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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies if there is a definitive thread on this already!

I want an AWD Sienna. That means I need to choose between 8 seats (LE only) or 7 seats (every other trim level when AWD).

I also want the synthetic leather. At least I think I do. The cloth seats in my existing family vehicle (2014 Mazda5 6MT) are a disaster, so if the synthetic leather is easy to clean and doesn't stain, I would love that.

95% of the time I would remove the 8th seat but I could see situations where it could be VERY handy.

So basically I must choose between 8 seats and cloth (LE) and 7 seats with the synthetic leather (XLE and up).

Does the 8 passenger configuration mean the middle row doesn't slide forward and back? Any other pros/cons between 7 vs. 8 seats?

There are also some other things in the XLE that are appealing (including power hatchgate), so the ONLY reason for me to go with an LE would be because the 8-seat setup if more important than everything else in the XLE.

I am leaning XLE AWD with Plus package some additional options (roof rails, spare tire, inverter, etc.), but I want to make sure I won't regret not having the 8th seat...

Any thoughts or advice?
 

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The 8th seat between the two captains chair is made for a very tiny person. It would have made a difference if it was a bench seat. But, it is not wide enough for a carseat. My butt would hurt for days sitting in that little gap. I'd say go for 7 unless you have a designated tiny person to put there.
 

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The 8th seat between the two captains chair is made for a very tiny person. It would have made a difference if it was a bench seat. But, it is not wide enough for a carseat. My butt would hurt for days sitting in that little gap. I'd say go for 7 unless you have a designated tiny person to put there.
Some would say on the rare occasion that an 8th seat is needed, let them sit on the floor. Probably more comfortable than the jump seat. Also, That great 1500w outlet is not available on the LE
 

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I went with the 8 passenger XLE... because even though that middle 8th seat for the second row is tiny it would allow someone to lie down if the need arises. If you take it out, there are two cup holders underneath and you can easily go to the back, making it a 7 seat Sienna
 

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Toyota Sienna 2021 AWD Platinum
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My thought would be around who is the likely 8th passenger. If a minor, than may be 8P is the way to to. If it is some random adult, than may be 7P. I say take a look inside of a 7P. It easily has enough spaces in there to throw in a couple of lounge chairs ;) At least one for sure facing rear behind the center bridge. It won't be very convenient, or safe, but many adults might pick it over the jump seat. However, kids may have to pick between Uncle Pete or Entertainment system since the rear screen is just on top of the rear bridge ;) :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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2018 Sienna LE
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Agree with the others. Depends on how you plan to use it.

In our case, both our LEs were 8 seaters with cloth seats. I used Scotch Guard on all the seats on the first weekend after we bought them. The nice thing about cloth seats is that they don't get as hot or cold in extreme weather as leather seats do.

The advantage of the 8 seats (other than seating 8) is that you can seat 5 in the first 2 rows and fold the 3rd row for cargo/bikes. We've used this configuration a lot. The 8th removable seat works fine for general use and you usually have at least one kid who can sit there (most minivaners buy them to haul kids.)

Hope that helps. It probably makes your decision more difficult :)

The best thing to do is go try out both options.
 

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List your priorities from 1 to 10, 1 being the most important & so on and so forth and you will get your answer.

Javvy
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The advantage of the 8 seats (other than seating 8) is that you can seat 5 in the first 2 rows and fold the 3rd row for cargo/bikes. We've used this configuration a lot. The 8th removable seat works fine for general use and you usually have at least one kid who can sit there (most minivaners buy them to haul kids.)
Thanks for all the tips so far. I think that 75-95% of the time we'd leave it out but being able to take an extra kid once in a while could be handy. Especially under these circumstances ^^^.

Can I fit 2 car seats and a booster across the 2nd row? That could make it super handy for times when we want to take a lot of stuff in back (folding the 3rd row)!

Is there a different in comfort or functionality in the middle row (8 seater with the middle removed vs. 7 seater)? Some seemed to think that the 2nd-row seats don't move forward and back as much in the 8 seater. Anyone know if that's true and if it's a big deal or not?

