It took me nine months of research before buying my van new. I got a great deal and I have never regretted my decision. My van now has over 305,000 miles on it and I have never broke down anywhere! I get all of the regular servicing and repairs done at the dealership (always using their coupons) and have spent less than $1,500 on repairs over the years including: a/c blower, wheel bearing, new callipers and drums, as well as recently a new starter. I can only hope and pray that the next vehicle I purchase will be as reliable!
This van does everything I've ever asked it to do; and with grace and poise. It's a very composed and comfortable highway cruiser; and I can ferry my 70+ year old Mother (with severe back problems) around town with no complaints. I've used it for annual ski vacations to very snowy & hilly upstate NY and north of Quebec City. I had no trouble on the roads nor in hilly unplowed parking lots. The Sienna also works well as a car-camper: roll up the back seats, inflate an air mattress and go to sleep! And it isn't a bore to drive. My other car is a Honda S2000; the Sienna isn't all THAT. But, the V6 accelerates confedently in traffic and it can haul a full load of adults through the mountains (at or above the speed limit) at normal revs. It goes where you point it. And, brakes without drama. Maintenance has consisted of changing the oil and changing and rotating the tires. I have a great deal of appreciation for this vehicle and the people who designed it. GREAT vehicle. I'd buy another.
I never thought I would own a mini van. But having a sedan with 2 kids just wasn't working out. The sienna offers so much room for the kids. It drives a lot better than I thought. My wife loves it. I like the fact of how safe I feel with her driving her and the kids around. I test drove a lot of mini vans and this by far was the best. I got the lower end model and it has everything you need and more.
Update on Sienna as of 3/10/17 The van's engine still runs strong and I've had no problems with the engine or transmission since purchasing the van new. However, I was told by the dealership that the transmission is now leaking. I am still VERY disappointed with the parts that have been replaced on the van by a Toyota dealership not lasting like I feel they should. Seems I am only getting 1/2 life on the replaced Toyota parts such as the rack-n-pinion, shocks, struts, and axles. The original parts lasted me over 215,000 miles, and these genuine Toyota replacement parts haven't even lasted 90,000 miles. A big disappointment. I've owned my Sienna since it was new. I now have over 300,000 miles on my van. It has given me little problem over the years, but now seems to be falling apart. It's been one thing after another. This includes the interior and exterior parts. So it would appear that the interior's life expectancy is about 10 years when the plastic parts start cracking and breaking, and when the electrical starts to give problems. The tires still wear unevenly and need replacing at about 1/2 life even with regular alignments & tire rotations. I've been happy with the van until it hit the 10 year mark and about 280,000 miles. Was hoping to get 400,000 miles on the van before letting her go. But she won't make it that far.
It is acceptable for you to expect go through (2) transmissions on a family owned and operated mini van to get 150K miles out of a $40K "luxury" vehicle? First transmission was "replaced" at 57K, under warranty. Currently at 148K miles. Facing a $2000 bill from the Toyota dealer for a transfer case seal repair. Called Toyota. Assigned a "Case Manager", Dan. He states since there is no service record with Toyota after drive train warranty expired and the car has 148K miles, Toyota is not accountable. He would not transfer me to a supervisor and hung up on me. I called back and am waiting for a return call from a "Supervisor". Our first and last Toyota purchase.