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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a family minivan for a young family of three, and decided on a used Gen 3 Sienna (I've had great luck with Toyota--I've owned two older Corollas and a Camry). $15K is my budget (a little over/under is fine). I don't really care about bells and whistles. Safety and reliability are top priorities. I'm OK with waiting for the right thing to come along. What should I be looking for? Any thoughts, info, guidance you can offer is much appreciated.
 

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Lowest mileage, best maintained, non-rust belt 2015 or 2016 that fits your budget. FWD if possible.
 

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Aside from the technical parts LetsGoPlaces linked you to in the video, you also want to look at what is important to you and you family... basic/basic+ wheels? (CE/LE) Or do you prefer a firmer ride with less body roll? (SE) Bells and whistles, great for the long road trips... how far do you want to go? (SE w/tech pack/ XLE/Limited) I bought basic+ with an LE, has the power sliders and decent stereo, but not much else. Coming from a Buick Enclave, I do miss some features the Buick had (moonroof, Bose stereo, DVD player, leather w/heat, 4500lbs towing) but can't beat the reliability, space and sliding doors (my wife's Rav4 is happy not to get door dings from the kids). My budget wasn't as high, or I would have been looking for a 15-16 SE with Tech pack.
Also, if in a 4 seasons area, finding a Sienna with a winter wheel set included is a nice bonus (I got lucky there)
Good luck with your search!
 

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I'm looking for a family minivan for a young family of three, and decided on a used Gen 3 Sienna (I've had great luck with Toyota--I've owned two older Corollas and a Camry). $15K is my budget (a little over/under is fine). I don't really care about bells and whistles. Safety and reliability are top priorities. I'm OK with waiting for the right thing to come along. What should I be looking for? Any thoughts, info, guidance you can offer is much appreciated.
Get a pre-purchase inspection done on any vehicle you are serious about buying, it is worth the money spent to find issues and not buy a vehicle with problems.

Maintenance history is probably the most important, if you buy a van with around 100k miles and not much maintenance has been done, you are probably going to be due for quite a bit of routine maintenance items; Sometimes a well maintained (and documented), higher mileage vehicle can be a better buy than one with slightly lower miles but unknown maintenance.

If you don't need AWD, then save a few bucks and don't get it.
 

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create a toyota drivers account, you can lookup service history with any vin #

I'd look for dealer serviced as a first priority, then lowest miles.

As mentioned 2015-2016 if possible.
 

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What do you all think about this one? A little over my budget and a two hour drive from where I live, but seems very well maintained: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/845829086/overview/
Not sure what the market is like in your area, but that price near me (converted to CDN and kms to miles etc) that price is getting you the same LE with 70K-80k miles here.
I bought my 2013 with 82K miles for the equivalent of $11,365 USD from a Toyota dealer, and virtually no rust anywhere, dealer serviced since new.... quick search near me (inside 60 miles from me) Turned up 2 2015s for slightly less and 70K and 80K miles
Keep looking IMO
 

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Where I am (DC Metro), Facebook marketplace is now the best (if not only) place to find good used vehicles at a low price. Seems to be the preferred venue of the private seller (and you can see who's selling the vehicle).
 

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I suggest AWD if you live anywhere near rain (wet leaves especially) or snow. Much safer IME (in my experience). I would always go with less miles and an older Sienna vs more miles and newer Sienna. So 50k-75k and 1-2 years older.
 

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I'm looking for a family minivan for a young family of three, and decided on a used Gen 3 Sienna (I've had great luck with Toyota--I've owned two older Corollas and a Camry). $15K is my budget (a little over/under is fine). I don't really care about bells and whistles. Safety and reliability are top priorities. I'm OK with waiting for the right thing to come along. What should I be looking for? Any thoughts, info, guidance you can offer is much appreciated.
Not sure where you're located but just a quick search from the zip code of the one you posted gives you a few options.
Hope this helps.
 

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I suggest AWD if you live anywhere near rain (wet leaves especially) or snow. Much safer IME (in my experience). I would always go with less miles and an older Sienna vs more miles and newer Sienna. So 50k-75k and 1-2 years older.
to each his own, however, i steered away from the AWD option due to the fuel economy hit and run flat tires (no spare)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I suggest AWD if you live anywhere near rain (wet leaves especially) or snow. Much safer IME (in my experience).
to each his own, however, i steered away from the AWD option due to the fuel economy hit and run flat tires (no spare)
I'm in Madison, WI, so lots of snow. Definitely on the fence about AWD. Seems like a tradeoff. I also work from home (even pre-COVID) so it's pretty easy for me to avoid driving if the roads are bad, though it does seem like something I would use if I had it.

I would always go with less miles and an older Sienna vs more miles and newer Sienna. So 50k-75k and 1-2 years older.
Interesting. I wonder if me being in the rust belt (roads are HEAVILY salted around here) would change the calculus, i.e., less miles but more time for the salt to do damage. I honestly have no idea.
 
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