Last post on Jul 18, 2007 at 10:32 AM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Sienna, Van
#1208 of 3687 Sensfan, Dardson1, etc: Observations of a non-Toyota owner
Aug 23, 2001 (9:29 am)
Sensfan: Perhaps you own a "Special Collector's Edition" Sienna? Stamps, coins, etc. with a slight blemish or defect are often VERY valuable.
dardson1: Are you writing tongue in cheek? It appears to me that Toyota uses more TLC with Lexus to merit the prestige it has earned. The Toyota formula for conservative, well built vehicles has been very successful. I happen to like conservative, reliable vehicles.
Before you laugh since I own a 99 GC SE, ours has all the SE options of a 1999 except remote door opener and security system. SE is the next to plainest DC minivan. The 99 GC SE has been as tight and well built as Toyota sedans.
We were scared away from Sienna in 1999 due to rubbish I had read in Motor Trend, etc. about the Sienna being "too pricey and too small". We had looked at Previas early and they had seemed pricey so I had no reason to know MT was not telling the truth.
I feel the squeeks, rattles, etc. some notice in a Sienna are just inherent in a minivan... and we were most fortunate to get a zero defect GC.
#1209 of 3687 Problems with Front Driver's Seat
Aug 23, 2001 (9:55 am)
We have a 2000 XLE with 10,000 miles with power front driver's seat. I've noticed the seat moves a little during acceleration. The seat is not moving along the track but I noticed a little play in the backrest. It seems the rod that connects to the motor is loose. Does anyone out there have the same problem?
Other minor problems the CD skips and their is slight vibration from the road. The vibration is caused by those crappy Firestone tires which will be replaced in the near future
#1210 of 3687 Problems with Front Driver's Seat
Aug 23, 2001 (11:10 am)
We have a sienna without the pwr drivers seat. The seatback or backrest of the front seats have a little play in them. I took it in and was told this is very common on the sienna's. I have had other minor warranty repairs done so i took then at their word. I have also chked a few other sienna's and they exhibit the same play. we also have 87 camry and my dad a 2000 camry and the back rests dont have any play. Is this a design spec that toyota follows.
#1211 of 3687 Here's the real scoop on Sienna problems...
Aug 23, 2001 (12:54 pm)
Toyota has designed the Sienna exclusively for the US market. My understanding is that such vehicles are designed with looser tolerance levels (for fit and finish), because that is acceptable to US customers, most of whom might otherwise buy a Chrysler or Ford (of course, some will buy the Odyssey). Toyota does not sell the Sienna in the Japanese market, and therefore does not have to be concerned with high levels of fit and finish as demanded by finicky Japanese customers. The fit and finish on the Sienna will be OK, just not high enough to meet customer expectations of a Toyota.
A Toyota certified technician at a local dealer told me to stick with models made in Japan, and stay away from models designed exclusively for the US, if I was picky about fit and finish.
Check out the Mazda MPV, the only Japanese made van sold in the US.
Aug 23, 2001 (8:53 pm)
I'm very serious. My point is...the Sienna listed for 6% less than the Lexus ($32.5k on the Sienna and $34.4 for the Lexus). For that $1900 the Lexus has high dollar tires, bigger and better looking wheels, traction control, lights everywhere including all the window switches, sunroof, wooden steering wheel, a more powerful stereo with a subwoofer on the rear deck, a six disc changer, memory seats, side airbags, 10 more horsepower, insulation under the hood (not to mention pneumatic assists rather than a rod to hold it up), a longer warranty, much better looking leather, and an unbelievably quiet interior. Either the Lexus is too cheap or the Sienna is too high.
#1213 of 3687 lexus vs. sienna
Aug 24, 2001 (6:14 am)
I am not 100% pleased with my 32,000 mile 1999 LE, it has some creaks, but basically drives great. I plan on keeping it for some time; The lexus ES300 is basically a upscale Camry, for several 1000 more, I would expect that the car should feel more luxurious!! A few years back, my wife and I Both drove V-6 Camrys, while my next-door neighbor drove his ES 300. I couldn't figure out why he needed to spend the extra $$$ on "luxury", but it did make hm feel good. With the Sienna, you are spending the extra $$$ changing the Camry into a minivan.
#1214 of 3687 Value and AC
Aug 24, 2001 (9:05 am)
I agree the money you shell out is disproportionate to what you get when you move up the scale. Had to go LE/Extra Value to get 2d row captains chairs which aggravated me to no end. Very good value at low end, questionable at high end. I had to work real hard to get a Sienna without all kinds of extra cost items stuck on.
AC definitely seems to lack oomph at start and when its running close to 100 outside it never does get real cold as our other vehicles do.
Aug 28, 2001 (4:52 pm)
brakes are making noise at 25000 mi on my 2000 le
Is this typical for brake lives?
#1216 of 3687 re: wheels4me brake noise
Aug 29, 2001 (11:37 am)
I have a 99 XLE Sienna with 35K miles. Brakes were fine/noise free until mid-2000. Rear brakes started making a noise right before van stops. Noise is similar to a hum/squeal/groan. Two different dealers have looked at the van for a total of 5 service trips JUST for the brakes. Dealer replaced entire rear brake components and installed a thicker backing plate per a TSB related to brake squeal on the 98 Sienna's.
Noise is still there. I have run out of Toyota dealers in my area to look at it (next closest dealer is in a small town over 75 miles from here). Dealer has been helpful in trying to resolve issue but has run out of ideas. Dealer says it is not a "safety" issue but more of an "annoyance" issue (hope he means the van and not me).
I have learned to live with the small squeaks and rattles that the interior has but the brake thing is driving me crazy (noise is quite loud). Taking it to a non-dealer shop is not an option as there are no qualfied mechanics in this area that work on Toyotas (domestics are king here).
Wheels4me: If you have a similar problem and your dealer manages to fix it for you, please let me know how. If I can't resolve brake issue I will be selling Sienna in fall and buying a new mini-van.
P.S. - dealer's courtesy vehicle is a 99 Sienna. When they drive me home it makes the same brake noise as my 99 Sienna. If they can't fix their own brakes how are they going to fix mine!
#1217 of 3687 33k for a sienna
Aug 30, 2001 (10:36 am)
Squeaks and rattles in a 33k Sienna. Are you guys that own over 30k Siennas in Canada?
I really don't see a reason to pay over 27k for a Sienna, I have an LE paid around 24k for it. I don't expect this to be rattle free. But then again my 2001 has'nt really rattled. The only thing I don't like about my Sienna is the leg room in the front. When your driving you don't notice the limited leg room but when your the front passanger and 6 foot tall you can tell. I don't know if the Honda had more leg room, I know the Mazda had about the same. Since I would never buy a "American Labeled product" I don't know if they have this problem.