"We bought this van used with nearly 100,000 miles on it, and it has served us unbelievably well. Incredibly reliable, solid, and easy to manage. Does well in the snow, even without snow tires or 4WD. It now has nearly 200,000 and still going fine."
"Had my sienna for 1.5 years now & it is going great. 59,000 miles I am the 2nd owner. Has lots of pick up when you need it. Had the brakes done when we first bought it, still wearing good.
Roomy & I like how the seats in the back can either fold in half & tilt forward for more room in the back, or just fold in half. Since it does not have the store in the floor option on this model year it is nice to not have to take the seats all the way out when I need more storage on the go. If you need to remove the seats they are quite heavy. The rear is 2 seperate seats, but the middle one is a bench seat (seats 2). I need help with this one. At 5'4 & 125lbs it probably weighs almost as much as I do.
When we first bought it we had to replace the rear light above the window. After my first wash at the car wash water came in & ran down the back window. Replacing the light fixed it. Cheap & easy to replace. New seal & all.
Rainy season came and I started noticing a strange smell. Moldy like. Felt the carpets & couldn't find it. Finally after 3 weeks or so I decided to track it. It was coming from "under" the carpet. It was dry on top, absolutely soaked underneath. Apparently there is a leak in the rear door somewhere. Unable to locate it. My van is now without carpet. To be honest, with 2 young boys, the tan carpeting wasn't staying tan anyway. I cleaned the carpet & dried it, just haven't put it back in yet.
The engine has to have a chance to warm up for about 3 min or so before you drive. If you just start it & take off the engine will make a clicking, pinging like noise at the higher RMP right before it shifts. After a little research it seems to be normal for this van.
Gas for us averages about 18 - 19 in the city. I don't do much highway driving. I can say it is a bit loud with road noise on the freeway, especially with the carpet removed.
The captain chairs would have been nice, but it was a streatch to finance this one.
Another positive is it is holding it's value. We financed slightly over private party blue book at the dealership & can sell now if needed to for more than we owe. I think it has only depreciated a couple hundred dollars in the last 1.5 years. Not bad considering my mother in law purchased a 2007 Ford Freestar for $20000 at the end of '08 & now retail on it is only $14000. Very sad!
Do your research. We debated between the Odyssey & the Sienna. We didn't want to risk the tranny probs that Honda was having in the year We could afford. Sienna was the one for my family. I'm so glad we bought it!"
"We purchased our Sienna CE used from a dealership in Florida in 2004. It has given us no problems from a mechanical standpoint though the gas mileage never exceeded 20 MPG in the city or 24 MPG highway. The only real complaint is a limited one, though it could pose real problems if one were to take it somewhere very warm...like Florida.
The two sliding doors' locks have a tendency to jam when the door is exposed to hot, direct sunlight. The only remedy to solve this problem is to park in the shade and put the AC on high for several minutes until the mechanism "frees" itself and allows it to lock again. During the time it is "jammed" open, you cannot close the affected door. We've tried every thing short of disassembling the door.
The most frustrating problem, though, isn't this problem: it's getting Toyota dealerships to admit that a problem actually exists. One dealership suggested that the only way for this to occur was if our children had poured a liquid down into the door. The problem with this theory is that the affected part is actually located above the head of the children. Not a single service manager admitted to a service alert or recall for this particular problem.
Overall, the van is an excellent vehicle especially for road trips with kids aboard. It has never not started even when temps reached -10 to -15 degrees F with windchills reaching much lower. The V6 has good power going uphill, fully loaded. The brakes were never a problem and the powertrain and gearing reported 0 problems. Other than the sliding door locks problems described above, there are no problems to report."
