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raitchison
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:59 pm    Post subject: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

From AutoWeek

Quote:

Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere you measure

ALL THE NEW NUMBERS are larger than all the old numbers. The 2004 Toyota Sienna is seven inches longer, four inches wider, two inches taller, has five inches more wheelbase and 23 cubic feet more room inside compared to the outgoing model. The V6 engine is bigger, going from 3.0 to 3.3 liters; is more powerful, going from 210 to 230 hp; it has more torque, from 220 to 242 lb-ft; and the automatic transmission adds a fifth speed. The drive options go from front- to all-wheel drive. And you now have a choice of seven- or eight-passenger seating, with a nifty little middle child seat that slides forward for easier access to runny noses.

2004 TOYOTA SIENNA
ON SALE: March
BASE PRICE: $23,465
POWERTRAIN: 3.3-liter, 230-hp, 242-lb-ft V6; fwd, five-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 4120 pounds
0-60 MPH: 8.3 seconds (mfr.)

You’d expect all that, right? Who’d make a new minivan that was smaller, wheezier and less practical? Nobody, of course.

But the number that may be the most impressive for the new Sienna is 53,000. That’s how many miles chief engineer Yuji Yokoya traveled in the old Sienna to see what he should change in the new one. He covered the entire continent of North America: every state of the United States (except Hawaii, he didn’t want his boss to think he was on vacation), every province of Canada and every estado in Mexico. In one stretch he and his engineer road-trip colleagues drove 6000 miles in 10 days. Dude was serious.

In addition to discovering a love for Wendy’s triple burgers, Yokoya and company decided to: add awd as an option as they transited the Alaska Highway; improve crosswind stability on a bridge over the Mississippi; and improve handling on a mountain road near Glacier National Park in Montana.

That’s not to say the new Sienna is crafted only for middle-aged engineers. There are also child- and parent-friendly improvements throughout. There are nine of those little hooks meant to hold plastic grocery bags in place (plus one more called a handbag hook in the front passenger footwell), 10 cupholders, four bottle holders, three 12-volt outlets and one 115-volt power outlet for AC appliances like laptops. Instead of dual-zone climate control there is triple-zone climate control available—two for the front and a third for the rear. There is a conversation mirror so the driver can keep in contact with rear seat-mounted kiddies and there is that nifty middle seat of the middle row that slides forward to allow parents in the front to tend to a small person in a child seat.

There are features “borrowed” from competitors (“Stealing is such an ugly word,” said an engineer. “We ‘improved’ on them”) like a hideable third-row seat that folds into the floor, power rear liftgate, touch-sensitive strips on the front edges of the sliding power side doors and a center console that can pop in between the front or middle seats with ease.

It was, as promised, comfortable to drive, maybe even fun to drive by minivan standards. It was quiet, the seats were supportive, and it maybe even felt a little roomier, though a lot of the extra room comes in the cargo area behind the third-row seat. We liked the dynamic laser cruise control, too, a nice trickle-down from the Lexus division.

Toyota won’t release firm prices until closer to Sienna’s on-sale date in March, though execs did say the base model CE will go down in price by $1,000 to $23,465. That’s maybe a bit misleading, because you’ll probably have a heck of a time finding a base model on a dealer lot anywhere in all the states, provinces and estados Yokoya drove across. A loaded Sienna in the old body style runs $39,220 if you get the gold kit, running boards and all the rest. Which you’ll want if you’re down with the 600-mile-a-day program.

And if you see Yokoya in a Wendy’s eating a triple burger, have a look in the parking lot and see what he’s driving, then call us.

PRICING RELEASED:

Official pricing has just been released for the 2004 Sienna. Shown below are the current MSRP prices for the 2004 Sienna models arriving at Toyota dealers in mid-March.

