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The G2 Prius was well ahead of its time in many respects and SKS was just one of the smaller "cool things" just like the rear view camera that came standard in all models. Back then, only lux/premium lines had both of those. It was said that the G2 didn't make money till the G3 which dropped both of those features and others in the base model. De-contenting and moving features up the model line is, unfortunately for the consumer, SOP across manufacturers to this day.
Sure, that makes sense from the perspective of the car company. But, l am puzzled, in this same decontenting approach, why in the world does toyota put power sliding side doors on the sienna LE when they could use cheaper manual sliding doors instead?
 

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Sure, that makes sense from the perspective of the car company. But, l am puzzled, in this same decontenting approach, why in the world does toyota put power sliding side doors on the sienna LE when they could use cheaper manual sliding doors instead?
It's all a tradeoff of trying to make the most money by putting various levels of features at various price points. I think more people expect, and prefer, power sliding doors than they do the ability to unlock doors just by walking up and putting your hand on the door handle.
 

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It's all a tradeoff of trying to make the most money by putting various levels of features at various price points. I think more people expect, and prefer, power sliding doors than they do the ability to unlock doors just by walking up and putting your hand on the door handle.
Perhaps you're right.

I am curious, with non-smart fob on the Sienna LE, when you get in the car, where/how must the fob be placed to start the car?
 

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Perhaps you're right.

I am curious, with non-smart fob on the Sienna LE, when you get in the car, where/how must the fob be placed to start the car?
Anywhere inside the box (including the cargo area). If I remember correctly, the only time the fob must be near the START/STOP button for the van to start is when the fob battery is dead.
 

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So the non-smart fob and an actual smart key behave essentially the same inside the cabin? So the main feature of a smart key is the ability to unlock the car from the outside without having to push buttons on the fob? Is that generally correct?
 

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So the non-smart fob and an actual smart key behave essentially the same inside the cabin? So the main feature of a smart key is the ability to unlock the car from the outside without having to push buttons on the fob? Is that generally correct?
Yup. If normally carrying stuff to van then smart key handy but otherwise like the kick sensors it depends on need and usage.
 

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Thanks all! Yes hoping to delay as much as possible just want to be ready if we need to buy all of a sudden.
Good to know about the seats. Anything of be missing out on with the LE other than comforts/upgraded things? Something that would make you definitely want a certain trim level?
Consider ordering a new one now at MSRP from a dealer that offers a return of your deposit if you change your mind.

Used prices on Sienna's are just plain nuts. I sold my used one for $6000 more than I paid for the exact same new one the day before. It will settle down but there is no definite timeline for reality to set in. If the market doesn't change much by the time you are ready to buy you may be kicking yourself for not ordering a new one.
 

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So the non-smart fob and an actual smart key behave essentially the same inside the cabin? So the main feature of a smart key is the ability to unlock the car from the outside without having to push buttons on the fob? Is that generally correct?
No, the SKS has push button start so a metal key is never used. One never has to physically touch or manipulate the FOB to enter a locked vehicle and/or start it so the FOB can stay in the pocket, purse, etc. Truly hands free. Once you've used/had SKS, going back to the "old way" is not easy. If one has two vehicles with and without, the differences really stand out. Most SKS still have a hidden metal key in the FOB to unlock the doors in case the 12v is dead.
 

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No, the SKS has push button start so a metal key is never used. One never has to physically touch or manipulate the FOB to enter a locked vehicle and/or start it so the FOB can stay in the pocket, purse, etc. Truly hands free. Once you've used/had SKS, going back to the "old way" is not easy. If one has two vehicles with and without, the differences really stand out. Most SKS still have a hidden metal key in the FOB to unlock the doors in case the 12v is dead.
Thanks, l have an SKS on our old 08 prius, so l am familiar with the toyota SKS system. I more want to understand the non smart key system. So in the Sienna LE (so non SKS), to open the car, you gotta pull out the fob and press the unlock button on it, correct?

Then, once you are in van, how is the car started with a non SKS ? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks for all the info! What are the wait times right now for getting something new? Never thought about putting down a deposit, but then again we've never bought a new car before. I think we will at least try and wait until the spring, but if something does go wrong that we don't want to fix we will have a backup plan. We are at that point where each repair we start considering if we should fix or buy something new.
 

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Thanks for all the info! What are the wait times right now for getting something new? Never thought about putting down a deposit, but then again we've never bought a new car before. I think we will at least try and wait until the spring, but if something does go wrong that we don't want to fix we will have a backup plan. We are at that point where each repair we start considering if we should fix or buy something new.
A data point: I put down a deposit in April 2022 and just drove home my XLE Sienna last week. A 7 month wait. You can always put down a deposit to get on the wait-list first. If one gets allocated to you, you can choose to pass it along if it doesn't fit the specs you want. They'll keep you on the wait-list for the next allocation.
 

