Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am in the market for a Gen 3 Sienna Limited. I currently drive a Gen 2 Sienna Limited, which has FWD. Being a bit of a DIY handy guy, I have replaced both front axles, done the Gen 3 brake caliper upgrade, flushed cooling system, flushed transmission and installed an aux tranny cooler. I have full confidence that my van will easily run 300K miles. As you know, Toyota's are noted for their longevity and durability, if properly maintained. So, in my search for my next Gen 3 van, I have located a couple Gen 3 Limited AWD models. Here's my question: Is the AWD configuration as reliable and durable as the FWD? My initial thought is the AWD is just something else that can go wrong in the future.

If I could get any feedback as to the longevity of the AWD model, I would be very grateful.

TIM (1SG)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
there are quite a few threads on a rear awd coupler bearings giving out at 60~100k, so from my research that is the main difference in reliability between the awd and fwd versions.

do you need awd? in my case, given the intended purpose for the van, it was needed over the fwd version. i will deal with the bearing issue if/when it crops up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
541 Posts
Any fwd with a good set of snow tires will do what an AWD will do......no difference....not that it is a lockable AWD that will get you out of ditches or when you are seriously stuck in snow or sand.

Sandan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Any fwd with a good set of snow tires will do what an AWD will do......no difference....not that it is a lockable AWD that will get you out of ditches or when you are seriously stuck in snow or sand.

Sandan
nope. once you are moving, sure. but, imho, on my typical winter excursions, you need the awd to get moving.

you are somewhat local to me. head north this winter, and let's throw down... :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
nope. once you are moving, sure. but, imho, on my typical winter excursions, you need the awd to get moving.

you are somewhat local to me. head north this winter, and let's throw down... :p
Yeah, let's have a rumble! Since you live in "new friggin york", fibber2 lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley and his and my gen 3 FWD Sienna Limiteds use Blizzak WS80 Winter tires on Sienna 17" wheels, I'll let him fill in for me in the rumble.

The idea that "you need the awd to get moving" is silly. Granted, an AWD Sienna will get moving from a stop a little faster than a FWD Sienna on snow and ice with equal tires but there's not much difference in most driving. Our running joke is that AWD allows getting up to crash speeds a little faster. It sure doesn't help you stop and turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Yeah, let's have a rumble! Since you live in "new friggin york", fibber2 lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley and his and my gen 3 FWD Sienna Limiteds use Blizzak WS80 Winter tires on Sienna 17" wheels, I'll let him fill in for me in the rumble.

The idea that "you need the awd to get moving" is silly. Granted, an AWD Sienna will get moving from a stop a little faster than a FWD Sienna on snow and ice with equal tires but there's not much difference in most driving. Our running joke is that AWD allows getting up to crash speeds a little faster. It sure doesn't help you stop and turn.
you really have no clue. you don't know anything about me, my driving skillset, my commute, where i drive or when. I was thinking, hmm, i wonder what you said... and i was not disappointed. i knew there was a reason i put you on ignore. you just ramble to hear yourself talk.

fibber pm me. i can setup a race in the winter in a field at Grieg Farm in Redhook, ice race in Tannersville, or just a backroad hillclimb in Dutchess county... :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
you really have no clue. you don't know anything about me, my driving skillset, my commute, where i drive or when. I was thinking, hmm, i wonder what you said... and i was not disappointed. i knew there was a reason i put you on ignore. you just ramble to hear yourself talk.
Well I sure have plenty Winter driving experience in upstate New York - particularly in the Lake Placid and Gore Mountain areas. And I drove all over the Colorado mountains in Winter for decades going to and from ski areas. I polished my Winter skills as a teenager in the Michigan U.P. where the average Winter snowfall was 200+ inches. My family's from Ontario where we actually get snow! Let's rumble, poser!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Let me know when you boys are finished with your pissing contest.

In the meantime, I like AWD because I live in and drive in an area where I might see snow ten months out of twelve but I don't run my snow tires for ten months of the year. If I lived in a place and my driving habits were such that I'd only expect to see snow from Thanksgiving to Easter then, yes, a FWD with snow tires is probably fine. But it is some comfort to know that if it starts to snow when I'm driving over the local pass in September or June, that I'm running decent all season tires and AWD during those months.