Sienna CE 7-passenger $23,465

Sienna CE 8-passenger $24,085

Sienna LE 7-passenger $24,770

Sienna LE 8-passenger $24,920

Sienna XLE 7-passenger $28,770

Sienna Limited 7-passenger $34,990

Sienna AWD CE 7-passenger $28,385

Sienna AWD LE 7-passenger $31,975

Sienna AWD XLE 7-passenger $37,440
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Wow, I'm having a hard time swallowing $38k (base price for the for an XLE awd model) minivan. I can promise that once you load it up w/options, it is more like $42k, although $23k for a base model isn't too bad I guess. I guess I couldn't justify $30k-plus on a minivan. Did I read it correctly? The XLE fwd van costs $28.7k, while the awd version of that same trim level costs $8700 more? Wow, there's either a ton more content on the awd model, or that's the world's finest awd system. Audi charges less than $2k for awd...

Just to play devil's advocate... for that kind of green, I'd much rather get a: Volvo XC90 T6, Audi A6 2.7t Avant, Audi Allroad Avant, Toyota Highlander, Ford Expedition XLT, 1.7 Mazda MPV ESs, VW Taureg, BMW 525 Wagon, Acura MDX, BMW X5 3.0i, Chevy/GMC Suburban/Yukon/Denali... all of which (except the MPV) have either awd or 4wd... most of which have seating for seven, more power, tow more and more room than the new Sienna.

I'm not picking on you, I just cannot believe that people would flock to buy them with so many (imho) alternatives.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Well, if bigger is better, in about ten years and two or three more generations, the Sienna will be the same size as a full size Ford or GM van!!

It just seems that they are intent on taking the "mini" out of mini-van.

But all the features and gadgets inside do sound nice. I won't knock it until I've seen it--and may not knock it once I've seen it for that matter.

I agree with Scott. The pricier a vehicle is, the easier it is to find another option giving you more value per dollar.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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raitchison
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

The top of the line will probably have a lot more content, I find it encouraging that they will have an AWD offering under $30k.

Remember this thing's real compettion is the Odyssey and only the Odyssey, and it's priced competitively for that purpose.

Oh yeah, I've seen this thing at the L.A. Auto Show, it actually looks smaller than the last one, not sure how they pulled that one off.
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

They do it w/mirrors, and 7/8th scale tape measures. Wink

I should qualify my previous rant post in clarifying that you wouldn't catch me owning an Expedition or a Yukon/Suburban... it was for illustration purposes, that the Sienna would be in some pretty heady competition up towards the top of the scale. Smile

Man, I need to find some insider info on the next-gen MPV. The P2 platform was developed as an AWD platform, and I thought the MPV was going to be based on the P2. Hmmmmm.
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Christopher15
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

It seems to me the Toyota Sienna is the Lexus of minivans. Razz And then the new Mercury seems to be the Lincoln. Just a thought. If I had the cash I would probably pick up a Sienna with everything. It seems like a real nice minivan. Crying or Very sad I hope Mazda though doesn't make the new MPV as big as this Sienna because I prefer smaller sized minivans.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

What is this a sales pitch for the sienna? Are you a toyota salesman? Or do you work for toyota? I find it strange since you know a bit more details than can be found on a web chat room.

It is smart that toyota is making the van bigger and most importantly adding the folding rear seat (I can't see how I lived without it).

I still see two problems (that are shared by the Honda and the Toyota)
1. Price...I recently bought my 2002 MPV LE which was nicely loaded for 22.5k with all taxes and fees. The toyota which was not as well equiped was still 3k more and the honda was 5k more.

2. This is the biggest hurt , the toyota is built in kentuky and the honda is built in alabama or ontario depending on the model. The MPV is built in Japan. And the word is starting to get out...owners of honda accords and toyota tacoma trucks are starting to question the build quality.

Of course I don't care since I already have my van and hope it will last through the needed years approx 13.

I personally am starting to get tired of cars costing so much! They are outpacing inflation almost 3 to 1...why? In the 70s a car cost about 4 months pay, In the 80s a car cost about 5 months pay, then it went up through the 90s now a family van is costing between 8months to 1 whole years salary!!
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

You know, I have never really kept track of the increasing costs of cars, but I guess my income has outpaced car price inflation... so far. Who knows what's around the corner there. Your points are very interesting.

