2003 Toyota Sienna XLE 3.0+ from North America
High priced car with a serious flaw
This is related to a test drive of a nicely loaded Toyota sienna XLE. First off, the dealer gave us the story of how they have a lot of the minivans in stock and no one else does. He also said that the MSRP was the price, no haggling. They wanted 37k for it, where the invoice from the net was 30k. So we drive it anyway. The shifter is conveniently located in the center of the dash where the radio normally is. I found a problem I think. There isn't a lockout button for moving the shifter. It is a weakly gated shifter (read zig zag) When in overdrive the shifter can be bumped into neutral very easily. I did a little test at extremely low speed, and bump the shifter. It slid all the way to park, locking up the transmission abruptly. I think this is a serious safety issue, and should be addressed.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th November, 2003
13th Nov 2003, 17:46
Shifter where the radio is? I think you tested a 2004, not a 2003.
16th Feb 2004, 09:37
The radio of the 2004 Sienna is near the top of the dash. The Dashboard mounted shifter is near the climate controls. So you tested a 2004 Sienna. Oh, which XLE model did you look at? XLE is around 30K. XLE Limited with some options is near 37K. Maybe he wasn't trying to rip you off. You can't complain about the bumping problem. We have a 2004 Sienna and a 1995 Camry. The Camry has a button lock for the transmission. I was driving up a hill when my son was changing the CD, his hand bumped the transmission and then the Camry went into Neutral. He didn't even hold the button, it just went up to neutral.
18th Mar 2004, 08:45
The gated shifter is a HUGE design flaw. I just recently was able to shift from drive to reverse by accident at speeds above 50 mph. The problem occurred when I was switching from 4th to 5th; I guess I flicked the shifter too hard and it wound up in reverse for a second. It didn't engage in reverse, but did make a huge Pop sound! The car still drives fine, but I wonder how much damage I really made to the transmission?