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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated March 14, 2024

Older Used Toyota Sienna Overview, Second And Third Generations (2004 - 2020), Reliability, Possible Maintenance Problems, Overall Pros And Cons

Related: The Simple Way To Get The Lowest Price On A New Toyota Sienna

In today's extremely high-priced used car market, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars.

2011 Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna is certainly one of these models, making them a viable and definitely more economical option at this time. But of course, much of it will come down to the reliability and maintenance history of a particular vehicle.

And by older, I'm generally referring to Siennas that are 10+ years old, which would mean those from its second and third generations, produced for the 2004 - 2020 model years, with a primary focus on the earlier models when it comes to the third generation (2011 - 2020).

Toyota, of course, is the benchmark for reliability, so the Sienna comes with superior DNA through and through. In fact, history has proven that well-maintained older Siennas last in the 200,000 - 250,000 mile range, with plenty of examples of 300,000+ performance ... again, with the essential ingredient being "well-maintained".

But all vehicles have some issues, even Toyotas, that potential buyers need to be aware of.

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of two earlier Toyota Sienna generations, specifically the second and third, covering the 2004 - 2020 model years, with an emphasis on the earlier models when discussing the third.

- Then we'll list possible mechanical issues for these production runs that have been reported by owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And then we'll summarize the overall pros and cons of an older Sienna worth consideration for potential buyers.

But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Sienna

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get online price quotes at auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Third Generation Toyota Sienna (2011 - 2020)

2013 Toyota Sienna

This redesigned Sienna was once again among the very top minivans. With a solid reputation for dependability and low maintenance costs, this Sienna also offered a smooth and powerful V6 engine, a comfortable and spacious interior, and available all-wheel drive (AWD) versions.

And new for this generation was the introduction of a four-cylinder model, a 6-speed automatic transmission, a split-screen display monitor for the rear entertainment system, and availalable second-row reclining seats.

What's more, a new sportier model was introduced, the Sienna SE, that features a sport-tuned suspension along with more aggressive styling.

Trims And Features:

Overall, there are five trims: base, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The LE and XLE come in 7 and 8-passenger choices, the base and Limited are 7-passenger only while the SE comes in an 8-passenger configuration only.

All five models come standard with front-wheel drive while the LE, XLE and Limited are also offered with all-wheel drive.

Even the base Sienna is well-equipped with standard features including full power accessories, triple-zone air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, dual sliding rear doors with power-down windows, a telescoping steering wheel, and a 4-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack.

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The four-cylinder Sienna LE also comes standard with steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, heated side mirrors, a 3.5-inch display with a back-up monitor, privacy glass, an 8-way manual driver seat, and floor and overhead consoles.

The V6 LE then adds power-sliding side doors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, second and third-row sunshades, roof rails, front seat power lumbar supports, and a 6-speaker stereo with satellite radio, Bluetooth audio, iPod connectivity, and a USB jack.

The sport-oriented Sienna comes much the same as the V6 LE but also adds 19-inch alloy wheels, lower body skirting, a special front fascia with foglights, a larger air intake and mesh inserts, tinted headlights and taillights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette/cloth upholstery, and a 6-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Moving up to the XLE adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power liftgate, heated front seats, a power driver seat, a unique metallic gray grille insert, triple-zone automatic climate control, auto up/down power windows, wood grain interior trim accents and a towing preparation package.

The XLE with AWD is also equipped with second-row lounge seats with pop-up footrests.

2015 Toyota Sienna

The top-of-the-line Limited comes standard with a dual sunroof, two-tone leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a satin chrome grille, driver memory functions, power-folding side mirrors with puddle lamps, signal repeaters and auto-dimming, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, second-row lounge seats, a power-folding/split third-row seat, and a 10-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system.

And some models can be found with options such as a navigation system with a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, xenon headlights, and a rear entertainment system with a split-screen display capability.

Engines And Power:

Powering the base and LE models is a new 2.7-liter inline-4 that produces 187 horsepower. Also available on these models, and standard on the others, is a 3.5-liter V6 that's good for 265 horsepower.

All models are equipped with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, while some Sienna LE, XLE and Limited V6 models can be found with all-wheel drive. A front-wheel, Limited V6 was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 7.9 seconds.

Gas Mileage:

The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the four-cylinder front-wheel-drive stands at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway. The V6 front-wheel-drive models are rated at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, while the fuel economy for the V6 all-wheel-drive comes in at 16 and 22, respectively.

