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Toyota Sienna 2004+

s1ginss1gins Posts: 51
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I'm number 1 I'm number 1

Wonder when they will produce the NAV system and whether it will be bundled with the RES!
«13456757

Comments

  • Bought a 2004 LE FW for approx $25,000 ($600 off MSRP). I've been driving it since last Friday approaching 1000 miles. The ride, comfort, power, noise, turning radius all were as expected - excellent. What I did not expect. and was pleasantly surprised at, gas mileage -- 26 MPG -- 80% highway, 20% city on just over 500 miles with the first tankful. Dealer filled the tank so I'm not sure if it was regular or premium gas. So far best vehicle I've owned for the money. One personal complaint -- after 2 hours of driving, my right leg started cramping -- may need to find a better seating position and use cruise control more frequently.
  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    I read one good review of the AWD LE in the old thread. I'm waiting to testdrive an AWD model myself...anybody else have a chance? How does it compare to the 2WD?

    OT
  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    Does anyone have any idea when Nav will be available as an option? The Toyota website says 'Late Availability'. Any ideas as to how 'late'?

    OT
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    Just returned from the dealer, where I had my '01 XLE in for scheduled service. They had 2 on the lot, so I drove one. It was an XLE. My impressions are as follows

    - engine noise is louder than in previous generation
    - no drivers side power door???? For $43600.00 CDN, they should have put that in.
    - rear seat a snap to fold down/up, but the use of tether straps seems a bit odd.
    - lots more room in the driver seat. My knees rest on the center console/door of my '01
    - ride is firmer, seems less body roll in corners but not too stiff for highway cruising
    - didn't want to push engine too much, car was brand new (87KM on the clock) but does seem to be peppy enough
    - radio is way too far away. CD player is on top of dash
    - liked the new gauge cluster - can see the entire speedometer with the wheel tilted max downward and telescoped max out.
    - rear styling too much like Honda (lacks uniqueness), but certainly looks good - rear wiper ala Honda (i.e., plastic), but cannot be pulled out to stand on end when cleaning rear window, as with previois version
    - front styling better than I expected. Looks very Prius like. Lower bumper cladding very vertical
    - no more side cladding, positive but no more 2 tone paint scheme either.
    - 2nd row buckets have seat belts integrated - appear to be in the way of an occupant getting into those seats.
    - if you thought the previous version had heavy bass, wait till you heard this one with the sub-woofer!
    - very nice interior trim execution - little chrome bits here and there (door latch, dash vent controls, etc.) look classy
    - fake wood looks fake, though
    - nice execution of goodies - storage hooks everywhere - center console coin holder/cup holder is a nice touch
    - lack of passenger seat map pocket a bit cheesy
    - only saw 2 missing control caps, you know those things that cover where a button for the option you didn't get would be?
    - still no 1 button down on the passenger window!
    - sun shades on side windows a nice touch.

    Overall, looks like a winner. But it doesn't make me want to trade in my current van. The engine noise and lack of 2nd slider on this trim line are big deals for me.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    seems redundant since the new owners will naturally gravitate to the "main" Toyota Sienna board, not to mention that this stuff is also being covered in the Sienna Owners: Future Models discussion.

    It'd be nice to consolidate now instead of having a bunch of different overlapping boards with parallel discussions going on :-)

    Steve, Host
  • zorax2zorax2 Posts: 12
    Steve - I would argue that "if" they are closing the "Future Models - 2004 Sienna" discussion that this is the appropriate place for discussion of 2004 Siennas. The original generic "Siennas" is almost entirely related to the older models. Wouldn't it be more convenient to have everything related to the 2004 model in this discussion?
  • discussion is intuitive. Distinctive model change; nothing in common with previous years' models. Amazing there is confusion as to dedicating a common discussion for 2004 model?!
  • montobahnmontobahn Posts: 11
    Either change the title of the "Future Models -2004 Sienna" thread to something more accurate, or continue here.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    But we wrestle with this issue a lot it seems. We now have a Lexus RX300/330 discussion as well as a Lexus RX330 board for example. Lots of overlap, but that's the way those owners (mostly) like it.

