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Roadtrips and general opinions

4376 Views 22 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  OnTheRoadAgain
Hi everyone,

I'm looking into getting my first sienna and would love some opinions from current owners. I'm looking for a '15-'20 sienna xle or limited. This will be my first van. When my wife and I were expecting our first, my manager suggested we get a minivan because he had one with his kids and loved it. I kind of scoffed at the idea until I went and sat in a 3rd gen xle and loved it immediately. Since then everyone has been trying to convince me I should get a midsized suv but I feel the sienna can't be beat.

I have a few general questions.

What are your opinions on your siennas? Best years/features? Worst years/features? Things look out for when buying?

My wife and i took an 1800 mile round trip in our 08 crv last year and it about killed us from discomfort. After that experience, i really want a couch on wheels. How are they for like an annual roadtrip vacation with the kids? Fuel mileage?

Also I tend to keep vehicles for 10 yrs or so. How many miles have you seen on a 3rd gen?
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Back in June we picked up our XLE in Boston, pulled into the Alaska driveway a month and a-half and 9000 miles later.
The vehicle was a fantastic travel companion, most remarkable for how it melted away those miles, especially for our 6&10yo in back and kept complaints at a shocking minimum. The teenager had other summer plans, but she especially appreciates the personal
space on our routine 500 mile Anchorage runs and never seems embarrassed by the family van.

That said, there’s a couple things you should definitely consider:
  • Fuel economy on our AWD is lousy, typically 20 mpg Highway.
  • Drivers seat comfort is merely adequate (6’, average build). I find the front passenger seat substandard; if I had to cross the country there it would be a dealbreaker, my wife finds it acceptable though. I figured we’d stay in a Gen3 Sienna forever (I love vans) but this issue alone will probably have us consider other options once the oldest leaves for college.
  • Ditching those runflat tires will add immensely to your Highway comfort. Consider going up one sidewall height size too, our 235/60-18’s were transformative.

Even my van-disliking-on-principal, I-really-wanted-a-4Runner wife enjoys this Sienna, and, most tellingly, somewhere halfway across the country was heard saying “You know, this is nice... A really civilized, classy way to travel.“
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