower is rated at the engine but if you test it in the vehicle at the wheels it will be lower, moreover if you test the same engines horsepower at the rear wheels in a RWD application rather at the front wheels in a FWD application you will register less horsepower.

    Just a thought...any engineers?
  • beckyo2beckyo2 Posts: 24
    the cargo net hangs right inside the rear hatch. It stretches from side to side fastened to two little knobs. It's easily removable if it's in the way.

    Becky
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    What do you think of the stereo? That's my only sticking point with the BW package, that I can't get the nice stereo. What do you think of the one you got?

    How are you liking the car overall?

    BTW, I called Danville Toyota after you mentioned them a few weeks back, and they told me MSRP, so you got yourself a good deal from them. Congrats!
  • beckyo2beckyo2 Posts: 24
    The stereo is fine, but remember I was driving a 98 Sienna so my standards aren't too high! I love the audio controls on the wheel, very convienent. My other favorite things are the rear audio and the temp. display!
    I totally love this van, it rides great, I feel very high up, and it doesn't drive bigger than my old Sienna. I am not at all sorry I chose the Toyota, even with the invoice pricing on the 03 Hondas. I know yours is coming soon, I hope you love it.

    Peace, Becky
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Posts: 64
    Congratulations on your sienna. I can't wait to be in your shoes! Seems like forever. Mine is supposed to be in around mid May. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas!!!
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    My Maxima 1999 doesn't require Premium unleaded fuel. I always bought 87 octane, and were happy to not pay extra$. Sienna owners, what Sienna manual is saying about fuel? Is Premium required, or recommended? I am asking because we will buy minivan for our family soon. We will choose between new Sienna 2004, Odyssey, and coming Quest 2004. Odyssey doesn't require premium, so I would like to know about Sienna. Sienna specs here at edmunds have premium in Engine section, same as Altima (used as platform for coming Quest). But what manufacturer is saying about fuel in manual?
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    Just wondering: Do you drive that much that the premium/regular gas price would make a major dent in your budget ?

    As I have always said, $0.20 difference between regular and premium amounts to approx $4.00 per fillup. Even if you do fillup everyday, simple brown-bagging your lunch will make up for it :-)

    BTW, I am shopping the 04 Sienna v/s 04 Quest too. Waiting for Summer O'2003 for the Quest so that I can take that test-drive !!
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    I just don't see reason to buy higher octane fuel, if my car have 6V and ~ 24Ohp, and it's same unleaded ecology friendly.
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    I would go with whatever is specified in the operations manual of the vehicle. Even if a one manufacturer recommends premium v/s another recommending regular, that should NOT be a criteria of selecting one MV over another.

    Before I bought my Passat, we had a very lengthy discussion here which ultimately settled down to : Treat your 25K+ car engine with an extra $4.00 per fillup. It's worth it.
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    Please, read this article, then be so sure. I learned chemistry in university, and I know what is difference between 87 and 92. My question was about Sienna Manual. Is Premium REQUIRED, or RECOMMENDED. Ok, here is article: http://www1.excite.com/home/info/learn2/learnlets_qa_overview/0,1- 4917,auto_40_0,00.html *************
    Does octane rating really affect how my car runs?
     
    a) It depends on your car. Indeed cars are designed for a certain octane rating. If you use lower octane rating than that one that your car allows, your car performance will be affected.

    b) The main point to remember is that when your engine knocks or pings during acceleration, your octane is too low. The ideal octane for your car is the lowest grade you can give it without encountering the dreaded knock and ping. Otherwise if you use a higher octane rating you won&#9570;t get any benefit.

     
    c) Gasoline is a mixture of 20 to 30 different fuels, octane being the heaviest fuel in unleaded gas. A gasoline's octane rating is simply the percentage of octane fuel it contains. High octane gas is better for summer driving because it won't evaporate quickly; low octane gas is used in winter because it ignites easily.
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    Ok. Assuming the following criteria,
    Oddy : does not requires premium.
    Sienna : requires premium
    Quest : does not requires premium

    Would you choose/reject a MV based on this ? All I am saying is that there are other features to look in a MV instead of whether premium fuel is required or recommended. Fuel grade use of a vehicle does not look like a deal-maker/breaker to me.
  • This is a direct quote from the owner's manual:

    "Select octane rating 87 or higher. For improved vehicle performance, the use of premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher is RECOMMENDED."

    Alan
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    Thanks a lot!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I can justify the purchase price of a van in my mind, negotiate the price, save the money for it, and once the deal is done, my out-of-pocket purchase expense is fixed.

    Maintenance and operating costs are harder to plan for. I could plan for the added expense of premium, but I really dont like being forced to use it. An extra fifty or hundred bucks a year saved on gas goes a long way towards paying the insurance for example. So yeah, it may not be a deal killer, but itll go on the negative side of my matrix.

    Seems like a good time to plug the True Cost to Own tool, but it'll be a little while before the '04 Sienna info gets in there.

    Steve, Host
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    As long as the manufacturer "requires" regular and "recommends" premium, it does not matter which fuel grade you use.

    But what if the manufacturer REQUIRES premium and if a frugal consumer insists of using regular - just because it works ?? Isn't it risking your big-dollar purchase for a miniscule amount ?

    And as long as we are talking yearly amounts, if we buy our daily dose of a soda can at $0.85 from the vending machine for 5 days of the work-week:
    0.85 * 5 = 4.25 per/week * 52 = $221 per year
  • vrmvrm Posts: 309
    Acedriver,
    I will not make a decision based solely on the fuel grade requirement.

    Premium fuel requirement raises the total annual operating cost of the MV/car.

    This is an *important* criteria which I use along with *other* criteria in deciding which MV/car I will buy. It is not something which a potential buyer should ignore.
  • acedriveracedriver Posts: 131
    Surely I don't like the gas-guzzlers - especially the ones which show figures of 'gpm' (gallons per mile :-) Other than that, premium/regular makes no difference to me.

    How about oil-changing intervals ? That is always a touchy and surely off topic .. So, let me stop right here
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    No, you're right. Substituting regular when the manufacturer requires premium wouldn't fly with me.

    I'm not sure how good an analogy it is, but I've never purchased an ink jet printer - the consumable cost is too high to me, and I don't need color. So the "premium fuel" factor nixed any ink jet purchase I might have entertained, since a cartridge of toner lasts me for years, and doesn't evaporate on the shelf.

    Steve, Host
    (At ~$7 for a 24 pack, my Diet Coke habit runs me ~$75 a year <g>)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I change the dead dino in my van every 7,500 miles, just like my manual says :-)

    The oil wars take place over in Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2, but I'm afraid to show my face in there anymore.

    Steve, Host
  • st_pust_pu Posts: 74
    Makes more then 1000$ ber 5 years. And I'l buy a lot of toys for my kids for this money, or better get additional features for my next car... This is USA, country where each person have right to make his own personal decision.
This discussion has been closed.