1998 Toyota Sienna LE from North America


No bargain


Transmission failed (total) without warning at 64,000 miles. Under extended warranty.

Right back door makes noise.

Manufacturers rebuilt transmission ($3,500) failed after two months at 66,000 miles. Same as before except a burning smell and not total failure on the road. Metal shredded. Nothing pulled with this van. Routine Toyota maintenance. This transmission replaced by Toyota warranty for 12 months.

General Comments:

As I disabled person I need a van that I can trust. I have not been told the reason why it happened, or why it happened to the "new" rebuilt transmission the second time. Not sure what to do. The van is comfortable to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st May, 2003

1998 Toyota Sienna XLE from North America


Like a beautiful bulimic, this vehicle is lovely to look at, but has serious underlying flaws that w


The driver's side front quadrant leaks.

The driver's side door catch (that prevents the door from opening too far) broke on a recent windy day.

One of our sliding doors failed when a soft drink leaked into the 'bottle holder' which is unsealed.

The weld holding the driver's door to the frame was poorly executed and will have to be redone at our expense!

We have the engine sludge issue and have documented oil changes.

The transmission fluid burns despite regular service.

We have retraction issues with seat belts, primarily on the front seat belts.

General Comments:

First of all, I love this van - it is roomy, easy to get in and out of, and it's gorgeous - a beautiful blue with silver bumper trim.

However - we have had many more problems that I ever would have expected from a Toyota product! Our Sienna was a program car and it is fairly well maxed out with most of the bells and whistles.

The driver's side front quadrant has had "issues" all along. The door just didn't seem to fit properly and there seemed to be minor leakage when it rained. THEN during a recent Texas pre-storm, the wind caught the door and pushed it too far. THE CATCH DIDN'T JUST FAIL, IT BROKE! The darn catches are made of PLASTIC! Hello? Plastic? On a door of this size and weight?

Since we bought the extended warranty we didn't panic. But should have. Nope, it's not covered. The part only costs about $80 but the repair costs will come out about $750. Aye carumba.

(Insert expletives here.)

Other issues have been with the "bottle holders" in the sliding doors - hello. If a drink sloshes into these unsealed holders, they can render your sliding doors useless. They will foul the doors where they cannot be opened.

Our right front quadrant issue? It turns out the weld holding the door to the frame was poorly executed and will have to be redone. No. It will not be covered under any form of warranty.

Engine sludge? We have it. Oil changes? Have done them. Transmission fluid? Burns up. Transmission service? Have done it.

Seat belts? We have retraction issues with seat belts, primarily on the front seat belts. You have to tug and play with them to get them to retract when you exit the vehicle. Come on! Seat belts? These are not new devices!

Can you say 'cranky'? I KNEW that you could. Can you say 'won't buy another'? I can!

We have never received any written communication from Toyota regarding any issues with our vehicles. We also own a 1990 Camry - a great workhorse of a car. My husband is a Toyota fanatic. Well, maybe I should say WAS.

Check those door catches. And be seriously careful with them. Anybody have any ideas about a better vehicle?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd April, 2003

25th Apr 2003, 08:10

Question, do you currently have engine sludge or do you mean you had it and had it fixed?

Your van is covered under Toyota's 8 year sludge policy (includes 1997 - 2002 Sienna's, not 2003's which have the same engine!). I have been hearing rumblings though that Toyota is not always honoring this policy and wondering what your experience is. Toyota said that receipts would not be necessary to prove maintenance under the policy, but then later I heard if you could prove via receipt one oil change/year you were covered. Now I am hearing that if you did not change your oil every 5,000 miles or do not have receipts to prove 5,000 mile oil changes, then they won't cover you. This is interesting because the owner manual says 7,500 mile oil changes. Would like to hear more in regards to your sludge experience.