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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like the next generation Chrysler minivans will have a 9-speed transmission and optional AWD:
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/next-gen-chrysler-minivans-to-get-9-speed-automatic-all-wheel-drive/

Both Toyota and Honda minivans are due for a redesign, probably in 2015. The last redesign for both vans was more of a refresh, the powertrain and suspension was essentially identical to the previous version.

It is easy to predict the direction Honda will take: the 3.5L with the CVT transmission from the Accord.

Toyota is harder to predict. The Highlander was just released with ye olde 3.5L and 6 spd transmission. The Rav4 was redesigned last year and the V6 was dropped, leaving the 2.5 4-cylinder as the only engine. The Avalon redesign also continues to use the 3.5L.

So, the next large vehicle Toyota will be redesigning should be the Sienna. I would be surprised if Toyota introduced an all-new engine or transmission for the Sienna. They usually like to trickle down from their higher end vehicles. On the other hand, the 3.5L has been in production since 2005 and was first used in the Avalon. Yes, the engine is very good, but it is now ten years old and overdue for a replacement.

My big question is Toyota falling behind when compared to other automakers? Ford and Hyundai are offering turbocharged engines that are powerful and efficient. Almost all of Nissan vehicles use CVT transmissions.

I am curious because our 2008 Sienna is due for replacement. I purposely avoided the 3rd generation Sienna because I didn't feel like it was much of an upgrade.

So, what does everyone expect with the next van (gen 4)?
 

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A few weeks ago I attended a dealer meeting and the only discussion of the new van was a picture of the interior. Very Lexus looking. Very upscale over today.
 

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I can't see the 4th gen Sienna coming in 2015.

Do The Sienna math
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1st Gen was 1998 - 2003 (6 years)
2nd Gen was 2004 - 2010 (7 years)
3rd Gen 2011 - 2015 (would only be 5 years)

They will probably need to have a 7 speed tranny in the 4th Gen new model. Interior should be improved, due to the number of complains as to the cheapness of the 3rd gen's interior. It will probably use some styling queues from Hyundai or the new Mazda designs.

What I would really be interested in is seeing Hyundai use the styling from the Elantra/Sonata and use it on a brand new Entourage.

Happy camper do you normally replace your Sienna after 5 years? What's the mileage your 2008?

Regards, JC.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My 2008 has approx. 120k miles on it. I plan to replace it when it gets to 160-180K miles. I am willing to wait for a redesign if needed, the current Sienna isn't very appealing to me.

As for mileage: it gets slightly above 20 mpg in the summer, and just below 20 mpg in the winter (Minnesota).

3rd Gen 2011 - 2015 (would only be 5 years)
Automakers have been tightening up their redesign cycles. Pickup trucks are redesigned every 4 years. The current Camry was released in 2012, and there are strong rumors that the redesign will be released in 2016.
 

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Checking these two links,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Sienna#Sales
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Camry#Sales

in 2013
Total US Camry Sales = 408,484
Total US Sienna Sales = 121,117

As we know, Camry is the bread and butter vehicle for Toyota in the US. It needs to compete agains the Accord, so they will be more likely to update the Camry more often.

The Sienna's competitor is the Odyssey and with sales being fraction of the Camry sales, I cannot see them being eager to change the design of the Sienna. IMO, unless the Ody comes out with something that looks better than both the current Sienna and Ody combined, then we probably need to wait at least 2 more years to see a refresh.

You would at least think, they would come out with some sort of Hybrid and or Diesel model that is better on gas to bump up sales.

Regards, JC.
 

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Yup, the 6th generation Chrysler minivans WILL get the ZF 9 speed and AWD will return after being dropped nearly a decade ago. Can't wait, I wish Chrysler would give an official date for the redesign. Their has been too many rumors in the past years of the redesign and the dropping of either the Caravan or the T&C. But on the good side the SWB models will return as well. This will for sure increase sales even more.

The 3.5 is a good motor, and the motor being 10 years old doesn't mean they should drop it all together and start with a new motor that's crappy. Take Chrysler's 3.3/3.8 for example. They have been in production for approximately 20 years, and that shows how good those "bulletproof" motors were. Many have achieved 300k+ miles with those engines. Same with the Corolla's 1.8, been around for more than 20 years and goes to show how reliable they have been. Chrysler's 5.7 Hemi motor is yet another example of that. Toyota's 1.5, from the Tercel, Echo and Yaris is a bulletproof motor. Been around for a long time and has proven itself.

Look at Ford with their Powerstroke diesel. The 7.3 was an excellent motor, and then it was dropped for the 6.0 than the 6.4 and they were utterly crap, now they have the 6.7 and I have no clue how good it is cause they are fairly new yet. Remember Chrysler's 2.7? That was a sludge machine and a huge failure, same goes for Toyota's 3.0 that was in the first gen Sienna. Many ended up sludging up. Yes many achieved high mileage with little maintenance, but at the same time many have had premature failures.

