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Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

  1. #51
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    We are renting a Pacifica this week so I’m learning some differences vs the Odyssey we owned.

    Power is good from the 3.6L V6 and 9 speed trans (have no info on how that trans is holding up: minivan transmissions work hard). It has and auto start feature that would be useful in city traffic and can be disabled with a dash switch. You can select whether the HVAC system stays on with engine off. Oddly, the cruise control does not hold speed very well and drifts up/down 2-3mph. Trip computer is showing really high averages (26-30mpg) but we’ll see how that compares to actual mpg. Brakes are very good, look much larger than what was on the older Caravan we owned.

    Lots of features controlled through the touch screen. Now that iOS 12 supports Waze in Apple CarPlay, you have access to it on the display. Dodge infotainment systems are one of the more intuitive on the market. The clarity of the backup camera is better than any other I’ve seen, with stadia lines that curve as you turn the wheel. CarPlay connects instantly, while our Tahoe is more finicky.

    Interior is very roomy, and shows just how lame the interior packaging of our Tahoe is. This is a seven passenger model with the stowaway seats. The seats are much smaller and thinner than in the Odyssey, but give the cabin a very open look and you can stow them in seconds for a flat load floor without having to remove them as you do in the Odyssey. They also don’t seem to be able to move forward and backward as will the Odyssey middle row. Slider door glass I still 4” or so above door frame when fully lowered. Steering wheel is thick and leather covered, with palm swells at 10 and 2.

    Styling is conservative but a step up from the Caravan. Dodge apparently has a patent on running the door track along the bottom of the window glass, so the side profile is cleaner than most.

    So far, I’d score the Odyssey higher for trips, with fully independent rear suspension and very good seats. For around town use, the flexibility of the stow and go system is tough to beat. Stowing the seat behind the driver gives you a large open area (along with the “way back”) while still having seating for up to 6. Power is a wash. Pacifica drivetrain is not as refined, but not bad. Seems like you could tow 2-3,000 lbs easily enough.

    2017 Chrysler Pacifica Long-Term Test | Review | Car and Driver

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-21-18 at 09:35 AM.
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  2. #52
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    We have an '18 Odyssey now. Some of the features you cite are standard on the Odyssey now. Or at least on the mid-line trim we have.

    For starters the Odyssey now runs the rear door tracks along the bottom of the glass. So if that styling nit is a holdup for you, Honda has your back now.

    Odyssey has all the latest tech garbage; car play, android auto, etc, etc. Lots of driver assists. Radar cruise, lane keeping, auto-magic braking. Ours is comfortable and supremely convenient. Weekend after we got it I slapped a hitch on it. That took a couple hours. Stupid easy. Supposedly they all come with the transmission coolers now so that isn't something you have to install separate. Just the hitch itself and the wiring. E-trailer.com has plug and play kits.

    I just got back from using it to run to the Sausagefest 2018 in WV. Just shy of 1800 miles with a 4x8 open trailer, 2 dirt bikes, 2 oversized humans and our gear. There was room for a lot more. Comfort was as good or better than my Silverado we used the 2 years before that. Got hit with the taller toll fee thanks to the extra axle vs the pickup. But I'm sure we made up for it in gas. Gauge cluster claimed we averaged just under 20 MPG. I've been too lazy to track, but I have a sense it's close to being accurate. Wifey is daily driving it. She sees mid 20's in mixed rural driving.

    Isn't the Pacifica a reskin of the caravan? We had a Caravan rental for 2 weeks out in Utah earlier this year. It was pretty good. At first I hated the drivetrain, but got used to it. We found the Caravan pretty comfortable. Ours was a mid-level trim with leather and we would have easily been buyers. We found the going rate for a Caravan was right on par with the Odyssey, so no advantage there. We like the Odyssey just a bit better.

    The stow-n-go seats are epic in the Caravan. That is a really neat and crazy convenient feature. Chrysler done good there.
    Honda now has the "magic" seats that slide side to side and back and forth. We think that's pretty neat. Kiddo is just over the moon that she can belt in and then be slid into the middle of the vehicle and see out the window. Seems like such a small thing, but those things really help.

