Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I need some opinions and figured that this would be a great place to turn. Our family car decided that it could no longer drive Sunday evening on the side of I-15. Needless to say we are in a rush to sell Mikes Dodge Dakota so that we can purchase another family car. We have been looking at Toyota Sienna's. My question for all of you is how well do they do in the snow. I have always driven a 4 wheel drive vehicle and so the thought of a front wheel drive scares me a little. Also, we have the WORST driveway in the winter. I have to use 4 wheel drive to get in it when it snows. It is always pure ice. I have been told that front wheel drive with snow tires should do the job, but will it really? Will it work well on those beautiful mornings when a storm hits and I have to be to PCMC early in the morning with yucky roads? I know that the Sienna's do come with AWD, but they are so hard to find and we are buying used. We have found one of both. And just wanted to know if those that own this vehicle (I think maybe 3/4 of Utah) has had good luck with the Front wheel drive. Will you respond and let me know asap, since we need a car badly.

It is between a 2006 Front wheel Drive 40,000 miles
A 2004 ALL Wheel Drive 65,000 miles. (is 65,000 a lot of miles for Toyota?)


Lacey said...

Ok we have a Honda odessey, which is basically the closest to a sienna. Toyotas run forever, so 65,000 is not horrible. They do really well in the snow. I hate driving in the snow and I'm comfortable driving my van. A sienna is a great pick.

Unknown said...

I know we have already talked but I'll comment anyway. Our sienna has been good so far in the snow. I can remember I had to pick Max up out in West Jordan last year around Christmas time in a pretty crappy snow storm and did good. The one time I can rmember having problems was in the school parking lot when it was really icey and slid a little but I saw some 4WDs that day with the same problem. And you know that he have front wheel drive. Good Luck! Join the ranks baby.

Allison said...

We don't have a Toyota Sienna, but we have owned Toyotas and 65,000 miles is NOTHING! They will last forever as long as you keep up on routine maintenance. They handle great with AWD.

I have a front wheel drive car with studded snow tires and I have breezed through Sardine Canyon (notorious for horrible conditions) for many winters with them. The one downfall of purchasing snow tires is that you have the yearly cost of installing them and having them taken off (usually around $50 each time). We purchased some rims from a junk yard this year for our snow tires and now it is free to take the tires on and off at most tire shops.

I am rambling. Bottom line... for the conditions you are describing, I would go for the AWD and then have the option to purchase snow tires for increased traction if needed. Good luck!

The Curtis Family said...

Let me start by saying that this is simply an opinion. I would go with the newer model with lower miles. Even though you would probably get a lot of miles with the older model, you should always get more with the newer model. Also, I have heard (not sure from where, so I don't know how reliable) that AWD vehicles have more transmission problems since the wheels are always engaged. Like I said, not sure if that is fact or opinion, but something to maybe look into. Also, (just as an FYI) if neither of these sales work out, look into buying from Rand's Auto here in Bountiful. This is where I have bought my last 3 cars from and would not buy from anywhere else. They really do have the best prices. They buy their inventory from auctions from around the U.S. and so they always have different cars in stock. I know that they don't currently have any minivans in stock but if you are not in a huge hurry, it is worth waiting each week to see what comes in. Good luck in your search. Post some pictures when you finally get something. Take care!


Christina said...

We have a Odyssey and my brother has a Sienna. They do pretty good in the snow. We recently bought new tires from Costco that are all weather but are supposed to be as good as snow tires (Michelin HydroEdge- $70 off set of 4 right now). I think with good tires you should be ok. Also I agree with Allison about the transmission thing with AWD. Good luck!

Hugs & Prayers,

angie said...

RIP-MVP. I hate driving in the snow no matter what i'm in, so go with which ever one you feel cooler in! and color, oh color is a big seller stay away from yellow! I know total help here- Good luck.

Heart Mommy said...

Wait are we talking about Goober-mobils(minivans) LOL... Just kidding I only wish for one too!

Good luck, Car trouble Stinks!!!

Jaimie said...

Toyotas do last forever. Mine currently has 224,000 miles and my sisters has 270,000 and they still are going. I don't know about Siennas though.

carolyn q said...

I don't have a Sienna, but a Honda Odessey and it has been great in the winter. We drive a lot commuting back and forth to work and such and I have never felt unsafe traveling in the snow. I have been in your driveway and I am sure a Sienna would be just fine, even in the winter.
One thing to consider on AWV. . .when one tire goes out it can get pricy because you have to replace all 4 tires. Not fun!
Also, I agree 65,000 is nothing on a Toyota or Honda. Good luck on making a decision.

Tiffany Profsky said...

get a subaru

Paul Cardall said...

Probably late - but we love ours!!