Safety Features:

Standard safety features on all models include traction control, stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and a driver knee airbag.

In addition, the LE comes with a rearview camera (rearview mirror display) while the Limited is equipped with front and rear park assist (optional on the XLE). Those with the navigation system also have a wider-range 180-degree camera that displays on the navigation system's larger screen.

2015 Facelift:

It should also be noted the there was a facelift for this generation in 2015, which included an updated grille and taillights, a revised suspension, a stronger body structure, and some interior design and materials quality upgrades.

2011 - 2020 Toyota Sienna Possible Mechanical Problems

This generation generally improved upon its predecessor in terms of reliability and mechanical performance. However, like any vehicle, it still had some common issues reported by owners, which should therefore be included in an inspection before buying:

Excessive Oil Consumption: Some owners experienced excessive oil consumption, leading to the need for frequent top-ups between oil changes.

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Transmission Issues: While not as prevalent as in previous generations, some owners reported transmission problems, such as rough shifting, hesitation, or occasional slipping. These issues could be related to transmission fluid quality, electronic control module glitches, or mechanical wear over time.

Sliding Door Mechanism: Similar to the earlier generation, some third generation Siennas experienced problems with the power sliding doors. Issues included alignment problems, sensor malfunctions, or motor failures.

Brake Problems: Some models were reported to have premature wear on brake components, such as brake pads, rotors, and calipers.

Electrical Issues: Although less common, some owners reported electrical problems, such as malfunctioning power windows, door locks, or issues with the infotainment system.

Suspension Components: Some Siennas experienced premature wear or failure of suspension components, such as ball joints, tie rod ends, or struts.

Rear Entertainment System Malfunctions: Some owners reported issues with the rear-seat entertainment system, including malfunctioning screens, DVD player failures, or connectivity problems.

Second Generation Toyota Sienna (2004 - 2010)

2004 Toyota Sienna XLE

This generation received refreshed styling, larger dimensions, and additional power. Also new was the addition of three available options: head-protecting curtain side airbags, a hideaway 3rd-row seat, and all-wheel drive.

Compared to the earlier Siennas, the new ones were longer by 6.5 inches and almost 4 inches wider with a 5.1 inch longer wheelbase.

Engines And Power:

All of these Siennas come standard with front-wheel drive and some can also be found with the optional all-wheel-drive (except the CE). Incidentally, the AWD package included run-flat tires initially.

The new power combination featured a 230 horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission. For the 2007 through 2010 model years, the Sienna was powered by Toyota's highly-regarded 3.5-liter V6 that produces 266 horsepower.

The shift lever was also moved from the steering column to the lower-center dashboard and all models feature antilock brakes (ABS), a tire-pressure monitor, and a 3500 pound tow package. Limited models also have traction control and antiskid control (can sometimes be found as options in other Sienna models).

Gas Mileage:

The EPA estimated gas mileage for front-wheel drive versions comes in at 17 mpg city and 23 mpg on the highway. The AWD versions are EPA estimated just slightly lower at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

Trims And Features:

The number of trim levels offered grew from three to four, with a new leather-trimmed XLE Limited model joining the CE, LE and XLE.

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The CE and LE come in both seven and eight-passenger models, while the XLE and Limited are seven-passenger only. And while the CE is front-wheel drive only, all other models were offered with a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Standard features on the already well-equpped base Sienna CE include full power accessories, front and rear air conditioning, dual sliding rear doors with power-down windows, a telescoping steering wheel, a 6-speaker CD/MP3 sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, and 16-inch steel wheels.

The LE trim adds heated side mirrors, a roof rack, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, a CD changer, cruise control, upgraded instrumentation, privacy and solar-energy-absorbing glass, and a folding front passenger seat.

The Sienna XLE then adds power-sliding rear doors, a power liftgate, automatic headlamps, alloy wheels, power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a removable center console, and wood grain interior trim.

The top-of-the-line Sienna Limited, perhaps a better fit into the luxurious "Lexus" stable, addeda leather interior, driver memory, heated front seats, rear window shades, a sunroof, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, an upgraded 10-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a windshield wiper de-icer, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

2008 Toyota Sienna LE

In addition, all-wheel-drive models came with 17-inch wheels, run-flat tires, and the wiper de-icer.