    Most people (at least those new to Town Hall) now seem to find discussions by searching by make and model; i.e., Toyota and Sienna. So they would tend to flash on the Toyota Sienna board and expect to see 2004 stuff as well as older stuff. The older threads will naturally fade away as people talk about the latest buzz.

    To overly generalize, people not used to our conversation style of forum seem to like lots of more specifically focused (if sometimes overlapping) topics. Many of us who cut our teeth on BBS's and Usenet like having more "consolidated" discussions with various threads flying around.

    The problem with smaller, more focused discussions is that they tend to run out of steam and get auto-archived. Take a look at the archives sometimes at all the "small" discussions and you'll see why I personally think this isn't such a great way to keep a discussion active. What happens in 2005 for example? Or how about the great sidebar threads that occur in the "general discussions" that you'd miss if you didn't follow a discussion about Sienna armrest covers - you'd never know you missed it.

    The problem with "consolidated" discussions is keeping track of various threads, but our improved search tools helps a lot there.

    But I'm mostly here to do the housekeeping and occasionally plug our reviews and the rest of the site, not proscribe how y'all should develop the flow of conversation.

    just my .02 - sorry about the dissertation :-)

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I just "froze" this one:

    Sienna 2004 The Best!?

    It's "your" forum, but the redundant topics do seem to get out of hand, especially with exciting new models.

    /vent :-)

    Steve, Host
  • drivenowdrivenow Posts: 45
    Does anyone know if the outside mirrors are power folding on the Limited?
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    We have a thread called "Mazda MPV 2000+". I would think it logical to have one for "Sienna 2004+" as a general catch all for that generation of van. That way anyone looking for info on specific generations knows where to look. We should have a link to the owners club thread for all these threads as well.

    Just my humble opionion.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    And it's consistent with what we've done in MPV and other topics. Consistency is good :-) Let's try it and see if it flies.

    Anyone else bothered by the dash shifter? The one in the new Quest looks like it has problems too.

    Poor placement mars feature-rich minivan (Detroit Free Press)

    Steve, Host
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    The van I drove had the center console located between the front seats, so one would be unable to get to the rear through there, anyway. I recall it does sort of stick out in the normal, operating D position and in the P position it does block a few heater controls.

    If, as the author of the report cited above indicates, the van has sooo many kid friendly design features, why is the shifter gated, ala sports cars???

    A few more recollections about the test drive yesterday;

    - the B pillar (between drivers side doors) completely blocked my shoulder check view. Could be because I had the seat as far back as it would go. Makes a strong case for the small convex stick on mirrors.
    - the steering wheel itself is thinner than previoius versions. That may have to do with what the author of the report indicated, that those of slight hands (i.e., mothers) perfer a thinner wheel for grip?
    - the "switch" to manually open the liftgate is behind a flexible covering under the license plate lamp shroud. There is no handle as with the previous generation. Depressing the switch unlocks the liftgate and you can then pull it up. It feels strange at first.
    - the 115V outlet is at the rear of the van, drivers side. A switch for it is on the dash beside the stereo, though. Didn't think to ask the sales guy (who didn't know too much anyway) what was up with that.
    - this version didn't have the entertainment system, but the ceiling mounted drop down screen "holder" is there, only contains a sun glass holder. Might be a good thing, allowing addition of an aftermarket entertainment system.
  • montobahnmontobahn Posts: 11
    Just got the XLE Limited. Great mini van, drive is almost Lexus, and overall, must be best in class. Quite nice, a bit spendy but hopefully will be proved worth the $$$.

