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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy!

Just put $1,000 to reserve one from a dealership in Phoenix, Arizona!!! Whoohoo! It's a '22 Silver XLE. I've been looking for one since February. The build date is 4/22. 2nd baby arrives in September. Family of 4 can't fit into a Lexus GS very well.

What are the chances of us getting the car in June for a road trip before the baby arrives? They say it's from Princeton, Indiana.

Another question: am I crazy? Because some people are saying it and I am questioning my sanity.
1. Never owned a minivan!!! (My previous cars the last 20 years: Lexus ES, IS, GS, LS, RX, and LC)
2. Never driven a hybrid!
3. Never seen the car in real life (at least the ones from '21+)
4. Never driven a car without a spare tire or RFT. The one I ordered did not have the spare tire option.
 

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Congrats and welcome!

We've owned 5 minivans over the past 25 years, and they are a great family choice. When our youngest completes college it will probably be time for something else. I'll let others respond to your other questions!
 
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I've never been a fan of minivans, I thought that they were strictly for soccer moms or Irish Catholic family's with 9 children. I've always driven customized cars, hot rods, low-rider mini trucks, lifted 4x4s, and motorcycles. I've always looked at cars at a fashion accessory with which to make a statement or to represent my personality.
I own my own Remodeling/Handyman business an last year my truck was coming due for a replacement and it wasn't perfectly suitable for my needs anymore. As much as I hated to admit it, a minivan was exactly what I needed. I could carry all the tools that I need on a regular basis, but with the van I could leave them in the van at all times. With the truck, I had to worry about them getting rained on. And with the crime in Birmingham, AL (my home town) these days, I had to move them all into the cab every night and/or when I go to Home Depot (usually at least once a day) or any other store for that matter.
Anyway, while shopping I ran across a 2012 black Sienna. It was good deal, perfect for my needs, and, my fiancee loved it. And she's not even a soccer mom. Both of our kids are grown, legally at least. They are 19 and 22.
Now that I've had it for some time, I can't believe I haven't been driving mini vans all my life. It is comfortable for me and any other 7 people I choose to take with me anywhere we want to go. It drives like a sports car as it comes factory with 305 horsepower and optional manual shift 6 speed, it rides and handles great, attracts ZERO attention from the police, and serves every need I've ever had for work, including towing my 6x8 cargo trailer, full of my tools for the bigger jobs, on a regular basis, all while getting fairly decent gas mileage. I couldn't think of a more perfect vehicle.
Plus, because of all the custom cars and trucks in my past, I have a storage building and a few closets full of all types of custom accessories. So, just for fun, and because I don't want to be a total grown up all the time, I've now decked it out with a couple of subs and amps, LEDs, neons, strobes, cold air intake, exhaust, Jet Performance Chip, and Angel Eye headlights.
The greatest kick my fiancee and get now is when some little punk kid pulls up in his Civic or Eclipse, or whatever, thinking he's all that with his stereo up and we crank ours up. We love watching them get that surprised look, muting their music, and start looking around thinking surely its not the minivan next to them showing them up. Then when they realize it is, they get mad and want to rev up their little bumblebee in a mayonnaise jar exhaust and chirp their tires just to show off that at least they are faster. Wrong, sorry Opie, that's when we take off and blow their doors off (as us old fogeys like to say).
And to top it all off, if we do just so happen to pass a cop, who do you think he's pulling over? The soccer mom? Nope! He will get Ole fast and furious that is half a block back.
Sometimes being old isn't so bad, as long as you never give up being young.
 

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Another question: am I crazy? Because some people are saying it and I am questioning my sanity.
1. Never owned a minivan!!! (My previous cars the last 20 years: Lexus ES, IS, GS, LS, RX, and LC)
2. Never driven a hybrid!
3. Never seen the car in real life (at least the ones from '21+)
4. Never driven a car without a spare tire or RFT. The one I ordered did not have the spare tire option.
I don’t think so. A little background. I just bought a 2014 Sienna LE. Before that I drove a sedan, upgraded to an SUV (2013 Honda Pilot) when we got a camper, then finally a 2020 Silverado 1500 for better camping towing performance. When I had the Pilot my thought was a minivan would be better in every way (gas mileage, interior room, passenger comfort, etc) but we needed the extra towing capacity for our 4500 lb camper that a minivan wouldn’t have. Truck, well I hate driving the truck. I’m tall and love the headroom and interior space, but despite what die hard truck guys will tell you they aren’t great winter vehicles. Back end slides out way too easy, they are too heavy. I prefer a FWD or AWD sedan or small crossover. The best winter experience I had was a FWD Honda Accord with winter tires. I’ve never felt more in control in the winter, but I degress. Anyway, the truck is also huge and has a terrible turning radius, so it sucks to maneuver and park. Gas mileage is terrible.

