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Roadtrips and general opinions

4373 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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Well, I have bought new and currently still own 3 of Gen-3 Seinnas (2011 XLE, 2015 L, 2020 Limited), so I may be a bit bias. In addition to the 3 Siennas, I have also bought new a 2002 Mazda MPV, a 2005 Honda Odyssey, 2018 Honda Odyssey. I think they are the most practical vehicles available and I can't ever imagine not owning one (minivan that is). Of all the different minivans I have purchased, the best one in my opinion is the Sienna. On a side note, the 2018 Odyssey with its faulty 9-speed ZF transmission almost killed us a few times, so I traded it for the 2020 Sienna Limited. It will be a cold day in HELL before I buy another Honda product . I've own 3 new Honda vehicles (all with faulty transmissions and two of them almost got my family in accidents) and will never ever purchase another Honda.
I agree with you on honda quality going down hill. My parents had an 08 ridgeline that was bulletproof for 200k miles. My 08 crv has its quirks but has been all in all reliable. However, my sister has a 16 accord that has been nothing but trouble and it has the "more reliable" 3.5. I've always heard the odyssey has a weak trans especially in that last 10 yrs.
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Why would you listen to people telling to get a SUV? It's ultimately your decision.

I have owned many SUVs, here why I went with a van.

  1. More space for my wife and the kids in the back
  2. Van can haul more stuff on the back for trips anywhere
  3. Crash testing just as good as any on the market
  4. Had milage is almost as good as our Subaru Ascent
  5. Comfortable for me 2-3 hr drives so far but I'm planning on a 700 mile trip in the next week
  6. If you get AWD, it's just as capable as and SUV
So the question is why do you want a SUV? Do you go off road often or just road trips and grocery runs?

I can tell you I'm happy with my 2011 XLE as it has just as much amenities as my Subaru that's made in 2019. Including push start, heated seats, trajectory backup, etc. I actually bought it for $1k under KBB last year from original owners with 58k for $17500.

If you look at my profile I've updated a lot of things due to it being over 10 yrs old now not because if the milage. But it's going to ensure it will last me 10+ yrs without any needed maintenance on the near future.

You can't go wrong with a minivan if you have kids. Trust me, it's easier to get in your kid(s) then a SUV.
I agree with you 100%. I think most people feel an SUV is 'cooler' than a minivan and minivans are only for people with 5 kids. But I can tell you, I looked at some pilots and highlanders and the storage behind the 3rd row is a joke. Plus the 3rd row is nothing but a feature on the window sticker because no human over the age of 3 can fit back there. The only SUV's I feel can be comparable are the full size SUV's ( tahoe, surburban, expedition, sequoia) but even those aren't as comfortable in the 3rd row as a standard sienna plus a 60k-75k price tag.
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