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2017 Toyota Sienna AWD #5447544 06/06/20 09:33 AM
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92saturnsl2 Offline OP
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Wife and I are considering looking at a 2017 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium AWD. Has the colors / features we want, good price, only problem is that it is AWD. Just don't have a use for AWD here and I prefer not to have it on cars because it's more stuff to break and takes up space that's helpful to have when working on / under a vehicle (I do all maintenance and repairs myself.)

That said, finding the Limited/Premium package around here without driving a couple hundred miles or more is tough, so I could live with the AWD, if for nothing other than the resale value. But I have some questions about how it works and what components are involved. I'm guess it's the standard transverse engine layout with a transfer case bolted to the side of the transmission, and normal driveshaft / differential for the rear? Or is it something fancier? I'm aware some cars have nothing but electric motors for the rear wheels and they call it AWD. Just wondering what kind of extra maintenance the AWD system will require, and any input on how it works or its expected reliability would be helpful.

edit: also I just realized that 2017 model engines come with direct injection and a new 8 speed transmission. Any concern with these features? I've read a lot of horror stories about carbon fouling on DI engines but not sure if it applies to this particular engine. Know nothing about Toyota's 8-speed, has this been a reliable unit and who makes it?


96 Grand Prix SE 150k Chevron Delo 5w-40 Synthetic
04 Odyssey EX 205k Shell Rotella T5 10w-30
96 Maxima GLE 275k Mobil Super HM 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 151k Rotella T5 10w-30
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447549 06/06/20 09:38 AM
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JC1 Offline
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I don't know about the current Gen of AWD Sienna, but the older AWD Sienna's were know for eating tires.

I owned a 1998 Sienna and was happy with it. Only FWD. Personally I would wait to find a FWD Sienna if I were to ever buy another Sienna.

I would visit SiennaChat to see what real owners say about them .

https://www.siennachat.com/forums/


Last edited by JC1; 06/06/20 09:39 AM.

2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 0w-20 Pennzoil Ultra/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447556 06/06/20 09:51 AM
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supton Offline
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How many miles per year? and expected length of ownership? I mean, if you're 5 and done, at a nominal 15k/year, then I wouldn't worry about it. Your sig line shows some older vehicles so it seems like you tend to own for the long haul. I'm not sure I would worry about the AWD components that much--yes, it's more stuff to break, but I don't think a rear wheel bearing is that much different than a front wheel bearing, and either could go on any vehicle. Pretty sure all minivans are known for chewing up tires.

But if you don't want AWD then don't. I'd open up the search area though. Couple hundred miles isn't that far.

Going on, have you sized up tire replacement costs and how hard it is to service the transmission? Some of us on BITOG flip our wigs with sealed transmissions, whether a fluid is certified (or not), DI, AFM, and so forth.

To play devil's advocate, why not something else? I believe all the other minivan makers are FWD-only.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447577 06/06/20 10:16 AM
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wag123 Offline
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Originally Posted by 92saturnsl2
I just realized that 2017 model engines come with direct injection and a new 8 speed transmission. Any concern with these features? I've read a lot of horror stories about carbon fouling on DI engines but not sure if it applies to this particular engine. Know nothing about Toyota's 8-speed, has this been a reliable unit and who makes it?
Toyota is using dual fuel injection systems, both direct and port. No problems with carbon build-up or oil dilution with this system. Other manufacturers are now going with this because of DI issues.
The transmission is another story. Toyota had problems with the early 8-speeds, specifically, in that year model with AWD. Read-up on it. It would be wise to find out what warranty/recall work has been done to this Sienna. If the transmission has been replaced it should be good-to-go.
The AWD systems on the Siennas have been quite reliable and not really a maintenance problem.
One other thing to consider, the AWD Siennas do not come with a spare tire, and as a result, they come with run-flat tires (which are more expensive and generally crappy). Some people have a problem with not having a spare. Personally, it wouldn't bother me. I have never used the spare on my Sienna in the almost 16 years that I have owned it. Additionally, if I owned it, I would not purchase run-flats to replace the original tires. I would purchase better non run flat tires and a roadside assistance policy that includes towing.

Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447620 06/06/20 11:26 AM
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Yah-Tah-Hey Offline
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Heartaches by the numbers,Troubles by the score.Insert magazine, chamber a live round, shoot self in foot. Which one is your choice.

Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447738 06/06/20 02:20 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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I have a FWD now.

The transmission was replaced when it was 18K miles under new car warranty.
You will feel it when it is bad because it feel sluggish and have whining noise.

Toyota did extend the warranty beyond new car warranty so if it goes bad, they will replace it.