Due to recently becoming single the truck and camper are going. I was thinking of a hybrid RAV4, and actually started the process of getting one, then one coworker asked if I should be spending that much money on a new car, and one said I should get a minivan. That coworker drives one and he’s partners but doesn’t have kids. He calls it the superior utility vehicle. I thought back to my thoughts when I owned the Pilot, and realized he was right. Take out the middle row seats and fit an entire sheet of plywood, drywall, or shitloads of cargo (well, can’t easily do that in a 2022 Sienna, sorry). Take a group of your coworkers to lunch (my minivan coworker drives us to lunch all the time). And it drives so much nicer than my truck did.

I liked the hybrid RAV4, I think you’ll find the hybrid Sienna works great and you’ll like it too.

Anyway, that’s the long version of how a 30 year old single man ended up driving a minivan, and loving it.

Good luck! I think you’ll like it.
 

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I have co-workers who shake their head and swear they won't get caught dead in a minivan. But for anyone willing to just not care what others think, minivans are the most well-packaged, practical, and comfortable vehicles around. Now with hybrid and AWD, you also get great fuel economy and great winter traction if you need it. I do share the hesitation about not having a spare (not even an option in Canada for anything except LE trim), but then again, I've actually never used the spare in my car for the past 25 years of driving (of course, now that I don't have one, it's almost certain I'll get caught needing one)...

I should add though, given your history with Lexus vehicles, you may find the Sienna a bit lacking in the luxury department (such as road noise and general quality of materials). Perhaps a Limited or Platinum would be slightly more inline with what you're used to?
 

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I have found that the mini van is the most useful and cost effective format from the utility perspective. Capacity to haul stuff securely, low load floor, flexibility to haul 7/8 people, great for pets, easy to change in at the trail head and decent to drive. Mini vans are also much cheaper than pickups, especially used, it would have literally cost me twice as much to get a Taco vs. my AWD Sienna. Unless you are towing, hauling messy stuff or driving difficult terrain off road the van makes more sense.
 

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Congrats on the expected baby! You will love the van. I've seen a few silver 4th-gen Siennas around town and they are very handsome. Silver looks especially good on this generation of Siennas with the curvy styling.

I should have gotten a minivan a lot sooner than I did. I didn't get one when the kids were little because I couldn't stomach driving something that got ~18 mpg. I got a used 1st-gen Highlander hybrid instead, and I swapped it for a Sienna several years later when a 3rd dog put us over capacity. Life got easier right away and all I could think was that I could have had sliding doors and cargo space all that time. lol. At this point I am regularly transporting multiple adult-sized people, dogs, and stuff for the house, and I've gotten used to driving around in a Barcalounger on wheels, so I'm trading for a hybrid to make myself happier about the mpg.

I loved driving my Highlander hybrid, and my test drive in a Sienna hybrid felt very similar. It's different from a conventional gas engine but I think you'll get used to it quickly. The best part is how it goes quiet at stoplights (well, and the fuel economy).

I don't know how a Sienna XLE will compare to the Lexuses you've had but I think you'll like it. My cars before the Highlander were stick-shift base models, so my 2018 Sienna XLE feels like a luxury car to me. I actually like stick-shift base models, so I'll probably feel like I'm on another planet in the Limited I just reserved (only thing with an inverter at my dealership). Tell you what, if yours isn't enough for you and mine is too much for me, we can meet in the middle of the country and swap :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Congrats and welcome!

We've owned 5 minivans over the past 25 years, and they are a great family choice. When our youngest completes college it will probably be time for something else. I'll let others respond to your other questions!
Thanks!

