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Sienna vs Grand Caravan/Town & Country

hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Sienna owners are not very active in the Town Hall while Odyssey and DC minivan owners post regularly.
What about it? How does the Sienna compare to the GC and T&C?
I am quite impressed with my friend's 2006 Sienna LE that looks nicer inside than the 2006 GC SXT or T&C Touring while the GC SXT and T&C Touring have a more attractive exterior.
The Sienna has a smoother powertrain with a more powerful 3.3L V6 with a 5 speed AT than the DC 3.8L V6 with a 4 speed AT.
The Sienna LE has curtain airbags for all 3 years as standard but only one power sliding door while GC SXT and T&C T has both sliding doors power operated but optional curtain airbags.
Sienna LE has wheel covers standard while GC SXT and T&C T have alloy wheels standard.


  • toyo_van_ownertoyo_van_owner Member Posts: 31
    I just bought the 2006 Sienna LE 8 passenger. And, honestly, the lack of a second power slider was a big draw back. It had absolutely everything else we wanted, and not much we didn't want, so I bought it anyway.

    Surprisingly, I prefer the non-power slider. In the morning, all my kids get in the passenger side and hit the close button. Before it closes behind the last child, I can open the driver's side slider, buckle in my youngest and be in the drivers seat.

    I also really like the power second row windows. Do the GC SXT and T&C T have those in 2006?

    Also, the Sienna's second row seats are a little bit of a pain to take out, so we don't fully utilize all our seating options as much as I would like. We took out the right bucket seat to make it easier for everyone to quickly get in the back seat - you have to keep those carpool lanes moving fast at school. But, if I needed it (which is why we bought an 8 passenger) I would have to plan ahead to put it back in.

    All in all, I am very happy with our decision. And, after 6 months of shopping and comparing, my husband is happy I made a decision at all.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    GC SXT and T&C Touring do NOT have roll down 2nd row windows but the rear side windows can be opened or closed independently with 2 separate controls while the Sienna both open or close with one control.
    The "Stow 'N Go" 2nd row seats fold into the floor to get out of the way but there is NO 8 passenger version of DC minivans. The 2nd row seats of my 02 T&C LX are much easier to remove than the 2nd row seats of the Sienna but can not move fore and aft and can not be moved to form a bench as in Sienna LE 7 passenger.
    GC SXT and T&C T have power sliding doors standard both sides and can be as easily opened without power as left sliding door of Sienna LE. They also have the separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that is not available on the Sienna LE.
    However, the Sienna LE looks much nicer inside and has a better powertrain with a more responsive engine and better 5 speed AT. The Sienna LE is also quieter than my 02 T&C and I would suspect quieter than the 2006 GC SXT or T&C Touring.
    After looking closely at all minivans and narrowing my choice to the GC SXT, Sienna LE, or Odd EX....the Sienna LE is most appealing to me. Actual price will be more than a GC SXT but less than the Odd EX. ;)

    CONGRATULATIONS on your excellent purchase. What color exterior and interior did you buy?
  • toyo_van_ownertoyo_van_owner Member Posts: 31
    We got the package #2 - only one available here in an LE 8, with taupe interior and Salsa Red exterior. No floor mats - I ordered Rubbertite to try to save the lighter carpet. It was a little weird that the dashboard is two toned, but I did like the interior better than any other van shopped. I also like the slider door guides being hidden between the windows and side panels. Now, just need to find black mudguards - so far I can only find color coded ones.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    The closest dealer here had a Natural White LE 7 passenger and Natural White LE 8 passenger with pkg # 2 $ 1040 on each and also the Toyota CF Carpet Floor Mats $214. Both had Taupe interior. I like the 2 tone dashboard and think the new Optitron Instrument Cluster is the MOST attractive instrument cluster I have ever seen. ;)
    (The Taffeta White Ody EX with light yellowish-tan interior has a 2 tone dash with black and that yellowish tan...NOT very attractive in my opinion). The GC SXT dash and door panels look cheap by comparison to either Sienna or Ody.
    My friend grabbed the LE 7 passenger the first day after the dealer listed them online inventory.
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    DGC SXT & T&C Touring have convienience features closer to the Sienna XLE. If the LE has enough options for you, then consider the DGC SE or T&C LX for comparison.

    Things I use regularily in my T&C Touring:
    Power rear hatch - Opening no problem, but it's kind of heavy and high reach
    3-zone climate control
    Center console
    Variable 3rd row seat configuration\
    Rear vent windows

    The power side doors have been nice carrying my infant, but having a free hand to fish the key out to unlock is most of the effort, not opening the side doors.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    The 2006 GC SE looks cheap inside. The 2006 T&C LX is a rip off since the GC SXT has many more features for LESS money if the T&C LX has Triple Zone A/C and Overhead Console. (Cast Wheels, 3.8L vs 3.3L V6, power sliding doors, and more).
    The 2006 GC SXT looks much cheaper inside than my bottom of the line 2002 T&C LX and does not have heating coils at base of windshield, ALL controls on the doors lighted, Instant Economy feature on trip computer which are on my 02 T&C LX.
    The 2005 T&C Touring is nicer looking inside than the 2005 GC SXT clone and the GC does not have the power liftgate...but the T&C Touring costs $ 740 more than the GC and the only content difference I have seen is the power liftgate. I have not closely compared the 2006 models. :blush:
    I really like my 02 T&C LX and it saddened me for DC to delete nice feautes since then. The Sienna LE has a much nicer interior, much more comfortable seats, a 5 speed AT vs DC 4 speed AT... but the exterior of the Sienna is not as attractive as the DC minivans and the power sliding doors of the Sienna are not as well designed as DC. I think the 2005/2006 T&C exterior is NOT as attractive as my 2002 T&C. The T&C Grille now looks like the former, cheaper Chrysler Voyager. :sick:
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    DGC SXT is also lacking tire pressure monitor on T&C Touring, but includes fog lights that T&C Touring does not have. Agree that T&C LX is not priced well.

