Last post on Jul 01, 2009 at 11:47 AM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Sienna, Van
#1982 of 2021 Hopes for the next Sienna...
Dec 16, 2008 (6:13 pm)
Being now in a 2008 Chrysler minivan lease, and being quite disappointed of the quality and so many problems, I am really warming up to switch to a Toyota as my next choice.
However, I would like to share my thoughts and point out some of the major features that draw me to Chrysler over the Toyota in the first place, so Toyota should take notice and offer these features in their new lineup of minivans.
First of all, it’s well known that Chrysler has the best features when it comes to entertainment. The built in MyGig music system with 20 (30 for 2009 models) GB of room for your music and pictures is just great. No schlepping iPod’s and other players and connecting thru AUX IN. And the navigation and integrated bluetooth is also terrific. (However they’re full of bugs and very unintuitive and complicated designed, and many key features are missing.)
I would stop here for a moment and request Toyota to stop all the legal stuff in their vehicles. Like agreements acceptance, and bluetooth name/numbers not appearing when in Drive, etc. That’s just an absurd.
I would also like to ask if possible – to offer several entertainment system choices – for example, I don’t want a rear DVD entertainment system, but would still like to have the upgraded stereo and GPS navigation and other gadgets – but without the rear DVD system and save the chunk of money.
The seats in the Chrysler minivans are more adjustable, travels higher and can be more angled. The center row seats are well known for their swiveling or stowing. While the swiveling seats are more like a gimmick, the stowing seats feature is very useful – however they’re extremely uncomfortable. The swiveling seats are very good, though. Whatever they do, the in-the-floor storage bins below the center row seats is something special, it keeps everything well-organized and out of sight.
While Toyota has illuminated ignition key ring, it bothersome that they’re still the ONLY manufacturer who doesn’t offer illuminated controls for power windows, door locks & mirrors.
I would love to see the interior white LED lighting. It’s so nice and elegant in the Chrysler vans. In general, the Sienna has very bad lighting; it is not bright enough, especially in the cargo area. Also a light in each glove box is important and welcome. And illuminated cup holders & interior door handles would be a plus.
Speaking of the inside door handles, I must point out that the tiny interior door handles on the current Sienna must go. Recent Toyota models are better, like the Camry, but still, the Chrysler/Dodge minivans have ultra big & very comfortable handles.
On the power sliding doors, in the Chrysler/Dodge vans you can OVERRIDE the power feature and open/close manually with no extra effort, while on the Sienna (and any other minivan for that matter) you can’t.
Oh, and offer the rear power liftgate on all models as an option, not just on the XLE and Limited.
Please continue to offer the 8 passenger seating option, and also on the higher-end models.
On the automatic temperature control, make simpler controls, the more dials and less push buttons the easier it is. And knobs should be larger sized, like in the new Highlander. Take the clock out of the temperature controls, and make a different screen for that, and perhaps add the date & day of week.
Offer a backup camera on all models as an option. Either into the rearview mirror, or on a small LCD as on the Highlander. You could also offer the rear parking assist. Most people could use it as a safety feature; it’s not by any means a luxury feature.
Bluetooth option on all models would also be very welcome. Most people already are using cell phones, and in most places it’s against the law to speak on a phone while driving, and it’s not safe at all.
The Chrysler on the T&C Limited has the “mirror tilt on Reverse” feature.
In the models with the HID lamps, offer auto leveling, not manual.
Chrysler/Dodge vans feature a “Tip Start” — Quiet start, and prevents double starts.
Chrysler/Dodge vans, especially in the higher models, has an information and message center, and all options are user accessible to set (with controls on the steering wheel). In the Sienna, most features that you can change settings, you need to go to the dealer. That’s wasting time of both, the owner and the dealer. By the way, in the higher-end models, the information center shows you the exact tire pressure of each wheel.
On some models of the Chrysler/Dodge vans, the center row seats feature integrated child booster seat which folds up from the second-row seat to maximize convenience and eliminate the extra bulk and clutter of separate aftermarket child booster seats. It is very useful in many situations.
For 2009, the better-equipped Chrysler/Dodge models feature many new improvements, like a “Blind Spot Detection System”; SmartBeam intelligent headlamps which automatically adjust intensity; Rain-sensing wipers, and more.
Anyway, I think it’s enough. If Toyota would include these features, plus continue their own, it should really be the “Cadillac of the minivans” – like it was called when the 2004 design was released.
I hope my dreams will come true.....
#1983 of 2021 Re: Hopes for the next Sienna... [samnoe]
Dec 17, 2008 (12:14 am)
I agree the Sienna needs lighting in the glovebox and better lighting in the cargo area but overall it's pretty bright.
You can get bluetooth on any model with the JBL system which means it's now available on the LE.
The 2007 and newer Sienna's do have Tip Start, just turn the key let go and it starts the rest itself. Our 04 Sienna didn't have it but our 07 Sienna does and I love it.
I'm sure they will add smartbeam and rain sensing wipers on the redesign since they already offer it on the Venza and other Toyota's.
I still think the Sienna is the best Quality minivan you can buy. That's why we traded our 04 Sienna AWD in for a 07 Sienna FWD.
#1984 of 2021 Re: Hopes for the next Sienna... [hause7]
Dec 17, 2008 (6:16 pm)
If you sit once in the Chrysler at night and see the interior lighting, you'll see that you can't compare it.
