1. UberPeople.NET - Independent community of rideshare drivers. It's FREE to be a person and enjoy all the benefits of membership. Sign-up HERE!

UberXL in the Toyota Sienna

Discussion in 'New Jersey' started by NJDriver, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    My NYC TLC license is still a month away, but I just got my used Toyota Sienna. I actually loved my Camry Hybrid, but I think the Sienna will bring me more fares in the long run. Its more flexible.

    Cruise control on the highway at speed limit I noticed I get 30 mpg with AC on. Doing a mixed city/highway trip driving like grandma I get about 22 mpg. I noticed people respecting the minivan. They see it and just go ahead and assume its not going to move quick.

    The theory is that someone is going to need something larger. They wont click on SUV but they will use the cheapest option which is XL. I confirmed that very few people ever click on SUV. Everyone I talked to told me they rarely get a SUV call. Also Uber has been approving people with Corollas and smaller cars. I know of a Corolla Uberx which operates around Bergen County NJ and a Hyundai Sonata in Ocean County. Its not possible these days to stuff the Uberx car like they did in the past. No way will that family of 4 with bags and stroller stuff into the Corolla.

    There are a lot of Caravans which sell for cheap in the area. I didnt get the Caravan because its notoriously unreliable. I didnt want any problems. You can get on Autotrader and get a Caravan for 5 to 7k which will work. Some here have ways of doing it even cheaper I see.

    The beauty of UberXL is if you get a call on UberX with 6 teenagers that you can get it upgraded to UberXL. On the app, there is a help option for more than 4 people got into the car. Not like the old days where 5 to 6 people packed into your car with no recourse.

    I noticed there is no way on the app to deny UberX calls. I think if you are Uber Black, SUV or XL you have to take all calls now. Im fine with that as I anticipated getting both Uberx and XL calls...

    The minivan also is better for getting people in and out of the car quickly which is key during high volume times. No need for the trunk just throw it into the door. Doors slide and no opening into traffic.
     
  2. Chi Bones

    Chi Bones Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Branch NJ
    I am Uber Black and Uber X and if I go to select Vehicle - I can choose regular (which is Black) or my license plate with a + after it which is both Black and X. This is referred to as cross dispatch.
     
  3. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I just emailed Uber to see if I can get that feature. Its absent on my vehicle app, but I wouldnt mind taking Uberx. I figured I could get 25% more calls with XL. Strangely enough I saw an advertisement pop up for a 2009 Toyota Sienna for 9900. Thats the idea! Get a minivan under 10 grand. Drive the crap out of it for 1 to 2 years. As long as it runs and drives you can sell it for 3 to 5k.

    Get new style Sienna 2011 and spend as little as you can. The old style pre 2011 will work too. Spend under 10k.

    If you are driving for Uber you probably not a baller so just use the van as your personal car. Thats what I do. I could care less what anyone thinks.
     
  4. pickmeup

    pickmeup Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Were you able to transfer your plates you currently had or had to get new ones?
     
  5. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I guess you could transfer the old plates. Im not sure how it works to be honest. I might just go down to the DMV and see if I can use the old plates.

    Im now down in Atlantic City for the weekend and I got a minute to Uber around. My first fare was an UberXL with 7 people. Fortunately my Sienna is the 8 passenger setup. The 8th seat is more like a jump seat not that comfortable but works. Made 8 dollars NET for a .8 mile trip.

    The point of XL is not to make more money but to keep busier. Waiting around is the biggest problem for Uber drivers. So you keep the back occupied capturing more fares. People have told me I can get 30% more fares with XL.

    Now the downside is gas mileage. You have to drive like Grandma unlike in the Camry Hybrid where I was nailing it down all the time averaging 31 mpg. The Sienna gets 30 mpg at best on cruise control on flat highway whereas the Camry Hybrid could get 42 doing the same. Camry Hybrid shuts down as much as it can like at traffic lights, Sienna keeps going.

    Grandma driving around the city expect 20mpg whereas the Camry Hybrid would do 30 mpg.

