1999 Toyota Sienna XLE 3.0 V6 from North America


A remarkably poor highly rated van


This vehicle has had a severe steering pull problem since new. Two new tires were required at 7,500 miles due to excessive wear on the original tires.

There are numerous rattles in the doors and the interior of the van.

The brakes make loud clunking sounds as the vehicle comes to a stop in reverse gear.

There is a persistent leak in the rear window washer unit.

A piece of plastic trim on the rear lift gate separated from the paint within the first few months of ownership.

The paint is so thin that when traveling a highway speeds even a grain of sand can do considerable damage.

Finally, the baffle directly below the engine oil filler cap has a thick deposit of blackened, gritty oil. The oil in the engine itself has been determined to contain a very high level of silicon. This problem was confirmed by analysis of an oil sample sent to the Blackstone Laboratories.

With the exception of the loose piece of trim, all attempts to have these deficiencies corrected have been met with arrogant indifference on the part of both of my local Toyota dealers.

General Comments:

This is not a vehicle I would ever recommend to a young family with a tight budget and concern for the safety of their children. In fact, it would be an excellent vehicle for all prospective buyers to avoid especially if they are interested in owning a trouble free van.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th April, 2002

13th Nov 2002, 08:30

Actually, this van is rated number one in saftey for its category. I have had my Sienna for 5 years, and 100,000 miles. No problems, no rattles. I do agree about the tires. Got to rotate them and balance every 7500 miles, or they do wear out faster than normal. I do see a leak under the engine now, so I will have it checked out, but sounds like you got a rare lemon.

Got to change the oil every 3000 miles, could get engine sludge if not.

My friends are replacing transmissions and engines in their fords and chryslers. Plan to drive this van 300,000 miles or more.

12th Dec 2002, 09:59

The owners manual says to change the oil every 5000 to 7500 miles. You should not have to change the oil every 3000 miles to prevent sludge.

9th Aug 2003, 12:24

I don't care what the owners manual says. Any mechanic will tell you that a vehicle's oil should be changed every 3 months or 3000 miles... whichever comes first. They only exception to this rule would be if the majority of your miles were highway miles. I don't care if you drive a Toyota or a Yugo. Oil needs to be changed every 3000 miles or it begins to break down and you'll develop a sludge problem. It's your vehicle. Oil is one of the least expensive items you'll ever put in your vehicle. If you want to be stubborn and run it 7500 miles between changes, go right ahead. You'll pay for it later.

9th Aug 2003, 20:20

First of all, I change the oil and filter in my Citation ONCE a year!! Not every 3000 miles!! Don't be ridiculous!! Still on original engine and transmission!! Still going strong at 300,000 miles!! My friends and family do the same and have the same results!!!

The only exception is if you are off roading frequently!!

6th Jul 2007, 20:47

I agree with the comment. I have a 1998 van that I bought because of "legendary Toyota quality". Not only rattles like a old pickup truck since it was new, had to change the transmission at around 60k miles, blows fuses, all the door handles have broken, the list goes on and on. I will NEVER buy another Toyota and am cancelling my subscription to consumer reports.

1999 Toyota Sienna LX from North America


Christians can't use those words


Suspension completely deteriorated

Brake Lights keep burning out

Stereo Burned out

Brakes Bad

Doors Stick and rattle

Tires wear unevenly

Pulls to left

Seats unsupportive

Engine Light just came on???

Air Conditioner light flashing previously

Dealer has been very unhelpful and rude.

General Comments:

This vehicle is unsafe to put my family in due to the suspension. Toyota refused to correct the problem.

Attempted to trade in for a Honda, but the Sienna's poor reputation preceded it, resulting in minuscule trade-in value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th April, 2002

12th Dec 2002, 10:01

Feel sorry for whoever bought your van. That engine warning light coming on is a potential sign of engine sludge.

1999 Toyota Sienna CE 3.0 L V6 from North America


A costly, problematic minivan


Inner tie rods replaced.

Rear brake drums replaced.

Pulling to the left.

Replaced tires at 17,500 miles.

Battery corrosion.

Stalling out twice.

Gasoline odor from the front of the van.

Failed speedometer.

Sticking door latches.

Leaking rear washer valve.

Vibrations above 50 MPH.

White smoke from exhaust on start up.

Excess heat in left front wheel well.

Increased idle speed intermittently.

Transmission shift hesitation.

Thumping sound when braking in reverse.

General Comments:

The Sienna was *supposed* to be our 10+ year vehicle as two others have been. We are extremely disappointed with the reliability and quality of this van to date. Based on owner stories on the Complaint Station, Cartrackers Forums, and Edmund's Town Hall, we don't feel we have seen all the problems yet.

We are also concerned about Toyota's customer service based on owner stories. Apparently, many owners feel the warranty is not being honored in cases of sludge formation even when oil change receipts are provided. While many of our problems have been repaired, others go unresolved. We do not believe there is a permanent fix for the pulling problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th January, 2001