"Our family gives almost 5 stars all around! We purchased the XLE Sienna new in 1999. It has a lot of 'bells & whistles' (like the captain's seats and grocery bag net) and could be one of the reasons we like it so much. We also have the optional rear air, cruise control and moon roof. It has been from the Grand Canyon and the harsh desert and now up and down the east coast, with many family trips in between. My husband and children (now) are all over 6' and we have never had space issues - leg or head. We have the removable rear seats and have been able to haul tons of stuff - plus the engine has a lot of power - good for carrying extra cargo weight and esp for passing vehicles on hills/mtns. Long trips are more comfortable with the reclining seats and the connections in the back for hand held games. A few issues we have run across the last few years are a side door button wanting to stick inside the handle and the driver's visor mirror plastic hinge broke. We keep current with the general maintenance and can't expect everything to last forever, so these items are minor. One item not on our model that could really be handy is an automatic door behind the driver and not just the passenger side. We bought at a time when you couldn't even test drive a Honda Odyssey. We thought maybe we'd like that one, yet not wanting to buy 'sight unseen', we test drove every van model out there at the time and even tho it was more expensive, we decided on the Toyota Sienna - and have been VERY pleased. I'd have to say this is the BEST vehicle we have ever owned! We've had some pretty unreliable cars in the past, but have liked Toyota so much that when we needed an additional car for the 'teen years' we also bought a used Toyota Corolla (and it has been just as good). Even tho we aren't hauling around young children any more we'll probably keep this vehicle till it dies...maybe our 'future' grandchildren will get to ride in it!"
"I have a 1999 Sienna. Bought it new. It's really time to downsize but I love the comfort of the Sienna. I've skimmed through the reviews and learned others had passenger side window motors replaced, like mine. I put off having it fixed for a long time, but finally did for $650. Also had the trunk door lift mechanism replaced for another $250. Currently, my steering wheel quivers while driving. Originally, we thought the wheel alignment might be misaligned. However, I was told the rack and pinion needs to be replaced (cost: $1,000). So I'm at a cross roads to get another Toyota, or replace the rack and pinion very, very soon.
In any event, I am a true Toyota consumer. I bought a used Volvo once and faced problem after problem. I returned to Toyota's and will never stray again!"
"I should have bought a Honda but I got a better deal on the Sienna. I bought my '01 in 2004. I replaced the water and fuel pumps fairly soon after purchase. In the last 2 years I have drived 20,000 miles and have worn out 8 tires and needed 2 alignments. THe tire pressure gauge is on all the time and I've been told it is an electrical problem. Have had other sensors replaced too. The rear seats are very difficult to remove. The sliding doors freeze in New England winters and then open on their own. I would buy a Toyota again but never the Sienna."
"We bought a 2002 Sienna new with great expectations for our first Toyota. While still under warranty, a power window broke.
After warranty, another window had to be fixed. The trim ring around the ignition key fell off. The latching mechanism on the sliding door often malfunctions. The check tire pressure light often goes off and on for no reason. It cost several hundred dollars to replace the spark plugs. The anti-freeze is not long-life like most cars now. Two engine sensors had to be replaced around 70,000 miles at over $400 each. We would probably not buy a Toyota again."
"Bought new in '98 and have taken van all over Europe. One of the sliding side doors have never locked properly in open condition til this day. Took it to dealer 3 times during warranty period but could never be fixed. Glass on left rear back side window fell out of metal channel and I had to replace the entire real window assembly. The check engine lite went off recently and oxygen sensor had to be replaced. Got over 110,000 miles now but leery that more troubles will be forthcoming."
"The wife and I bought this van new in 1999. The only problem we have encountered was a faulty window motor. We have 190.000 miles of hard driving sometimes towing a boat to the local lake on this vehicle and it runs like new. My goal was to get 200.000 miles on the van but with that approaching I think 250.000 might not be out of the question."
"Bought the Sienna in 1999 when we had our 3rd child. It now has 193,000 miles on it and never needed anything major, just regular maintenance. It looks in and out like its a couple of years old and all 5 of us used it daily and on long trips. Never even needed a transmission, i think one major tuneup with spark plugs and still runs great. We did just get a new SUV and the kids, who really grew up with the Sienna, cried for us not to sell her. Even if you are considering buying an older Sienna with some milage on it - you should strongly consider it, I dont think these vans ever die. The kelly blue book value for Siennas even with high mileage is unbelievable high for a reason. Thanks Toyota for the best vehicle ever, when my kids cried over the prospect of selling her it made me realise just how great it has been mechanicaly as well as the body and the interior (3 kids and occational big boxes, furniture, etc) - and we were not really Toyota fans!"
"I've owned this van since it was new. It now has over 166k. Other than routine maintenance, we have had no trouble with it. It is the most comfortable vehicle we have owned and that includes Mercedes."