    Do you really need the extended length or would the base T&C with a few options suffice? It looks like you can get a $945 seating package that has 2nd row buckets and 2rd row split folding seats.
  • toyo_van_ownertoyo_van_owner Member Posts: 31
    All the 2006 Sienna have tire pressure monitor. It senses if one tire rotates differently than the other three. I don't know how well or accurately it will work.
  • deepandeepan Member Posts: 342
    the tire pressure monitor has been on siennas from 98 MY or so. i gets the info from the ABS sensors about wheel rotation,
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    It only works when one tire is lower than the others. If all tires are say 10 lbs low, there will be no warning.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Not much activity in this forum while Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans is very active. My analysis? Sienna owners do not feel they have to trash the less expensive DC minivans to justify spending more money. DC minivan owners recognize that the Sienna is worth the extra cost. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,222
    I agree hans. In general Sienna owners seem to be a pretty laid back group. Tend to focus more on their minivan than concerning themselves with all the others.( i.e all other Sienna discussions are fairly active.) A most pleasant group. ;)
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Also interesting is that MPV owners are not out to trash minivans with another label. Too busy enjoying Zoom-Zoom-Zoom? ;) Are MPV owners related to Sienna owners? :confuse:
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,222
    We do indeed enjoy our zoom zoom. ;) Though I wish there were a few more Mazda MPV owners that posted here on Edmunds.

    The Toyota Sienna would have been our first choice had we gone with a larger minivan. But, I would have preferred the exterior styling, stow-n-go seating, and overall value of the DCX minivans.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • jtownpatjtownpat Member Posts: 1
    I just traded in my 1996 GC for a 2005 T&C. I also own a 99 Toyota RAV4. One difference I noticed between the makes - when my Chrysler product takes a stone chip, it doesn't rust. Every chip on my RAV4 starts to rust almost immediatley. I believe that Chrysler's paint process is superior to Toyota's. Also, the seat belts in my Toyota are shredding, and I'll have to replace 2 of them - never had to do that with any American make.
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    One of the big differences between the 2 vans, is what Hans mentioned above: power sliding door design.

    Number one, The most crazy thing is to offer only ONE side power door, as Sienna does. Attention Toyota, those times are over! No other minivan does that, we need either both sides powered or both unpowered. And I suggest offering them in a separate package (example: power package, which should include dual power doors and power liftgate, etc.)

    Second, the way it works. The DC sliding doors behaves as a regular unpowered door, making them unusually easy to operate, both opening and closing the door, until you press a button. So you can override the power system. Unlike Sienna, if the power is ON, you can't open it manually, but going thru the slow process of o-p-e-n-i-n-g the door... And if power is OFF, the door is hard to operate manually, and it makes you feel like pulling 200 lbs...

    The steering wheel audio controls - DC vans are much smarter than Sienna - But the steering wheel itself is much better in the Sienna, it is smaller and lighter. Turning circle is also slightly better in Sienna.

    Mileage is about the same - and I speak ACTUAL mileage.

    Interior materials Sienna is better, but several things I dislike. The gauges are light-blue, and so is the audio LCD - but the rest of the controls are green, which looks cheap. It should have one matching color for all the controls.

    DC vans has better options for less $$. In my 2005 GC SXT, I have several things not found on the Sienna unless you opt for the highest-end models, XLE or the XLE Limited. Examples includes: Power liftgate; Fog lamps; Rear Parking Assist (a really important safety feature which should be available for the LE and up); Headlamp-Off time delay; Power adjustable pedals (not sure if offered on Sienna); 3-Zone temperature controls; Universal garage door opener, etc.

    On the other hand, DC lacks many other features. Stability control is not available. No illuminated exit (so the interior lights come on when taking out the key from the ignition). Power-one-touch-up drivers window. Sliding door window.

    Both lack a feature found in many Ford & GM vehicles: pressing the UNLOCK button on your remote will turn on your headlamps - very useful for those dark nights.

    I hate the opening handle for the liftgate in both vans, they're very identical. The best way is like the Freestar, which have a big handle like on the sliding doors. Or like the Odyssey. Most people not used the the DC vans or Sienna will have a hard time opening for the first few times.

    And how about closing the rear hatch? Ford and DC vans have a hard handle nicely integrated into the body of the liftgate, while the Sienna has a cheap hanging strap. It might be slightly more comfortable and easier to reach, but really cheap looking...

    Both lack the rear wiper pull-out (although you can just a bit). The Ford Freestar completely pulls out, making the rear window cleaning much more comfortable.