And you are right - this does make it a tougher decision!
 

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2018 Sienna LE
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Can I fit 2 car seats and a booster across the 2nd row? That could make it super handy for times when we want to take a lot of stuff in back (folding the 3rd row)!
We got our 3rd gen when the kids were done with boosters. I would have said yes for the 2nd gen but questionable with the 3rd gen and the little seat. You'd have to try it out at the dealership. (We did this when we bought our 2nd gen.)

Is there a different in comfort or functionality in the middle row (8 seater with the middle removed vs. 7 seater)? Some seemed to think that the 2nd-row seats don't move forward and back as much in the 8 seater. Anyone know if that's true and if it's a big deal or not?
Not sure really. The 2nd gen used to have arm-rests only in the 7 seater but the 3rd gen has arm-rests in the 8 seaters as well. Best to try it yourself.
You need to spend an afternoon at the dealership :)

And you are right - this does make it a tougher decision!
:)
 

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2020 Predawn Mica Gray Limited
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Having the open aisle is very convenient. The kids just hop in and head back, we never have to food the seats forward to let the kids into the 3rd row (and if you put car seats into the 2nd row seats the seats won’t fold forward anyways) so whoever wants to get into the 3rd row will be climbing over the seat mount to get back there
 

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I had the 7-seater 2011 XLE and now a Limited 7 seater - the 8th seat would have been handy to keep my dogs in the back behind the 2nd row, not even using it as a seat - just a barricade. I have gotten kind of creative with my barricades.
 

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Thanks for all the tips so far. I think that 75-95% of the time we'd leave it out but being able to take an extra kid once in a while could be handy. Especially under these circumstances ^^^.

Can I fit 2 car seats and a booster across the 2nd row? That could make it super handy for times when we want to take a lot of stuff in back (folding the 3rd row)!

Is there a different in comfort or functionality in the middle row (8 seater with the middle removed vs. 7 seater)? Some seemed to think that the 2nd-row seats don't move forward and back as much in the 8 seater. Anyone know if that's true and if it's a big deal or not?

And you are right - this does make it a tougher decision!
Hi! I have a 21 LE 8 pass. I currently have a toddler rear facing in a chicco nextfit on the drivers side and a chicco myfit in the center "jump" seat (myfit is a 5pt harness forward facing.) This leaves the passenger portion able to fold forward and slide front/back for ease of access to 3rd row or trunk space.

Hope that helps! I certainly think car seats in both outboard and a booster in the center would for based on my own config, but it would take out the option of folding/sliding.
 

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This thread is helpful. Can anyone tell me whether, on the 2021 Sienna, the two main seats in the second row are the same for the 7 and 8 passenger models? I know there is a difference at the floor level to accommodate the 8th seat. But I cannot tell whether seats 3 and 4 are identical, with or without the 8th seat.
 

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This thread is helpful. Can anyone tell me whether, on the 2021 Sienna, the two main seats in the second row are the same for the 7 and 8 passenger models? I know there is a difference at the floor level to accommodate the 8th seat. But I cannot tell whether seats 3 and 4 are identical, with or without the 8th seat.
I saw a pic of both the channels/tracks and bottoms of the 2nd row seats on a 8 passenger model where the person on this forum removed them (search for removal of 2nd row seats). The passenger-side 2nd row seat and tracks appear to be the same. The Driver side uses an inside track spaced very closely to the inside track of the passenger-side seat. The base of the driver-side seat is wider, and includes a couple cupholders and tray that supports the center seat when installed. Similar to a 60/40 arrangement on the 3rd row.

Hope this helps.
 

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I saw a pic of both the channels/tracks and bottoms of the 2nd row seats on a 8 passenger model where the person on this forum removed them (search for removal of 2nd row seats). The passenger-side 2nd row seat and tracks appear to be the same. The Driver side uses an inside track spaced very closely to the inside track of the passenger-side seat. The base of the driver-side seat is wider, and includes a couple cupholders and tray that supports the center seat when installed. Similar to a 60/40 arrangement on the 3rd row.

Hope this helps.
That is helpful. Thanks!
 
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