    Odyssey drive-train is pathetic stepping down from the pickup. Feels utterly gutless. In "sport" mode the transmission seems to push the engine into the revs (V-TEC, yo!) and things get a bit more lively, but only a bit. It all pales compared to the addictive torque and smoothness of that 5.3L V8 I had in the Silverado. Silverado 6MT bucked occasionally and had a few rough shifts. The new Honda 9-speed seems smoother, will give it that. The Honda drive-train is not as buzzy as the Caravan we had out in Utah. Way quieter too.

    We shopped the Honda and Toyota vans hardest. Didn't even look at Kia really. Barely looked at Chrysler. We did not drive a Pacifica. You are very right about your notion of "sales prevention teams". The Honda place we wandered into on a whim (Autofair in Manchester) was perfectly reasonable to deal with. Initial offers were right in the wheel-house of where we expected to start and they were even fair with trade pricing. We hit 2 Toyota dealers. One had exactly one van on the lot; a fully loaded limited or whatever. The sales guy could not have been less interested in selling us a van. He knew we weren't buying the van with a home-theater system and so basically turned us away. The second dealer was worse. High pressure. Total asshat personality. Insisted on taking the test-drive with us and wouldn't shut up the whole way. I can't decide if we legitimately didn't like the Toyota or if it was the sales tactics that sent us running. My wife comes from a Toyota household. Her parents won't drive anything but. On paper the Toyota had a huge leg up. But we crossed it off the list after that experience. We rolled through the rest of the pitch. Once it was clear they wanted full MSRP and to bend us over on the trade we thanked the pushy ass-hat for his time and got ready to go home. He then pulled out the stops. I had to make a scene to get my keys back, get a manager to briskly intervene. It was bad.

    So yeah, we drive a mini-van now. And it's pretty nice.


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  3. #53
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    In the article linked they state the Pacifica’s residual value is much, much lower than the Odyssey. So unless you are driving it into the ground, Odyssey has lower cost of ownership.

    Styling-wise my personal preference would be Sienna-Pacifica-Odyssey. Never was a fan of the “lightning bolt” but you ride on the inside. Many Siennas have reclining middle row seats, which seems like a cool feature. The one we drove was one of the first with electric power steering, preserving Toyota’s numb driving dynamics.

    You were crazy to sell that Silverado: it was the best one ever made.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-21-18 at 09:48 AM.
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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Resale on the Silverado was good. Really good. This was despite me pounding the miles onto it.
    I'll have another some day; a reg-cab, long-box beater as a 3rd. The drive-train was a peach.

    Methinks the van market is depressed. Maybe the Ody does well resale relative to its peers. But Odys seem easy to buy at a discount right now. Everyone says nobody wants a van anymore; everyone wants a ute. We had multiple CPOs to pick from, they were attractively priced and sales people were inclined to deal. Incentives on the hood of the new ones too. Unless they had a Toyota logo out front that is.

    We do plan to drive it into the ground. But I've said that about the last 2 vehicles I've owned too. So ask me again in 3 years.

    I'll be experimenting with removing the 2nd row seats this weekend as I'd like to bring home a few sheets of ply.

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  5. #55
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    This is one of many clever features. Most vans have a middle-row seat back release to gain access to the third row. But if you have a baby seat is latched in, the seatback can’t move. So the middle row chairs can “kneel.”
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer-5ab8b83d-f8e8-4f57-a1fc-3cb95c35829a  

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  6. #56

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Dammit bubba

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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    I may have said it earlier in the thread, but I briefly thought about picking up a minivan. I settled on the Oddysey as the best bet, and am pretty big fan of Toyota when it comes to appliance cars.

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  8. #58
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Odyssey roof rails (like trailering) are dealer installed options. We would usually buy the parts online from Bernardi, and install them ourselves or have the garage do it.

    May have changed but Toyota was advertised as “trailer ready” but Toyota didn’t sell a hitch! The factory Honda hitch is better integrated than the aftermarket units.

    Did the 3rd row test. I’m just under 6’2 and had several inches of headroom and leg room.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-22-18 at 05:11 AM.
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  9. #59
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    I asked about the hitch via the dealer. Even tried to negotiate it in. Price was unreasonably high and lead time was "a few weeks". E-trailer had stuff on my doorstep in days. Total buy was like $200. There were two options; one totally hidden except the receiver box, the other has a round bar visible under-you know the type. I didn't notice the hidden until after I ordered. Not that I really care that much. The vehicle isn't a show stopping looker to start with. And I liked the minimal plastic cutting I had to do.