    To be continued.......
  • toyo_van_ownertoyo_van_owner Member Posts: 31
    What you are saying sounds like what I went through the past six months. I was very surprised that there were not better options in turns of features and styling in the mid-20's for any brand. Although many here argue until their figures fall off that one minivan is superior in terms of safely and reliablily - in reality, many minivans are fine on both aspects.

    So, for many families, it comes down to the useability and likability. With so many of us driving the things, it was very surprising that they aren't better than they are. For example, I agree about the Sienna doors. Many times I use the non-power door just because the other one is so sloooow. However, even my 5 year old can easily operate the non-power one, so that's not a big issue with us.

    Also, I have never used the strap to close the hatch - how do you do that without bringing the door down on you? We are all very tall, so maybe that's why that's also not an issue for us.

    Two of our favorite features of the Sienna are the MP3 player and the second row windows rolling down. Same as the Stow and Go on the DC - why doesn't everyone have it? When I was shopping for a sedan, the features were very close from brand to brand. :confuse:
  • marine2marine2 Member Posts: 1,155
    Copied from a post from a guy that had both the new Toyota and Dodge vans.

    Ownership comparison between 2005 Toyota Sienna LE 8 and 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.

    This is a rare opportunity for me to review two vehicles within the same class after having used each of them for several months and several thousand miles. I bought a 2005 Toyota Sienna in July 2005. End of August the vehicle was in a severe accident while it was parked and unoccupied. Vehicle was eventually totaled. While they attempted to fix the Sienna, we were given a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SE which we drove for a month until they totaled the Sienna. We then went shopping for a new minivan and ended up with the Grand Caravan.

    We ended up driving the Sienna for 3000 miles and owned it for 2 months. We drove the 2005 Grand Caravan SE (base model) for a month and 1500 miles and have now driven the 2006 Grand Caravan SXT (higher end model) for 3 weeks and 1500 miles. So it seems like a good time to document the differences between the vehicles.

    Vehicle details:
    2005 Toyota Sienna LE 8 passenger with package #2 and dealer installed class II hitch. Has 16” wheels, not alloy, rear drum brakes. Passenger power sliding door. Sale price was $25600 + doc fee and taxes.

    2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. Additional options include, tow prep package, power adjustable pedals, power liftgate, side curtain airbags all rows, red (extra cost). This vehicle has 16” wheels, alloy, rear disc brakes, dual power sliding doors. Sale price $24000 + doc fee and taxes. That’s $1800 under invoice minus $2000 rebate.

    Sienna: Visibility was very good to the sides. Rear visibility hampered by high 3rd row seats. My trick is to partially recline the 3rd row since we rarely have people sit back there.
    Large rear side mirrors help visibility.
    Grand Caravan has good visibility to rear and to right, but on left the headrest and side pillar block the view a little requiring more movement to get a good view. Side mirrors are smaller than in the Sienna.

    Interesting relabeling of engine power this year vs. last year although neither engine has changed.
    Sienna: Engine went from 230hp to 215hp with 222ft-lbs of torque.
    Grand Caravan: 3.8L (larger engine comes with Grand Caravan SXT) rating are debatable. Some places saying 215hp with 245ft-lbs of torque and others stating 205hp with 240ft-lbs of torque. The leading theory is that stow-n-go changes made the exhaust more circuitous cutting down hp rating.
    Bottom line, the horsepower rating is now very close between the two although the Caravan has significantly more torque.
    I also find it interesting that some magazine articles have described the Caravan engine as marginal even though there’s isn’t much power difference.

    Sienna: The engine revs well, has plenty of power. Flooring from a stop yields amazing 0-60 times. Driving around town, the transmission can be annoying. It sometimes has a delay when deciding which gear to shift into making the Sienna overall not very responsive. I have never been able to predict which it would respond quickly and when it won’t. There’s no obvious pattern. Rolling stops are guaranteed to cause a delay that is annoying to me (You can guess how I tend to stop).
    The engine feels weak on the highway. I attribute it to 5th gear being too high a gear for the available torque. The engine barely has enough torque to propel the car in 5th at a steady speed. Asking it to go up even a mild hill or accelerate requires coming out of torque lock or downshifting. Passing someone requires a heavy foot for some serious downshifting.
    The engine seems to have little power below 3000 rpm. From 3000rpm up, the AC seems to get turns off and you tend to rocket (surge) with lots of power.
    The transmission supports torque lock only in 5th. It does not torque lock in any lower gear including 4th. This is bad for towing. Given the low torque, it can’t tow much in 5th and will tend to sit in 4th, and without torque lock, causing lots of heat loss in the transmission and very poor gas mileage.
    When coming to a stop or going downhill, the transmission will downshift to help braking. Maybe Toyota does this because the brakes are poor. The effect can be a little annoying around town.

