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Toyota Sienna 2004+



  • My salesrep said he hasn't heard any discussions on the Sienna Ltd vs. RX330, yet.

    Both have the same engine, but the awd on the Sienna caught my eye. Currently have a 300 - like it, rolled the lease for a couple months until both these cars come out. So its time to make a choice. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts - there are some very interesting posts.

    Pricing: RX base is less than Ltd base, options push RX higher
    Engine: Same
    AWD: Same I think
    Trans: RX seemed sportier
    Acceleration: RX quicker
    Room: Sienna, by far
    Inside look: RX sharper
    Outside: Look similar (the 330 looks more like a minivan than the 300)
    Utility: Sienna
    Luxury Features: Similar (Most used feature, memory seat, left off Sienna (??)), Sienna may have a little more.
    Cup holders: Just kidding.

    The Sienna LTD is not a Lexus, but if you read some of the boards, its being called the Lexus minivan. I ususally take a couple trips to VT and MI from NJ - the 300 seems to be getting smaller (ok, recently had a boy, which can quickly fill up a vehicle).

    I'm likely to be getting a 2'nd vehicle as well - really like the GS or G35, which may take care of the performance.
  • broncoguybroncoguy Posts: 39
    dmmakoski wrote: "I would like another XLE with: cloth seats, all wheel drive and the clincher, a moon roof. Possible? it seems the linited is the only model with a moon roof."

    This was exactly my question to the guy who runs the fleet service for my company. He had to talk with several dealers, with no luck, to then get in touch with Toyota directly. Toyota had apparently not gotten this question yet as it took quite awhile to find someone who knew the answer. The answer:

    To my surprise as well as all the dealers my guy was talking to...

    The AWD XLE Sienna has moonroof standard.

    That is right. No, it does not say anything about it on any website right now and none of Toyota's information states that either, but it, apparently, is true.

    Honestly, I am really disappointed with Toyota's brochure and discussion of options where it relates to the AWD models. Many of the listed XLE option packages are known to be standard on an AWD, but no mention is made of it (17" wheels as an example.)

    Other standard features of an AWD XLE:
    Traction control, Vehicle Stability control, windshield de-icer grid, Daytime Running Lights, and rear disc brakes.

    The only options on an AWD XLE are: Leather heated seats with 2nd and 3rd row sunshades, side curtain airbags with leather heated seats with 2nd and 3rd row sunshades, or DVD with leather heated seats with 2nd and 3rd row sunshades and 10-disc CD changer.

    Just one other bit of confusion: rear seat audio controls and 2 rear seat 115-V AC Power Outlets are listed as part of the DVD option package on some websites but listed as standard equipment on others. Who knows?
  • acraftonacrafton Posts: 99
    but why wouldn't Toyota just install leather at the plant of manufacture like most other companies (all?) since the vehicles are made in the US and there would be no duty savings?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Most parts of the country don't get "port" leather. Only the Southeast and Gulf States regions have those. Those two distributors are not owned by Toyota. They can add whatever equipment they like and include it on the window sticker.

    Leather is only available on the XLE in every region other than those two.
  • xc90loverxc90lover Posts: 11
    Are you sure The AWDXLE has the moonroof as standard feature? I'm in Atlanta market and that is what we are interested in as well, without going the limited. Thanks!
  • acraftonacrafton Posts: 99
    Helping a friend by a van and she is ready to purchase a new Chrysler Town and Country Limited - loaded and the stick is around $38K. But, as you know, Chrysler is heavling discounting and the final price is coming in at around $30K. Obviously the Ody is an option but she doesn't like it (neither do I) and doesn't want it. So, that leaves the new Sienna which is probably a finer vehicle, higher resale, etc. . but a comparable equipped one will cost around $7K more - this is real money. . .
      What are your thoughts on one over the other GIVEN the huge real $ difference.

  • broncoguybroncoguy Posts: 39
    I guess I am as sure as I can be without ever seeing one. The only Siennas I have seen in this market are a pretty loaded XLE FWD and a basic LE AWD. So, without any actual physical proof, I cannot be certain.

    But, Toyota did tell my fleet manager that the moonroof is standard on the XLE AWD. He seemed pretty sure when I pushed him on it. I hope this is true, but I am not fully certain yet.

