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We had planned to buy a 2020 sienna but crazy things happened during that year and we put buying a van on hold. So now here we are again looking at vans and my husband only wants to buy NEW... our mechanic said CVT engines are crap and advised us not to buy. Also someone we know happened to say the same thing. We plan to have the van for 10+ years. People having problems yet with the CVT engines in the sienna? I am hesitant to buy it, so I need help to decided if I should move forward with the purchase or not. 2nd option is the Honda unless the Toyota decides to go back to the automatic transmission for the 2022 model. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2010 Toyota Sienna AWD
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Toyota ECVT Transmissions are pretty durable, Hybrids have a ECVT, and non hybrid vehicles have a normal CVT

Toyota has been using this ECVT Transmission for as long as the Prius has been a thing.
I wouldn't hesitate on buying a Toyota with a ECVT, and as for others having issues with them I haven't seen anyone have any issues in these past months.
 

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Like the previous poster said, eCVT <> traditional CVT.

Someone posted this for more info... 2021 Toyota Sienna Transaxle - What it looks like and...

Maybe your mechanic's just upset that he won't be able to work on your hybrid drivetrain... :)

In all seriousness, traditional CVT's used to suck, but I think they've gotten markedly better over the past decade. I know several folks with more recent Toyota and Nissan vehicles with CVT's and they've had no issues or complaints.
 

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This is fallout from Nissan and their terrible CVT back in the 2010 Era. Toyota CVT never had those same problems, and as others mentioned, the e-cvt is different altogether and tried and tested across Toyota hybrid lineup.

Pay your friends and your mechanic no mind, they are referring to a different automaker's notorious issues altogether.
 

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As a 15yr owner of a Prius, you're mechanic is grossly mistaken. Just to compare apples to apples, my mechanic who I've used for 20 years thinks they are extremely reliable. Not one issue with my 15yr old Prius...can't always say that about traditional transmissions. And I just replaced that Prius with you guessed it, another Prius. And I'm buying a Sienna in the next several months. CVT is different "sounding" and takes adjustment in what you hear because with no shifting, the CVT adjusts to give the most power for the driving situation. It's actually nice because there's no lag because it doesn't shift... continuous power...like I said, an adjustment, but no biggie.
 

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I would tell you to get a new mechanic but if you buy a new Sienna you won't be seeing them for some time!

CVTs make the engine noise less pleasant and drone more and combined with a noisier engine like a four-cylinder and less sound deadening (for weight and cost savings), you will notice the noise under acceleration.

The tradeoff is better fuel economy.

I trust Toyota's history of reliable products, and they have been making long-lasting CVTs for a long time.
 

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I will 2nd (or 3rd) the Toyota CVT. We sold a 2007 Prius with 348k (original everything but AC compressor and catalytic converter) and a 2008 Highlander Hybrid with 219k to purchase our 2020 Sienna (obviously we would have purchased the Sienna hybrid if it was available at the time) and we had absolutely zero issues with anything CVT related.
 

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It is a fixed ratio planetary unlike the variable ratio belt drive units so there is no wear from slippage. Unlike planetarys in a conventional automatic transmission, all three members rotate, sun gear, ring gear, and carrier.

 

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The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive is a brilliant piece Engineering. I have had Toyota Hybrids for the last 12 years and have never had an issue with them. They are trouble free nad require only an oil change now and then. I wish I could afford the new Sienna with the Hybrid drivetrain (adapted from the Highlander iirc).
 

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We had planned to buy a 2020 sienna but crazy things happened during that year and we put buying a van on hold. So now here we are again looking at vans and my husband only wants to buy NEW... our mechanic said CVT engines are crap and advised us not to buy. Also someone we know happened to say the same thing. We plan to have the van for 10+ years. People having problems yet with the CVT engines in the sienna? I am hesitant to buy it, so I need help to decided if I should move forward with the purchase or not. 2nd option is the Honda unless the Toyota decides to go back to the automatic transmission for the 2022 model. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
The only relationship between the eCVT in the Sienna and the old CVT's are the letters C, V & T. The Sienna eCVT uses a planetary gear set instead of the old belt design that your mechanic is familiar with. There are no belts. It is a simple design, is much less complicated than an automatic transmission, and has proven to be very reliable.
 

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The hybrid uses an eCVT that is completely different from the CVT in a non-hybrid. I am not sure why they even used CVT to describe the transmission. In a hybrid, the engine does not drive the wheels directly full-time. Much of the time, it just generates power that is used by the electric motor to drive the wheels. As previously said, do not listen to the bad reviews about the non-hybrid CVTs.
 

