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Buying a Used Sienna



  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Full breakdown:

    2008 LE, 20,053 miles = $18,931
    Dealer Doc fees & Gas = $75
    NYS 2 yr Registration & Title = $151
    NYS Inspection = $21
    NYS Sales Tax = $1627

    That's it.... No extra garbage fees.

    Afterwards, I decided to add a Toyota Extra Care Platinum zero deductible 8 year 125k extended warranty. Yes, the Certified van does come with the 7 yr /100k powertrain, but only a 1 yr / 12k B to B. Given our projected usage, I think the 125k miles coverage will be about right. I have lousy luck, and tend to find that I at least break even on these or even come out a little ahead if I get a good price going in. I got a great offer ($1,450) from dealership in Illinois. I doubt that you will find much better out there.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    I thought I might clarify something... You do not have to purchase a Toyota (or most brands) extended warranty from the selling dealer. I went shopping on line for the best deal. Over the years I bought a Subaru warranty from a dealership in CT, Honda from KY, and now Toyota in IL.
  • I'd love some feedback from others who have bought used! I am trying to buy a good clean low mileage minivan. I have tried other brands and models with little success; now am trying Toyota.

    I have been using TMV with disastrous results -- nobody seems to accept these numbers. Not dealers, not private sellers. They often get seriously angry if you bring these numbers in.

    Example: I have found a very nice clean 2005 Sienna with 50K. But the dealer has it marked $17,950. Edmunds TMV (for dealer retail!) is .... $11,040.

    Now that's a darn big gap. I can see going a bit over TMV for an especially nice car, on of the border of "excellent" vs. "good". But $6000? How can there be such a huge gap?

    How can I offer $6000 UNDER asking price? I mean, I can negotiate a thousand or two off the price. But $6000?

    So which price is correct? And how do I keep from getting ripped off? (The van is not Toyota certified, but "dealer" certified, about a 3 month warranty, nothing worth paying for.)

    If I could buy a Toyota van this age and mileage for $11K, I'd be thrilled, but it seems impossible. Dealers all have these marked into the mid-teens. Even a 2004 is about $14-15K. Even private sellers won't go this low.

    How can I trust TMV if it is not represented in reality? Who is getting these fabulous deals? NOT ME!

    Also: any advice on how to deal with dealers who mark up vehicles sneakily with HUGE document fees. I remember just a few years ago the doc fee was like $60. Then it was $100. Today it is standard to charge $250. I am paying cash, so this is insane -- no credit check, no actual DOCUMENTS. Yet I must pay! If I suggest rolling this into the offer, they go ballistic on me.

    I have read here some dealers only charge $75 but I can tell you that is unheard of in NE Ohio!
  • jprocjproc Posts: 135
    go to the "smart shopper" board-"what is my trade in worth topic and ask this question.There is a dealer there who is very forthcoming on what used cars are going for.Good Luck!
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    You'll find used Toyota's are way overpriced. If you want a much lower price either buy a Chrysler (Caravan or Grand Caravan) or GM (Uplander or Montana). I just bought a 2007 Uplander LT (SWB) with 55k miles for about $11k (taxes incl.). The dealership had a 2004 with 133k miles for about the same price and a 2005 with 88k miles for about $15k. I know Toyota is better quality but these price differentials are ridiculous. The Edmunds TMV for the Uplander was about right. Good luck.
  • I finally did buy a 2006 Mazda MPV minivan with 50K -- just a newer version of my old 2001. Not too exciting, but a good solid vehicle. It wasn't as cheap as your Uplander, though.

    I had very few choices, and finally decided this was my best option out of the limited ones available. There are very few affordable minivan choices left, and some vehicles like the MPV just aren't in that big supply, or all the ones you see are very high mileage (over 120K).

    I think Toyota Siennas are a good van, BUT anyone paying $11K for ANY car with 133k miles, especially in a winter climate, has been deluded into "magical thinking" about the most popular Japanese manufacturers! That's just too much money, and out of whack depreciation on those vehicles.

    I definitely found this summer that prices are way up and the supply is way down -- at least of minivans. Many factors, including:
    • Cash For Clunkers removed a lot of good vans from the market, unnecessarily (they are/were no more high mileage than an ordinary sedan!)
    • The Japanese tsunami delayed a lot of new vehicles, pushing some new car buyers into used
    • Overall, MUCH higher pricing on new vehicles of all types has pushed many cash-strapped Americans into used vehicles
    • Dealers taking advantage of all this, and jacking up prices
    • The fact that since 2006, many of the more moderately priced vans (MPV, Venture, Freestar, Montana, etc.) were discontinued, meaning many fewer choices

    It was definitely discouraging. Kia dealers told me that this is the last year for the Sedona, the last of the moderately priced vans. (Chryslers really are not cheap; not anymore!) SO in the future, the choices will be even worse.

    I agree that one must often make a tradeoff between ideal quality and price -- some point, price gouging makes even good quality vans like the Sienna simply unaffordable -- at least for me!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2011
    I totally agree about used Siennas being way too pricey, but the silver lining is if you do buy one, the residual values are strong.