Optional features were grouped into packages that depended on geographic location and included items such as a rear entertainment system, navigation (with a backup camera), adaptive cruise control, xenon headlights, a power-folding third-row, and 115-volt power outlets.

Some CE models can also be found with the optional power right-side sliding door (standard in other models). And all models have the removable 2nd-row bucket seats for seven-passenger capacity.


Standard safety features on all Siennas include antilock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, and a full complement of airbags, including front-seat side and full-length side curtain.

In addition, the Limited is also equipped with front and rear park assist (optional on the XLE) while the optional navigation system features a rearview camera.

In government crash tests, these Siennas received five out of five stars for side-impact protection for both the driver and passengers. In frontal-impact testing, it received four stars for driver protection and five stars for the front passenger.

2007 - 2012 Toyota Sienna Possible Mechanical Problems

The second generation Sienna generally has a reputation for reliability, but like any vehicle, it's not immune to mechanical issues. Some common problems reported by owners that should therefore be included in a pre-purchase inspection include:

Transmission Issues: Some owners experienced transmission problems, such as rough shifting, slipping gears, or complete transmission failure.

Power Sliding Door Problems: Some power sliding doors had issues with alignment, sensors, or motor failures, leading to difficulties in opening or closing the doors.

Engine Oil Leaks: Oil leaks, particularly from the valve cover gasket and oil cooler lines, have been reported by some owners.

Excessive Oil Consumption: Certain Sienna models may experience excessive oil consumption, which can result in the need for more frequent oil changes and potential engine damage if not addressed promptly.

Suspension and Steering Components: Premature wear or failure of suspension and steering components, such as ball joints, tie rod ends, and struts, have been reported in some cases.

Electrical Problems: Various electrical issues have been reported, including malfunctioning power windows, door locks, and dashboard instrument cluster failures.

Brake Problems: Some owners have reported premature wear of brake components, including brake pads, rotors, and calipers.

Overall Pros And Cons Of An Older Toyota Sienna

Older Toyota Sienna Pros

Cost Savings: One of the most significant advantages of buying an older Sienna is the potential for upfront cost savings compared to purchasing a new or newer model.

Reliability: Toyota has a strong reputation for reliability, and older Sienna models are often praised for their longevity and durability. With proper maintenance, an older Sienna can still provide reliable transportation for years to come.

Spacious Interior: The Sienna is known for its spacious interior, making it a practical choice for families or anyone in need of ample cargo space.

Availability of Parts and Service: Due to its popularity and widespread availability, finding replacement parts and servicing for an older Sienna is usually relatively easy and affordable.

Safety Features: Toyota tends to include a range of safety features in its vehicles. Depending on the trim level, a Sienna may come with features like stability control, antilock brakes, and side curtain airbags.

Smooth Ride: Owners often praise the Sienna for its smooth and comfortable ride quality.

Power Sliding Doors: The sliding doors provide convenient access to the rear seats, but they can be prone to malfunction and require maintenance.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Option: Unlike some of its competitors, the Sienna offers an AWD option, which can be beneficial for drivers who live in areas with harsh weather conditions.

Older Toyota Sienna Cons

Higher Mileage and Wear: Older Sienna models are likely to have higher mileage and more wear and tear compared to newer ones. This could result in increased maintenance and repair costs, offsetting some of the upfront cost savings.

Outdated Features: Older Sienna models may lack some of the modern features and technology found in newer vehicles. This could include advanced safety features, infotainment systems, and driver assistance technologies.

Fuel Economy: The Sienna's fuel economy may not be as impressive as some of its competitors in the same class. Especially if equipped with the larger engine or AWD, it may consume more fuel than smaller minivans or crossover SUVs. Also, older models may have less fuel-efficient engines compared to newer ones.

Dated Interior Design: While spacious, the interior design of older Siennas might feel dated to some buyers, especially compared to more modern minivan offerings. This includes the dashboard layout, materials used, and overall aesthetics.

Handling: While the Sienna offers a smooth ride, its handling characteristics may not be as nimble or engaging as some other minivans. This can be particularly noticeable in tight turns or urban driving situations.

Second Row Seats: The second-row seats can be be heavy and somewhat difficult to remove.

Resale Value: While the Sienna is known for its reliability, its resale value may not be as strong as some competitors, such as the Honda Odyssey. This could affect long-term ownership costs.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Sienna Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Toyota Sienna if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Sienna. This works just phenomenally well.

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