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The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive is a brilliant piece Engineering.
It dates back to the Model T transmission. Two speeds forward and
reverse, from one planetary drive. The impressive thing is that Toyota
took a old concept that engineers would consider inefficient and made
it work so well.
 

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We had planned to buy a 2020 sienna but crazy things happened during that year and we put buying a van on hold. So now here we are again looking at vans and my husband only wants to buy NEW... our mechanic said CVT engines are crap and advised us not to buy. Also someone we know happened to say the same thing. We plan to have the van for 10+ years. People having problems yet with the CVT engines in the sienna? I am hesitant to buy it, so I need help to decided if I should move forward with the purchase or not. 2nd option is the Honda unless the Toyota decides to go back to the automatic transmission for the 2022 model. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
TOYOTA CVT transmissions are built by a different supplier than Nissan. Toyotas have held up well; not so for Nissan. The big problem is the driving experience. That is still crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TOYOTA CVT transmissions are built by a different supplier than Nissan. Toyotas have held up well; not so for Nissan. The big problem is the driving experience. That is still crap.
How is the driving experience ? The 2020 model was jerky and loud
 

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A video out there explaining the Toyota eCVT (I think auto something guy) said the engine and eCVT uses a gear to start up, avoiding the common slip with previous CVT designs.
 

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A video out there explaining the Toyota eCVT (I think auto something guy) said the engine and eCVT uses a gear to start up, avoiding the common slip with previous CVT designs.
There is no slip anywhere in the transmission. The electric motors take the place of friction or fluid torque transfer components in traditional transmissions.
 

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There is no slip anywhere in the transmission. The electric motors take the place of friction or fluid torque transfer components in traditional transmissions.
The planetary gear set is the ingenious part of the transaxle. It permits the engine to run at a constant speed while the gear ratio between the engine and the axles is varied by controlling the speed of Motor Generator #1 (MG1). Simply by varying the speed and direction of rotation of MG1, the gear ratio can go all the way from underdrive to overdrive with the engine running at a constant speed. There are gears all the way from the engine to the axles. MG2 is also connected to the axles through gearing so it can kick in to provide extra power. MG2 also provides the reverse gear by rotating backwards. There is nothing to slip. The differential was a great invention, but I believe the planetary gear set is even greater.
 

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We had planned to buy a 2020 sienna but crazy things happened during that year and we put buying a van on hold. So now here we are again looking at vans and my husband only wants to buy NEW... our mechanic said CVT engines are crap and advised us not to buy. Also someone we know happened to say the same thing. We plan to have the van for 10+ years. People having problems yet with the CVT engines in the sienna? I am hesitant to buy it, so I need help to decided if I should move forward with the purchase or not. 2nd option is the Honda unless the Toyota decides to go back to the automatic transmission for the 2022 model. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
CVT are more efficient than set-gear transmissions. Since your mechanic didn't detail what "crap" means, we can only speculate that it is reliability. Otherwise, he may be talking about how vehicles with CVT transmissions don't sound and rev like conventional vehicles, which he interprets as crap.

Putting off the 2020 Sienna purchase means that you get to buy the 2021, which is hybrid and gets 35 mpg. I'd look at that as a bonus.

If you are worried about the reliability anyway, just buy an extended warranty. There are people calling me everyday trying to sell me one. I'd get one from a reputable source.
 
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We had planned to buy a 2020 sienna but crazy things happened during that year and we put buying a van on hold. So now here we are again looking at vans and my husband only wants to buy NEW... our mechanic said CVT engines are crap and advised us not to buy. Also someone we know happened to say the same thing. We plan to have the van for 10+ years. People having problems yet with the CVT engines in the sienna? I am hesitant to buy it, so I need help to decided if I should move forward with the purchase or not. 2nd option is the Honda unless the Toyota decides to go back to the automatic transmission for the 2022 model. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
The Sienna uses Toyota's eCVT transaxle. This design varies the gear ratios by electronically varying the rotational direction and speed of the motor/generator that is splined to the sun gear of a planetary gear set. (The engine is splined to the planetary gear carrier, and the drive gear is driven by the ring gear around the planetary set.) There is no steel belt and pulley system like other CVT transmissions have, that have had problems. I suspect these are the ones your mechanic and acquaintance has had experience with. The Sienna's eCVT transaxle appears to me to be an ingenious design. You can check out the reliability record of the eCVT by looking at Consumer Report's detailed ratings for later models of the RAV4 and Highlander. They all rate very high. (I have also noticed that all of the Sienna hybrids I looked at before ordering one have transaxles manufactured in Japan, which is a positive in my books.) I have owned a 2021 Sienna Limited FWD model for 3,000 miles. I really like the smoothness of the eCVT drivetrain. Drive one before you rule it out.
 
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