    I bet I could sell my van for $7000 less than I paid for it, new, 4.5 years ago. They hardly depreciate at all. That's about $130 per month.

    Used Kias - my issue with that is the 10.100 goes away, you only get what's left of the 5/60 warranty. Hence low resale.
  • Good points. People want to buy Siennas, but the pricing is so high they are driven to used --- which has driven the USED prices sky high.

    I am quite sure you could sell your Sienna for what you say. I have seen used 2009 Siennas on dealer lots priced only $5000 less than a new model. What ever happened to the old saw that "it depreciates 30% the second you drive it off the lot?" hahahaha.

    Also: an interesting article in my local paper about Priuses -- some owners find they can sell after 1 year or 2 years at slightly MORE than they paid....meaning they drove the car for free.

    You have an excellent point about the Kia Sedona: it has a horrible resale value (at least, on paper) because A. the warranty goes away and B. dealers won't lease it.

    You certainly won't get the resale of a newish Sienna with the Kia. But for a cash-strapped buyer IF you could buy the Kia at Edmunds TMV at the ideal point (IMHO) of 4 years (48 months) of age and under 48,000 (no more than 1000 per month, ideally less) and use that car for 5 years, then you'd be ahead of the Toyota -- quite a bit moneywise.

    That assumes you like the Kia (and I do) and would be satisfied with it. Some people attach great value to the brand, over and above actual performance. Some people could not live with having a US carmarker's nameplate on their bumper -- Toyota and Honda are very important status markers in some upscale areas.

    One example: my niece (then 20) needed a car for college. Her grandfather had left her a beautiful six year old Buick LeSabre -- with every bell and whistle and 19K on the odometer -- leather, CD player, etc. SHE SNEERED AT IT. She told her parents she'd rather die than show up at school amongst her friends (who all had Toyotas and Hondas) with A BUICK. So they sold it at a big loss, and had to put several thousands together to buy her a Toyota Corolla, with no airconditioning let alone leather seats. It was also a couple years older than Buick. It's needed some maintenance as a result. But GOD FORBID the dear girl drive a "low class American" car, even for free.

    I know dozens of such examples. It is very hard to separate the actual quality of Toyota and Honda (which definitely exist) from the "mystique" and I suspect the mystique drives much of the high used pricing.

    Unfortunately I cannot afford any "mystique" so I must look elsewhere for car values.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Priuses -- some owners find they can sell after 1 year or 2 years at slightly MORE than they paid....meaning they drove the car for free.

    Incredible, really. But I think they were helped out by a tsunami that basically cut off supply significantly, driving up used prices. Lucky timing.

    I'm impressed with what Kia has done lately, but the Sedona is an older design. They did put a modern engine and transmission in it, at least.

    I test drove one - my thought was that the base models they were selling for $19 grand were great values. At that price I had no issues whatsoever. The loaded ones pushed high 20s and then suddenly some parts of the interior felt cheap for that price class.

    If you can sacrifice options and content, see if you can get a bargain on a base model.

    Then add a DVD screen for the kids aftermarket, slap on a portable GPS, and call it good. Haven't shopped lately but if you can start at $20k or so for a new one...and used 3 year old Siennas are the same price, go with the one that will still have a warranty in 2021.
  • I should be so lucky, LOL. Yes, I don't think this is always true or will be in the future when Japan is back in their feet, but for SOME Prius owners, it was a fortunate windfall.

    Definitely the Sedona is an older design; it was redesigned in 2006 and a big improvement over the first Sedona.

    Dealers have told me confidentially "this is the last year for's just not selling". Of course, that doesn't matter to me in some ways -- it (should) mean lower prices.

    It's just sad that there will be yet another loss of choice, and almost nothing in the "affordable minivan" category unless you count the Mazda 5, which is frankly a 4 cylinder station wagon and not a true minivan.

    Also your impression of the Sedona is similar to my own. The first few times I saw them (early to mid 00s), I was underwhelmed. Even with a fantastic warranty, I thought they looked a little cheap next to my Nissan Quest. Plastic side door panels, etc.

    They have improved, but are obviously a lower cost alternative to a pricey Toyota or Honda. Certainly SOME of the reason they are cheaper is they have not used as high grade materials in the finishes.

    The LX models (used to be mid-range, but now basically the standard model) are indeed being offered around $19,999 which is not bad. However, they lack some basics like alloy wheels (they have super-cheap plastic hubcaps, which are sure to fall off!).

    If you go up to the EX, you get at least alloys, power seats and doors and much improved upholstery materials. As you say, if you slap on a DVD player (woohoo, what do those run? $30?) and leather, you can push this vehicle up into the 30s. That is far too much to pay for Sedona IMHO.

    There appear to be a lot of Sedonas left on Kia dealer lots -- both '11s and '12s -- and I think in the winter months there will be additional price cuts.