    The aftermarket electrical hookup was plug and play with the OE honda wiring plug. You could have told me it was OE and I'd believe you.

    I think the Honda has a tip mechanism of some sort for the rear seat entry you describe. With the side-side slide mechanism that works for rear entry too; just push the seat over and climb in. Seat can then be pushed back over next to the door. Occupant doesn't even need to get out of the seat.

    I thought the pickups were engineered to a sharp edge. But these vans are next level with respect to convenience.

    My only beef is there is SO MUCH cargo space behind the 2nd row that everything rolls around a lot. I need to build some sort of organizer for the wife at some point. I'm sure there's something over-priced in the Honda accessory catalog.

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  10. #60

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    We have a 14 Odyssey. I absolutely hate the transmission on it. It has a terrible shift pattern and is not smooth. Driving my mother-in-law's sienna, it had a way better transmission. I had been thinking that if we replace it we would go with a Sienna or Pacifica instead because of that alone. It's good to hear that they've significantly upgraded the transmission.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    We have an '18 Odyssey now. Some of the features you cite are standard on the Odyssey now. Or at least on the mid-line trim we have.

    For starters the Odyssey now runs the rear door tracks along the bottom of the glass. So if that styling nit is a holdup for you, Honda has your back now.

    Odyssey has all the latest tech garbage; car play, android auto, etc, etc. Lots of driver assists. Radar cruise, lane keeping, auto-magic braking. Ours is comfortable and supremely convenient. Weekend after we got it I slapped a hitch on it. That took a couple hours. Stupid easy. Supposedly they all come with the transmission coolers now so that isn't something you have to install separate. Just the hitch itself and the wiring. E-trailer.com has plug and play kits.

    I just got back from using it to run to the Sausagefest 2018 in WV. Just shy of 1800 miles with a 4x8 open trailer, 2 dirt bikes, 2 oversized humans and our gear. There was room for a lot more. Comfort was as good or better than my Silverado we used the 2 years before that. Got hit with the taller toll fee thanks to the extra axle vs the pickup. But I'm sure we made up for it in gas. Gauge cluster claimed we averaged just under 20 MPG. I've been too lazy to track, but I have a sense it's close to being accurate. Wifey is daily driving it. She sees mid 20's in mixed rural driving.

    Isn't the Pacifica a reskin of the caravan? We had a Caravan rental for 2 weeks out in Utah earlier this year. It was pretty good. At first I hated the drivetrain, but got used to it. We found the Caravan pretty comfortable. Ours was a mid-level trim with leather and we would have easily been buyers. We found the going rate for a Caravan was right on par with the Odyssey, so no advantage there. We like the Odyssey just a bit better.

    The stow-n-go seats are epic in the Caravan. That is a really neat and crazy convenient feature. Chrysler done good there.
    Honda now has the "magic" seats that slide side to side and back and forth. We think that's pretty neat. Kiddo is just over the moon that she can belt in and then be slid into the middle of the vehicle and see out the window. Seems like such a small thing, but those things really help.

    Odyssey drive-train is pathetic stepping down from the pickup. Feels utterly gutless. In "sport" mode the transmission seems to push the engine into the revs (V-TEC, yo!) and things get a bit more lively, but only a bit. It all pales compared to the addictive torque and smoothness of that 5.3L V8 I had in the Silverado. Silverado 6MT bucked occasionally and had a few rough shifts. The new Honda 9-speed seems smoother, will give it that. The Honda drive-train is not as buzzy as the Caravan we had out in Utah. Way quieter too.