The funny thing is that if you talk to someone who has never owned/driven a minivan, they wouldn't to be caught dead in it. But for someone who actually owned one, they swear by it. It's a platform either you hate it or love it. What made you pick the Sienna? It was so hard to pick between the Carnival, Odyssey, Pacifica, and Sienna. I hope we made the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've never been a fan of minivans, I thought that they were strictly for soccer moms or Irish Catholic family's with 9 children. I've always driven customized cars, hot rods, low-rider mini trucks, lifted 4x4s, and motorcycles. I've always looked at cars at a fashion accessory with which to make a statement or to represent my personality.
I own my own Remodeling/Handyman business an last year my truck was coming due for a replacement and it wasn't perfectly suitable for my needs anymore. As much as I hated to admit it, a minivan was exactly what I needed. I could carry all the tools that I need on a regular basis, but with the van I could leave them in the van at all times. With the truck, I had to worry about them getting rained on. And with the crime in Birmingham, AL (my home town) these days, I had to move them all into the cab every night and/or when I go to Home Depot (usually at least once a day) or any other store for that matter.
Anyway, while shopping I ran across a 2012 black Sienna. It was good deal, perfect for my needs, and, my fiancee loved it. And she's not even a soccer mom. Both of our kids are grown, legally at least. They are 19 and 22.
Now that I've had it for some time, I can't believe I haven't been driving mini vans all my life. It is comfortable for me and any other 7 people I choose to take with me anywhere we want to go. It drives like a sports car as it comes factory with 305 horsepower and optional manual shift 6 speed, it rides and handles great, attracts ZERO attention from the police, and serves every need I've ever had for work, including towing my 6x8 cargo trailer, full of my tools for the bigger jobs, on a regular basis, all while getting fairly decent gas mileage. I couldn't think of a more perfect vehicle.
Plus, because of all the custom cars and trucks in my past, I have a storage building and a few closets full of all types of custom accessories. So, just for fun, and because I don't want to be a total grown up all the time, I've now decked it out with a couple of subs and amps, LEDs, neons, strobes, cold air intake, exhaust, Jet Performance Chip, and Angel Eye headlights.
The greatest kick my fiancee and get now is when some little punk kid pulls up in his Civic or Eclipse, or whatever, thinking he's all that with his stereo up and we crank ours up. We love watching them get that surprised look, muting their music, and start looking around thinking surely its not the minivan next to them showing them up. Then when they realize it is, they get mad and want to rev up their little bumblebee in a mayonnaise jar exhaust and chirp their tires just to show off that at least they are faster. Wrong, sorry Opie, that's when we take off and blow their doors off (as us old fogeys like to say).
And to top it all off, if we do just so happen to pass a cop, who do you think he's pulling over? The soccer mom? Nope! He will get Ole fast and furious that is half a block back.
Sometimes being old isn't so bad, as long as you never give up being young.
LOL! Thanks for sharing your story! You have to watch this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have co-workers who shake their head and swear they won't get caught dead in a minivan. But for anyone willing to just not care what others think, minivans are the most well-packaged, practical, and comfortable vehicles around. Now with hybrid and AWD, you also get great fuel economy and great winter traction if you need it. I do share the hesitation about not having a spare (not even an option in Canada for anything except LE trim), but then again, I've actually never used the spare in my car for the past 25 years of driving (of course, now that I don't have one, it's almost certain I'll get caught needing one)...

I should add though, given your history with Lexus vehicles, you may find the Sienna a bit lacking in the luxury department (such as road noise and general quality of materials). Perhaps a Limited or Platinum would be slightly more inline with what you're used to?
Yea I feel like the minivan has gotten a bad stigma and those old commercials and movies with soccer moms didn't really help. The minivan selection is so limited vs. crossovers/sedans/trucks. I live in AZ so I will never see snow (except for high elevation areas that I never really visit) so AWD option is nice but it's not necessary for us. I have never needed my spare tire once for the last 20+ years but with my luck...I'd probably need one the first day picking up the car!! :)

Honestly, we didn't really have a choice on the trim. The XLE that I reserved was the last on in the allocation. I was hoping for the Platinum but they say beggars can't be choosers (and I feel like buyers are definitely beggars in this market) But the things that I absolutely needed are on the XLE so I'm satisfied (leather, smart keys, power liftgate, and parking sensors) the rest are nice to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Minivan is most practical use of vehicle space.