    Grand Caravan:
    Engine feels more responsive in normal driving. Makes the minivan feel like a smaller more nible sedan than the large minivan that it is.
    Engine has plenty of torque for effortless normal starts. It’s good at passing on highway. Is able to go up hills at highway speed while staying in torque lock providing superior gas mileage.
    It’s a 4speed transmission, not a 5speed. Its 0-60 time is not as impressive as the Sienna. If pressed hard you don’t get that rush that you do in the Sienna.
    The engine/transmission handle mild/normal acceleration well. Heavy foot driving, its plenty fast enough. There’s an in between where the engine is working harder and harder yet the transmission won’t or can’t shift down that can be a little frustrating. But at that point you’re accelerating pretty fast anyway so it’s not a travesty.
    Towing: The transmission will use torque lock in 4th and 3rd gear allowing for more reasonable towing and better gas mileage than the Sienna.
    Braking: When taking your foot off the gas, the Caravan coasts as if it were in neutral. This is great for gas mileage. If you have cruise control on, and are heading downhill, the cruise is apparently able to downshift the transmission to cause engine braking to prevent you from going too much over the set speed. This seems like a good compromise between coasting and engine braking.

    Overall I have to comment that I give nod on this one to the Caravan. It is more drivable. It’s the old adage, “you buy horsepower but you drive torque”. This means that although most folks go by horsepower as the rating, torque is more useful when you’re actually driving in normal situations. Most folks don’t constantly drag race their minivans.

    Usual town/highway mix gave us 19mpg. Best we had on a tank was during a drive at 55-60 with almost no stops at 23mpg. Best we ever saw on the trip computer was 26 during that same drive in between stops.
    Overall this mileage was much worse than I expected. I don’t understand how it could be possible to achieve 26mpg overall which is what its rated on the highway.
    My theory is that the Sienna is optimized for the EPA tests and not for real world driving. Maybe if you can sit in 5th in torque lock at 55 you maybe can achieve 26mpg. But in normal driving, there’s too little torque to spare, the transmission always has to come out of torque lock or be in a lower gear greatly hurting gas mileage.
    I also noticed that even a single jack rabbit start could ruin your gas mileage for the whole tank. If you push the engine gas mileage becomes horrible.

    Grand Caravan:
    Usual town/highway mix is giving us around 23mpg in si
  • marine2marine2 Member Posts: 1,155
    It seems the post above only will handle so many words so here is the rest of what he said.

    " Best we ever saw on the trip computer was 26 during that same drive in between stops.
    Overall this mileage was much worse than I expected. I don’t understand how it could be possible to achieve 26mpg overall which is what its rated on the highway.
    My theory is that the Sienna is optimized for the EPA tests and not for real world driving. Maybe if you can sit in 5th in torque lock at 55 you maybe can achieve 26mpg. But in normal driving, there’s too little torque to spare, the transmission always has to come out of torque lock or be in a lower gear greatly hurting gas mileage.
    I also noticed that even a single jack rabbit start could ruin your gas mileage for the whole tank. If you push the engine gas mileage becomes horrible.

    Grand Caravan:
    Usual town/highway mix is giving us around 23mpg in similar conditions to the 19 from the Sienna. Best mileage I’ve achieved is 27.5 on the drive at 55-60 with some stops (McDonalds drivethrough) and several jack rabbit starts. Best reported on the computer over a sizeable drive was 29.3mpg.
    I attribute the superior mileage to the torque available with the 3.8L v6. You can drive it with it staying in torque lock. It can go up hills and even pass someone slowly. Jack rabbit starts do not seem to greatly hurt gas mileage.
    Things that hurt gas mileage include hitting the brakes (rather than coasting) and making the engine pop out of torque lock.
    Overall I’m very impressed with the gas mileage given that EPA numbers are 18/25 vs. the 19/26 of the Sienna.

    Brakes are one of the Sienna’s weakest points. They are generally mushy and unresponsive. The harder you press, the less it seems to add to braking causing some potentially scary episodes when you hit the brakes and expect to stop faster than you are, requiring even more pressure. I feel like Fred Flintstone with my feet through the bottom of the van trying to stop it myself.
    Let go of the brakes after pressing them hard and they slowly come back up with a slurping sound.
    The brakes help to make it feel like you’re driving a giant slow to go slow to stop vehicle.

    Brakes are totally different from the Sienna. Brakes are responsive. They stop the van quickly. The harder you brake the more it adds to braking making it brake even faster than you thought making it feel very secure. Reported braking distances are the same or longer than the Sienna, but it feels much better.
    Brakes are one of the Caravan’s strong points.

    Handling generally good around turns. Not much body lean (unlike the 2006 Odyssey). You feel like you’re driving a minivan but you don’t feel unsafe.
    Steering it too light for my taste. In a parking lot you can steer with a pinky. Can feel disconnected from the road. Although not unpleasant, it doesn’t inspire you to find a twisty road.
    Emergency handling can be sloppy depending on tires. I test emergency handling by going 30-40mph, and jerking the steering wheel to the left then right and see how the body responds. With Dunlop tires its somewhat wallowy, but not scary nor any particularly bad response. With Michelin tires that they “upgraded” us to (its not an upgrade), there’s a scary whiplash after affect that whips the rear end a while after you completed the swish. It tries hard (and succeeds sometimes) in trying to get the rear end to break traction. That could be dangerous in slippery road conditions.