    We shopped the Honda and Toyota vans hardest. Didn't even look at Kia really. Barely looked at Chrysler. We did not drive a Pacifica. You are very right about your notion of "sales prevention teams". The Honda place we wandered into on a whim (Autofair in Manchester) was perfectly reasonable to deal with. Initial offers were right in the wheel-house of where we expected to start and they were even fair with trade pricing. We hit 2 Toyota dealers. One had exactly one van on the lot; a fully loaded limited or whatever. The sales guy could not have been less interested in selling us a van. He knew we weren't buying the van with a home-theater system and so basically turned us away. The second dealer was worse. High pressure. Total asshat personality. Insisted on taking the test-drive with us and wouldn't shut up the whole way. I can't decide if we legitimately didn't like the Toyota or if it was the sales tactics that sent us running. My wife comes from a Toyota household. Her parents won't drive anything but. On paper the Toyota had a huge leg up. But we crossed it off the list after that experience. We rolled through the rest of the pitch. Once it was clear they wanted full MSRP and to bend us over on the trade we thanked the pushy ass-hat for his time and got ready to go home. He then pulled out the stops. I had to make a scene to get my keys back, get a manager to briskly intervene. It was bad.

    So yeah, we drive a mini-van now. And it's pretty nice.


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  11. #61
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    the middle row chairs can “kneel.”
    Oh well that does it. I only sit in seats that stand for the FLAG

    Edit: I recognize this joke is both corny and outdated. Please understand I'm a Dad now and what passes for humor these days has a particularly low bar

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    Last edited by loudbeard; 11-21-18 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Dad
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  12. #62

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    Oh well that does it. I only sit in seats that stand for the FLAG

    Edit: I recognize this joke is both corny and outdated. Please understand I'm a Dad now and what passes for humor these days has a particularly low bar
    I was amused.


    I'm also a dad though, so I've got pretty low standards.

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  13. #63
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk1025 View Post
    We have a 14 Odyssey. I absolutely hate the transmission on it. It has a terrible shift pattern and is not smooth. Driving my mother-in-law's sienna, it had a way better transmission. I had been thinking that if we replace it we would go with a Sienna or Pacifica instead because of that alone. It's good to hear that they've significantly upgraded the transmission.
    Well. The transmission issues I heard of definitely gave me pause. I remember half my office (that drives Accords) had issues a few years ago. One of my bosses went through 2 transmissions in <150k.
    But it's an entirely new 9-speed. So, who knows.
    Higher trims get a 10-speed and +500 to the tow rating.

    I'm anxious to see how it tows my enclosed trailer. On paper it'll be fine.

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  14. #64
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk1025 View Post
    We have a 14 Odyssey. I absolutely hate the transmission on it. It has a terrible shift pattern and is not smooth. Driving my mother-in-law's sienna, it had a way better transmission. I had been thinking that if we replace it we would go with a Sienna or Pacifica instead because of that alone. It's good to hear that they've significantly upgraded the transmission.
    5 speed, or 6 speed?

    The 6 speed on our 2011 TE had a button on the shifter that changed the shift points to act like a four speed. This worked a lot better around town, compared to always trying to get into overdrive. Far more responsive. Not sure the 5 speed have it. EDIT: according to one review, both trans have the overdrive lockout on the shift lever.

    We got the OEM Honda hutch because our previous van had an under bumper hitch. These vans have about 6-1/2” of ground clearance and with the overhang we would ground it regularly. You had to cut away part of the rear fascia to install it but it was well tucked away.

    We also installed air ride boosters on the rear shocks, and routed the fill valves under the gas cap. Worked great.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-22-18 at 05:26 AM.
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  15. #65
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Odly, from the aftermarket hitches the spec on the hidden hitch was that it positioned the hitch lower than the non-hidden?! Makes no sense, but whatever.

    Air helpers are on my short list. Van had a bit of squat on the run to WV and I wouldn't mind some leveling control. For the money it seems worthwhile. I may do as you did and try to run the air lines to the gas cap. That was slick. Unfortunately it looks like you have to separate the lower control arms to install. Was more effort that I'm ready for this fall. Maybe come spring.

    Last night I ran out for some plywood. Seats were a bigger pain in the ass to remove than I expected. They are heavy and very awkward. Leave the kid seat in and it gets worse. Once removed the "magic" seat slides remain. But they aren't that obtrusive. I bought 4 sheets of 4x8 ply; 2x 1/2", 1x 3/8 and a sheet of 3/4. First three sheets went in pretty easy. They just fit between the plastic wall covers and hang up on the rear seat belts. Load floor is lower than the pickup and gosh, that makes things easy. Then I went to load the 4th sheet and it hits the back of the center console and seat backs. Had to lift the sheet up and set it on top of the back of the center console and move both seats forward. As soon as I opened the driver's side door the auto seat tried to move all the way back, mashing it against the ply.