What I notice is that there are so many cars in a price range now. I was thinking recently how you could buy a fairly decent luxury car for the price of a loaded minivan, just considering costs... for instance, you could buy a Mercedes C (or decontented E) or a Land Rover Discovery, or a pimped out Sienna (for instance) if you were willing to spend mid30s for a vehicle, which I still think is alot for a car. I had trouble swallowing the mid-20s price of our MPV a few years ago.

I don't *think* anyone around here sells Toyotas (looks around suspiciously... Wink ) ...
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

I think part of the reason cars are outpacing inflation is the componentry that they have now that did not use to be there. Two expensive items that are fairly recent additions to cars are airbags and ABS brakes. I'm sure someone could come up with quite a laundry list of other improvements that have upgraded cars, and upgraded the expense, in the past few years.
[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
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papabear
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Just a few more increased car costs are the influence of the computerized components and sensors that help to keep the cars of today much more powerful, reliable and efficient as opposed to cars of the past.

My BIL w/a '92 corvette is amazed at how many little toy cars that actually cost half the amount he paid for his can actually keep up with his machine which still only has 12k original miles on it.

You've got Celica's and Protege's that could beat a lot of relatively more expensive sport cars from the 70's and 80's.

Mostly I think is that you also have cars that can last longer if maintained properly and you have cars that need less maintenance than they use to(although maintenance can cost an arm and a leg as well)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Just a few more increased car costs are the influence of the computerized components and sensors that help to keep the cars of today much more powerful, reliable and efficient as opposed to cars of the past.

My BIL w/a '92 corvette is amazed at how many little toy cars that actually cost half the amount he paid for his can actually keep up with his machine which still only has 12k original miles on it.

You've got Celica's and Protege's that could beat a lot of relatively more expensive sport cars from the 70's and 80's.

Mostly I think is that you also have cars that can last longer if maintained properly and you have cars that need less maintenance than they use to(although maintenance can cost an arm and a leg as well)

Lastly, I'm not a Toyota salesman, but they sure have an easy time of selling cars around here!

Rogelio (ro-hel'-lyo)
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The other cars...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

The price of new cars is amazing. A lot of mfr's are going for the $30K (US) target price. Seems like Mazda is trying to counter this strategy a bit, as they don't have a car that even gets near $30K. The closest they have will be the RX-8, which will be about $27-28K sticker, loaded. I guess a loaded MPV ES would be in the same range.

A lot of it also has to do with the increased popularity of leasing. People (well, a lot of people) are concerned more with the monthly payment than the sticker price. People are a lot more willing to pay for the extra content if they can fit it into a monthly payment, and it can be adventageous to lease a loaded car because they can usually set a higher residual.

I prefer to own my cars, as I tend to keep them a lot longer, and I like to only have 1 (or no) car payment. Once you get above $20K, car payments get big in a hurry.

OTOH, the good part of this for me is a lot more selection in the used market, even under $10K.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Gotta agree with DMC.... the cost of buying a brand new car is so inhibiting. .... i'd rather just wait and pick up someone's slightly used car for about 1/2 the price in a year or so. This way I can buy it outright and save myself the headache of a car payment. Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

Ditto. No payments for me please! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: Bigger is Better: There's more Sienna almost anywhere... Reply with quote

ciscokid1970 wrote:
What is this a sales pitch for the sienna? Are you a toyota salesman? Or do you work for toyota? I find it strange since you know a bit more details than can be found on a web chat room.


Are you talking about me?? If you look at my original post you'll see it is merely an article from AutoWeek which I copied verbatim.

Though I admit I am excited by the new minivans coming out from Toyota & Nissan and disappointed in the Ford/Mercury so-called new minivans and am looking forward to what GM has up their sleeve. Competition can only be a good thing.
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