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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was honing in on buying a used 2019 Sienna at the suggestion from forum users and the car care nut, since it has some of the newer safety features and would save me about $10,000 over buying new. But in looking at consumer reports, that year gets a poor rating compared to the 2015/16 years, which I was also considering. However, when I look at the write up on U.S. News's 2015 Sienna page, it shows JD Power gives the 2015 model year a 2/5 (poor) rating, while the 2019 gets 4/5 (good).

Why is it so difficult to find consistency in these ratings?
 

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It's a Toyota, they are all good. We are very happy with our 2018 and don't miss some of the newer tech on the other mini vans. If concerned, buy an extended warranty from Toyota and be better off than the Odyssey and Pacifica owners.
There were some transmission issues in 2017, but they were few and appear to be corrected. Ours was good in the beginning and a firmware update to the ECU made it run and shift even better.
 

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The later years of any particular Generation is always better as by then they would have work out most of the bugs. Also as you mention you may get newer and more safety features with newest models. You just have to balance out the price, years, Mileage of car to see what you can live with.

That said the newer 2021 Hybrid AWD (with available spare tire) and gets over 30 mpgs is really appealling to me. Looking forward to buy that model (used) in the next few years.
 

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I just can't get over that you can't remove the mid row seats on the 2021. Not being able to haul 4'x8' sheets home from Lowes and other large items would keep me from buying one.
 

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I would expect the price savings to be more that $10k...

Be careful with reviews. Sometimes people are nitpicking and lowering the score for nothing. Same on amazon, ebay, etc.

Last spring we've got 2019 LE and shortly after went in 10k km trip across the country. I can't be more happy than that. VERY powerful engine (helps a lot on the hwy), great gearbox (IDK what some people are talking about, put it this way - I love it) with 7.5-8l/100km (29.4-31.4 MPG) consumption (120-130km/h all the way, 5 people inside, loaded with the whole bunch of stuff, AC working all the time), those safety things are great.

I'm thinking to get gen4 Sienna, but few years down the road. For now, 2019-2020 are the best years to get Sienna.
 

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I just can't get over that you can't remove the mid row seats on the 2021. Not being able to haul 4'x8' sheets home from Lowes and other large items would keep me from buying one.
It's not too bad, if you can deal with a wrench
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would expect the price savings to be more that $10k...

Be careful with reviews. Sometimes people are nitpicking and lowering the score for nothing. Same on amazon, ebay, etc.

Last spring we've got 2019 LE and shortly after went in 10k km trip across the country. I can't be more happy than that. VERY powerful engine (helps a lot on the hwy), great gearbox (IDK what some people are talking about, put it this way - I love it) with 7.5-8l/100km (29.4-31.4 MPG) consumption (120-130km/h all the way, 5 people inside, loaded with the whole bunch of stuff, AC working all the time), those safety things are great.

I'm thinking to get gen4 Sienna, but few years down the road. For now, 2019-2020 are the best years to get Sienna.
It looks like new XLEs are going for about $38,000 according to True Car. Locally 2019s are listed for between $26,000-$28,000. Are you seeing them much lower than that? I've considering working with someone to buy through an auction, assuming wholesale would be about $2k less.
 

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I would say this. You can only rely on surveys and reliability data for so much. When you buy an individual vehicle, you are playing the odds. It may or may not end up having a problem.

I would say the Sienna is the most reliable minivan of all the brands. So in that way your odds are better. We have had two Siennas, a 2006 and 2018. I had to take the 2006 in for repairs under warranty a couple of times. One of them was a power steering pump that was very noisy. The 2018 is the only new vehicle I’ve ever bought that I have not had anything go wrong with. Not one thing in 50,000 miles. (I hope I’m not jinxing myself here).


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Discussion Starter #9
I would say this. You can only rely on surveys and reliability data for so much. When you buy an individual vehicle, you are playing the odds. It may or may not end up having a problem.

I would say the Sienna is the most reliable minivan of all the brands. So in that way your odds are better. We have had two Siennas, a 2006 and 2018. I had to take the 2006 in for repairs under warranty a couple of times. One of them was a power steering pump that was very noisy. The 2018 is the only new vehicle I’ve ever bought that I have not had anything go wrong with. Not one thing in 50,000 miles. (I hope I’m not jinxing myself here).


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After evaluating market prices for used, we're thinking buying new is going to provide the maximum value (hybrid savings) and some warranty peace of mind. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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After evaluating market prices for used, we're thinking buying new is going to provide the maximum value (hybrid savings) and some warranty peace of mind. Thanks for sharing your experience!
I’m really interested in what considerations you used when thinking about the value of the newer models versus the preowned. So far my wife and I did some calculations and it seems that the used models could save us roughly 20 to 25,000 off the price of a new one.

Very interested to see what other aspects you were thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’m really interested in what considerations you used when thinking about the value of the newer models versus the preowned. So far my wife and I did some calculations and it seems that the used models could save us roughly 20 to 25,000 off the price of a new one.

Very interested to see what other aspects you were thinking about.
Well I spoke too soon. There's another thread in the gen 4 about it not being ideal for taller drivers. Unfortunately I fall into the camp of being taller than average (6'6"), and Toyota designed the new Sienna with reduced front headroom that's problematic on the passenger side, as well as fixed armrests that make finding a comfortable position challenging for me. Now I'm back to looking at used.

However, my original value calculation was based on an estimated gas savings of $4,000 over 10 years, 150,000 miles, and a savings of $1,000 maintenance, since the hybrid system is tried and tried with fewer parts to replace out of warranty. I was essentially subtracting $5,000 from the purchase price, dividing by 150,000, compared to used van purchased prices divided by 150,000 minus their current mileage to get a cost per mile comparison. This assumed we keep the van until 150,000 miles.

Not a perfect method, but I do think the van presents a compelling value when you consider all the additional features that come with the new van vs. used. The Odyssey was our top pick, but reliability has me concerned about going that route.
 
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