    Several electronic controls can be customized (eliminate the chirp when using the remote to lock the doors or having the doors lock automatically when the gear shift is moved from park) etc. The manual says to see dealer to program or change these features. It can't be too tough to do. Does anyone know how to program these various features? (Turns out you need a special computer, Service did it for free).

    Does anyone know if the 3rd row seats (they fold up great by the way) can be unbolted (2 bolts each) and safely removed for long trips to save weight and a bit of room? (I called customer service and they said no harm would be done, but it was not made to do that).

    Minor complaints:

    No memory driver seat available!
    Whats up with that?

    While the sound and entertainment system is outstanding, (better than my buddies 2000 740I BMW) you must move your grip on the steering wheel to change volume, channel and mode. The buttons should be operated by your fingers underneath the wheel instead of by your thumbs on top of the wheel!

    Ceiling lights, if left on by one of the kids will not automatically turn off until the battery is dead. They will turn off in 20 minutes if a door is left open though.

    SO FAR, after owning it for 100 miles, these are the only negatives. I'm picky and this thing still rocks!

    A sheet of 4 x 8 ply should fit.

    According the the manual, the van will run on regular.

    All and all, I'm a happy guy!
  • Congratulations on your new minivan!
    I hope you will enjoy it and please keep us updated with your experience in the future. I bought the Odyssey for now, but you never know; I may buy the Sienna in the future.
    So with the power hatch door, does it open and close by remote or a button on the van? Or does it just open automatically and you have to shut it manually? Have you tested the laser cruise control? What's your impression on the parking assist and the closeness detection sensor that beeps? Is this your first Toyota? If not, how do you compare it to your other Toyotas in regards to noise level?
  • montobahnmontobahn Posts: 11
    Thanks!

    All three power doors open and close with the remote, or with the 3 buttons inside the vehicle, or by tugging a short strap to close the rear hatch from the outside.

    I have tested the laser cruise, very high-tech. As I approached a slow vehicle in front of me, it automatically let up on the gas and then applied the brakes.

    The parking assist is neat, but I have not thoroughly tested it yet. I have a feeling that once I become familiar with the vehicle, I won't need it. My wife may.

    I have had a 1990 Camery, and still have my 92 Lexus LS 400. What can I say, they are all fine products.

    I am very sensitive to noise. I would have to say the noise level is low and comfort level of this vehicle is very high, that's why bought it. My ears tell me that this is the quietest minivan. It will be interesting to see what the actual noise levels are.
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    I am not bothered by the shifter position at all. On the contrary, I much prefer this position as opposed to steering wheel column shifter. The gated design could go, but one can get used to it.

    But the review was a poor one. Don't know why they are making such a big fuss over the shifter.

    "The protruding shifter repeatedly caught knees and ankles, threatening to either trip the driver or downshift from fifth to fourth gear at highway speeds."

    Knees, maybe - but ANKLES???
    And get this - downshift from fifth to fourth???
    Are they saying that the van was on autopilot and the driver was trying to move away from the driver's seat??? While the car is at highway speed??? This is ridiculous!

    '"I know we're not supposed to walk around when the van is moving, but we do," said the mother of a 2-year-old. "They should know that."'

    Absolutely not in my van. No one is allowed to unbelt. If anything comes up, I'd take a break, stop the van and do whatever one needs to do. That mother of two should know better - and don't expect the car manufacturer to accomodate her dangerous practice. In fact, they should make it as difficult as possible to discourage it.

    And I still don't get this, how could the shifter be in the way and how could the driver move away when the van is at highway speed?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,078
    I seem to recall there being a ton of legroom in the third row when I test sat last week. Maybe it was becasue I had slid the middle seat up, but there was plenty of room up there also.

