Last post on Dec 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM
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Toyota Sienna, Future Vehicle, Van
#547 of 687 Update on '10 Town & Country
Oct 13, 2010 (2:21 pm)
Hi all. I'm the originator of this thread (2011 Sienna). Some of you may recall that my wife and I decided against the new '11 Sienna Limited in favor of a new 2010 Chrysler Town & Country Limited. We have owned it for 7 months and now it has just shy of 9,000 miles.
To be honest, we did have one problem with it, one that was serious. The engine died at a stoplight and would not restart. Had to have it towed to a nearby Chrysler dealer where the technician found a wire had grounded against the intake manifold and blew a fuse. To play it safe he replaced the entire wiring harness and wrapped additional conduit around the harness near the intake manifold. That was when it was 3 1/2 months old and had 2,200 miles. Chrysler roadside assistance took care of the tow.
Before then, and since then, it has performed marvelously. On a recent 3,500 mile road trip the T&C averaged over 25.5 mpg, including a couple of tanks where the mileage was just shy of 29 mpg. (Mileage figures based on actual odometer and pump readings, not the on-board computer). We were pleasantly surprised by how quiet and smooth riding it was.
We have also been very impressed with the various features of the T&C, all standard on the Limited trim model. We paid $31,200+T/L for a vehicle that comes standard with: HID headlights, fog lights, LED lights throughout the interior, power sliders and rear hatch, leather interior, power adjustable pedals, chrome 17" wheels, TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system), 6.5" screen for backup camera, MyGig system, a 4.0L V-6 with 6-speed automatic transmission, and Sto 'n Go (a feature we use a lot). The only option on our T&C Limited is the towing package; none of the fancy video or navigation options.
Anyway, while at one point after the fuse blew in the engine I wondered if we should have gone ahead and payed the extra $9,000 for the Sienna Limited, I'm satisfied that the Town & Country Limited will be fine for us.
At 5,000 miles I rotated the tires myself to check the condition of the brakes (a common complaint of '08 Chrysler minivans), and they looked like new. On our recent trip we did a lot of driving in the mountain southwest, so it will be interesting to see the brake condition at 10,000 miles.
BTW, the owner's manual has a very clear description of the onboard EDR and exactly what information it collects. It also says there are virtually thousands of computers that can read the Chrysler EDR. No secrets like Toyota.
Oct 14, 2010 (8:11 am)
A reporter is interested in talking with owners of the Toyota Sienna who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to predmunds.com no later than Saturday, November 20, 2010 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.
Thanks for your consideration,
#549 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [tsu670]
Oct 14, 2010 (8:55 am)
What is the braking like on your T&C..??
Our 2000 braking is fine for light to moderate braking but with hard or heavy braking ''way" too much pedal pressure is required, so much so that my wife cannot brake hard enough on even wet pavement to bring the ABS into play.
#550 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [tsu670]
Oct 14, 2010 (8:48 am)
tsu670, hope it keeps working out for you. We opted the other way - we had a 2002 T&C, traded it in for the 2011 Sienna. I've always thought(and still do) that the Chryslers are the best all around minivans EXCEPT for reliability. Their amenities, layout, controls, etc. are the best. I have a host of quibbles with various aspects of the Sienna. That said, we picked it because of Toyota's well deserved reputation of reliability/build quality.
My T&C had an engine rebuilt at 75k miles (5k over the drivetrain warranty!), and the radiator cracked and left me stranded far from home. Chrysler dealers are horrible across the board, the 3 different dealers I dealt with were some combination of dishonest and incompetent, or both! We had a host of other small issues, trim pieces falling off, switches breaking... Just a lousy car. But even given all that, it was head and shoulders above the competition in 2002, in my opinion.
We almost went with the Routan, as I prefer dealing with VW dealers, but couldn't get over the fact that it's ultimately a Chrysler.