The replacement transmission is good and never gave me any issue so far at around 55K miles.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447760 06/06/20 03:05 PM
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eugenem Offline
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I had a 2015 AWD Limited Premium. The engine and transmission changed in 2017, but the overall body design has been the same since 2011. (My family also owned an early 2012 FWD XLE)

One item to look out for - the AWD models use Bridgestone run-flat tires. If the prior owner switched them to non run-flats, you'll want to have some options available in the event of a flat tire.

Here's an old post on my ownership experience, including a follow up.
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...-toyota-sienna-limited-awd-3-year-review

Last edited by eugenem; 06/06/20 03:08 PM.

'20 Acura MDX SH-AWD
'19 Honda Odyssey
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447798 06/06/20 04:14 PM
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Slick17601 Offline
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Great vans but the AWD comes with awful run flat tires and no spare.


2018 RAM Bighorn 5.7
2008 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447843 06/06/20 05:31 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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Mine, not AWD have spare tires but I bought a full size wheel and tires.
I bring it for long distance driving through the night.
Otherwise, I just rely on donut spare tire.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: Slick17601] #5447861 06/06/20 05:56 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Originally Posted by Slick17601
Great vans but the AWD comes with awful run flat tires and no spare.


Bridgestone Driveguard smile

Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: Slick17601] #5447867 06/06/20 06:04 PM
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supton Offline
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Originally Posted by Slick17601
Great vans but the AWD comes with awful run flat tires and no spare.

Pretty sure the rims still take standard tires? Find a spare and while it'd be annoying to take up trunk space, maybe it is only needed when taking long trips (and it can live under all the luggage for the trip). Run the runflats until replacement and then get "fix" those with new tires that aren't run flat.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: supton] #5447883 06/06/20 06:45 PM
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wag123 Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
Originally Posted by Slick17601
Great vans but the AWD comes with awful run flat tires and no spare.

Pretty sure the rims still take standard tires? Find a spare and while it'd be annoying to take up trunk space, maybe it is only needed when taking long trips (and it can live under all the luggage for the trip). Run the runflats until replacement and then get "fix" those with new tires that aren't run flat.
Toyota uses standard size rims. Honda is the one that had metric size rims.
For several years now some new cars have been coming without spare tires and don't have run flats. Most include a flat repair sealant, like Slime, and a 12v powered tire inflator. This is the route I would take rather than carrying a spare tire in the back taking up cargo room. And, like I said before, If I were really paranoid about it I would pay for a good roadside assistance policy that has towing. Personally, I am not paranoid about having a flat tire and not having a spare. I have not had a flat tire or a blow-out on the road in MANY years. A nail or screw and a leak, yes. Easy enough to get handled. A flat tire, no.

Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5447938 06/06/20 08:11 PM
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Broo Offline
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When shopping for our used Sienna many years ago, I specifically excluded AWD versions from our search. Since we tend to use our vehicles long term, I saw no need to have something potentially very expensive (yet not that useful even here) to fix.

Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: wag123] #5448139 06/07/20 07:52 AM
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supton Offline
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Originally Posted by wag123
Originally Posted by supton
Originally Posted by Slick17601
Great vans but the AWD comes with awful run flat tires and no spare.

Pretty sure the rims still take standard tires? Find a spare and while it'd be annoying to take up trunk space, maybe it is only needed when taking long trips (and it can live under all the luggage for the trip). Run the runflats until replacement and then get "fix" those with new tires that aren't run flat.
Toyota uses standard size rims. Honda is the one that had metric size rims.
For several years now some new cars have been coming without spare tires and don't have run flats. Most include a flat repair sealant, like Slime, and a 12v powered tire inflator. This is the route I would take rather than carrying a spare tire in the back taking up cargo room. And, like I said before, If I were really paranoid about it I would pay for a good roadside assistance policy that has towing. Personally, I am not paranoid about having a flat tire and not having a spare. I have not had a flat tire or a blow-out on the road in MANY years. A nail or screw and a leak, yes. Easy enough to get handled. A flat tire, no.

I haven't had a flat in years either, but TBH I don't mind being prepared "just in case". In particular on a long trip. For just around town, where someone could always run home and get a spare (phone a friend), fine, ditch it. Once you start to get 100+ miles from home on who knows what day of the week, and then it seems like cheap insurance.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: 2017 Toyota Sienna AWD [Re: 92saturnsl2] #5448228 06/07/20 10:00 AM
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92saturnsl2 Offline OP
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Don't really care about the lack of a spare tire. But after doing more research, having AWD omits more than just the spare tire; there's some other features you lose as well which is a deal breaker. If I'm paying for Limited/Premium I want those features. Will definitely skip this one, not in a hurry so will keep looking.


96 Grand Prix SE 150k Chevron Delo 5w-40 Synthetic
04 Odyssey EX 205k Shell Rotella T5 10w-30
96 Maxima GLE 275k Mobil Super HM 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 151k Rotella T5 10w-30
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