"i bought this car in november of 2001 as a 2002 model... my family needed a mini-van... we wanted the Honda mini-van but the waiting list at the time was 3 months... since the sienna was around the same price 33k... we bought it since our Dodge Carvan broke down...
at first this was a GREAT car.. but once it reached 40k miles.... everything seems to go wrong for some reason... i got an oil change every 4k miles and the 15k 30k check up... the brakes were replaced along with the rotor because it made weird noise and shook everytimes i braked... the IDLE switch vavle broke 45k and it cost 300 to fix.... the power sliding doors gave up on both sides.... and now the TRANSMISSION is about to give in...
i dont know if its just mine... but my friend that have the same model is having the same problem...
i dont recommend this car... maybe the new one is better but who know... this is probably the worst choice i made on buying a car... i wish i could have waited for the Honda because at church, many people have it and theres no problem with those things....
o well... i went on kelly blue book to see how much i can sell it for....
at least the resale price is high.. but who knows,, the transmission is about to break...
i hope this review helped you"
"I have driven Toyotas for 26 years. I still think they make a depandable vehicle but little repairs and replacements were a pain. (rear door latch, cigarette lighter cover, radio knobs) Major repairs were few but expensive! (air conditioning system, engine seal) I would still buy a Toyota. My Previa was sold after 13 years still running well with little rust. My Sienna is still running well after 9 years. It's quiet, and very dependable. I like not seeing a car like mine on every city block, and the style continuing to look good after five years. I have hauled washers, a dryer, book cases, bikes, and all my son's junk to college in my van due to the cargo space without the four back seats. I guess I still love Toyota!"
"This is the best vehicle I have owned. It gets really great gas milage and is very comfortable. I can load up my grandchildren or my 80 + year old aunts and feel completely safe taking them on outings. It is the right size for families. I could say more about my Sienna but it would take too may words...."
"Interior plastic is not holding up. Have had a lot of trouble with the power door. Rear swingout window had to be repaired. Breaks had cracks and had to be replaced at 30000 miles. Handles nicely and has good power."
"Bought it used 6 years ago, cheap because it had a scratch and stained carpeting. I commute about 60 miles a day, it's held up beautifully, have driven it about 90,000. miles with just routine maintenance: brakes/tires/timing chain/battery."
Pros: "Smooth quiet ride, good space, ok gas mileage"
Cons: "sliding door sometimes needs to be reset"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my 2001 Sienna new. Overall the Van has provided great service. I have maintained the van with 100% synthetic oil changing it every 3500-5000 miles. Trans oil changes every 50k. No oil gelling issues. Van has just started to use some oil between changes in the last 30k miles or so. Only non standard maintenace items needing to be replaced were a cat convetors (most expensive),air/fuel sensors, oil control valve, vacuum switching valve on charcoal canister , rear hatch door handle, and drivers sun visor. Couldn't be happier.. engine and trans still running great. Front end is a little loose but still ok. This van has made many long vacation trips filled to capacity without any issue. I am not sure if today's Sienna has the same quality level but knock wood this one has been highly reliable."
"I purchased this van new and owned it for 15 years and 202000 miles. I did most maintenance myself. I ran synthetic oil - no sludge. Removing the oil filter is messy. I changed the transmission oil every year. No transmission problems even while pulling U-Hauls to college.I had one power window stop working which I changed. I have changed 4 of 5 door handles over the years. Easy to do except the drivers door. I have replaced the radiator last year. Cracked on the top at the hose where most do. Great van on long trips. We traded it in for a Venza - downsizing."
Pros: "You ride up high, you see more than a sedan"
Cons: "The rear vision is not the best"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This was a little disappointing from the Previa. I thought of the Previa as my rubber car. The Sienna was smaller. I had hoped that I would enjoy it as much. I do love sitting up high and I love the leather. I installed Satellite Radio and upgraded the speakers. The sliding doors do not work. You have to manually open them. But it is a great car with 165,000 miles on it."
"Love our minivan. Can adjust which seats to remove or just drop down. Plenty of drink holders. Very comfortable seats. Has never ever broken down on us. Regular maintainance only needed. Amazing comfort for such an old car. Easily fits 7 people with space inside and on the rooftop carrier."
"I have owned this car for the past 6 years and I’m considering trading because I have a 15 year old who isn’t too excited about driving the family mini-van. But this van has been great and I hate to let it go. I purchased the van at 70K and have put approximately an additional 150K on the van. I have had very minimal repairs. Recently, a sensor has gone bad which leaves my check engine light on all the time, but I haven’t bothered to get it fixed and the van runs just fine. The van is also beginning to burn a little oil, but not very excessive. If you are looking for a low cost used vehicle, I would recommend this van. It has been great."