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Well, after several years of research and after driving a variety of vehicles in the last month or so, we have come to a decision.

As much as we like the RAV for its price, performance, maneuverability, and exterior size, it's just not going to work for us, even with the third row seat. For our wants and needs, we just always keep coming back to a minivan for its interior roominess and accessibility. We've finally settled on a Sienna (which incidentally, is where we started 2.5 years ago).

Thanks a bunch for all the information and help here, this is a great site! You folks really made the decision difficult. I'll probably hang out for a while longer, but I expect to fade away here.
 

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Ahh... Well, if you need the room, by all means, Sienna. It's much more family friendly when there are greater requirements for cargo and interior passenger volume. The utility of the sliding doors and rear hatch becomes invaluable in many situations, especially when they're powered by the remote fob.

Only thing I'll have to caveat is that next year's Sienna will probably upgrade to Toyota's multi-platform 3.5L V6... 8) But, I'm sure you're not waiting another half year for that to roll along.
 
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karrock said:
But, I'm sure you're not waiting another half year for that to roll along.
Well, actually I am! :D I'm well aware of the rumors about the 3.5 in the Sienna for '07. We need to wait until the end of this year to purchase a vehicle and that gives us the chance to see what the '07 Siennas will look like. Even if we could buy now, I'd do whatever I could to wait. We've been shopping for 2.5 years, what's another 6 months? :)
 

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If passenger and cargo room for a growing family is your main priority, you've made an excellent choice, best of luck with it. Last year, while visiting my wife's niece and familly in Atlanta, I bought one for her and did the negotiations with the dealer since she is just learning to speak English. Was very impressed with the Sienna, even had the eighth seat option and a nice DVD system for the kiddies in the rear. Also a nice highway cruiser with the 5 speed auto tranny! :)

OC
 

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CampingColorado said:
We need to wait until the end of this year to purchase a vehicle and that gives us the chance to see what the '07 Siennas will look like. Even if we could buy now, I'd do whatever I could to wait. We've been shopping for 2.5 years, what's another 6 months? :)
I think you'll find it well worth the wait. The 3.5L V6 is a sweet, sweet engine. I thought my 2004 Accord EX V6 had a nice engine/drivtrain, but my fiancee's RAV4 V6 takes the cake. Both the engine and the 5-speed tranny are nicer than my Accord's. I haven't seen a dyno chart, but it seems that the 3.5L has a wider powerband, with useable power right off idle. It's very similar to the power delivery of my Dodge Dakota 5.2L Magnum V8 - but faster!
 
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Ill be due for a new vehicle in 2007....Could replace my current sienna with the 07 model if they add the 3.5...or I might wait until they come out with the new highlander.
 

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rav4less said:
karrock: Multi Platform?? Please explain... Thanks
Multi-platform: The same Toyota 3.5L V6 is in the Avalon, IS350 (tweaked with dual direct-injection), RAV4, Camry and RX350.

Next highly-likely candidates for their "universal" 3.5? Highlander, Sienna, ES350 and Solara.
 
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3 years ago while looking for a minivan for my wife we looked at a Sienna. It drove so smooth and so quiet, that we really wanted it. Unfortunately we couldn't agree on the price. We settled for a Dodge Grand Caravan for "financial" reasons, but the Sienna is definitely a class above the domestic minivans. We might be looking to get a Sienna when we decide to get rid of the Caravan. I assume the 07 Sienna will also have the Stow & Go seats like everyone else seems to have now.

Hey a RAV for me, a minivan for my wife, it's a perfect combo. For long trips (we love to travel) with kids, there's no beating the comfort, room and convenience of the Minivan.


Cheers!

Philo
 
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I had a 2001 Town and Country. It was the first model year....bad idea. It had more problems than any vehicle I have ever owned. One thing would break then I'd get it fixed and another would break. I got tired of it and traded it for a 2004 Sienna also a first model year. I'm 25,000 miles and yet to have a problem.
 
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Phourwheel said:
We might be looking to get a Sienna when we decide to get rid of the Caravan. I assume the 07 Sienna will also have the Stow & Go seats like everyone else seems to have now.
The 07 Sienna should be nearly identical to what exists today. Only rumors I've heard on it so far indicate that it will have more power (which many of us assume will be the 3.5L). It's not due for a major overhaul for another couple years. So, it will have the 70/30 or whatever the split is folding into the rear cargo well third row seats. The second row will be traditional captain's chairs or the 3-seat/piece middle bench. The captains chairs (and maybe the 3-seat bench, I'm not sure), fold and tumble to make more room or are removeable.

For long trips (we love to travel) with kids, there's no beating the comfort, room and convenience of the Minivan.
Yep, that was a big factor for us picking the Sienna over the RAV4.3. We love long road trips (last summer the four of us did 4000 miles in our Camry towing a pop-up camper) and the Sienna would be a LOT more comfortable for that than the RAV4.3.
 

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I'd wait for the new Highlander. With the bigger Rav4, the only draw to the highlander is the hybrid. It's time Toyota moved towards a Minivan/SUV crossover similar to the Morano and the Mercedes M class.
 
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