Oh, and did I mention sliding doors.
Keywords that pretty much summed up our existence: "sliding doors". When you're used to them, you can't really go back! We rented a minivan in my last vacation and (the same time we found out she's pregnant) and my wife was sold on the minivan idea. We came back from vacation in February and immediately started looking. I'm glad that we're able to find one in a relatively short period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have found that the mini van is the most useful and cost effective format from the utility perspective. Capacity to haul stuff securely, low load floor, flexibility to haul 7/8 people, great for pets, easy to change in at the trail head and decent to drive. Mini vans are also much cheaper than pickups, especially used, it would have literally cost me twice as much to get a Taco vs. my AWD Sienna. Unless you are towing, hauling messy stuff or driving difficult terrain off road the van makes more sense.
We don't haul 7 - 8 people. We (will) have 2 kids and with all their stuff, that's like 7-8 people :)

I agree, I feel like trucks are extremely overpriced for the amount of room you get! Besides, camping is a minivan is so much more fun than a truck! (i think)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Congrats on the expected baby! You will love the van. I've seen a few silver 4th-gen Siennas around town and they are very handsome. Silver looks especially good on this generation of Siennas with the curvy styling.

I should have gotten a minivan a lot sooner than I did. I didn't get one when the kids were little because I couldn't stomach driving something that got ~18 mpg. I got a used 1st-gen Highlander hybrid instead, and I swapped it for a Sienna several years later when a 3rd dog put us over capacity. Life got easier right away and all I could think was that I could have had sliding doors and cargo space all that time. lol. At this point I am regularly transporting multiple adult-sized people, dogs, and stuff for the house, and I've gotten used to driving around in a Barcalounger on wheels, so I'm trading for a hybrid to make myself happier about the mpg.

I loved driving my Highlander hybrid, and my test drive in a Sienna hybrid felt very similar. It's different from a conventional gas engine but I think you'll get used to it quickly. The best part is how it goes quiet at stoplights (well, and the fuel economy).

I don't know how a Sienna XLE will compare to the Lexuses you've had but I think you'll like it. My cars before the Highlander were stick-shift base models, so my 2018 Sienna XLE feels like a luxury car to me. I actually like stick-shift base models, so I'll probably feel like I'm on another planet in the Limited I just reserved (only thing with an inverter at my dealership). Tell you what, if yours isn't enough for you and mine is too much for me, we can meet in the middle of the country and swap :)
That's a great idea!!!! We can meet at a Denny's parking lot and I'll just Venmo you the price difference! :) I was hoping for the Platinum trim but I that was supposed to be the last one in the "allocation" I could wait but they wouldn't know what trim they would get in next allocation. We figured all the stuff that we need is in the XLE (leather, smart keys, power liftgate..etc.) so we decided to reserve the XLE (and it comes in a color we want)

It would be a worse situation for me if there's a platinum trim in gasp green!!!

We actually looked at the Highlander but there's something about the sliding door appeal that you can't really get past. Haha. When you get your Sienna, give us a run down on the differences between Sienna/Highlander. I'd like to hear from someone who actually owned both.
 

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Howdy!

Just put $1,000 to reserve one from a dealership in Phoenix, Arizona!!! Whoohoo! It's a '22 Silver XLE. I've been looking for one since February. The build date is 4/22. 2nd baby arrives in September. Family of 4 can't fit into a Lexus GS very well.

What are the chances of us getting the car in June for a road trip before the baby arrives? They say it's from Princeton, Indiana.

Another question: am I crazy? Because some people are saying it and I am questioning my sanity.
1. Never owned a minivan!!! (My previous cars the last 20 years: Lexus ES, IS, GS, LS, RX, and LC)
2. Never driven a hybrid!
3. Never seen the car in real life (at least the ones from '21+)
4. Never driven a car without a spare tire or RFT. The one I ordered did not have the spare tire option.
Congrats!! I am also on a similar boat. Never owned a minivan (Audi Q7 was the closest but sold it back to Audi due to dieselgate), never had a hybrid. Most of my cars other than the Q7 are either sports coupe or sports sedan. Honestly I am not too worried about the driving dynamics as I always put on a different mindset when I am not driving a sports car.

I don't mind without the spare tire as much (you can always buy one and put it in the trunk for a longer road trip). In fact, this will be the 2nd Toyota I will own since my first car (Corolla) when I was 18.

GL!
 

