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Discussion Starter #61
captainm27 I have the AWD highlander hybrid so it its got an additional electric motor on the rear axle. It has 243hp and estimated 260-300ft lb of torque Its the touque that makes it feel powerful. I only have 65 miles on the odometer so I am going to be gentle on it till at least 600 miles, but I can tell you this, the main road that goes through my town has a large hill where the sienna use to struggle on. This takes it with ease. I have found myself not having to mash the pedal as I would do with the van. The electric motors make a huge difference.
the torque is coming at a lower range and if you put the pedal half way down, it will put a smile on your face. Don’t get me wrong, the d4s 6 cylinder is an awesome motor but the 295 hp does not fully come on till the higher rpm range and the 52 hp difference is not an issue given the fuel savings. My van was getting 16.5 mpg combined. This so far is at 27mpg.
I am sure the 2021 or 2022 would feel the same way. Now there is way more tech in this and let me tell you its a world of difference form the 2017.
I would tell you, you need to test drive the highlander if you want a preview of what it will feel like in the van.
 

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Hangman.. thank you. It’s really a great car
What is the production date of your 2017? Your complaints sound oh so familiar! Ive been down this road. My 2017 was built in march. i had the transaxle replacement, the latest firmware installed, test drove at least 5 different 2017's sienna to see how they felt compared to mine.
 

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Chrisg05, we almost bought a non-hybrid Highlander Limited in March and then backed off when Covid hit. Good thing too as my wife eventually lost her job and we had to rethink the family budget. Glad you are enjoying your new ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Yota the production date on the door was 2/17. The service advisor took it out and told me they that is was really sluggish but they could not find any codes that would show the transmissio. There was however, codes for lost communication. They gave us the price for it.. we went for the highlander. It would have been in the shop more times then it was worth..
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Yeah it was a stretch for us to put down the money but its just better off this way. The payment is manageable for us right now and I thank god That we are in better shape with our jobs then most as we are essential workers. I hope your wife gets another job soon. this pandemic sucks
 

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Yota the production date on the door was 2/17. The service advisor took it out and told me they that is was really sluggish but they could not find any codes that would show the transmissio. There was however, codes for lost communication. They gave us the price for it.. we went for the highlander. It would have been in the shop more times then it was worth..
Prolly too late, but Id ask for the transmission serial number. The TSB for the transaxle swap shows the ones effected. Id bet its one that needs to be replaced. The Siennas effected were the ones produced up until late march of 2017. Also there is a new TSB for the ECU that makes it shift really responsive. Its T-SB-0001-18. This one is different then the first one that came out awhile ago (TSB-0197-17).
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Yota I unfortuantley dont have that trans serial number. I did not take it that far since they gave me a good offer on it. They seem to think it was a break in communication between the ECU and the TCU since History codes were there. I think they needed a definite issue to replace the transmission or Toyota would not pay them for the warentee repair.
 

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If u call a service department it should be listed on their computer as it's connected to the vin number. I'd call a different dealership and tell them what is happening. Maybe they will be able to give u a straight answer. Not sure why but some dealerships can be gatekeepers on these issues. All I know is my 2017 now shifts snappy and gets good gas mileage.
 

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Prolly too late, but Id ask for the transmission serial number. The TSB for the transaxle swap shows the ones effected. Id bet its one that needs to be replaced. The Siennas effected were the ones produced up until late march of 2017. Also there is a new TSB for the ECU that makes it shift really responsive. Its T-SB-0001-18. This one is different then the first one that came out awhile ago (TSB-0197-17).
Yota, I had the transmission on my 2017 XLE replaced on October of 2019. See screenshot below of the paperwork. I still feel like it should shift a bit peppier. Do you think it's worth mentioning T-SB-0001-18 to them?
47045
 

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Yota, I had the transmission on my 2017 XLE replaced on October of 2019. See screenshot below of the paperwork. I still feel like it should shift a bit peppier. Do you think it's worth mentioning T-SB-0001-18 to them?

I guess why not would be my question/answer? I originally started my transmission saga because I read about the original service bulletin TSB-0197-17 and just wanted to make sure my car had the latest firmware. I wasnt all that unhappy with the performance of my car march buit 2017 in the first place. I knew the dealership wouldnt just do the firmware update unless I had a complaint so I told them I was unhappy with the way it was performing. At that point the dealer ran my trans. serial number and realized it was one of the ones that could use the "enhancement" or recall if u know about it or have an issue. They offered a car to borrow and swaped the transmssion in about a week. I asked if I could get the software updated at the same time as the trans. swap, they said no. I was told due to liability reasons, they can only do one change at a time. I was instructed to drive for 1k miles till the new trans. learned my driving habits and then let us know if I was still displeased. IMO It felt sluggish and lacked power so I took it back in. A lot of pedal movement and lots of delay as if it would ease into a gear on its timeline is how I would describe how it felt. To my surprise they did the T-SB-0001-18 firmware update. Never even heard about this one. Huge difference in acceleration right from the get go. My initial complaint was it shifts harsh in the low end but I sort of got used to it. There is a ton of acceration and driving in the first bit of pedal depression and its very quick to downshift if a tiny bit more pedal is pressed. I thought about taking it back in but then I thought what if it comes back feeling lethargic again? I prefer too jumpy over slow again so I got used to driving it like this. Now I am in the process of buying a new to me used Sienna. I have test driven a ton of 2016's to 2020's. The new 2020's drive very responsive and similar to the old 6 speed transmissions in terms of pep. There is still some delay when you remove your foot from the gas and reapply in the lower end of the gear range but it is no where near how bad some of the 2017's I test drove felt. Since all the 2017s and newer have the same tranmission, my conclusion is that it must be the firmware. Im guessing the 2020 vans have this new firmware and thats why they drive more peppy and responsive. Oddly I have yet to drive a 2019 so my knowledge is limited to 2016,2017,2018 and 2020. Id say go for it. Or do your own research. Go test drive a 2020. Id love to hear your feedback!
 

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Also, at one point I was dead set on going 2015 or 2016 only for the combination of the 6 speed trans. with the updated dash and trim. It has a certain solid linear feel to the shifting and doesnt fish for gears like the new 8 speed does. But since I drove the 2020 I feel like the new 8 speed with the right firmware is acceptable.
 

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Thank you very much. That was very informative. I think I will need to schedule a visit with the dealer for any new firmware updates on the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Honestly I hope it would be better and I wish them luck on fixing these issues.. but the more I dig about it .. it seems that they have been having these issues across the board...car and driver even has an article on it
 

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Also, at one point I was dead set on going 2015 or 2016 only for the combination of the 6 speed trans. with the updated dash and trim. It has a certain solid linear feel to the shifting and doesnt fish for gears like the new 8 speed does. But since I drove the 2020 I feel like the new 8 speed with the right firmware is acceptable.
I'm going to the dealer tomorrow to present to them T-SB-0001-18 and see what happens.
 

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So guess what? I took my van in, and they stated that there is no new updates. The dealer even told me this: The 2017 Sienna and the 2020 Sienna have a DIFFERENT power train. Does that make sense? I thought thr 2017 - 2020 had the same power trains. Anyway, I think that's that for now.
 

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I’d go to a different dealer and verify. It could be that mechanically they are the same but could be a new different Transmission Control Unit.
 
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