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Buying a Used Sienna



  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    I have a 2000 XLE with 145k on the clock.I have owned it since new and have followed the maintenance schedule religiously.It still runs very well and has never had a major problem.

    However buying a car with 85k miles on it when you don't know how well the car has been maintained strikes me as iffy.Obviously you would want a good mechanic to look it over before you buy.

    the used car section at edmunds will give you an idea of the prices.

    Good luck
  • ingridringridr Posts: 20
    Thanks for the insight. I am lucky in that a friend of mine is a long time mechanic who owns his own business and will look over anything that I am interested in. I will definately keep what you say in mind.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get the 07 because it has a timing chain.

    All the others have a belt that needs changing with the miles.
  • gsenthilgsenthil Posts: 154
    Am in the market for a used Sienna. Due to the depreciation I am looking at Limited since they seem to have depreciated to reasonable values and should be good for resale too

    2006 Sienna Ltd 95k miles single owner well maintained $15,000
    2008 Sienna Ltd 135k miles Dealership owned/used as shuttle in LA $17,500

    Which one should I go for? Both are fully loaded are exactly the same color etc. I intend to sell it in 6-12 mo. What is a better value AND easier to sell? The 2008 looks better with the newer engine etc but the 2006 has the same features and should be easier to sell with lower non tainted mileage.

    I have a Lexus RX300 with 180k troublefree miles so I dont have doubts with high mileage cars but others may not feel the same way when I am trying to sell it back.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 06 has a timing belt, so it if has not been change it's due right about now.

    The 08 has a timing chain. The high miles probably mean they're mostly highway.

    What scares me away from the 08 is the shuttle service. Thousands of people who didn't car getting in and out constantly...I dunno. Check the doors for smooth operation, and inspect the interior to see how beat up it got (did the shuttle passengers carry lots of luggage?).
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    My take on the shuttle is opposite Ateixeira's. Shuttle service van got all it's miles in town- not highway- and those are stressful miles especially on brakes, suspension and steering components. On the other hand, a shuttle van was at steady state running condition most of the time, and (one should hope) routinely serviced so the engine should be relatively strong. The clientele would generally be cleaner, but for essential purposes it is a retired taxi.

    Take a look at the maintenance history on the 2006. The timing belt really should have been changed at the 90k service and if not, question how well the maintanance has been kept up with. Assuming all the maintanance really has been kept up, at $2500 less I would be strongly inclined to the 2006 because the mileage is a lot lower so there is less risk of costly repairs and the only advantage the 2008 really has is some improvements in the engine power/efficiency.
  • gsenthilgsenthil Posts: 154
    I finally found a 2008 Sienna Limited 42k miles with Nav/DVD/HID for 21k + TTL. Is this a good deal? Also, CarFax report has no mention of any oil change etc being done - should I be worried about sludge?

    This is not certified but from a Toyota dealership where it was traded in
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    I thought carfaxes showed ownership and accidents not maintenance history.If in fact the oil hasn't been changed in over 40k miles of course you should be worried about sludge.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That was probably a $38k van new. So 3 years old, miles only a little high for its age, the price sounds find to me.
  • We just had a second child and I'm thinking about getting a minivan to give the whole family a bit more comfort on the go. I'm now leaning toward Sienna, however I need advices on whether or not I should get one with AWD.

    We live in SF Bay Area and the only reason for us to have AWD is that we go to Tahoe for skiing several times a year (we don't do a lot of skiing though). To be honest I don't mind putting on and taking off chains, but I want maximum safety for my family. I did have the experience that my sedan (with snow chain on) skid out of control and that scared all of us to death. Since Sienna is a lot more heavier than my Accord, I'd imagine we'd have more trouble driving in snow without AWD.

    So my question is, do I absolutely need a AWD in this case. How much AWD will help in giving me more traction and making us trouble-free in snow? Is there a more reliable way than snow chain that can gives us better traction when we need it (mostly only a couple of times a year).

    Your advices are appreciated!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm all for AWD, in fact we've owned 3 Subarus.

    The catch here is that the AWD models mandate run-flats. The driveshaft goes right in the path of where the spare tire is on other models.

    And I *hate* run-flats. Expensive, stiff ride, short tread life, etc.