Also, with AWD I think it's reasonable to drive 12 months of year on good all all season tires, like Nokia WG G4 or Micheline LTX MS, and not have to bother with snow tires in the winter...at least that's been my experience.

That all being said, I've tried all combinations of the above and Sienna AWD with snow tires is really quite something in the winter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
If you don't need AWD, it just adds more parts and complexity. IMHO, this means more things that can fail and cost money to fix. But, YMMV.

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio so FWD (or RWD) has always been fine for me. I have owned one 4WD vehicle (a 2001 Ford Escape), and while it was nice to have in snow, it really wasn't worth the extra cost for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
If you don't need AWD, it just adds more parts and complexity. IMHO, this means more things that can fail and cost money to fix.
agreed 100%.

... and Sienna AWD with snow tires is really quite something in the winter!
sorry, AWD is not needed. i can go anywhere you can go with AWD on my pogo stick. sure, the spring makes some noise, but it has not let me down yet... :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I live in NW Ohio and we got our first AWD SUV in 2009 (an overpowered Saturn vue V6 AWD - powered by Honda ;) )

Coming from low slung FWD coupes and sedans, it sure was nice in the crappy weather to get moving. After that, we had an AWD RAV4 limited (2013) for 2 years before the AWD sienna (2016 XLE AWD).

The Rav was quite a good snow machine with the locking 50/50 power split front-rear up to 25mph. Honestly, we didn’t have it very long but my impression was that the AWD in that vehicle (or maybe the size/dynamics) was better than the sienna AWD.

In fact, our next Sienna will likely be FWD. as mentioned before, AWD is good at getting you moving but that’s about it. Between my wife sliding into a curb and really banging up a wheel and having to replace the pricy run flats (which are probably not mutually exclusive but the point about AWD not helping stop or turn in the snow/ice still stands) — I think that made up our minds on the next one. I told her we will probably replace the stock wheels on whatever we get and then we can put snow tires on the OEMs for winter and that’d be about as much as we need for our uses and weather.

That’s all not to mention the reduced MPG, added parts / maintenance of having AWD... I mean, it’s nice and all but maybe just not for us.

Disclaimer: I also have a 2018 Tacoma if things get really dicy out there so that factors into the decisions as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
agreed 100%.



sorry, AWD is not needed. i can go anywhere you can go with AWD on my pogo stick. sure, the spring makes some noise, but it has not let me down yet... :p
Through a lot of hard work and a little bit of good luck, I own many things that I don't need. However, enjoy your pogo stick.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
541 Posts
an AWD....is, not a 4WD ...PERIOD.......you talk like an AWD is this lockable get out of high snowbank climbing rock machine .....it is not.......slip to grip that's it..... what it does...if a wheel slips it starts giving power to the other wheels and if all 4 wheels are on snow sliding you are done......

again an AWD is not a 4WD, 4WD which are predominantly rear-wheel drive and has an option to throw them into high 4WD or low 4WD which will not allow you to go above 30mph

here is my other ride.....and ask me how I know.....

44599

That's what I am rocking on my JKU......

javvy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
an AWD....is, not a 4WD ...PERIOD.......you talk like an AWD is this lockable get out of high snowbank climbing rock machine .....it is not.......slip to grip that's it..... what it does...if a wheel slips it starts giving power to the other wheels and if all 4 wheels are on snow sliding you are done......

again an AWD is not a 4WD, 4WD which are predominantly rear-wheel drive and has an option to throw them into high 4WD or low 4WD which will not allow you to go above 30mph

here is my other ride.....and ask me how I know.....

View attachment 44599
That's what I am rocking on my JKU......

javvy

I'm not sure who that was directed at. I, for one, do understand the difference between AWD and 4x4 (as mentioned, I have an AWD van and a Tacoma 4x4).