    "nonexistent" leg room in the rear seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    A negative review with ridiculous comments about ankles hitting the shifter and no room in the back seat, in the Detroit Free Press... a review of a Toyota minivan that trumps all minivans from U.S. automakers... does that seem too much of a coincidence to anyone else?
  • hbush2hbush2 Posts: 3
    LEKN: Thanks for your comments. I couldn't agree with you more. I would like to add that I think the reason the shifter is gated is to avoid just what the "auto piloting mother" is concerned about - accidently knocking the shifter out of gear. When I drove the Sienna, I found the shifter to be in no way obtrusive or unsafe. In fact, I found that the driver had to make a conscious effort to shift gears with the gated design. I would argue that this design is safer than the steering wheel mounted shifter found in most vans today.
  • I have not driven the new Sienna yet, but I love the similar shifter that's on my Lexus LS400. I think it looks great, feels great, and a lot easier to use than any other kind of shifter.
  • rambhamrambham Posts: 10
    I talked to a Costco deal in San Jose, CA this
    week and he said that the XLE Limited with NAV
    would be available in about 10-12 weeks. He also quoted a price to me of $40,130 for an XLE Limited
    with the GT package. This price is $2700
    over invoice. (I may be missing some other info).
    He also wanted a $500 deposit to place the order.

    He also said that Northern California was not
    currently receiving any XLE Limiteds, but they
    were available in Southern California. I believe
    he said that an XLE (not Limited) with NAV would
    be available in 6-8 weeks.
  • rambhamrambham Posts: 10
    We are thinking about the XLE Limited but my
    wife hates auto dimming mirrors. Is it possible
    to disable this feature?
  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    I was wondering why nav was an option yet. 10-12 weeks is not too long to wait I guess.

    OT
  • danhirschdanhirsch Posts: 20
    Is a little hard to get used to. I drove the van the first day we got the van (last Saturday, the 14th) - otherwise, my wife has been driving it and she says that she is totally used to the new shifter and that it is easy to use and get used to.
  • stchenstchen Posts: 1
    I have made up my mind to put down my $500 deposit ordering the 2004 Sienna XLE. But, according to what I have heard. All the upcoming XLE will be with packages. Has any one ordered the XLE already? And, what's the package you got? (or you couldn't get rid off??)
  • s1ginss1gins Posts: 51
    Is the vehicle an AWD? It sounds pricey.
  • rambhamrambham Posts: 10
    The price info I posted was for a FWD XLE Limited
    with the Navigation package.
  • hexnhexn Posts: 16
    I too ordered a XLE with package 12. The price is approximately $2,555 off MSRP. I'm in SF bay area.

    There's something interesting I want to share with you guys. The invoice number on Edmunds is 25150. I had a chance to see the actual cost break down printed out from the dealer. The real base cost of the XLE base is 24,303, there's a $565 dealer hold back and $282 wholesale reserve(god knows what that is). If you add those numbers together, you got exactly $25,150!

    I remember reading from Edmunds board before that manufacture does allow charging the hold back to consumers.

    Oh well, I didn't get the best deal there is, I guess if I press harder, I can get a couple of hunderd dollars more off, but it's a deal I can live with.

    I'll post again when they ACTUALLY DELIVERS. you never know.....
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    Hi Hexn ,
    I too am looking for an XLE with package # 12.I'm in San Jose, could you please tell me what dealership you are ordering and how long it takes to get it.I really appreciate it.
    dtd98
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    In case you didn't know, manufacturer's (except Saturn) do not dictate the selling price a dealer can sell a vehicle for. The dealer will try to sell it at whatever they can get.

