I once tried a 2007 Toyota Sienna for sale and found a potential buyer. He was cool with the car and started booking a date for the inspection. When he arrived for the inspection, everything was fine until he jumped up and opened the hood to see the engine bay. As he lifted the hood, I could see the displeasure on his face.
I was curious what the problem was, and he said he couldn’t buy the car. This Sienna is accident free, has a clean interior, good mileage and has been fixed at a good price. He told me he fell in love with the car but couldn’t buy it because it had the 2GR engine. According to him, he thought it was the 3MZ engine.
I had to ask what the problem was because I thought the newer the engine the better. He told me he wanted to use Sienna for transportation and that’s why he decided on the 3MZ engine. He flatly said he was not ready for the 2GR wahala engine. I was surprised. I sell cars but I don’t know these things. I didn’t realize all this time that there were engine preferences when it came to the second generation sienna in the transportation sector.
I took my time getting lectured by this potential customer and also went the extra mile to educate myself on both engines. So, I would share everything the man told me and also what I discovered through my personal research.
First of all, the Toyota Sienna in question is the Siena second generation. It was produced from 2004 to 2009. For this second generation of sienna, the 2004 to 2006 model uses the 3MZ engine while the 2007 to 2009 model uses the notoriously reliable 2Gr engine.
Here are some of the reasons why most people in the transport industry prefer the 3MZ engine over the 2GR engine
They are of the opinion that the 3MZ engines are more fuel efficient than the 2GR engine. People I interviewed told me that they base their judgment on hands-on experience, not what they read online. According to them, they spend less money on fuel with the 3MZ engine than with the 2GR engine.
Engine Durability/Engine Replacement Cost
From what I found out. They are of the opinion that the 3MZ engine is more durable than the 2GR engine. A little overheating and your 2GR engine will be compromised but not the same for the 3MZ. The maintenance and replacement cost of 2GR is also high.
Gearbox maintenance and replacement cost
3MZ motors use a 10 or 13 pin gearbox (depending on drive wheel). This gearbox according to them is easier to maintain, and also cheaper to replace when it goes bad. Unlike the 22-pin gearbox used by the 2GR engine which is more expensive to maintain and also replace if something goes wrong. The 3MZ gearbox is likely to stand the test of time unlike the 2GR gearbox.
Timing belt and timing chain
The 3MZ engine uses a timing belt while the 2GR engine uses a timing chain. They prefer the timing belt because when it deteriorates it can be easily changed and does not produce the odd noise associated with the timing chain as it deteriorates over time.
Also see: Buy and sell cars faster on Carmart NG