Last post on Oct 23, 2007 at 2:02 PM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
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Toyota Sienna, Van
#1 of 14 Converting from 7 to 8 passenger
Jun 04, 2007 (7:09 am)
I have a 2004 Sienna Limited and I'm interested in converting it from its current 7 passenger setup to 8 passenger. For some reason Toyota only offers the 8 passenger setup in the lower trim levels, so we went with the 7 passenger setup. Now our family demands another seat, and I'd prefer not to buy a whole other vehicle just to gain a seat.
From what I can tell from pictures, I should be able to install a second row center seat unit between the existing second row captain's chairs if I can take the inside arms off the captain's chairs. I was wondering if anyone had any experience doing this. I assume I can get a center seat unit from my local dealer, but I wasn't sure about that either.
Any advice is welcome. Thanks!
#2 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [frizz2112]
Jun 04, 2007 (8:10 am)
There is no easy way to do that because the floorpans are actually stamped differently. The floor anchors are in different positions.
We got the 8 passenger model and that limited what options we could get.
It's funny how Toyota offers such a wide lineup yet they don't seem to carry exactly what any one buyer wants.
You can't get AWD with the 8 passenger, either. And you're forced in to run flat tires.
#3 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [ateixeira]
Jun 06, 2007 (2:09 pm)
Crap, I didn't realize that. I was thinking that since the captain's chairs can be positioned in different places that they used the same anchor system for 7 or 8 passenger models.
It looks like I might have to replace this vehicle after all. I love the Sienna, but Honda was smart enough to make 8 passenger seating available across the Odyssey line, so it's likely they'll get my business this time around.
#4 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [frizz2112]
Jun 06, 2007 (2:11 pm)
Not really - you can't get the 8th seat in the base Ody LX, nor can you get it on a loaded Touring.
With Honda, you get the 8th seat on the EX and EX-L models.
I guess you could buy the "bridge" and put it on the other model, if it fits.
#5 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [ateixeira]
Oct 13, 2007 (10:07 pm)
Hey frizz (or anyone else who has advice) - was wondering if you had any luck doing this? Found a GREAT deal on a Limited but like you, I need the second row bench. Any thoughts from anyone whether there is an easy to do this or do I need to pass on this deal? Thanks all!
#6 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [jchenirvine]
Oct 14, 2007 (10:49 am)
Unfortunately I didn't find a solution for this and we ended up simply making due with 7 seats. It wasn't worth the cost of buying a whole new vehicle, or trading into a lesser equipped vehicle to get 8 seats.
I still think this is a strange omission; it would not be hard to design the floor to accommodate different seating setups so that any seating arrangement could be had at any trim level. A friend of mine has a Ford Expedition with the third row seat, and while the Sienna has it all over the Expedition as far as versatility, comfort, useable room, etc, it's amazing how often our families end up piling into his car simply due to that extra seat. Seems like a missed opportunity for Toyota and other manufacturers to me, and it wouldn't require changing the body of the vehicle at all.
#7 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [frizz2112]
Oct 15, 2007 (3:21 pm)
I called a local Toyota dealer this morning who told me it was fairly easy to make the switch because they DO use the same anchors. Told me they could get me a bench for about $1500. I have heard in the past that it was hard to do so not sure what to believe now...
#8 of 14 Re: Converting from 7 to 8 passenger [jchenirvine]
Oct 15, 2007 (4:59 pm)
Interesting. I wonder what they mean by "bench." The 8 passenger Siennas I've seen don't really have a "bench" in the second row per se, but three separate seats that can form a bench type seat. I was told by my local dealer that the floor stamping was different from the 7 passenger version and that this could not be done, so I'd be curious to hear what you find out.
#9 of 14 8th seat
Oct 16, 2007 (11:39 am)
the Honda 8th seat is for midgets or toddlers, we had a Venture with 8 seats and when GM gave up that market the Sienna was the only real choice as that Ody 8th seat is a total joke.
#10 of 14 Re: 8th seat [cptplt]
Oct 16, 2007 (11:51 am)
I agree to an extent, but they're all probably a joke if you're talking 8 full sized adults. Often you have a few smaller kids in the mix, and that extra small seat makes the difference between everyone riding together or taking two vehicles.
Either way, I hope some manufacturer wakes up to this. Most of the contenders in this segment have the room readily available; it's just a matter of reengineering the seating setup.