    We got a FWD Sienna, but we also have an AWD Subaru in our fleet for those snowy days. It's much better suited anyway.
  • pricewpricew Posts: 18
  • pricewpricew Posts: 18
    2009 XLE, 33,000 miles, DVD entertainment, leather. What is a good price. Edmunds states 19348 for trade in, 21676 for private party and 23465 for dealer. What would be a good target price. Anything to watch out for.
  • You were very helpful to bring up the point of run-flat tires. It doesn't seem make a lot of economical sense to pay the price in daily uses just for a couple of days in the whole year.
  • Kenneth,
    I live on top a mountain in western North Carolina with a very steep asphalt private road with multiple hairpin switchbacks. We have a 2005 Sienna AWD and a 2004 Subaru Forester XT. This year we have had so much snow that I broke down and bought z-pattern tire chains...for the Subaru! The AWD Sienna has 119K miles on it, is an ideal road-trip vehicle and I prefer it over the Subaru when I have to drive more than an hour for work. The seats are comfortable and supportive and the higher driver's position and greenhouse visibility are a huge advantage on the highway. I have made it up and down the mountain on snow, ice, slush and every combination with no problem...but there's a secret. I ditched the run-flat tires years ago ( after two sets, neither of whilch last 25K miles), bought a matching 5th wheel on ebay and now have 1 run-flat as a full-size spare that fits snugly in the well behind the third-row seat. The other 4 tires are Pirelli P 4's that have over 50K on them and still get very good rain/snow traction.
    Whether you go with AWD or FWD, a set of chains is a good idea if you are intentionally going into mountainous big snow country with your family aboard. Make sure you get Z or <> pattern to work with your ABS and VSC and a set for each pair of drive wheels = 2 sets for AWD. Good luck.
  • Only 104K miles for $6600. Never owned a Toyota or a minivan (have a Subaru Outback as primary car so this would be for wife and son).

    sounds like a good deal but what things should I be concerned about with it just having hit the 100K mark? Timing belt? Plugs? Transmission?
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    timing belt and the spark plugs should have been changed at 90k.Transmission fluid I change it in my XLE every 50k.If he hasn't done any of that I'd pass
  • Thanks
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409

    Looking to buy either a used 2010 LE or a new 2011 LE with minimal options in the next month. The asking prices for the used ones (with 20-35k miles) seem to start at about 21-22k, plus fees and taxes. Location: Minneapolis/St Paul.

    The new 2011 model is quite a bit more. I am leaning towards the used previous year's model.

    Should I spring for the new one? Paying cash in either case. Thank you for your advice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you want an 8 seat model, I'd recommend the 2010, which had a MUCH wider center seat in the 2nd row.

    The new one is merely a bridge.

    OTOH, the new model has 3 zone climate control and a backup cam even on the volume models. So if you're a gadget person, those features may win you over.

    I prefer the exterior styling of the new one, but the interior of my 2007 is a bit nicer with softer materials in some places.

    Drive 'em both and go with your gut.
  • I just bought the 2011 LE, and yes, that 8th seat is tee-ninchy!!! I have a car seat in the left outboard seat, and for me to sit in that 8th seat is a squeeze!! However, I really like it! I do find something odd, though. My first Sienna from years ago was an LE and had power vent windows. Now THIS one, with its fancy back-up camera and dual power sliders, doesn't. What is up with THAT?? :confuse: Anyhoo......still glad I've got her!
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    atexeira, thank you for your insightful comment. While the 8-th seat is nice-to-have, rather than must-have, if getting an 8-seater, might as well get a vehicle with a realistically-sized 8th seat.

    As for the gadgets - I am emphatically NOT a gadget person - especially in a car; fewer things to break. I drove a rental Flex for a few weeks that had a backup camera and never got used to it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The advantage is there is a place to store it. Very convenient. If you seldom use it, that may be an advantage.
  • Just wondering when we can expect to see an influx of used 2011 Siennas or when the 2012's might be hitting dealerships. I'm more interested in finding a used 2011 XLE, but if I gotta buy new, I may as well get a 2012. Thanks for any info you might have.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    feel the same. if going with new, might as well get the new, new :)
    when 2011 came out early 2010, it still called 2011 and you kind of get at least 7 months ahead. If you buy a 2011 NOW, probably by August or Sept, it will be "OLD" since 2012 might be there by then.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    There are some rental return 2011's starting to show-up now. Most are LE models with 10k-15k miles. I don't think you'll see enough of a discount on the rare used XLE to bother. Toyota/Honda it's almost always better to buy new until you're shopping for something more than 3 years old.
  • worklessworkless Posts: 1

    I'm looking at two '08 LE 8-passenger after my '03 got totaled in a rear end accident.