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When you get your Sienna, give us a run down on the differences between Sienna/Highlander
I had a 2007 Highlander and a 2018 Sienna, so the comparison might not be very valid now (current Highlanders are larger) -- but the difference was space. My Highlander had a 3rd row but it was essentially useless: a small adult or teen could barely fit, anybody sitting back there had to climb over the 2nd row, the 3rd-row seats were too small for a car seat, and a booster seat would have lifted even a little kid too high for the space. Also, anybody back there was right next to the rear window. So I almost always kept the 3rd row stowed, and the car was great otherwise. Actually I nearly always keep the Sienna third row stowed too, now that we have a different 3rd dog (long story) and I have to keep a crate in the car for her all the time. But at least the Sienna third row is usable, and my tall teens have ridden back there by their own choice without complaining.

So if you need 3rd-row seating, you need a minivan. If you need cargo space in the rear, a minivan gives you a lot more than an SUV because a minivan has a shorter hood. (That's how I bought the 2018 Sienna, by the way: I went to the dealership with a tape measure to see if the big dog crate that wouldn't fit in the Highlander would fit in a Sienna, and they managed to sell me one while I was there.)

A silver minivan is invisible, by the way. Even more so than any other minivan or my old silver Highlander. You'll find out. That's why I've called it the perfect heist vehicle.
 

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My .02.

I have always wanted a minivan, since collage days. I like long road trips. Nothing beats minivan for them. I got C300 around our first born in 2010 because I wanted a luxury car too. I figured if you're going out of your way to buy something expensive, you might as well get it soon to get more use out of it. Our 2nd backup car 2001 Prism kept going until Dec. 2020 so I didn't really have a need to buy another car. Prism died sitting unused in parking lot due to Covid, and the timing couldn't have been more prefect. A couple of months early, and Sienna Hybrid wouldn't have been out yet. A couple of months later, and that would have been the start of the supply chain mayhem! (RIP Prism!)

For everyone passing on minivan for an SUV or a crossover, I say good for you (and us too in this tight supply market! IMHO, its their loss ;) ).

Minivans have so much utility, daily practical uses.
Sliding doors, and ability to just "Walk-in (a bit hunched over)" to get kids in/out of the car seats doesn't seem like a chore anymore, especially in rough weather.

Speaking specifically for Sienna, 2nd seats long slides are amazing. I am lounging back there (a lot), when kids are out for dance or sports.

Hybrid MPGs close the deal!

About driving experience, Sienna can't beat a sports car, but you won't completely miss it either. Electric motors have a good kick to it. For reference, our 2011 C300 has 0-60 of 7.1. Our Sienna has 7.5. That's about the same if you ask me!

p.s. If you have OCD for keeping cars tidy, be warned! This is a lot of car to keep clean from the inside, especially with kids. One of these days, I am just going to carry a mop and a bucket all the time in ours ;).

For spare, link below has my take on it. FWIW, I just picked two of my friends from the airport with the spare like this. I was still able to put their 4 full size, and 2 carry ons back there. The 3rd seat needed to be slightly reclined in, for the last bag.
 

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We don't haul 7 - 8 people. We (will) have 2 kids and with all their stuff, that's like 7-8 people :)

I agree, I feel like trucks are extremely overpriced for the amount of room you get! Besides, camping is a minivan is so much more fun than a truck! (i think)
LOL, everyone always thinks that they don't need the extra capacity for their 2 kids. The tricky part is that they will have friends. Friends who need rides to all of the activities that start kicking in and play on the same soccer team, etc.. Pretty soon you will be happy for the extra seating so that you can kid carpool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Congrats!! I am also on a similar boat. Never owned a minivan (Audi Q7 was the closest but sold it back to Audi due to dieselgate), never had a hybrid. Most of my cars other than the Q7 are either sports coupe or sports sedan. Honestly I am not too worried about the driving dynamics as I always put on a different mindset when I am not driving a sports car.

I don't mind without the spare tire as much (you can always buy one and put it in the trunk for a longer road trip). In fact, this will be the 2nd Toyota I will own since my first car (Corolla) when I was 18.

GL!
That's great to hear. I keep hearing how slow it is and I did have some concerns but reading the specs where it says 0-60 in 7.7s, I don't think it'll be too bad when I need to merge. about the spare tire, I'm thinking of getting a full size one and throw it on top of the roof when I go on a road trip.
 
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