2004 Toyota Sienna XLE 3.3L V6 from North America


I hate minivans, but fell in love with this one!!


After purchase we realized that both of the front heated seats did not heat up (common problem with these models, and Toyota wants $1,000 Canadian plus installation per seat for updated parts). I replaced the heaters with after market parts - $650 for both seats (installed).

4 new disc brakes prior to purchase, but the steering wheel still shakes when braking from higher speeds (apparently it's a common problem on these models). It is not very evident.

4 new tires prior to purchase.

New windshield prior to purchase.

General Comments:

We own a Honda Accord and CR-V, which are fine for a family with three kids, but now that we have a fourth child on the way, we needed a bigger vehicle for family trips.

The car was purchased with many kilometers on it, but one would never notice judging from its condition. The paint is perfect with no scratches and rust, the engine and 5 speed transmission are smooth, the suspension is quiet and compliant, and the interior is almost immaculate.

The only two things wrong with the interior are that the leather seat on the driver's side has some wear and cracks on the side (probably from entering and exiting the vehicle), and the dashboard has a small crack near the bottom of the windshield (this one kind of surprised me as I have owned many Hondas and Toyotas and never had dashboard cracks).

I am a person who likes a low car with good handling characteristics. Obviously a van is not designed for that, but I am surprised with how well it holds the road when I do push it. Although it does lean, it feels confident on the road and in the corners (in snow, wet, and dry weather).

The steering is soft and over boosted, but has good feedback.

The suspension is soft but not floaty. It is very comfortable.

The interior is quiet, but there is noticeable tire noise even without run flat tires. I hear less tire noise in my Accord.

The interior design is well thought out! There are storage compartments everywhere and way too many cup holders! The seats are comfortable but not supportive for spirited driving. They are great for long trips though. Every button is laid out in an easy to reach location. The design has aged well and still looks modern.

There is tons of space for six people and still enough in the 'trunk' area for a large stroller and groceries.

The 2nd row flip up and remove seats and the stow and go 3rd row seats are easy to use, relatively light, and open up a huge space for hauling materials.

The seat belts and their connectors are well placed and easy for our kids to buckle themselves.

Overall it is a fantastic vehicle for hauling the family!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2016

13th Mar 2016, 21:44

I wrote the original review and forgot to add the side curtain airbags that come standard on the XLE model. Equipped with these airbags, the Sienna gets a 5 star safety rating in all collisions. It's a great piece of mind! When searching for a van, I was cross shopping it with the Honda Odyssey, and although the Honda drove and felt more sporty, I did not want to deal with Honda's faulty transmissions that fail prematurely and are costly to fix. And it also did not score as well on the safety side.

One interior gripe I have is the rear heating and A/C system controls. They are located above the left sliding door and are very hard to reach and operate from the driver's seat. Our kids are too small to reach it themselves. One saving grace is the synchronize button on the dash that synchronizes the front and rear.

2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited 3.3 from North America


400,000 miles and we still love it


Both power sliders inoperable, radiator replaced, A/C compressor, struts, shocks, headlight leak, catalytic converters, slider door lock mechanism.

General Comments:

This has been the best vehicle we have ever owned. We typically got 150-200K miles out of our Dodge minivans. This one will more than double those with less problems. At close to 400,000 miles we still have not touched the engine or transmission internals. This van uses no oil between 5-10K mile changes-mobile 1. It starts and runs well, has plenty of power and the transmission shifts fine. It still has the original starter, alternator, PS pump and a host of other items that we normally have to replace on high mileage cars. Every one of the windows and the sunroof works fine.

We have changed the timing belt and water pump twice, and it is due again. Of course brakes and tires when needed.

The power slider door cables broke at about 150K miles, but we never fixed them - the doors open and close with two fingers without the cables. The passenger sliding door latch broke and I replaced it myself.

The van drives well still. I find the driver's seat very comfortable. It will cruise all day at 75mph and still get 22 MPG.

The check engine light has been on for over 100K miles due to the bad catalytic converters, but we will not repair due to cost and no inspection in our area.

I rarely use the laser cruise control, but it still works.

We have towed our 19 ft. boat with the van several times, but I note that this really taxes the drive train.

We plan on keeping this van for the unforeseen future. It is not worth much on trade, and for our purposes it is fine. Our kids are grown and gone, but we have 5 grand kids, so the seating positions do get used sometimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2015