    Holdback is money the dealer gets back from the manufacturer once the vehicle is sold and is usually calculated at 2.5-3% of MSRP and varies some by manufacturer. There may also be other incentives from the manufacturers which could vary over time. That is probably what your $282 is. I am surprised your dealer was so open with these numbers. They usually don't want to tell you much more than what invoice is. Then, even if they sell it at invoice, they are at least marking it up the the holdback and whatever other hidden incentives are in effect.
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    The packages you are forced to get depend on what region you live in. You might try the "build your own" Sienna at the toyota website to see what options it allows you to see (I think it asks you for your zip code to determine what region you are in). If you are in the midwest area, go directly to www.tmsbuyatoyota.com, which is a web site created by the midwest toyota dealers, and will show you what options are available (or not available) on various vehicles. Of course, that's only accurate for midwest dealerships...
  • hexnhexn Posts: 16
    The dealship is S******Creek Toyota in San Jose. They told me 30 days. Hope that helps
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    hexn,
    Thanks for your info. I've been there 1 week ago and they quoted me 7% over invoice through Costco program. By the way , can I mention your name when I talk to them. Who is the sale man and what color are you going to get? Again thanks and have a good weekend. I'll be there.
    dtd98
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    What is that, Stevens Creek? It's ok to name the dealer, just please don't link to them, put contact info up or list the salespeople who greeted you, gave your dog a treat, let you use their net connection to post on Town Hall or promised you a bird dog fee for mentioning their name.

    But saying you got good service at Billy Bob Thornton's Toyota Center is fine.

    Steve, Host
  • hexnhexn Posts: 16
    dtd98, Better not mention my name :)
    Thanks
  • danhirschdanhirsch Posts: 20
    for 5% over invoice on 3/15/03 in New Jersey! Just be aware that the floor mats are extra - as are the mudguards. You need to get the Z1 package as well for the cargo net (which I feel is a waste with this great "trunk"), the floor mats and that all important first aid kit!!

    By the way, I found that with the 17" wheels, the step up to the van is a bit higher than the old Sienna - almost enough to warrant the running boards.

    It is a great van - you will love it.
  • Could you let us know what dealership you used. The local dealerships here in CT are looking for MSRP and I would be tempted to make the drive if I could save some cash.

    Thanks,
    Alan
  • dparlerdparler Posts: 22
    Hey, danhirsch and anybody out there who has a 8 seater .... how big is the 8th seat? We looked at an LE today but dealer only had the 7 seater on the lot. He thought the 8th seat fit between the two captain's seats on the 7 seater, which would make it rather small. Won't standard car seats fit in one? Is it large enough for a 5 year old child to seat between two older sibs ? Does the 8th seat ALWAYS have to stay in as seat or flipped oiver console or is it removable ? And can remaining two captains seats come together (without the smaller seat in there) or is it one single bench with a middle section that flops over? Finally, is all this described and answered somewhere?
  • newcar35newcar35 Posts: 48
    The 8th seat is narrow, and I think Toyota says that it can hold an infant car seat, but does not say whether it will hold a convertible or a booster. Since they specifically say an infant seat, I'm going on the assumption that a larger booster or convertible seat would not fit on it. I would really doubt that you could fit 3 car seats next to each other in that second row. Perhaps you could put a car seat in the outboard position, and a small kid who has no need for a booster seat in the center.

    It can be removed from the vehicle.

    The remaining captain's chairs cannot be brought together (unlike in the 7 passenger model).

    This used to be described on the Sienna minisite at toyota's website. I would imagine it is still there in the full Sienna description, you just may have to hunt for it a little.
  • The size of the center 2nd row seat was a concern for me as well. If you look at the picture on the Toyota web site, It appears that the center seat in the 2nd row can accommodate a larger convertible/booster. The picture I am referring to is on the Toyota website under the Sienna e-brochure tab.
  • shabbycatshabbycat Posts: 65
    it is narrower than the two outboard seats in the middle row, but the brochure does show an older child (about age 3?) in a convertible sized car seat which is larger than an infant seat. You can take the middle seat out, or better yet, fold it down to make a tray table (it has cupholders on the backside). If you do take it out, the two outboard seats are not captains chairs w/arm rests - they are simple seats. You could also leave the middle seat in and take out one of the outboard seats if you wanted - this would leave a comfy bench seat with a pathway to the back on the side. All of the middle row seats have cupholder/tray capabilities if you fold them down which I think is kind of cool.