Even take your example. Of course they paid for everything, and it's not a major issue. Nevertheless a 3 mo. old car should not leave you stranded. I wish they sorted out their quality issues, I'd have bought another if I trusted them at all.
#551 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [randomeone]
Oct 14, 2010 (9:11 am)
While Chrysler has dropped the F/awd van model, the new Sienna now has a reasonably functional F/awd system. The Chrysler system was purely reactive, VC only "tightened" and coupled in rear drive AFTER a sustained period/level of front wheelspin/slip. The Sienna's new F/awd system, same as in the new Venza, is pre-emptive, automatically engaging the rear drive only when, at the exact times(***), front wheelspin/slip is most likely to become a problem.
I have more problems with the Sienna system vs the T&C. Engaging rear drive, ALWAYS engaging rear drive, pre-emptively, results in too much driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing on perfectly dry, highly tractive, surfaces. This same system on the Escape and Mariner is encountering far too many PTO failures as result. The Mazda CX-7 also uses this same system but with water cooling of the PTO, as apparently does the new 2011 F/awd Explorer.
Yes, I said F/awd Explorer....!
Were I to ever own one of these new pre-emptive F/awd systems I would add a switch so that it could be disabled unless I have an expectation of the need.
*** Low speed acceleration and/or turning.
#552 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [wwest]
Oct 14, 2010 (11:04 am)
Hi Wwest. Sorry, but I wasn't able to open your linked article ("server not responding").
We haven't experienced any braking problems. This is our 4th Chrtsler minivan, the 3rd of which that has ABS, and all have worked as advertised. On our 3rd gen '96 T&C the brake lines corroded where they go under the driver's side of the vehicle and had to be replaced, but that was because of the after-market running boards that deflected road salt onto them. Otherwise, the only issue was that we were lucky to get more than 35k-40k miles out of the brake pads, but from what I've read that is normal for just about all minivans. I learned how to change the pads myself, so cost wasn't too bad.
#553 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [randomeone]
Oct 14, 2010 (11:16 am)
Yes, Randomeone, Fiat has a huge problem on their hands to get folks to trust Chrysler again. I hope they do a better job than the previous two owners to improve quality.
I've also read of issues some folks have had with Chrysler dealers and can't help but wonder if this is a regional problem. We live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, a region known for the huge number of minivans sold, and dealer service seems to be pretty good. But, yeah, it has to be frustrating when you take your vehicle in to fix a problem and they give you the runaround.
#554 of 687 Re: Update on '10 Town & Country [tsu670]
Oct 14, 2010 (12:04 pm)
It'll take quite a while to win back trust. And really, it'll require wholesale change, because you're not going to change the overall behavior of long-time dealerships.
My dealer experiences: I went to Chrysler in Manhattan and got a good price(on my 2002, way back when), I told them I would come in at the end of the next day to complete the transaction. When I came in, they wouldn't honor the price. I should have just left, but I had planned on driving the car home as a surprise. So I just agreed to a price a couple hundred higher. So ok, they made an extra $200 from me, but guaranteed that I would never set foot in there again, and I would dissuade anyone else from doing so.
The plastic switch cover on the power seats was missing. Westchester dealership refused to schedule a service appointment without an initial visit to determine the problem. They refused to let me just drop off the van to fix whenever they could get to it, it required two seperate visits, one to "diagnose" and then schedule a repair.
Later, I got the old "check engine" light, was told it was a faulty oxygen sensor, which was replaced. Turns out it was a vacuum leak, but they refused to refund the misdiagnosed repair, (which also wasn't warranty for some reason, nor was the repair). I never went to a Chrysler dealer after that. Just terrible.
All that said, I swear Edmunds, et. al., are reviewing different vehicles than what I'm driving. Our Sienna is fine, but if the badge was GM or Chrysler, you can bet all the reviews would be a lot more critical... For me, the sole selling point of the Sienna is Toyota reliability, I hope I'm not mistaken!
Also, subjectively speaking, I'm not a fan of the look of new T&Cs, I really liked the old ones...