AWD is indeed "slip to grip" but some of them are torque vectoring that will help in dry pavement in turns (supposedly).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I should also amend my longer post above based on information that I've learned today. I may actually be going back to Honda after this next Sienna hits the 75-80K mile mark. I just learned today that Toyota has extended their Frame Recall campaign to include 2011-2017 (YES TWENTY SEVENTEEN) Tacomas. I have a 2018 which isn't included-yet. Looking at my truck after it seeing just ONE winter (where it was fluid filmed, I should add), I really doubt this issue is fixed in 2018. I'm guessing they're staggering the recall and will eventually include the 2018 Tacoma (or worse, won't include it and I'll be stuck in limbo).

What does that have to do with the Sienna? Well, nothing, really... but it's a testament to the fact that Toyota just can't seem to fix a major issue they've had for essentially the entire existence of the model!

I had a 2009 Civic Si with 35,000 miles on it that was in SHOWROOM condition. HFP underbody kit, custom HID retrofit headlights. Never driven in salt/snow, always garaged, etc. I sold that to buy a NEW tacoma SPECIFICALLY to avoid the frame rot issues of the old ones. My other option was to KEEP my Civic Si and get a USED Tacoma (or possibly Tundra) to go along with it. I went the route of selling my beloved Civic and getting a new Tacoma to avoid having a used truck that would sit outside and rot away quickly. Well, sounds like now I'll have a NEW truck that will sit INSIDE and STILL rot away.

I'm less than happy and my 3-vehicle, 6-year run with Toyota may come to a quick end depending on how this all shakes out...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thank you, guys, for all the replies.

I do not need AWD, as I live in Hurricane Alley, Fort Lauderdale, FL. We have no slip & slid issues here and I’ve never found myself in the sand.

My initial inquiry was about LONGEVITY I think I got my answer. AWD does present more opportunities for something to go south. The couple AWD Limited vans that I’m considering are located very close to me. I will probably pass on them and keep looking for a FWD Limited model with low miles.

Again, thanks to all for your input. You’s guys rock!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Have 2012 Sienna Se FWD have 2 sets 19 for summer and 17 for winter went all over us and live in Eastern WA, going to Kalispell MT often no issues.
I Prefer FWD because AWD Wants all tires same, if you have a blowout tire store wants to sell you a set of 4. A couple years ago had a blow out on the freeway and just put a spare, i was told AWD dont have spares they are run flats which is $$$ to replace. in my opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I am in the market for a Gen 3 Sienna Limited. I currently drive a Gen 2 Sienna Limited, which has FWD. Being a bit of a DIY handy guy, I have replaced both front axles, done the Gen 3 brake caliper upgrade, flushed cooling system, flushed transmission and installed an aux tranny cooler. I have full confidence that my van will easily run 300K miles. As you know, Toyota's are noted for their longevity and durability, if properly maintained. So, in my search for my next Gen 3 van, I have located a couple Gen 3 Limited AWD models. Here's my question: Is the AWD configuration as reliable and durable as the FWD? My initial thought is the AWD is just something else that can go wrong in the future.

If I could get any feedback as to the longevity of the AWD model, I would be very grateful.

TIM (1SG)
Apart from the axle issue, the drawback of AWD is the mpg penalty of 1-2 mpg all the time. So, for the rare occasion that you 'need' AWD, that's the cost.
I have a FWD 2004 Sienna and I never got stuck. We have snow storms here on Long Island and I've always been able to navigate through them without AWD. The traction control is a must, however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I am in the market for a Gen 3 Sienna Limited. I currently drive a Gen 2 Sienna Limited, which has FWD. Being a bit of a DIY handy guy, I have replaced both front axles, done the Gen 3 brake caliper upgrade, flushed cooling system, flushed transmission and installed an aux tranny cooler. I have full confidence that my van will easily run 300K miles. As you know, Toyota's are noted for their longevity and durability, if properly maintained. So, in my search for my next Gen 3 van, I have located a couple Gen 3 Limited AWD models. Here's my question: Is the AWD configuration as reliable and durable as the FWD? My initial thought is the AWD is just something else that can go wrong in the future.

If I could get any feedback as to the longevity of the AWD model, I would be very grateful.

TIM (1SG)
Extra parts=extra $'s and extra maintenance...if you want to keep more parts up to date and working, go for it..."most" AWD are greatly underused, but maybe you need more than FWD can offer...those mentioning "snowtires" certainly have the knowledge that comes with..experience...
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top