An Offer We Couldn't Refuse - 2011 Toyota Sienna SE Long-Term Road Test

2011 Toyota Sienna SE: An Offer We Couldn't Refuse

January 17, 2012

Sienna at CARMAX.jpg There was a warm reception for our long-term 2011 Toyota Sienna to Carmax when I took it there on Friday. Edmunds trade-in TMV had estimated that we would get about $22,660 for our Sienna, which had just over 23,200 miles on the odometer. Carmax had been pretty close to our trade-in TMV price recently and since it only gives price quotes in $500 increments, I guessed the Carmax offer would be $22,500.

"We like to see Toyotas come in," said the representative when I arrived. "They're very popular."

Minivans have great resale value. Families who can't pay for them new -- or are thrifty and don't want to pay the new-car premium-- will wait a few years for the price to drop. The Carmax rep added that customers flock to the Siennas or Honda Odysseys on the lot. This was a good sign.

The price quote surpassed our expectations. Carmax offered us $25,000. This was $2,340 more than the trade-in TMV and even $410 more than private-party TMV. We paid $32,243 for the Sienna (plus tax and title). The MSRP was $34,684. We thought about what to do over the long weekend and decided to take the offer.

Some readers have asked us how we are able to get great prices from Carmax. But the truth is we don't have any inside sources or special arrangements. The people there treat us like any other customer. The offers are competitive because we bring in year-old cars with a number of options on them. It also doesn’t hurt that used-car prices are very high right now.

We don't always get the best price from Carmax, but this time it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

Final Odometer reading: 23,210

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate

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