We just bought in our company a new 2009 Sienna. I agree it's very smooth and feels of high quality, though the interior design is pretty dated and is really due for an update.
Our company van has a remote starter, and one of the drivers didn't know exactly how to operate it, and he "started" the car again while engine already running - which is not good for the engine. In the Chrysler vans this can't happen, since the electronic starter prevents double starts.
I am certain Toyota will feature the keyless starting in the higher-end models, like in many recent Toyota's; However for the lower end models without this feature, the "tip start" is very safe and the way to go.
I also love the front-end of the Chrysler vans with the giant grille and nicely shaped headlamps, and can't take Sienna's tiny smiley grille. I hope they will have something better, as they do have better in most - if not all - other Toyota models.
#1985 of 2021 Electric steering
Jan 19, 2009 (4:23 pm)
I also hope they don't mess up with the electric steering like they did with the Corolla..
#1986 of 2021 Redesigned Sienna
Feb 07, 2009 (11:40 am)
It has been 6 years (Feb 2003) since Toyata released the current design Sienna. Is a new version coming, or is the Sienna going slowly away?
#1987 of 2021 Re: Hopes for the next Sienna... [samnoe]
Feb 08, 2009 (11:59 am)
I have an 08 Limited and carefully researched the 08's chrysler before buying the Sienna.
You talk about all the "high points" of the Chrysler and on paper they sound great. But as you pointed out, in reality, its a piece of junk.
1) The interior fit/finish/build quality looks like it was done by the same people who design and build the junk toys they sell at wall mart. Reach under the seat to activate the tilt and prey you don't slit your hand on cheasy shart plastic
2) I've had lots of nav systems, both portable and integrated (including Lexus & Infiniti). Once you get used to it, the Toyota/Lexus is the quickest to use for everyday operations. I do agree the legal nanny's with the prevention of use while moving is very dumb. I'm in the tech industry and I couldn't figure out how to use even the most basic functions on the chrysler system. the screen was so crowded and relatively low resolution and crude graphics. The usable area to show the map was very small. In addition, the stereo itself sounded very weak compared to the toyota (although both were weak compared to my old IS250)
To put it simply, if I had to buy the chrysler, I would still have to go out and buy a portable GPS to have a usable solution. It's garbage.
3) The satelite tv is a gimick. 3 whopping channels at very low resolution.
4) The center console literally was wobbly. Again, shoddy interiors. Dashboard looked typical chrysler cheap. The only chrysler I''ve seen that has a half respectable interior is the now discontinued crossover stationwagon they had. can't think of the name.
5) The chrysler was noticeably smaller on the inside. Especially the rear storage area. The seats were way too close to the floor (the price of that so called wonderful underseat storage). That also meant headroom was less than the toyota when moving around.
6) I know its a matter of opinion but the chrysler is now one of the ugliest minivans. The last generation was much more attractive then these new box on wheels look..
7) The lighting is adequate. I've had LED lighting in the lexus, and yes it is nice. My real beef is that if somebody manually turns on an interior light and you leave the car, it stays on until the battery dies. There is no way from the front to shut off a light without shutting off all interior lighting. Very dumb.
That being said, the 2 of the 4 lights of the showroom chrylser I saw were lose. You had to jiggle them to get them on. Again, crap quality.
8) The AWD is great. you get suv security in the northeast with minivan practicality. Chrylser gave up on it to keep room for those supposedly great storage compartments.
What good is underseat storage if you can't get to where you need to in bad weather?
9) I will admit the digital hvac controls aren't that intuitive and its very difficult to control separate fan and temperature for the rear. They should do like lexus where the hvac is part of the all in one nav/radio system. I'm betting that will be the case for the next gen once they catch up.
#1988 of 2021 Re: Redesigned Sienna [jim1462]
Feb 09, 2009 (10:32 am)
We should see one this calendar year. They had a concept a short while ago, but I wasn't crazy about it to be honest.
#1989 of 2021 Re: Redesigned Sienna [ateixeira]
Feb 09, 2009 (11:09 am)
What makes you think that its this year? I haven't seen any talk of test track drives, spy photos, etc.
#1990 of 2021 Re: Redesigned Sienna [timothyh]
Feb 09, 2009 (11:20 am)
True, but I didn't see the Venza up until it was shown in production form on the auto show circuit, either.
There's still the New York show in April, that is unless they postpone the intro by a year due to the economy.
#1991 of 2021 Re: Redesigned Sienna [ateixeira]
Feb 10, 2009 (2:11 am)
FIrst I would like to say that I have enjoyed reading everyone thoughts about the Toyota Sienna. I have lived in Japan for almost 17 years (Navy) and have seen what the Japanese get to drive vs. what the US gets to drive. I have never really like the Sienna. I thougth its predecessor was a better van. If you could see one now, you would truely agree with me. Just google Toyota Estima. Or even Toyota Alphard. You will see both vans are truely superior to the Sienna. I have owned a DGC for three years. I love the 2005 body, but hate the new one. The only thing that I hate about my DGC, it its not a Toyota. The quality is shabby at bets, but it does offer the best options in the class. Toyota really needs to start sharing the welth, espically in this economy. Why design cars for different countries, when you could just sell the same ones in all of them. As an Americian living in Japan I would love to be able to bring an Estima or Alphard back to the US and be the envey of the entire neighborhood.
Tim in Japan