    Grand Carvan:
    The 2005 Grand Caravan SE that we rented had very good handling. Generally better than the Sienna. The 2006 Grand Caravan SXT has larger wheels and alloys. Its handling is excellent in some regards.
    Steering feel is very good. Somewhat stiff which feels better for serious driving, but may feel less luxurious to some. Comes back to center well.
    Very little body lean in turns. Makes you want to whip around turns. In fact I have taken turns so fast that I’ve slid around the turn. I’m confident doing that in our VW Golf, but it was a new experience in something as large at the Caravan. It handled it reasonably well and surprisingly not scary.
    Emergency handling with the Bridgestone Turanza tires is good. It wallows somewhat after the test but with no scary after effects.
    End result is that although you may not go seek twisty roads, if you happen across them, you might actually enjoy the drive.

    Ride (bumps)
    Generally very accommodating. Front handling small and large bumps with ease. The rear however seems a little stiff making the ride harsher for passengers in the rear. You can feel little bumps in the rear more and they sometimes cause vibrations throughout the Sienna. It’s as if the rear end has to be stiff enough for the potential load. Similar to driving a pickup truck with the truck bed empty.

    Grand Caravan:
    Handles large bumps well front and rear. Ride for rear passengers is just as smooth as the front. Ride in our Caravan with load leveling suspension is firmer than the Sienna. You can sometimes feel smaller bumps throughout. It’s a small price to pay for the better handling. I think having the load leveling suspension avoids the need to have the rear suspension be as taught as the Sienna’s.

    Cruise Control
    Sienna: Drive by wire system. Holds speed well. Usually has to pop out of torque lock to go up a hill.

    Grand Caravan: Relatively antiquated drive by throttle cable. Motor running the cruise control can get behind causing it to overreact and not keep speed in tact.

    Interior layout
    Flexible 8 passenger configuration, but little floor space. Seats crowd the floor. Tray table between the front seats of marginal utility. Fast start/stop will make things fall from the tray table. Pocket in it is small. Most useful are the cup holders in the tray table, but they’re available elsewhere in the Caravan.
    With the full 2nd row, the 3rd row feels inaccessible and way back there. Requires opening a door to get into the 3rd row or some gymnastic maneuvers (which we’ve done).

    Grand Caravan:
    Much more open feeling to the cabin. Lots of floor space. Wide aisle between the 1st and 2nd row seats. Haven’t missed the tray table from the Sienna. We prefer the open aisle to easily move back to the 2nd or 3rd row seats. We can also fit a medium size cooler between the front seats which won’t fit in any way in the Sienna.

    The Grand Caravan has the innovative stow-n-go feature in the 2nd row. This is an ingenious, somewhat complex folding mechanism that allows you to very easily fold the seats into the floor. It is really nice to be able to fold them down. Its nice when coming back from the building supply store or even when camping or hanging out in the car to have loads of open floor space in the minivan.
    However, the stow-n-go has come at a significant price, the loss of seating flexibility in the 2nd row. The captains chairs cannot be pushed together. There
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    He says my 2002 T&C LX has features he would like to have on his Sienna: Separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger, heating coils at base of windshield, better controls for heating and air conditioning system, better controls for the stereo, and the exterior styling of the T&C is more attractive. The 60/40 folding 3rd seat is easier to use on the new DC minivans.
    However, he says the Sienna LE looks and feels more luxurious inside, the driver's seat is much more comfortable, and he likes the 5 speed AT with P-R-N-D-4-3-2-L while the T&C has only P-R-N-D-3-L selections. The Sienna is getting slightly better gas mileage than is my T&C. A 2006 GC SXT would have cost $1,300 less than his Sienna.
  • toyo_van_ownertoyo_van_owner Member Posts: 31
    Its a shame he regrets his decision - its such a large purchase.

    But what you say point out my earlier post that there are an amazing number of differences in the features between MV. I really don't understand why - most of the desirable features are not mutually exclusive.

    We had the advantage of our prior car being fully loaded, so we already knew which bells and whistles would be ignored. The reasons we bought the Sienna are the very features we use everyday. (Favorite features: Way 2nd row middle seat slides forward and integrated seat belt, different seat configurations, windows roll down, MP3 player)

    I always wonder how much research someone does who regrets their decision soon after?
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    My friend showed me the 3 surveys he has received concerning the 2006 Sienna LE. The last of the 3 was much more detailed than JD Power or Toyota.
    He likes his new Sienna but would like it even more if it had all of the nice features contained on my 2002 T&C LX...in addition to the things he likes better on the Sienna.
    The Sienna is quieter, has more comfortable driver's seat, 5 speed AT, more cargo space behind 3rd row seat, fold into the floor 60/40 split 3rd row seat, fore and aft movement of 2nd row seats...but he likes the DC separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and the easier to use stereo controls of the DC better than the Sienna.
    The 2006 GC SXT has most of the nice features of each but the interior looks cheaper in the 06 GC SXT than the 06 Sienna LE or even my 02 T&C LX.
    Would still be very difficult for me to choose between a 2006 GC SXT and a 2006 Sienna LE. :blush: The Odd EX would be the 3rd choice.
  • ctsangctsang Member Posts: 237
    " He likes his new Sienna but would like it even more if it had all of the nice features contained on my 2002 T&C LX"

