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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I don't know about the rollover senor, but the Sienna can be bought with all the airbags."

    Sienna does not have the rollover sensors. Finding Siennas with the side/curtain airbag option (if desired), can be problematic, particularly in the CE and LE trims.

    "There are always warnings about how they're dangerous for kids, and if you attach your carseat correctly and strap the little ones in with the 5 ppoint harness, they won't need an airbag to prevent them from hitting the roof, side or seat in front of them."

    The only potentially dangerous airbags are the front impact airbags and the side airbags built into the sides of the front seats. Which is why children should not ride in the front seat. The side CURTAIN airbags are NOT dangerous to occupants unless they are sleeping with their head actually against the window. In which case, in the event of a side impact, I think the occupant has more to fear from the large object attempting to gain entry to the vehicle by way of their head than they have to fear from an inflating airbag.

    They won't need to airbags to prevent them from hitting interior portions of the car? You've made a couple of huge assumptions: 1) they stay in their seat and the seat stays in place (a fairly safe assumption), and 2) the roof/doors/side of the vehicle remain where THEY are.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    They won't need to airbags to prevent them from hitting interior portions of the car? You've made a couple of huge assumptions...2) the roof/doors/side of the vehicle remain where THEY are.

    EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT POINT!!!! Thank you for pointing that out - it was so obvious I completely overlooked it! :blush:
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    So true. And the Odyssey has sensors that turn the side air bags off if someone's head or even arm is in the way :)
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    It seems to me that you should decide what you most need. If AWD, buy the Sienna. If nav/RES performance is more important, go with the Honda.
  • twins2twins2 Posts: 16
    That's exactly what it has come down to. I asked this several months ago, but any experience with the Honda odyssey in snow/snowstorms? I like the drive/NAV/lower price of the Ody better than the Sienna but fear I'll need AWD and higher ground clearance of the Sienna living in New England....also, anyone with experience in aftermarket installed bluetooth for either the Sienna or Ody?

    One more test drive this thursday with the wife and then purchase time....
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    Hey we also have bad winters down here in Northern Ontario and the Odyssey is great in the snow! its very heavy and the traction control and VSA helps alot. I never got stuck once in my 2005 Odyssey. If thats the only reason holding you back from the Odyssey, its not a big concern. It handles great in the snow.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Hey we also have bad winters down here in Northern Ontario and the Odyssey is great in the snow! its very heavy and the traction control and VSA helps alot."

    I think the traction control only works below 30 KMPH? I had a 2002 that I took over the mountain into Yosemite in the middle of a snowstorm. I would take the low route if I had it to do over again, but the Ody went up fine, and the traction control worked well. But you had to go slow, not a bad idea in snow anyway.

    But AWD would probably be better, in my opinion.
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    I thought the tration control worked at all speeds? maybe im wrong. I go slow in he snow anyways. Ive never tried AWD on the Sienna so I cant compare because my aunt has a 2004 Seinna LE w/o AWD. Eather way I think both vans would hold up good in the snow. :)
  • boodadboodad Posts: 31
    Just to add, winter tires seem to be a critical factor with dealing with snow/ice. AWD, by itself, is not insurance - - you must have a good set of winter threads. I've been successful with driving with respect for the elements and decent tires to get me through the snow with a FWD minivan. Also, I wouldn't just pick the Ody if FWD is your choice - - test drive both and match up the one that best suits your needs (and wants, too!).


    Wayne in Belgium
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    It will be interesting to see HER choice after driving both. Is she going to be driving them back to back, or have you already picked Ody and she is just driving that? Please let us know you she thinks and what you decide. I've heard and read on Siennaclub that Ody is not good in the snow with the ground clearance issue having much to do with that. Of course, it was on Siennaclub, so take it for what you think it's worth. The ground clearance also concerned me from a more silly standpoint of hitting things...parking bumpers, etc.
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    True. Every winter I said I will get winter tires, but I never have yet. But then again I'm always very cautious when driving in bad weather, but then again that doesn't mean I will never get into an accident. I've just been lucky. So really I never drove a vehicle with winter tires and cant really compare. I would of been happy with both vans though, I really liked them both but the Odyssey just met my expectations more so then the Sienna did. Good luck on your decision :)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I think the traction control only works below 30 KMPH?"