    Hope this helps!
  • tjm6tjm6 Posts: 14
    Is it possible that the 2004 Sienna, which I just drove today, sits higher (i.e. higher ground clearance and/or seats situated higher) than the 2003? My wife noticed this first, and then I agreed that it seemed higher. As a result, we wondered whether it was possible that any changes could have occurred which would increase the center of gravity of the vehicle 2003-->2004.
  • The 2004 Sienna's ground clearance of 6.9" is 1" higher than the 2003 Sienna's of 5.9". The 2004 Sienna's ground clearance is also about 2.5" higher than the 2003 Odyssey, with a ground clearance of 4.3". I don't know about center of gravity. I have not seen any feedback concerning roll over tests yet.
  • leknlekn Posts: 78
    > As a result, we wondered whether it was possible that any
    > changes could have occurred which would increase the center
    > of gravity of the vehicle 2003-->2004

    Ground clearance does not always translate to center of gravity, which depends more on the engine/drive train placement and the chassis. Don't forget that 2004 Sienna has a much wider track and much longer wheelbase. So even *if* 04 Sienna has a higher center of gravity, it may still be more stable than 03.

    As for Odyssey ground clearance, I see some listed it as 6.4" instead of 4.3" which seems a bit too low for a minivan. Did not see it in the official specs though.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I finally saw the '04 Sienna up close today at my local auto show. They had only two vans, an LE with many options, including DVD, and an XLE. (A salesman told me it was the first LE he's seen. I heard another salesman tell a woman that he had only two Siennas in stock, an XLE and a Limited, but would be getting more in next week.) I spent the most time in the LE because I would get a CE or an LE. Overall I was favorably impressed by the execution of the van. The styling is clean, making the van look smaller than it is. The D pillar reminds me a bit of the Previa. The driving position was good (sometimes height adjusters don't raise the front of the cushion enough for me; the Sienna's was OK). Whoever designed the glossy black interior trim should be fired. It was distracting even indoors (albeit a well-lighted indoors). I think the matte black trim used by DC, Honda, Kia et. al. is a smarter choice for dash trim--it won't show fingerprints like the gloss black trim either. The little storage compartments in the center of the dash, with damped doors, were curious. I was wondering what I'd put in there, since they were small and there was no sound-deadening material (otherwise I could use them for coin boxes). The shifter position was interesting, and although I'm not used to gated shifters I like the position better than, say, the MPV's long shift lever.

    Middle seat room was fine. I think the reviewer who said it was tight did not move the seats back far enough. The sliding seats (fore-aft) are a big plus. Just wish Toyota had stolen Mazda's side-by-slide idea so the middle seats could be moved together easily. There were several visible mounting holes in the floor, leaving an unfinished appearance. The seats (7-seat configuration) were not as comfortable as DC's captain's chairs, mainly because the cushions were a little flat for my taste, but good overall. The rear seat had enough leg room and head room for me (5' 10"). At first I thought there was no rear headrest, then I noticed they were retracted (for seat storage). That's something drivers will have to watch out for--making sure the headrests are pushed up for their taller kids/riders. Still, it beats having to remove the headrests in order to stow the rear seat, as on other vans.

    Storing the rear seat was easy enough, but I found Honda's mechanism to be more intuitive and easier overall, even though it's not spring-loaded like the Sienna's is. The springs give the seat a mind of its own I think. Also, I don't like that the rear seat doesn't stow flush into the floor like on the Ody and MPV; it gives an unfinished look and might be a problem when hauling large cargo. I also didn't like the seat mounts protruding into the rear seat well. But they were covered in plastic so they shouldn't jeopardize cargo.

