Shortly after we bought this car the transmission died. We replaced it with another sienna tranny, then that died. So we got another one, and by 170,000 miles it was on its way out, refusing to leave 1st gear until 40mph. As other users have stated, the exterior door handles break off. Our interior handles (backseats) died around 170,000 miles, so I rigged up the trunk to open from the inside.
The window motors died by 100,000 miles, and the radio and AC died around the same time.
The engine only had about 4 of the 6 cylinders working when it finally died.
Despite all of these things, the car held up in my family for 13 years and 4 different drivers, and with care, treated us well.
High ground clearance.
The stock speakers actually sounded very good.
Despite the nonstop problems with our van, friends who drove the same car loved theirs and had no where near as many problems.
We just got stuck with a lemon and were too stupid to realize it until much later.
Use body panels that don't dent as easily.
Less cheap-quality door handles and window motors.
2004 we bought this used - I knew the only major issue was the sliding door handles *might* break. Yes, they did - and we've had to replace them. We've put on 100k miles in the past 7 years and it's made tons of 24-hour roundtrip roadtrips over the past few years. Great van but we have had to take it in the shop a few times (replaced alternator, other stuff I've forgotten but no transmission/engine major stuff).
Great comfort for long trips.
Great safety rating for a 98.
Tons of space (3rd row) plus cargo.
Good gas mileage for such a large vehicle
Well it didn't win the prettiest vehicle award but it gets the job done.
Obviously a higher quality of plastic for the door handles (exterior and interior) is a no-brainer Toyota.
I've owned/drove our 98 Sienna for 10 years, since it was 3yrs old. It has been our best vehicle yet - I've owned 16 others. I've not once had to take it in for a repair. It now has 155K miles and is still a reliable, safe, and most versatile vehicle. The original battery lasted 9 yrs. It still has the original exhaust and timing belt. After our children had grown up and moved on, the removable rear seats came out and I used it for handy man work and pulling a small trailer. City gas mileage is the one complaint, but I've got up to 28 MPG on long trips. The Sienna is by far my best vehicle for vacation trips.
Quality. Safety. Reliability. Versatility. Comfort on long trips. Drivers side sliding door.
Bought this van brand new in 1998 while pregnant with my second child. Now 2 kids more have been raised with this van, and it continues to run on the original engine. Very few repairs other than things you expect, like shock/struts replaced. Kept up with oil changes and maintenance and it has been the most reliable thing I have ever owned. Once again, as others, have replaced those darn door handles x all four over the years. Just bought a brand new 2011 sienna, but couldn't give up this one.
RELIABLE! 210,000 miles on it and still getting it down the road!
Door handles that don't break off! Hopefully the power door will eliminate this problem on the new van as the kids won't be yanking on them
To be fair, I have had no major problems. But, I don't think they build them like they used to. I have had two window motors and four door handles fail. The design of the door handles is obviously flawed, IMO. The paint is peeling, and there are a lot of rattling noises. This makes you wonder what other shortcuts Toyota has taken.
Removable seats. Heavy, but really cool when you want more space.
Return to your roots, Toyota. A brand is hard to build and easy to erode.