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Discussion Starter #1
Any info on these two minivans? I keep seeing spy shots of the Odyssey but all heavily cover up. I can't wait to see these two step up the game since Pactifica have done a good job bring in new & luxury Tech to the minivan.

141 Posts
sorry to bump this older thread but I too am curious about this. We just purchased the 2016 model of Sienna and part of the reason I did that was because it was later in the cycle. I've determined that the first or second year of a mid-model refresh is my favorite. Most of the bugs worked out, still have a year or 2 to pay it off before it becomes "old" ha ha.

That said, I was interested to see what the next Odyssey would bring with rumors of AWD. I don't believe them until I see them (cause of eating into Pilot sales) but either way I wasn't going to wait and wasn't going to buy the first model of a redesign -- especially with what the Pilot is going through now and especially an AWD platform on a vehicle that never had it before.

Nonetheless, I did google and I noticed that the Sienna wiki page says:

For the 2017 model year, the Sienna replaces its six-speed automatic transmission with an eight-speed and a revised 2GR-FKS engine adding Toyota's D4-S direct injection fuel system.
The citation links to the Highlander refresh page:

So whoever put that on there must feel confident that the Sienna will closely follow the Highlander (as it seems to have historically done).

But, looking at that page, I see this:

  • Newly Developed Direct Shift 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • New 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Boosts Horsepower/Helps Increase MPG
  • New Available Stop and Start (S&S) Engine System
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense
  • New Sportier SE Gas Model; Hybrid Trim Expands to Four Grades
  • Refreshed Exterior Styling
If they planned to do these things to the Sienna for 2017 (who knows if that's the plan), here would be my thoughts:

I don't really want a newly redesigned 8 speed transmission. I know, I know, I'm a total Luddite when it comes to vehicle technology -- oddly embracing the "nanny bells and whistles" but rejecting the likes of CVT transmissions (heck, let's go back to all manual!) and transmissions with nearly-double-digit gears. I'll take the tried and true 6 speed automatic, please. That's one of the things that drew me to the previous generation Rav4 that we traded for the Sienna... proven engine/transmission. Honda was busy fluttering with a CVT in the CR-V (that shockingly was not well received and had problems/complaints).

Then DI engine -- OK, fine... that's something that is inevitable. BUT, again, doesn't really stand the test of time just yet. DI technology is somewhat young still (from a mass-produced standpoint) and we just don't know how well those motors will hold up in the long run. I'm not against them though. Of all things that could change and I would accept, the engine upgrades would be it.

Engine stop/start. Hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Until they can incorporate this better, I am not a fan. We drove the Honda Pilot Elite model and I could feel the engine stop and start every. single. time. It would shudder at every stoplight as it shut off and kicked back on. It was enough to be noticed and enough to turn me away from it. Our driving is mostly city and having to feel the whole thing shake at every stop sign... no thanks. Fortunately, you can turn it off in the Pilot (but you have to do it every time you get in) however I'm guessing this will not be an option for much longer.

Safety sense -- all for it. Bring it on. I like these things. When we were dating in college, my wife totaled her little saturn sc-2 because someone was in her blind spot, she didn't see them, over-corrected when she did see them and lost control. A simple blind spot monitoring system like our Rav4 had and our Sienna has would have prevented this, I'm sure. I'm all for safety.

no comment on the se gas model or hybrid. Typical and expected evolution of a toyota product.

refreshed exterior styling is a plus. I don't dislike the current styling. In fact, I quite like it... my wife and I agree that no van looks that good, really... and of them all, the Sienna looks the best (she didn't look at the Pacifica, I like the design myself, but it ends there).
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