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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All.


This post is super long and I apologize for that , but I am about to spend a fortune on a new vehicle and I am looking for an advice - hence presenting my case in the best possible detail.


I am on cross roads whether to go for Sienna 2012 XLE (8-Seat) Fwd , or a Highlander Limited (7-Seat) AWD ? It's only wife and I (no kids) but my family is visiting me quite often (like Ray Barone's family in Everybody Loves Raymond) and all of them are adults (so a spacious 3rd row seating is a key reason for me to consider Sienna)

What is your recommendation. Out-the-door price for Highlander in Chicagoland is $40,000 (with Nav etc.) and it is $37,500 for Sienna XLE (with Nav, backup sensor sonar).

The issue with Highlander is, that if we plan to have a kid or two in next few years, then literally we won't have any room in the back row (as the two carseats will take the entire 2nd row of the highlander.) And third row isn't feasible for any adult anyways (because of the lesser headroom, smaller shoulder and leg space.) For longer trips, I can't take my parents or any adult-sibling-and-spouse, because even if there is one car seat on 2nd row, only one adult can sit on 2nd row, and the extra adult (whether its my mom , or dad , or wife , or a siblings's spouse) will have to go in the 3rd row. Plus for long road trips, there is no room for luggage in the back of Highlander with 3rd row seats upright. So literally, we will be down to only 2nd row seating capacity on any trip that is of a day or more. Even for camping a night or two, will severely limit the seating capacity in Highlander.

This will be our only vehicle for next few years. As a couple with no kids, we obviously don't want to take the Sienna path, but for practicality and economic conditions and more bang of the buck, I am thinking about the Sienna. If I am spending a hefty total of $35k+, then shouldn't I be thinking at least for the next 10 years down the road ? Am I wrong in this approach ?


Please advice - and thanks for your help !
 

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If you truly need that much seating, the Sienna is the only option. The highlander just doesn't cut it. The Sienna third row isn't that great for an adult, but it's doable. I don't fit back there without holding my head funny. The only 3rd row I've ever been in that was truly comfortable was a Suburban.

I guess the question I would probably ask is how often does this really happen? Once a quarter? Once a month? Perhaps it would be cheaper to buy something size appopriate and just rent a van for those times. If it's weekly...I think Sienna is only option.
 

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If you truly need that much seating, the Sienna is the only option. The highlander just doesn't cut it. The Sienna third row isn't that great for an adult, but it's doable. I don't fit back there without holding my head funny. The only 3rd row I've ever been in that was truly comfortable was a Suburban.

I guess the question I would probably ask is how often does this really happen? Once a quarter? Once a month? Perhaps it would be cheaper to buy something size appopriate and just rent a van for those times. If it's weekly...I think Sienna is only option.

How tall are you?
 

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My mom has a highlander and the third row is pretty much useless for adults. Small kids it great but like you said if the third row up there is no cargo space. I was comparing the same two cars, and the wife and i have decided on the sienna. Once we close on our house off to the dealer we go. if/when you have kids they will love the sienna because the seats are a little higher and they can see out the windows. our kids loved the fact they could see outside when we test drove.
 

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I own both and treat my Highlander as a station wagon. There is no room for anything when using the 3rd row seat. The smallest baby stroller barely fits. I got the Highlander in preparation for my first child then got the Sienna with my second child. The Highlander was sufficient for one child but even for long road trips, felt lacking in space. Sienna has a more usable 3rd row plus more cargo space. It just depends what you want.
 
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