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2005 Toyota Sienna Reviews at TrueDelta: 2005 Toyota Sienna: After seven years of ownership, I remain a huge van fan. by 05RSXbaseL

05RSXbaseL

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Introduction

Bought my 2005 Sienna as a Toyota Certified Used vehicle in 2008, with 24,000 miles on it. Two wheel drive XLE model with almost every option (leather, DVD, 17" wheel package, dual power doors, sunroof, etc.). The most money I ever paid for a car, and never owned a van before.

Let's start with the bad: Lifetime MPG is 18.6 on the trip computer. This was the last model year for the timing belt - 2006 and beyond have timing chains - so it's a $600 or so proposition every 90K miles for a new belt, water pump, and accessory drive belts. These vans have a very common set of issues, and I've experienced just about all of them: radiator leak, power door latch release failure, leaky transmission pan gasket (not fixed yet, but soon), and wheel hub bearing noise. Radio reception is horrible, as is the ability to see the radio display when the sun's out (i.e. most of the time). The 17" wheels are painted, and the finish must be waxed or it will peel. The transmission must be flushed every two years - regardless of miles driven - if you want it to remain smooth and responsive.

Now, the good: This van does so many things well, and consistently exceeds my expectations. It's been a light duty pickup, a cross-country cruiser, a daily commuter, and a family hauler that my 86 year old mother in law can easily enter and exit. The most practical and useful car I have ever owned, no question. It rides on car tires. The paint quality is fantastic (at least the Silver Shadow Pearl Metallic on my van). The finish has held up amazingly well - and a recent clay bar revealed almost no dirt intrusion, which floored me given its age. The engine is bulletproof. The transmission is good as long as it's flushed often and the pan gasket is monitored for leaks. All interior materials are holding up beautifully after 10 years & 100K miles.

Reviewed: 2005 Toyota Sienna

4dr Minivan, ext. 230-horsepower 3.3L V6 5-speed automatic FWD

2005 Toyota Sienna Love Letter

It's a box on wheels, but Toyota did take care to conceal the sliding door rails - and they used a clever approach in my opinion. They also took care to make exterior visibility relatively good for this size of vehicle with a relatively low beltline/large greenhouse. My favorite styling detail is the slab-straight siding - I like the simplicity of it. I'd characterize the overall styling approach to this van as "honest" - it's not trying to come off as anything other than the utilitarian vehicle that it is. I love that aspect of it.

Conclusion

Vans remain the one vehicle that can exceed the needs of most families. They are meant specifically to be honest cars - by design they are meant to haul people and things. They cannot pretend to be sporty, or off-road capable. CUVs and SUVs are great for people more concerned with style over substance, or have a genuine need to tow heavy loads and have enough space for a family and gear. Vans are for those who champion functionality above all else, and want a practical vehicle that can do many different tasks very well, without compromsing on space. I don't tow anything, so the van was the right choice for me as I wanted the most possible space for people and things without paying the premiums in purchase price, gas, insurance, and upkeep that many SUVs command.

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