Basically my point is that Toyota shouldn't drop the 3.5. Instead do some modifications or change specs to boost HP in some way to push it to 300+ HP.

I hate CVT's BTW. Stupidest things ever, takes forever just to get to 60 MPH, and you're basically redlining the engine. Can't imagine them putting a CVT into a van...Stupidest thing ever. Toyota falling behind in interior quality, yes, but not performance wise.

Let's wait and see what Toyota will be doing in the next couple years, my bet is that the Sienna and Caravan/T&C will be redesigned in 2016. I wish they would eliminate the uglyssey from the game altogether.
 

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I wish they would start to offer more fuel efficient engines like turbo charged 4 cylinder or even Diesel and a manual transmission as option. The Chrysler minivan has been sold in Europe since 1992 with a Diesel engine. First with a 2.5L and since 2004 with the 2.8L 4 cylinder Diesel from VM Italy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Voyager
But then the vehicle price would probably go up significantly which would make it less appealing with higher Diesel fuel prices here in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Sienna really needs to go on a diet. If the Ford F150 can drop over 700 lbs, then the Sienna should be able to lose 300-500 lbs.
 

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I'd like to see how reliable that 9 speed transmission is. I cross shopped the Caravans too and while I have no issues with Chrysler's V6 motors, I felt more comfortable with Toyota's transmission.

I may get some hate but I prefer the Odyssey. But like the Caravan, I also didn't trust the 2nd gen Honda Odyssey transmissions. But my next van will be a 3rd or 4th gen Odyssey.
 

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I'd like to see how reliable that 9 speed transmission is. I cross shopped the Caravans too and while I have no issues with Chrysler's V6 motors, I felt more comfortable with Toyota's transmission.

I may get some hate but I prefer the Odyssey. But like the Caravan, I also didn't trust the 2nd gen Honda Odyssey transmissions. But my next van will be a 3rd or 4th gen Odyssey.
Yea, let's see how the ZF 9 speed holds up. It's currently being used in the 2014 Cherokee. Chrysler trannies are cheaper to fix and replace than a Honda tranny. Honda has tranny issues too you know!

I hate the look of the current gen tranny. Did you hear the recall on the 3rd gen odyssey?
 

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That's what I heard, about $1500-2000 for Dodge transmissions vs. $3000+ for Honda transmissions. That's crazy. I haven't heard that 3rd gen Odysseys were recalled. You would figure they would've fixed the issues by then.
 

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When was a recall issued on the 3rd gen Odyssey? I owned a 2005 EX-L throughout 2012 and it actually wasn't a bad van, but that VCM system definitely could be felt engaging. Not only that, but that active motor mount would vibe like crazy when it was going bad.
 

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I was cross shopping the caravan, osyssey and the Sienna Se for some months...my take was the Odyssey drove the best comfort wise, the caravan I liked the new 30th anniversary blacktop edition and could get one new for under the price of a used honda or toyota but was worried about reputation. I chose the Sienna because well I hate Timing belts and the costs to replace them. I am happy with the Sienna SE.
 

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Here's hoping the Sienna redesign gets rid of those stupid trolleys under the mid row seats and goes back to a flat floor when the middle seats are removed. I was quite bummed when I sold my old 2004 Sienna AWD and picked up a rebuilt 2011 a year ago. I will say the the 2011 is a noticeably better tow vehicle, however.
 

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I was speaking with some dealer friends I know and they say 2016. I told them we definitely need upgraded interiors - who on earth wants pale gray carpeting and every surface to be pale gray plastic? Told them that they really need to take a leaf out of Honda Odyssey's leaf or Toyota's own upmarket SUV for interior design. NAV system should be placed higher central (where the info system is now) for easier reading and the radio and info should have their own dedicated screen roughly where the Sienna Nav system is now. Current Nav location is just too low and too right of the drivers' position. Other things - improve speed of communication from hand held controls to Nav and Bluetooth. How long does it take currently to recognize I've hung up on a call? AGES! Replace all the dinks in the nav/Bluetooth system audio. Either read my texts or don't, but don't just tell me half of what I got. Car mats - make them ALL darker. Dirt shows less! Who do they think are driving minivans????? Exterior colors need updating. May be the lovely dark eggplant color the new highlander has or a very, very dark Navy. Anything but light silver and gold!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
With the mild 2015 refresh, I'd guess that the earliest chance for a redesign would be MY 2017. Meanwhile, I will keep driving my '08. I strongly believe that the next round will have a completely new powertrain that gets better gas mileage. It's kinda embarrassing when a full size 4X4 pickup can beat the gas mileage of the minivans currently for sale.
 

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I'd guess 2017 is the latest. It's very likely that Honda will release the Gen 5 Odyssy in 2016 model year so I hope Toyota will do the same with Sienna.
 
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