After the eternal debate between the Ody & Sienna, we finally settled on the Sienna XLE FWD with Navi. Loving it so far. Took a couple of 100+ mile trips and the family loves the spaciousness. Mileage has creeped up from 13.x to 18.x (in approx 500miles). Interior is OK and could do with a few value based additions like mood lighting.
My biggest concern in purchasing a minivan was gas mileage. I calibrated the odometer against my GPS (it was perfect!), and then waited until the vehicle had reached 1000 miles. Then I carefully measured fuel consumption for our "around town" (we live in a suburb, so our "around town" doesn't have lots of stop and go), and cross country on open roads. I noted that the mileage computer is exceptionally accurate...within .1 mpg of my calculated mpg. The results: Our town driving...22-23 mpg Highway (under the best circumstances possible)...26-27 mpg. Basically, for a vehicle of this size and power, and with an EPA rating of 18/25, I think this is pretty good, and I am satisfied.
Third Sienna (Limited with convenience pkg., nav and entertainment pkg.)
written on 02-29-2012
I previously had a 2004 Limited, 2011 Limited and now the 2012 Limited. My 2011 Sienna was totaled (not our fault). I was very happy with how well the Toyota protected my entire family. My kids begged me to replace the 2011 with another Sienna. The Sienna drives well and feels like a luxury vehicle (as far as minivans go!). It's comfortable, drives smooth, has great features and proved to be a safe vehicle. The pickup power is good, the doors open smoothly and quietly. I looked at luxury SUV's and many didn't have all the features the limited Sienna had (and were $15K more.) Gas mileage in the city, for me, averages 18 according to the display monitor.
I have driven vans since 1976, starting with a Ford Econoline 150 followed by a string of 5 Chrysler minivans. In 2006, I purchased an new Oddesey EX-L . It was by far the best minivan I had ever owned. After posting nearly 90,000 mi of mostly trouble-free driving, some periodic transmission slippage prompted me to go shopping. I loved the Oddesey styling except its face that resembled a 2001 Oddesey. I also liked the style of Siennas. In short, Honda wouldn't deal and Toyota was eager. Still leary of the Sienna, I took a long test drive in both an XLE and a SE. The SE drove much like the Honda. The dealer added a light grey leather interior, awesome! Happy at 20K miles and 0% financing.
I bought 2012 XLE FWD model last month. It is very spacious and more comfortable. I took test drive of equally loaded Highlander SE v6 FWD and compared it to Sienna. I felt the handling is better in Sienna. But, the pickup is good in Highlander. In terms of mpg, i guess Sienna gives 1 miles less than Highlander. My wife liked Odyssey. But, since we read bad reviews about its Wind noise and Transmission, we decided not to buy. That too equally loaded Odyssey ELX is expensive than Sienna XLE. But after buying Sienna, i realize that there is Wind noise & Road noise in this as well. But, it rides better and cheap with 2 year free maintenance.