    Why didn't he get the Sienna XLE LTD which has even more features than any T&C?
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    $ 10,000 extra cost. ;)
  • kfdmedkfdmed Member Posts: 130
    The Sienna is a very nice van but like all Toyota vehicles it is overpriced.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Slightly quieter than our 2002 T&C LX that we still own. Each has advantages with the Sienna being slightly quieter with a more comfortable driver seat but the Town & Country having a nicer trip computer, better HVAC and radio controls.
    The Odyssey lacks too many features of either the Sienna or Town & Country so we now own BOTH a T&C and Sienna. ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Member Posts: 483
    We found the Sienna to ride like a boat on a choppy sea compared to the non choppy ride of the Odyssey. The Sienna is a beautiful van but we thought the Ody rode better.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Member Posts: 1,565
    It would seem to be a bit of a waste of money to have two minivans in the same family. Granted they are versatile vehicles, but do you really need more utility than one minivan? Why not one minivan and one midsize or smaller car for two drivers?
  • ctsangctsang Member Posts: 237
    Did you check out the Sienna XLE LTD AWD? It has a lot more features than T&C or any minivan.
  • kfdmedkfdmed Member Posts: 130
    I plan to replace my sedan for a van in 4 years and become a two van owner. Main reason being kids. With a 4 yr old and 2 yr old an another coming ... god willing ... we need the space. With all the carting of the kids around we both need vans. She usually takes the kids in the morning to sitter/preschool and I pickup after work. 3 kids in the back of a sedan is not going to work out too good. Hopefully the 2008 T&C will address some of the current vans shortcomings ... like engine and drivetrain improvements along with added stability control.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    No other vehicle has the utility, comfort, and decent gas mileage of a minivan...except the Scion xB. The Scion xB would NOT be satisfactory for us on a long trip. :cry:
    Our Sienna LE is quieter, more luxurious interior, and more comfortable driver's seat than the T&C LX. Sienna has a 5 speed AT while T&C has 4 speed AT.
    The T&C LX has better controls for the radio/stereo and a better HVAC system than the Sienna LE. The T&C has separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger with 5 speed fan while the Sienna has same temperature with only a 4 speed fan.
    Too bad I can't have the best features of each in either.
    We use the T&C for driving around town and Sienna for long trips. We also will loan the T&C to our daughter and family to go on trips as I do not trust her 212,727 mile 1991 Astro.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    As I turned a corner onto a 6 lane highway from the stoplight, I stomped on the accelerator in our 2006 Sienna LE with 3.3L V6 and it read 65 MPH at the same spot the 2002 T&C LX with 3.3L V6 had reached 55 MPH. Surprise was the Sienna shifted gears at a lower RPM than did the T&C. :confuse:
    Advantage: Not as much worry getting a speeding ticket in the T&C. :shades:
  • laubergelauberge Member Posts: 1
    I'm about to buy a van for travel, and have driven the Sienna and the Odyssey, as well as the Ford Freestyle. I'm concerned about American quality in general. Any good feelings abot the DC or the T&C quality? Also, mileage is one of my main concerns given direction of gas prices.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    BUY the minivan that you like best. I have had excellent experience with T&C and one son excellent experience with a 2002 GC Sport and one daughter has had excellent experience with a used 1999 GC SE.
    My youngest son has had excellent experience with his 2001 Ody EX. One niece has been very satisfied with the used Windstar she owns and her sister has had good experience with her Aerostar. Our eldest daughter has a 1991 Astro with 212,000 miles that still runs well.
    You can read horror stories about any minivan...but most people have NO problems with any brand.
    In addition to experience driving the 2001 Ody EX many times, my 2002 T&C, son's 2002 GC Sport, and daughter's 1999 GC SE, we test drove a 2006 Ody EX-L-NAV and a 2004 Sienna LE. The Sienna LE was quieter and performed better than the Odyssey EX-L-NAV. The Sienna is also quieter than the 3 DC minivans in our family and is getting slightly better gas mileage ;) .
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,222
    Much lag or hesitation in either van when "stomping" on the accelerator hans?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    I did NOT notice any...but I had just turned the corner and was driving only 2 or 3 MPH at time of "stomping" on the accelerator or each.
    I had heard of lag or hesitation with "drive by wire" arrangement of the Sienna and Odyssey but have never noticed it in the 2006 Odyssey, our 2006 Sienna, the 2004 Sienna I test drove, or our 2002 T&C LX.
    As written earlier, I was disappointed with the downshifting of our 2002 T&C last year when it shifted down 2 gears instead of just one...and there was more roar than go at about 45 MPH while the 2004 Sienna seemed to LEAP forward under the same condition.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    What sort of load (pass & cargo) are you traveling with? I really didn't need the super-capacity of a full-sized minivan, so I bought the Freestyle. For me it's a great car. MPG in the mid-20's, drives and feels more car like and less van or SUV-like. Plus you can get AWD if you live in snow country. I don't, so I bought the FWD with side safety curtains, aux heater a/c in the rear, dual front climate control, all for $25K. We've put 23K miles on it in the past year. For most of our road trips we've only used the first two rows, but we have done road trips with six people and just put some stuff on the roof (we have a giant stroller, crib that we bring with us, and other baby stuff). The luggage space behind row 3 is pretty big, but again not as big as a full size minivan.

