Which Toyota Sienna Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Toyota Sienna made its debut in 1998. It took the position of the Toyota Previa, which was phased out in 1997. It takes its name from the Tuscany city of Sienna in Italy. This minivan, like many other cars, has undergone numerous upgrades over the years.

It is a roomy and luxurious vehicle that can accommodate up to 8 passengers. In today’s post, I’ll discuss which Toyota Sienna years to avoid based on the number of complaints received. I’ll also tell you which years are the finest to buy if you’re searching for a dependable minivan.

Toyota Sienna Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Avoid the following Toyota Sienna years if you want a long-lasting vehicle.

  • 2004 Toyota Sienna
  • 2005 Toyota Sienna
  • 2007 Toyota Sienna
  • 2008 Toyota Sienna
  • 2011 Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna models from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011 are not recommended. All of them have a history of serious manufacturing flaws and have received several complaints from multiple owners.

Body/paint issues, brake issues, steering issues, exterior accessory issues, and engine issues are the most common flaws.

A damaged weld in the door, a sudden unwanted acceleration, and a defective cable for automatic sliding doors that slipped and snapped are among the most common issues.

It’s important to remember that these issues only occur once the car has traveled 70,000 miles or more.

Overall, these vehicles have several flaws, so it’s better to avoid them if you’re shopping for a used minivan. You don’t want to waste money on unneeded repairs or spend too much time at the repair shop.

What Makes These Toyota Sienna Years is Worth Avoiding?

Toyota vehicles are known for their reliability, as are the rest of the company’s automobiles. The Toyota Sienna appears to be far from perfect, with a slew of long-term concerns spanning decades. These faults would be passed down from model to model, making them quite common.

It’s disappointing to see how a huge firm like Toyota was unable to tackle various reoccurring faults despite being chastised by numerous customers and critics.

  • Problem With Electric Sliding Doors
  • Oxygen Sensor That Isn’t Working
  • Oil Leaks and Loss of Oil Pressure
  • The Dashboard is Cracked

1. Problem with Electric Sliding Doors:

The difficulty with sliding doors is one of the most generally reported issues. A partial failure was reported by many drivers. They could manually open the doors, but the buttons had stopped working. Other drivers may experience complete failure.

This is the primary cause of electronic sliding doors malfunctioning. The cable system is prone to wear and tear, resulting in damage to the latch motor located beneath the door’s mechanism.

More frequently than not, one door fails before the other. After substantial repairs, the doors sometimes ceased working properly. While performing repairs, technicians may tamper with the connection.

2. Oxygen Sensor That Isn’t Working:

The oxygen sensor is another typical issue with the Sienna. The oxygen sensor determines the oxygen-to-exhaust gas ratio. Problems with the oxygen sensor are widespread among 16 model years, according to complaints. A faulty oxygen sensor in your Sienna has a variety of effects on the engine.

When the oxygen sensor malfunctions, it has an impact on the catalytic converter’s operation. As a result, the oxygen sensor must always be operational. This is because it informs the driver when the catalytic converter should be inspected.

3. Oil Leaks and Loss of Oil Pressure:

Another prevalent issue with the Sienna is this. A ruptured oil line is the most common reason. They found the line to be so bad that Toyota replaced it with a better one. The oil lines continued to rupture, thus this did little to solve the situation.

Oil lines were leaking as drivers were driving, according to the drivers. Others claimed the warning lights were never turned on. This is risky since the driver would not be aware of an oil leak if there were no warning lights.

4. The Dashboard is Cracked:

While this may appear to be a less serious issue than others, it is widespread among Siennas. Before their cars reached 100,000 miles, several drivers complained about fractures in their dashboards. However, it appears that this issue primarily affects older models.

Dashboard cracks are rare or non-existent in Siennas built after 2010. In recent years, Toyota appears to have discovered a solution to the problem.

Which Years is Safe to Buy Used?

Now that I’ve covered the model years to avoid, let’s speak about the model years that are the most consistent and worth your money. These models aren’t perfect; all cars have the risk of something going wrong, and all cars have parts that fail.

These models, on the other hand, are usually dependable, long-lasting, and pleasurable to drive.

The Toyota Sienna year models that are the most trustworthy are:

  • 1998 Toyota Sienna
  • 1999 Toyota Sienna
  • 2000 Toyota Sienna
  • 2001 Toyota Sienna
  • 2002 Toyota Sienna
  • 2003 Toyota Sienna
  • 2009 Toyota Sienna
  • 2010 Toyota Sienna
  • 2012 Toyota Sienna
  • 2013 Toyota Sienna
  • 2014 Toyota Sienna
  • 2015 Toyota Sienna
  • 2016 Toyota Sienna
  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 2018 Toyota Sienna
  • 2019 Toyota Sienna
  • 2020 Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna’s first generation ran from 1998 to 2003. There were a few issues during these model years. The most common problems appear to be with the engine, brakes, and body/paint. These are, however, on vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer.

Things began to shift in the second generation. The models included here were created between 2004 and 2010. Except for the 2009 and 2010 model years, most of them.

Between 2011 and 2020, the third-generation Toyota Sienna will be available. There have been very few complaints about them, except for the 2011 model.

The issues that have been reported are not consistent between years. They can range from problems with seat belts and airbags to other concerns, and they may be related to how car owners utilize their vehicles.


Despite a market that is progressively declining, Toyota continues to create headlines by promoting its Sienna series, which provides consumers with high-quality, cheap minivans despite the trend away from them.

In contrast, models like the 2019 Sienna are a testament to modern-day minivans, offering smooth driving, dependability, and comfort. With this information about Toyota Sienna’s best and worst years, you should now be able to make the difficult decision of which model to buy.

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