2000 Toyota Sienna LX from North America


I like it, but I don't trust it (Sounds like some folks I know!)


The gear shifter has snapped off three times. The engine was replaced at 20,000 for engine sludge, though the dealer (now out of business) baulked vigorously about paying. We had the oil changed every time at the dealer, so it was very hard for them to wiggle out.

Now the radiator has exploded, the air conditioning has died and we need to replace the engine again.

Positive: the rubber bumper bounced out when we were hit by another car.

General Comments:

This car has the best turning radius I've ever seen -- it's the easiest car I've parked and it really is a nice car, other than being unreliable... Oxymoron, that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2007

2000 Toyota Sienna LX 3.0 from North America


Not what I expected from Toyota


Within the first year, 2 of the 3 major a/c parts had to be replaced (compressor/evaporator/condensor - forget which 2). The radio antenna had to be replaced when purchased (how do antennas go bad?). Have had to replace the RF wheel bearing twice. The front defroster on this vehicle is terrible. Replaced the alternator at around 65k miles. The RR sliding door handle broke (again, how does this break?). The LF window motor is dying a slow death and will have to be replaced (the radio cuts out when the driver door is opened - related?). Recently replaced a very expensive oxygen sensor. The brakes are fair at best. The placement of the wiper controls in front of the gear selector on the console is poor. All in all, considering I told the dealer I was purchasing a Toyota over a Dodge because I wanted a more dependable vehicle, I'm not very happy.

General Comments:

On the plus side, I haven't had the oil sludge problem previously mentioned, and the van does run well on the highway, although the gas mileage is worse than on my 97 Intrepid 3.5L. I change the oil every 5k miles, but the filter assembly is poorly designed. Whenever the filter is removed, oil leaks out because it is mounted horizontally instead of vertically. The vehicle also has an entertainment system which was installed after-market by the previous owner, and this helps with the kids on trips. The engine is very quiet, although on first start up it revs quite high and won't kick down for several minutes. I've been told that this is normal for Toyota, but my Intrepid kicks down within seconds.

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

Review Date: 30th July, 2006

2000 Toyota Sienna LE 6 cylinder. 3.0L 183 FI from North America


Fantastic vehicle except for the sludge problem


The engine was just diagnosed with the Toyota "sludge" problem and is now at the dealer having the engine replaced at no cost to us (which apparently is a rare thing... the free replacement, that is, not the sludge problem).

We replaced the tires with new steel-belted radials and have had problems with "pulling". We were told the tires develop a wear pattern that causes this and that it is not the vehicle. When the tires are rotated, the problem stops.

Brakes were replaced by a local mechanic (not the dealer) and have needed to be replaced twice in 2 years (less than 12,000 miles per year) because they pulsate, which is due to wearing that is not symmetric (out of round). A guy at a Valvoline place said he sees this on Toyotas that have generic or non-dealer brake pads used. We will have the next brakes replaced by the dealer.

General Comments:

Prior to the sludge diagnosis, this was a remarkably well-functioning vehicle. However, my husband is meticulous in maintaining oil changes every 3,000 miles and doing proper maintenance (transmission and radiator flushes, timing belt replacement, etc.)

It is comfortable and roomy inside (compared to our prior subcompact cars.)

It feels like you're driving a car and not a van.

It handles beautifully in the snow and rain, especially the anti-lock brakes.

After learning that our dealer will replace our sludged engine at no charge, our faith in the Toyota brand has been restored. I realize this is not the case for many others. Our next vehicle will definitely be a Toyota (most likely used) from the same dealer, but we will definitely check the internet for potential problems for whatever year/model we would be looking at.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2005

7th May 2006, 00:19

Is this sludge problem confined to specific engines or pretty much an across-the-board Toyota problem. I have a '97 Rav4 and its engine was quite sluggish when I first bought it. I had learned a lesson from a mechanic friend when dealing with an '83 Civic: trust in Sea Foam. I ran Sea Foam in the crank case for 2,000 miles in both the Civic and the RAV and saw a remarkable transformation. Did I have sludge in the RAV? If I did I may have gotten lucky and caught it in time, because it runs like a watch now.

28th May 2006, 14:06

The sludge problem is only linked with Toyota's 3L V-6 engine--I forget the model # and it was only for certain years (1988-2001?). The same engine was used in vehicles other than the Sienna as well.