    Not nearly as convenient as it looked in the brochure. Utility trailer will get the nod for home center runs in the future.

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  16. #66

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    5 speed, or 6 speed?

    The 6 speed on our 2011 TE had a button on the shifter that changed the shift points to act like a four speed. This worked a lot better around town, compared to always trying to get into overdrive. Far more responsive. Not sure the 5 speed have it. EDIT: according to one review, both trans have the overdrive lockout on the shift lever.

    We got the OEM Honda hutch because our previous van had an under bumper hitch. These vans have about 6-1/2” of ground clearance and with the overhang we would ground it regularly. You had to cut away part of the rear fascia to install it but it was well tucked away.

    We also installed air ride boosters on the rear shocks, and routed the fill valves under the gas cap. Worked great.
    Thanks, I may have to try disabling overdrive. It's way jerky around town or in traffic. I don't drive it much because it's my wife's car, but it bugs me every time

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  17. #67
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Another nice detail on Pacifica: built-in crossbars.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer-ec549fec-4212-4ac0-be94-27b28f941bb0  

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  18. #68

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Another nice detail on Pacifica: built-in crossbars.
    I went with a buddy to pick up a ladder in his Pacifica - those crossbars are really cool. Overall the Pacifica seems to be more bang for the buck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk1025 View Post
    I went with a buddy to pick up a ladder in his Pacifica - those crossbars are really cool. Overall the Pacifica seems to be more bang for the buck.


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  20. #70
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    According to this article, the ZF 9 speed received substantial improvements in 2016.

    ZF 9-Speed Automatic Transmission for Chrysler and Dodge cars

    Grand Caravan + Pacifica each significantly outsell the others and together have around 55% of the market.

    Minivan Sales In America – October 2018 | GCBC

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-23-18 at 01:03 AM.
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    That stow and go seating is making my Dad jeans fit a bit tight in the front.

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  22. #72

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    According to this article, the ZF 9 speed received substantial improvements in 2016.

    ZF 9-Speed Automatic Transmission for Chrysler and Dodge cars

    Grand Caravan + Pacifica each significantly outsell the others and together have around 55% of the market.

    Minivan Sales In America – October 2018 | GCBC
    I wonder how much of those numbers are fleet sales. I feel like around here I see more of the Asian minivans


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  23. #73
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    So Pacifica is a reskined Caravan? Feature set sounds identical.
    I farted around with the integrated cross bars on the Caravan rental we had. They seemed excessively minimal. Like they'd have a very low weight capacity. But it was a cool feature.

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  24. #74
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk1025 View Post
    I wonder how much of those numbers are fleet sales. I feel like around here I see more of the Asian minivans
    Interesting question. Latest data I found in a quick search was 2012, but the answer is “a lot.”

    The latest rendition of the mid-size van was introduced for the 2011 model year and has been sold under the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan nameplates. Combined, sales for the 2011 model year reached 134k new units, and sales for the 2012MY quickly hit 116k through March. These are great sales figures, but nearly 44k and 67k of these total sales were to rental companies for the 2011 and 2012 model years, which equates to a nearly 33 and 57 percent rental penetration rate for each model year.
    So one third to one half, then.

    However even if you remove those fleet sales they still sell a hell of a lot of them. YTD:
    132K Grand Caravan
    101K Pacifica
    88K Odyssey
    74K Sienna
    15K Sedona

    And apparently Nissan surrendered.

    Just priced a 2019 Caravan SXT with every available option. $35,030. The MSRP on our 2011 Odyssey Touring Elite with options was $47,000!

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    Last edited by Garandman; 11-23-18 at 09:47 AM.
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  25. #75

    Re: Considering buying a Toyota Sienna AWD 2010 and newer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Interesting question. Latest data I found in a quick search was 2012, but the answe is “a lot.”

    So one third to one half, then.

    However even if you remove those fleet sales they still sell a hell of a lot of them.
    Yeah, the numbers if you remove fleet sales better represent my memory of ratios in a costco parking lot though


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