    I'd say for a family of 4 or 5, the Freestyle is a great alternative to a traditional minivan. But if you do a lot of road trips with lots 6-7 people and lots of stuff, I'd go with the minivan.

    And a comment for the person buying a second minivan so they could both haul their kids around. Consider getting a Mazda5 as your micro-minivan, since it seats 6 in three rows and can be used for the pick up and delivery of the kids, and then use the full-size minivan for the weekend road trips. The Mazda5 will cost less than $20K, get better mpg, and is a lot smaller for zipping around. Why have 2 full-sized vans, when you only need one for the big road trips, since the other will be mostly just picking up and dropping off?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Another benefit to the Electronic Throttle-by-wire is the fact that no "slack" build up in the pedal as occurs with traditional throttle cable systems. My 96 Honda has a little play in the throttle pedal before hitting the engagement threshold (maybe a centimeter's worth). My Accord engages immediately (as does my aunt's 2005 Ody) with no play in the pedal. No throttle cable to get loose or worn with an electronic throttle.

    I do have a question, though, that may help some others, too. Is there any way to tighten the connection in the pedal/throttle cable realtionship to eliminate this play in the pedal? Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated by me, and maybe others.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Nicest looking interior of any minivan for less than $ 26K. All seats as comfortable as any minivan. OUTSTANDING gas mileage (27.7 MPG average in first 1400 miles).
    Why have 2 minivans?
    Both minivans are paid for. The 2002 T&C gets good gas mileage ( 22.3 overall average since purchase), has a 7 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, and has been VERY reliable. A smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle is NOT economically viable since depreciation on a new vehicle would greatly exceed the small amount saved in better fuel economy than the T&C needs.
    The Sienna is quieter with better fuel economy than a DC minivan BUT the DC minivan HVAC and stereo controls are better on the DC than either the Sienna (or an Odd).
    My research and test drives narrowed the choice to a GC SXT, Sienna LE, or Odd EX. All 3 are very nice and each has some advantages. There were pleasant, low pressure salesmen at dealerships for all 3 and the decision was difficult. ;)
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731

    Congrats for your new 2006 Sienna and I’m glad you love it. However, except for the few differences from the T&C you mentioned (HVAC & Audio controls, seats, quietness – which you already mentioned in the past at least 5,000 times :) ) I would like to know how you take the many other differences?


    1) Gated shifter sitting on the dashboard

    2) Wipers in the right stalk, working totally different than the T&C (I prefer the way of T&C)

    3) Cruise controls; and how about the power window controls (which is lighted in your 2002 T&C)

    4) I think that the Sienna interior lamps are much dimmer compared to T&C, especially in the cargo area. Wouldn’t you like the flood lamps on the liftgate as T&C? And when opening the rear door, the front lamps does not come on.

    5) Do you miss cassette player from the T&C? Do you love the AUX-IN jack in the Sienna?

    6) What do you think of the ANNOYING armrests in the Sienna, which in order to adjust you push it down all the way and then bring it back up slowly?

    7) Are you satisfied with the sun visors without an extender as your T&C?

    8) Braking performance and steering feel are both softer in the Sienna, the steering wheel smaller;

    9) How about the fold-into-floor rear seats in the Sienna?

    And so many more. You should know better since you own them both. I think you should write a full comparison review!

    And again, congratulations, and enjoy them both!
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Takes a little while to adjust to different placement of transmission selector, controls for wipers, headlights, etc. Each minivan has advantages.

    Sienna has MORE power and better response at any speed than either my 2002 T&C LX or 2005 GC SXT that I test drove.

    Sienna has P-R-N-D-4-3-2-L for 5 speed AT while DC minivans has only P-R-N-D-3-L. There have been times going down steep hills in T&C when I would have liked to have transmission stay in 2 only...NOT possible with DC.

    Wife and daughters like Sienna armrests much better than DC armrests and 2005/06 GC Stow'N Go armrests are too narrow.

    Sun visor on Sienna is about same width as T&C sun visor with extender fully extended.

    Sienna has 2 lights on each visor just as 2002 T&C but 2006 GC SXT has only one light. 2002 T&C has 2 lights on liftgate...2006 GC SXT has only one. Sienna has 1 light on inside rear of van.

    Sienna has lights at base of both front doors and on inside front portion of rear wheel well while neither 2002 T&C nor 2006 GC SXT has ANY of these lights.

    2002 T&C LX has lighted power window controls on driver's door which I almost NEVER used at night. Sienna has lighted controls on steering wheel to adjust radio/stereo.

    I miss cassette player of T&C but most people greatly prefer the 6 CD in dash CD changer and the MP3/AUX input.
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    Sienna has P-R-N-D-4-3-2-L for 5 speed AT while DC minivans has only P-R-N-D-3-L. There have been times going down steep hills in T&C when I would have liked to have transmission stay in 2 only...NOT possible with DC.