    Now I'll have to find a CE or maybe an LE to test-drive. But so far the Sienna is on my shopping list, along with the Ody, MPV, and maybe the GCS (brand loyalty I guess--I've owned Caravans for 12 years running).
  • gtahobegtahobe Posts: 42
    Thank you for the honest description of the Sienna. When I was at the auto show, it appeared to me that the 3rd row seats folded flush with the floor. What detail did you notice that made it appear not to be flush? Maybe I missed something here.

    Also, has anybody actually carried a 4x8 sheet in the new Sienna yet? Yes, I know there are pictures of people loading it, but I want to know how tight of a fit it is between the wheel wells and how tight up to the back of the front row seats. Also, after the first sheet is in, how tall can you go until the sheets don't fit anymore?

    Thanks in advance.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    It's not much of a rise, but it's not 100% flush either. Look at the Sienna's folded seat, then at an Odyessy or MPV. You'll see a small but noticable difference. Now, this is really a small detail in the big scheme of things; maybe I expected near-perfection from Toyota with the '04 Sienna because of their reputation for quality engineering and because they've had a long time to study the competition and get all the details right on this van. And in most cases I think they've succeeded. None of the things I mentioned are "blocker" issues. Well, except maybe the gloss black trim. I really don't know if I'd want to live with that for the 6-7 years I expect to own my next van. It's hard to ignore. Maybe it will grow on me. OTOH, I've never seen gloss black trim on a Honda, and the '04 Ody is due out this fall...
  • dadoctordadoctor Posts: 6
    Ever here this term in football? Or drop back 10 and punt? In the past two days, I visited four different Toyota Dealerships between Central IL and the Chicago area. Here is my experience.

    The Sienna appears to be well built. I test drove a Limited and an LE. Not much difference in the ride(except I love leather). The 'kid' mirror is a nice feature. IT'S (Shhh) a quiet ride too. Pickup? It's not nascar, but it's not a noisy Saturn either. No eight seaters on hand(a limited supply)...which makes me wonder about those truth in adverting laws....hmmmmm...

    Certain dealers do not want to budge from MSRP citing that if Honda can do this, so can we ...at least for a while. Customers can not pick and choose options packages that don't match factory allocations. If it happens to match what Princeton, IN is making, good for you.

    I must credit one salesman in the Chicago area who took the time to find two alternatives to my request which was like finding a needle in a haystack. He found a car allocated for another area(not built yet). When asked about bending from MSRP, he stood firm. I mentioned Columbia Fleet. After a 'meeting' with the manager, he responded with 500 under MSRP(a dogbone...but not a happy meal)and a possible mid April delivery.

    Prior to walking into this last dealer, I contacted Columbia Fleet who allows me to select the option package I need for 2% above invoice (meaning, invoice+options+delivery=(total invoice* 0.02)=total cost. The downside being extended delivery time (90-100 days). Although the salesman was a nice guy, his hands were tied. Thus, I had no choice but to walk away...drop back 10 and punt a quote to Columbia Fleet and will see what happens.

    My advice to the Toyota Dealers and to other parties: Don't underestimate the intelligence of prospects. The research and comparisions that I performed made me realize...MSRP is not acceptable. On other Edmunds boards, Ody's are being sold for under MSRP. Arrogence TURNED ME OFF FROM PURCHASING A VAN! I walked out of Honda in Joliet several months ago because of their arrogant attitude. Honesty and fairness attracts me given the amount of $$$ I will sink into a vehicle.

    Toyota should be agressively pricing these vehicles with good quantities on hand and ablity to custom order to customer specs, not the factory or sales plan. Toyota should increase their allocation of 8 seaters for CE and LE. CE's account for less than 5 percent in the Chicago region(may have been 1 percent). Only 14 eight seater LE's were made in March which should be increased substantially.

    As an example, I have friends who have two kids. I have two kids...If you travel as a party of 8, either someone is squashed or you need two vehicles. Another friend has 5 kids who owns a Chevy Vulture(Venture). He is very interested in the LE8. If a feature is being marketed, it should be available too. I can't wait to enjoy this van at a fair price.
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