    Well, I think it's safe to say we won't be exceeding 30,000 MPH in an Ody anytime soon. :P

    But seriously, where have you heard the 30mph limitation? I've never heard of this before and I don't recall seeing anything about it in the owner's manual. If there is a speed limitation, is the Sienna fitted with traction/VSC also only effective at speeds below 30mph? :confuse:
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    It makes NO sense for VSC to have any kind of mph limitations and it doesn't really make any sense for traction control either. You could argue that it will mostly be used at under 30 mph speeds due to the nature of traction control (which is basically to control acceleration which compromises tire grip) but really, why should the ABS system not be able to counteract acceleration that compromises your car's traction needs just because you are over some arbitrary speed? Seems like a farfetched idea to me anyway.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    The VSC and TRAC system on the Sienna doesn't have a speed limitation on them. They work at any speed.


    Toyota Ken
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    in my '03 ODY, i believe there IS a speed threshold after which the function will not be active. 30MPH seems high actually. I think the speed threshold is lower. will have to check the manual. realize that traction control is not to manage acceleration but rather to limit uncontrolled wheel spin (like when there is no traction). VSC or stability control is another animal - helping to control vehicle yaw by modulating the appropriate brake. ABS is ABS and the framework for the other functions.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    But the question becomes WHY put a speed threshold in place in the first place? Just because traction control is unlikely to be necessary at higher speeds? What about traveling on dry roads and then hitting a patch of black ice? Wouldn't traction control be of benefit to keep the drive wheels from unexpectedly spinning before the driver must react and take his foot off the gas?

    Again, this is the first I've heard of ANY kind of speed limitation either traction control or VSC. As pointed out above, the Sienna has no limitations on the speed at which either system is useful. So why should Honda go to the trouble of installing a speed cutoff point after which the system is no longer functioning????
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    First, I'm reasonably sure the poster meant 30 KILOMETERS per hour. That would be something like 18 or 19 MILES per hour.

    Secondly, as Toyota states in their glossary, Traction Control is generally needed when starting up (thus Honda's slow speed limitation) and sometimes on acceleration on slippery surfaces. However, the latter requires some more sophisticated decision-making software with pretty precise controls (to avoid making the matter worse which can happen very quickly indeed at higher speeds). Toyota has apparently provided that added sophistication to their system, while it seems Honda has not (apparently using the speed-limit on their Traction Control to avoid having a less complex system exacerbate rather than solve slippage problems at higher speeds).

    In both makes, the VSC/VSA (Vehicle Stability Control/Assist), is a much more complex system including sensors for yaw, steering angle, and G-force to help determine over/understeer and activate throttle and individual-wheel braking to attempt to improve things.

    Toyota wisely goes so far as to strongly suggest safe driving habits by pointing out that even their marvelous system is still subject to the laws of physics (being unable to provide more traction than could possibly be available in a given situation).

    Let us hope that the programmers of these systems use near-Space-Shuttle levels of error tolerance acceptance in their coding and testing practices. I would hate for some Monday-morning-code glitch to decide that I should really drive straight off the highway rather than to follow the pavement. So far no such reports have surfaced. Let's hope it stays that way.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    well, regarding your last point, i believe i read somewhere in a toyota forum, (not sure which), that a failure in the yaw-rate sensor or steering angle sensor (again, can't remember which), caused VSC to activate and the driver ended up in the other lane...
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    I guess that is the thing that really frightens me. I mean, when your vehicle does unexpected things on its own, then the driver reaction to such things might be even worse still. Think about how tense driving would be for some weeks (months? years?) after something like that happened to you. Trips to the chiropractor would be a weekly fact of life, not to mention tension headache effects and nervous ticks....

    I'm only slightly exaggerating here. For someone who experienced the car "taking over" in a bad way like that, it would be like the ocean suddenly rising for the first time in human memory as it did in the Indian Ocean. It takes a while to willing go near the water (or vehicle, in this case) again once it proves that it won't necessarily behave like it is supposed to do.

    I think I'll prefer my vehicles stay somewhat less decisive for the foreseeable future so that I can attempt to avoid any that run wild on their own. (Being a programmer/analyst/trouble-shooter myself makes me even more nervous knowing the many ways to miss something in coding, then to consider the many ways sensors can fail... Shivers run down my spine!)
  • jdubsjdubs Posts: 5
    See the raw government video footage of the side impact test....
    See the "Safety Concern" they note in bold letters. Shame on Honda.

    So, let me see, your wife gets hit driving it, she's ejected and killed....

    If you don't skip this vehicle for that reason, you aren't human !
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