    However, I am far from the new car market in affordability. I think I've owned my last brand new car -- too overwhelming to owe a payment each month, too much depreciation (excepting those lucky Prius owners).

    You make a good point that SOME dealers are pricing USED Sedona LXs from '09 and '10 pretty darn the same as a NEW Sedona LX -- that's crazy talk. You lose the warranty, and don't benefit one inch from some fairly steep depreciation. Don't know who is going for those bad deals, but it is not ME.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm hoping they build this cool people mover:

    Now *that* is more like their current designs. Peter Schreyer came from Audi and has done great things for them.
  • Toyota, despite recalls, is a "premium" used label, as is Honda, and increasingly, Hyundai. Dealers sometimes "certify" used cars offering warranties and jacking up the price. TMV sometimes does not "jive" on these vehicles, your call as to what the warranty is worth. If you're willing to risk no warranty on something used try private sale via craigslist or other local source. With that said I have a 2000 Sienna, runs great (bought it from private party $1000 under TMV!). I want to get something newer but haven't found it yet. Keep looking!
  • I agree, there is a distinct premium for Toyota and Honda (overall, but especially for minivans!) BUT if I understand the concept behind TMV correctly, it is based on actual sales receipts and tax receipts, and NOT on some kind of "formula" -- such as if a car cost "X" new, it depreciates exactly "X" amount in four years, etc.

    If this is so, then TMV should adjust easily for brands like Toyota and Honda. I believe there is also an adjustment in the charts for a "certified" car, of anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars or more; this is a benefit only the individual buyer can access for himself.

    My experience is that warranties like that usually come with so many "conditions" and copays, that they end up not being worth what you think at the time of purchase. And they don't apply to cars over a certain number of years (usually 5) and miles.

    I'm glad you were fortunate enough to buy a Toyota Sienna for UNDER TMV value, but at this time in my market (NE Ohio), not only won't people do that, they are asking as much as 30% OVER TMV, and sticking to it, and actually angry and insulted if you even present TMV as a negotiating tool. One factor might be the age of your van -- after 11 years, any car (short of a luxury label) is getting up there. Or maybe it had rust or another cosmetic issue.

    I have not noticed that Hyundai VANS sell for over the price of a similar "twin" Kia Sedona van -- I've seen both in my travels, and occasionally even seen a well-equipped Entourage asking slightly less than a similarly equipped Kia. (When new, the Entourage was priced about 5% more than the Kia for essentially the same vehicle.) Maybe this is true for some Hyundai models; the Entourage wasn't a good seller for them, and they only made it for 2 seasons, 2007 and 2008.
  • Hello,

    We are looking at purchasing an AWD Sienna. We live up a steep gravel road so 4WD or AWD is pretty much required.

    2009 Limited AWDwith 40,000km : $38,000 after tax
    2012 LE AWD : $40,000 after tax

    As we will be financing our purchase most likely over 5 years the monthly payments will be the same between the two vans as the new one has a better finance rate by a couple percentage points.

    We live in Canada so prices are much higher. Any thoughts on what you would do?

  • wwg1wwg1 Posts: 1
    Very clean LE with good Carfax results and 70,000 miles. Is $14,200 a good buy? Dealer purchase.
  • @wwq1 I bought a 2001 last year for 6K from a dealer and got a 100K mile warranty. The van had 61K miles and was a loaded XLE model. I would shop around more.. Also, i would suggest that if you are going to go through a dealer, you make sure you buy from a Toyota dealership and not from another manufacturer... Typically, people happy with Toyota's will buy another Toyota, ones who have had bad luck will trade there Toyota in at another dealership.
  • Hmm i got that beat..

    Bought a used 01 Sienna last year with 61K miles from a dealer..
    I paid 6K and got a FREE Toyota Extra Care Platinum Zero Deductible 8 year 125K mile warranty.

    2001 XLE, 61,000 miles = $5,999
    Dealer Doc fees & Gas = Free
    NYS 2 yr Registration & Title = Once again, the government taking a chunk..
    NYS Inspection = Free
    NYS Sales Tax, no way around them.. LOL

    But honestly, this is my third Toyota, i have never needed a warranty. My 85 Camry i sold at 330K miles, just out of boredom, but it still ran new. Then my 99 Corolla LE died at 260K miles, but they were some brutal 260K miles, and i say died, the clutch went at 260K miles and i couldn't justify fixing it. But then i never let a dealer fix any of my cars, if they break i do it myself. I honestly don't trust any of them anyway... But if i sell the van the warranty is transferable, which is the only plus.

    Either way.. Good luck on your purchase..
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    If the road is gravel, I would be concerned with the ground clearance. Although the Sienna under consideration has AWD, it may have insufficient ground clearance for your needs. The underbody of the Sienna likely does not have skid plates to protect vital components underneath the vehcile. You probably should consider an SUV. Good luck.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    edited October 2011
    In our case we were moving out of a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX with nearly 140k miles, and we got paid $5,600 for it. So net for us was the opportunity to step up to a 'like new' van with a comprehensive warranty for under $13.5k. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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