    I sent a question to numerous dealerships in this area and none have any clue as far as I can tell.
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    I saw a spoiler on the van at our local dealership. Thought it looked real nice. Wanted one for ours, but they aren't available as an accessory yet...
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    Consumer Reports says it's going to do a report on these in the coming month or 2. If you trust them, wait for their report to come out before you invest...
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    Like the others, I think a minivan is a must if you have 3 small kids. Really good point earlier about getting the third kid into the 3d row if you're using car seats; that's what killed the Pilot for us. The volvo's 3d row has so little leg room, I wonder if you could even get a convertible car seat in there and leave room for the kid's legs. Also, with 3 kids, that means lots of junk to fit in the car. Not easy with the small amount of room left over in the Volvo after you put in car seats, booster seats, bottles, diapers, etc. It may not be as sexy, but the minivan is a heck of a lot more practical. Keep it for 10 years, then trade it in for the sexy one!
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Posts: 64
    I understand why your friend might want a Chrysler. They are giving them away right now, isn't worth getting all of the problems. The cars look great on the inside, but seem to have so many problems. Mine is "Junk" at 42,000 miles. I can't keep it because it would cost me so much to fix all of the problems and continue to maintain it.

    Good luck to your friend in whatever they decide.

    Here's what I posted elsewhere about my Chrysler Voyager(s).


    I have had the 1996 Voyager and then the 2001 Voyager. That's it. I'm done. I've had MANY problems with both vehicles. The service department people know my name.

    My 2001 now has 42,000 miles.
    Here are some of the problems I have with my 2001:
    - Car pops into neutral every 4-6 weeks. I was driving 65 mph and my car dropped into neutral. A few weeks ago, my daughter was in the back seat. I started to cross a busy highway and the car popped into neutral. I almost got rear-ended!!! That's it. It is too dangerous. The dealer has told me for the past 10,000 miles that they can't fix it because they can't reproduce it. So I guess they just expect me to continue driving until I crash!
    - The power door locks don't work anymore.
    - The sliding door doesn't slide open during the winter months.
    - Interior lights go on/off without being turned on/off.
    - Car doesn't start at times. Takes 10 to 15 minutes of waiting.

    In all of the cases above, Chrysler told me they can't fix the problem because it doesn't happen in front of them. The service manager was right next to me when the power door lock didn't work. He saw it and agreed that there was a problem with it!

    When my car broke down, I went to look at the new voyagers. My 1st instinct was to buy a new one and get rid of my piece of junk. My husband wanted anything that was NOT a Chrysler.

    I stopped into at least 10 dealerships and tried out many different brands of vans. Decided to try Sienna. It was definitely the nicest one I saw.
  • canuck13canuck13 Posts: 73
    When I was driving my 04 XLE Ltd home from the dealer I noticed it had problems with the transmission. After 3 trips to the dealer and 650 km, Toyota have agreed that the transmission is defective and will replace it. The only problem is that there is no replacement tranny available in Canada right now. I won't know for a few days how long it will take to get a new one shipped here. I'm thinking of asking for a complete replacement of the vehicle. Does anyone have any advice/experience in dealing with such a huge problem right out of the gate?
  • montobahnmontobahn Posts: 11
    My 04 has about 1500 miles and running fine. What symptoms did your tranny have?
  • dplachtadplachta Posts: 109
    We have 3 kids and bought the '04 Sienna. I highly recommend getting a vehicle like that with a split back 3rd row seat. You help yourself be getting quite a bit more storage space, particularly important if you vacation with your van/SUV. Even if you have 4 kids, there will be many times an odd number will drive in the van and that room is needed.

    The SUV has some significant disadvantages to consider, such as gas mileage, interior room, exterior size (big, tall, wide), access to 3rd row seat, rear passenger doors (more inconvienent that sliding doors), cost.

    Others with 3rd row split:
    '03 Sienna
    GM minivans
    Trailblazer EXT
    Might be more.

    (we were really tempted by the Sequoia and Trailblazer EXT, but wife put the foot down!)
  • shsshs Posts: 4
    I am confused by the toyota website. If I want a moon roof, do I have to get an XLE or an XLE limited? I don't see it as an option for the LE.
  • kgnw1kgnw1 Posts: 94
    I don't believe that the moonroof is available on the LE. :( It's optional on the XLE and standard on the Limited.
  • canuck13canuck13 Posts: 73
    The first we noticed problems with the tranny was when driving home from the dealer. When going around a slow corner and getting back on the gas, we noticed that it was slipping...then engine would rev but there was no acceleration..then after a few seconds it would go into gear and away you go. Then we noticed when trying to accelerate quickly that the engine would rev to 5000rpm or so with no acceleration...then bang into gear. Then we noticed during constant acceleration from stop that the RPM would jump by about 200 as it tried to switch from one gear to a lower gear with very rough shifting. All this can be explained by a defective torque convertor I believe.
  • 2004 Sienna Owners,

    At highway speeds, does the Sienna need to downshift in order to climb a modest hill? For example, if you climb a 5% grade while on cruise control, would it downshift? If it does shift, how noticeable is it?

    Other Toyota V6 vehicles with 4-speed transmissions (such as the Highlander) have enough power to climb without downshifting.