    Actually, using L in the DGC allows first or second gears depending on vehicle speed. I think it upshifts at 30mph and downshifts at 25mph, IIRC. I've used it before in some mountains. While I still prefer full control over every gear, this isn't too bad.
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    I don't yet like my 2006 Sienna LE as well as I like my 2002 T&C LX. :cry:
    The Sienna seems to have better performance, a more comfortable driver seat, and a more attractive interior.
    The exterior styling of the Sienna is NOT attractive. The Sienna trip computer is NOT as user friendly nor does it have as many functions as the T&C. The Sienna stereo controls are NOT as user friendly and the Sienna does NOT have separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger.
    IF I could roll the clock back, I would have purchased a 2006 GC SXT instead of the Sienna LE or a 2006 Odyssey EX we were considering. DaimlerChrysler minivans are just a better all-things-considered minivan.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,222
    Hans,the Sienna has a good resale value. Have you considered trading it in on a new(or slightly used) 2006 GC SXT?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Good suggestion. However, past experience has shown that there is a BIG gap between trade-in and retail prices. I need to find an individual that wants a very low mileage 2006 Sienna LE and then buy a NEW 2006 GC SXT.
    The Sienna LE has more power, gets better gas mileage, has a more comfortable seat, and a more attractive interior than the GC SXT but the DC minivan has better controls for the stereo, HVAC, windshield wipers front and rear, and has more attractive exterior styling.
  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Member Posts: 23
    well, while I do agree with you about exterior styling being more attractive on Chrysler's minivans, you do get to drive inside the van where Toyota has much better layout. I've been doing a lot of shopping lately - and Toyota does offer a much better deal for the money now. I will be buying LE 8 seater with package 2 (electric driver seat, automatic passenger side rear door, CD changer for 6 CD's with MP3 support) today. They had promised me to sell that van for 24500$ plus 299$, plus tax. It does come with 5 years/60k powertrain warranty. SXT would cost me 22999$ or maybe slightly less. No mp3 support, no 8 seats option, warranty of 3/36k only (had to replaced my transmission in GC SE at 48k). Their extended warranty for 7/70k would have cost me additional 2k.
    So, look like I am getting more reliable van, more options, much better depreciation for less. Am I missing something?
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    You are getting a better price for an LE-8 passenger with pkg # 2 than I did for an LE-7 with pkg # 2 and Option CF (carpeted floor mats/door sill protector that had MSRP $ 214). Don't forget that the GC SXT has power sliding doors BOTH sides, cast wheels with 4 wheel disc brakes, separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger that are NOT on the Sienna LE.
    I would prefer the GC SXT single CD with cassette player over my 6 CD changer with MP3 support since we have MANY cassettes but not many CD's and do NOT have an MP3 player.
    I agree that the Sienna interior is much more attractive than the GC SXT. It is NOT as user friendly. Specifically:

    GC SXT has a separate control knob for bass, treble, balance front/rear, and balance left/right while the Sienna has only one knob where I have to scroll thru the entire menu to change each function.

    GC SXT has 3 separate controls for the rear wiper and washer while the Sienna has the rear wiper and washer controls on the same lever as the front wipers and washer.

    GC SXT has separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger while Sienna LE has "one temperature fits both". (Each has a separately controlled fan and temperature for the rear heater/AC.)

    Sienna has a noisier fan for front HVAC.

    Sienna does NOT have 2nd row seats that fold into the floor. On both vans the 2nd row seats slide forward and back. The Sienna 8 passenger does NOT have arm rests for any of the 3rd row seats.

    The Sienna has a 5 speed AT and seems to have more acceleration than the GC with slightly better gas mileage.

    I hope my Sienna is as reliable as the 2002 T&C LX that I have been driving. My daughter has had no transmission problem in her 99 GC that has almost 88,000 miles on it and my sister's 86 Caravan had 170,000 miles with no transmission problems. ;)
  • mojdodyrmojdodyr Member Posts: 23
    Well, I was one of those lucky owners that had to replace transmission right after the regular warranty expired - enough said.
    As far as Sienna goes - just put it into the garage. I eventually settled for LE with optional package # 4 (BZ) which include 8 way power-adjustable driver seat, alloy wheels, Vehicle Stability and Traction Control, rear disc brakes, windshield wiper de-icer and CF options as well - I thought it was just a floor mats (MSRP of 242 from what I recall). That van does have a side airbags as a standard feature.
    I had paid 24.999$ plus 399$ processing plus tax (MSRP of 28.557$). I am not sure about Limited or SXT, but it just can't be compared to Dodge GC SE interior- and ride quality wise IMHO. And of course it is a higher priced van, but it was well worse it for me. Instrumental panel with those awesome colors - no more comments. :)
  • hansiennahansienna Member Posts: 2,312
    Sienna LE interior is MUCH more attractive than the dull, plain looking GC SXT and the instrument panel of the Sienna is VERY attractive. The GC SE interior looks even cheaper. Door panels on EVERY door of all 2006 DC minivans look and feel cheap. I don't think the much more expensive T&C Limited interior looks as nice as the Sienna LE.
    I was just pointing out that the Sienna stereo and heater controls are not as user friendly to me as the DC minivan controls and the GC SXT has some features that I wish I had on my 2006 Sienna LE.
    However, the Sienna has a much more comfortable driver seat, better performance, and better fuel economy than DC minivans.
    What color is your Sienna?
  • aaron_taaron_t Member Posts: 301
    Anyone should be able to get at leas $6k off MSRP of a long wheelbase DCX van this month.

    Anyway, enjoy your new van.
This discussion has been closed.