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The LE does not have a power tailgate, and does not come with lumbar adjustment for driver. Also doesn't have smart-key access.
This would be a deal killer for me on the LE. The whole point of a minivan is to have power doors, so I would really miss the hatch not being powered. Plus it would be hard for my short wife to reach the handle to pull it closed if it wasn't powered.

Also, if you've ever had a car with smart key (proximity key) it's hard to not have it. So much more convenient.

I got an XLE with Plus package but only because I couldn't find a Platinum. I would have happily paid extra for more features, provided it wasn't a ridiculous mark-up.
 

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To be clear, while they can be removed, they aren't made to be removed and it's probably not something you want to do to get a sheet of plywood. I think normally people only remove them for campervan builds or if they never need to use the middle seats and want the extra cargo space.
I would agree. If OP really needed the utility of hauling large items or plywood on a regular basis, get a different brand of van, or a pickup truck.
 

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So the non-smart fob and an actual smart key behave essentially the same inside the cabin? So the main feature of a smart key is the ability to unlock the car from the outside without having to push buttons on the fob? Is that generally correct?
When inside the car, you start the key by simply pushing the start button. The key doesn't need to be inserted anywhere.
 

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No, the SKS has push button start so a metal key is never used. One never has to physically touch or manipulate the FOB to enter a locked vehicle and/or start it so the FOB can stay in the pocket, purse, etc. Truly hands free. Once you've used/had SKS, going back to the "old way" is not easy. If one has two vehicles with and without, the differences really stand out. Most SKS still have a hidden metal key in the FOB to unlock the doors in case the 12v is dead.
When we still had our 2008 Acura (non-SKS) I would always walk up to the driver's and pull on it and be confused why didn't open. And then, I'd sit in the seat and have to fish out the key from the pocket to insert into ignition. So annoying.

Later on when we got a Tesla, now even when I get into our Sienna XLE (SKS) I sometimes forget to push the start button because in Tesla you just step on the brake and it "turns on." First world problems, I guess.
 

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We are at that point where each repair we start considering if we should fix or buy something new.
It’s often very difficult to justify the purchase of a new vehicle on based solely on the cost of repairs on your existing vehicle. A $50,000 vehicle at 3.5% for 6 years is $770 a month. That covers a LOT of repairs, even at shop prices.

For is DIY’ers, it’s a much harder proposition. My 2014 had a failed water pump bearing. Cost me $200 in parts and 10 hours of my time, vs $1600 or so for a dealer to change. And that’s not a “my time is free” sort of repair either, cause that’s about $140/hr equivalent for my time, many times what I get paid at work, so it’s completely worth my time to do myself.

If you drive a lot reduced gas price of a hybrid is certainly a big factor though. Or if you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of repairs, or just want a new, nicer vehicle. Lots of very valid reasons to purchase a new vehicle.

But from straight financial perspective, it’s usually extremely difficult to justify. In that same vein, new vehicles in general are almost always poor decisions from a financial perspective.
 

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Years ago, I bought used cars and fixed em when necessary. I dont do that now, I buy new. Why? Because it makes sense. Sienna's, at least for a year or 2, currently dont have "depreciation" (unless you pay well above msrp), but rather are worth more than used. Why pay more for a used car than new? I dont. The Sienna is hybrid only starting in 2021.
So, if you want the hybrid, you need to either get a 21 or newer, or find an older hybrid sienna. And, the first year (2021) there are often bugs to work out. Its a no brainer to get NEW sienna, if you are looking for a low mileage hybrid mini vs used. I ordered my Sienna in Oct. and will pick up the first week in Dec., so the order time has shortened. In my area, you are unlikely to find a new Sienna on the lot, they are sold as soon as they arrive, and mostly before the car even arrives.
I was called yesterday to inform me that a buyer on a red XLE backed out, and did I want it. I drove right to the dealer ship, (15 minutes), and the car was sold. He showed me the paperwork, the car lasted 11 minutes on the lot. No doubt, car salesman have a list of people who want a sienna who are waiting. So, they made a call (just like my salesman) and they gave a credit card deposit over the phone..in 11 minutes. Its no wonder these sell so fast. Its the only all wheel drive minivan that gets 30 plus miles per gallon "except" the Chrysler, which has to be plugged in to do that. Its a hassle to plug it in, most of the time you need a 220 outlet (unless you want very slow charging), and thats not free, and, its not always convenient to wait till it charges. Hybrids solve "range anxiety" problems, and are the sweet spot in between electric and gas only. They have great mileage but less hassle charging.
The XLE is my choice of trim. Sure Platinum is better, but I dont want to spend thousands on that stuff, much of which isnt needed. The XLE offers quite a bit of an upgrade from LE. It has the softex seats, as I didnt like the Camry hybrid LE with cloth seats I just sold. Comfort is important to me, and the cloth were not that comfortable.
 
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