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Howdy folks! I'm considering selling my old trusty 1999 Honda CRV AWD daily driver and my 1996 Olds Bravada hauling vehicle and getting something else to combine the two of sorts. I'm seriously considering a 2017 or newer (because of the increased HP) AWD Sienna. This vehicle will be a daily driver for hauling kids, groceries, dogs and also a vacation cruiser. However, I'd also like it to haul my 4 x 8 Utility Box Trailer. I believe the max load on the trailer is 3k lbs, so I think I'm relatively clear on the towing specs for a Sienna, but want to know which models I could get either with a towing package or have one added.

Also, I really like the idea of the sportier SE suspension, but my kids also really want the back sunroof I've seen on some of the models. Perhaps I can find one with the extra sunroof and sport-up the suspension.

I'm new to this forum so I'm very open to ideas and suggestions.

Michael
Johnson City, TN
 

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Check out the below site and you can review the brochures for various years and models. The differences between the models will be listed. Which models came with a standard tow prep package is listed in the specifications section.

The dual sunroofs were only available on the Limited and Limited Premium models. The 2018+ models have different exterior styling and came with additional standard safety features.

 

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Be aware that there's a recall on the fuel pumps for many 2017-2018 Toyota models, including the 2017-2018 (19 too?) Sienna, for a fuel pump. The replacement fuel pump isn't available yet. There haven't been a huge number of failures, and most failures have occurred in hotter climates.
 

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Howdy folks! I'm considering selling my old trusty 1999 Honda CRV AWD daily driver and my 1996 Olds Bravada hauling vehicle and getting something else to combine the two of sorts. I'm seriously considering a 2017 or newer (because of the increased HP) AWD Sienna. This vehicle will be a daily driver for hauling kids, groceries, dogs and also a vacation cruiser. However, I'd also like it to haul my 4 x 8 Utility Box Trailer. I believe the max load on the trailer is 3k lbs, so I think I'm relatively clear on the towing specs for a Sienna, but want to know which models I could get either with a towing package or have one added.

Also, I really like the idea of the sportier SE suspension, but my kids also really want the back sunroof I've seen on some of the models. Perhaps I can find one with the extra sunroof and sport-up the suspension.

I'm new to this forum so I'm very open to ideas and suggestions.

Michael
Johnson City, TN
I QUOTE this from Hangman (he has 3 Gen 3 sienna....)
"..Well, 2017 was the year in which the powertrain changed. The engine is updated to the D4S direct injection engine and the transmission was updated to the 8 spd. Earlier ones had some programming issues where the transmission was not smooth and had lots of hunting for gears and shift patterns. There were many software updates for the transmission to address the issue. These issues lasted through some of the 2018 model year if i am not mistaken. It’s not necessarily a bad or unreliable engine/trans combo, but the later years had the issues worked out and the shifting was less annoying. Another issues with the 2017+ is that the newer powertrain, although more powerful by some 30 Horsepower, the system was tuned for the economy. Hence the constant shifting and hunting for gears. This resulted i a very lazy feeling power delivery where it felt only 1/2 as powerful as the older non direct injections and 6 SPD from 2011-2016.

If you test drive a A 2016 or older and a 2017 or newer back to back, you will be surprised how muchpeppier and more powerful the older powertrain feels in comparison. .."
 

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Ours is a late production -- July 2018, the transmission shifting was OK, not as bad as many posts indicated. We had the ECU update done and it is very good. I would recommend a late production 2018 or newer. I would not bother with suspension changes, the SE suspension adds only a small amount of stiffness. The towing package is no longer an option, it's already there on newer ones. I think it's the addition of an engine oil cooler.
 

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We bought our 2017 sienna LE right off the dealer lot exactly 3 years ago. We absolutely love the van as it is so smooth on the road, drives wonderfully and is very reliable.
The transmission is horrible though especially on cold days or when first started in the morning. After about 10 min of driving on average, it settles down and smooths out. Ours has an issue when you slow down and then go back on the gas where it lurches and shifts hard. We have 20K on it and it has done this since day one. On a good note though, for a van of its size, 27 average mpg on the highway trips is stunning
 

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2020 Predawn Mica Gray Limited
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Bought a 2020 Limited (we have 3 kids) and I specifically targeted the Limited (in part) for the dual sunroof. Kids were super stoked about the rear sunroof and though it’s now 110 degrees everyday (In south Texas) and we don’t use it quite as much as in the cooler months, it’s awesome.

On a COVID note, there have been all these “drive-by” birthday/graduation/baby shower things (not sure if this is a geographic thing or if it’s happening all over the US) where about 50 cars decorated with streamers and balloons and signs line up and putt in front of someone’s house honking and waving. We just let the oldest two girls poke their heads out of the rear sunroof and wave like it’s a parade float. The dual sunroofs work great.
 

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You'd probably find more practical use out of the dual-sunroof than the sportier suspension. In the end, it is a minivan. If you drive anything well you can accomplish things...see Sabine Schmitz driving a Ford Transit Van on the Nurburgring (or Rob Austin doing the same in a VW rental van). In my experience, the manumatic transmission selector on the Sienna is lackluster...If you downshift it won't necessarily do it when you want...it's just telling the Sienna what you want the top gear to be limited to...if that makes sense. You don't have "full" control like in other cars. So I wouldn't sweat it about the suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well folks, we did it! We threw our hat over the fence and bought a used 2020 AWD Limited. So, now I'm officially a member? All that said, I have a few projects to address: Spare-Tire/Runflat replacements, Window VentShades, Window Tinting, Some kind of tray-table between the 2nd row captains chairs. I'll postpone the "offroad upgrade" until 2021. :)
 
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