    I ask because frequent downshifting can be jarring to the occupants.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    The moonroof is NOT standard on any Sienna. It's part of various packages, i.e, package #4 HE, package #6 HO, package #16 GJ, etc, and so forth.
                          : )
  • I don't normally write to these boards so I hope I am doing this right - but I saw the conversation about getting a Chrysler over a Sienna or anything else and I have to say I completely agree with the previous person who is selling their Chrysler. I bought an 01 T&C LXI, pretty loaded, pretty expensive. It was the most expensive thing I have ever bought. It has broken down COUNTLESS times and even though everything is under warranty (for now anyway) it is a complete hassle. I would NEVER buy a Chrysler again under any circumstance. Not only has this car been JUNK but the company has completely been discourteous to us. The first time it broke down it was 3 days old (I am not kidding) and all of the transmisison fluid dumped on my garage floor. We fought tooth and nail with the delaership & corporate Chrysler to get a different car with no luck. I have had the same problem many times as the person above with the car sliiping into neutral. My other problems include, remote doors shutting on my children's hands (they are suppsoed to pop back open), remote doors won't shut, A/C doesn't work. Heat doesn't work in 3rd climate area. CD player jammed and all of my favorite cd's stuck inside. Horrible squeaky noise in back rear wheel. There are too many more to list but this thing is junk. I am happy to say it is outta here as soon as my Sienna arrives. To me having a realiable auto will be worth the cash. There have literally been days where my children have missed school because my car wouldn't start. I also know many other moms in my area with similar problems and one even won her arbitration. I never went through formal arbitration as it just seemed like too much hassle & stress than I could deal with.
    Goodbye T&C!
  • dparlerdparler Posts: 22
    There are other message boards to compare various vans, but you asked here... we polled our friends and neighbors with minivans and ... Ody & Sienna owners recommended their vehicles; Chrystler owners regretted their purchase. Have your friend directly compare on Edmunds, then read posts, then look at Consumer REports (April is their car comparisons) and I think you will see that Honda & Toyota have good resale and maint records and Chystler simply does not. My $0.02.
  • lselmeklselmek Posts: 3
    My family just drove the 2004 Sienna FWD LE and really loved it. I was interested in the AWD, since I am such a wimp in the snow. We were told the AWDs won't be out until Fall. This LE in fact was the only Sienna to even drive. That was disappointing, since I'd like to see a few other options before buying. I'd really like to drive a Sienna AWD, we live in the Toledo area. If anyone knows of any dealers around please let me know.
  • kgnw1kgnw1 Posts: 94
    AWD Siennas are out. I test drove an AWD LE and there are a few in the WA area. A couple people on this board own them as well.
  • maharmmaharm Posts: 3
    I test drove a 8 pass. 2004 sienna this weekend. I am looking at this because i have 6 children and need the extra seat. I really thought toyota did a bad job with the trim on this LE . The glossy black trim really looks bad and there appears to be no other trim available for this model. I own a honda (99) odyssey and feel the quality on the inside is alot better. I wish they were building an 8 pass. If i get the deal i am looking for and buy this, does anyone know of after market trim options to fit this van.
  • I also feel the same. If I didn't need the 8th seat, I would probably buy the Odyssey. My dislike of the new Sienna is also the shiny plastic trim because it appears very finger print and scratch sensitive. In Canada, apparently there is a wood dash kit you can buy as an accessory. However, it is not like the wood trim in the XLE model but rather a thin adesive you put over the black plastic trim. Not sure of the cost or how it actually looks though.
  • broncoguybroncoguy Posts: 39
    Well, mackabee is wrong (the XLE Limited has a moonroof as a standard feature), but I have found no other corroborating evidence of a moonroof being standard on an AWD XLE. My local dealer pulled up an invoice ticket from an AWD XLE about to be shipped out and it had no mention of a moonroof.

    I am beginning to think that the only way to get AWD with a moonroof is with the XLE LTD model. That is a big chunk of change to add to a vehicle for a moonroof.
  • bakelly11bakelly11 Posts: 64
    I was the person who had a Voyager (that drops into neutral, among MANY other problems) and have ordered the Sienna. The wait for the Sienna seems like eternity. Can't wait to dump this Chrysler! I pray every day that it won't break down before the Sienna comes.

    Good luck to you!
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    Have you reported the problems to the government? Since this is most definitely a safety issue, you should. go to and click on "auto safety hotline" and then "file a defect report." It's important that you and others with the same problem don't get into a nasty accident, when a recall could solve the problem..
  • dmmakoskidmmakoski Posts: 72
    As far as a moonroof being standard on the XLE Limited, that's what I noticed too. That's what prompted me to start this thread. So it's still up in the air if one can get a mooonroof in a XLE with AWD.

    Wen I go back for service (June) I ask. Unless someone can confirm.

    Again can you get a Sienna XLE (NOT Limited) with AWD and a moonroof?
  • ryanmrryanmr Posts: 1
    Anyone found a Sienna AWD XLE in Missouri?
This discussion has been closed.