    Both have all the basics, plus power sliding passenger side door. Both are in clean condition.

    1st is a Toyota certified w/ 58,000 miles and Carfax shows it at -$280.

    2nd is on independent lot and has 74,800 miles and Carfax shows -$440.

    Both are asking $18,995 to start.

    The KBB, Edmunds, and NADA numbers are all over the map. (1st is $19,925, $18,117, & $19,175. 2nd is $18,500, $16,171, & $18,375)

    Any suggestions at a good starting offer for either?

    Any ideas as to how much Toyota Certified should add to the price? Is it worth it?

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited March 2011
    I'm no expert on how to price used cars, but this is my recent experience looking in the NY metropolitan area. Each market is different, to adjust accordingly.

    Last weekend I purchased a 2008 Sienna LE, excellent outward appearance (drives like new) with 20,058 miles on the clock & still under original factory warranty for another few weeks, from a dealer on Long Island (about 90+ miles from home). Original window sticker asking price was $20,980. Selling price was $18,990. Clean CarFax report, Toyota Certified, and I got the service dept to pull the complete history of all warranty work to date. Two tires were slightly under the Toyota Certified requirements of uniform 5/32, and I got them to put on two new tires as well.

    If you go to the site, you can view the complete terms of the extended warranty (NOTE: The base warranty got better on March 1 - it was 3 months, and is now 12 months plus 7yr/100k powertrain). You can also do a search query up to 100 miles for all cars available - very handy for comparison shopping. Each listing has multiple photos. You can even get an e-brochure if you don't have access to one so that you can compare contents of packages & features. It's great to be able to do your initial screening on the web.

    I can tell you that the LE seems to be a pretty good bargain having depreciated a bit faster than the XLE (at least around here). Given that the base XLE went for around $4k more new, we were very surprised to find that they resold for a solid $5 - 6k more. That makes them a great investment, but a bit harder to buy used if on a budget.

    So what does "Certified" get you? If you buy a van that is over 3yrs/36k miles (outside of the original warr) from a used car dealer, you cannot buy a Toyota extended warranty for it. All you have is the used dealer 1 month or 3 month protection. If you buy a CPO car from Toyota, it already comes with excellent coverage, plus you can buy more - up to 8 years / 125k miles bumper to bumper no matter what the time or mileage is at the time of purchase. BUT - you have to buy it at closing! If you say no at the signing, there's no way to add it later. I was even told that by one of the big warranty sellers here on the web. Go armed with pricing data and push back. Unfortunately you really don't have much leverage if you fall into this crack, but put up a fight anyhow. They'd rather sell it cheaper than not at all!

    If the van is still under original warranty as mine is, you can buy the Toyota plans from anywhere. True, there is a very slightly different in the roadside asst T&C buying it at 'closing' vs shopping later on the web, but not enough of a delta to warrant overpaying the selling dealer. Yes, it's complicated!!!

    So in your case - next to no protection on the used lot van, up to 5 years more coverage on the Toyota dealer car for 10-15% more $$$. Plus lower mileage to begin with. To me, it seems an easy choice. A power door repair can be a grand!

    Do you need 8 passenger? My two kids objected to the lack of arm rests on the 8 seaters, so we screened for 7 seats only.

    Hope all of this helps!
  • We've had nothing but problems with our 2006 Sienna XLE. Run-flat tires are a disaster, electrical issues as well. Navigation chews-up map DVDs (three in five years) and the whole navigation system just went out completely (Toyota wants $3500 to replace). Unless you really really need AWD, I'd go with the Honda.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited April 2011
    Ody has the same issues with run-flat tires.

    Better advice - avoid the run-flats completely, both Honda and Toyota.
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