    You have to get used to shutting down the Sienna the old fashioned way when waiting. You also have to get used to Grandma driving. The Suburban drivers are used to this. You never see the TLC Suburban racing around.

    So lets say you do 10 trips on Uberx, UberXL will get you three extra trips on average. A long 12 to 16 hour day where you would do 25, you will do 30 in the Sienna.

    If some joker jumps in with 6 buddies under UberXL just send Uber a quick email to upgrade the ride. Someone might try to use you as a moving van under UberX. The Camry holds 3 large suitcases in the trunk and 1 up in the front seat. If it gets past that take a picture and send to customer service for upgrade.

    Sliding doors much faster to load and unload. A lot more room for passengers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  6. pickmeup

    pickmeup Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Sounds like a good investment!
     
  7. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    Quite honestly I hope so. I loved my Camry Hybrid and did this with reservations. However, today confirmed what I believe which is there are people requesting XL.

    In AC there were 2 XL drivers and a bunch of X drivers. I sat there for 10 minutes and got an XL request. If I was in my Camry I would have continued to sit.

    So we shall see. I honestly dont know if this will work...
     
  8. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    The Toyota Sienna is a very comfortable vehicle and has just as much room, if not more, than the Suburban. I can put the drivers seat all the way back while driving and the passenger behind me has a lot of room. When the front passengers seat is pushed all the way forward its a cavernous like space in the back for the passengers. The only bad thing about the car is I am managing only 23-24 mpg driving like Grandma. :( It isnt bad because I averaged like 31 mpg in the Camry Hybrid, but I did drive the Camry far more aggressively.

    The Sienna is a little higher off the ground, like .5 inches, than the Camry and the drivers seat can be raised really high giving me a good view of the road.

    In Atlantic City, I had 7 people packed into the Sienna without an issue. I have the 8 passenger configuration.
     
  9. Nagodesi

    Nagodesi Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Central New Joisey
    Driving:
    UberX
    I am also looking into a Toyota Sienna, then I saw this instead..
     
  10. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    The Sienna is certainly a gas guzzler. However, its very comfortable. Im sitting in the backseat right now at a train station just waiting for a fare with the two side doors open. Its awesome like Im sitting on a couch breeze blowing in. The fact its a guzzler will turn most off to this vehicle.
     
  11. NJDriver

    NJDriver Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
    I noticed that in order to get the UberXL fares its ideal to be online for an entire shift meaning 8-12 hours. In that amount of time you will get a few UberXL calls, but if you are just online a few hours part-time you wont get any. This morning my first call was UberXL. It was 4 people each with a large suitcase and carry-on. The resulting fare came out to $61 net versus $41 so an extra $20, but the point was that I got the fare in the first place. If I was just UberX I would have had one less fare today.

    I did start carrying around a few items with me that I would not have carried in the Camry like the set of road triangles, but Ive found that when someone orders an UberXL they pack it like the Camry. So far the UberXL calls have been where either 7 people emerge or a smaller set of people emerge with large bags. Either way, the minivan gets packed. Any extra items you put in there just get in the way and you find yourself awkwardly tossing them around trying to find space which doesnt look good in front of the riders.

    If you are planning on getting an UberXL/UberX vehicle, you really need one that can legally sit 7 people which means a bench seat for both the 2nd and 3rd row. If you vehicle just seats 6 like some do that wont be enough. They will emerge with 7 people as did happen to me each time.

    The minivan is nice, but I think the Toyota Highlander with the 4 cylinder 2wd might be a better choice. You dont really need 4wd for this area except on those few days a year it actually snows which is plowed within a day. The 4 cylinder gets almost the same as the 6 cylinder when driving, but when idling or standing still you want the 4 cylinder for best mpg. The Sienna 8 passenger minivan is a huge cavern inside able to seat 7 passengers + 1 driver and still able to put 3-4 large suitcases in the back.

    Even if you get just one extra fare per shift in the UberXL, its worth it and thats why you see so many Toyota Highlanders Ubering around NYC....remember you have to be able to work a full shift of 8-12 hours or you probably wont get any UberXL.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

Share This Page