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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • kyler13kyler13 Posts: 9
    VCM supposedly will be incorporated in all trims for 2008.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a big relief. I'm sure LX and EX shoppers will be thrilled to know that.
  • waid10waid10 Posts: 21
    Are the sun shades (the ones built into the windows) standard equipment on a 2005 Odyssey Touring? Or are they optional? I have had a really hard time finding out what options are available on a 2005 Touring. It seems that there are Nav, DVD, and satellite radio. I can't tell if rear audio controls are standard or an option. Same goes for the sun shades.

    Thanks in advance for any insight.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Just a guess - it's all standard. One of Honda's hallmark qualities is their packaging. Their trim levels determine the amenities you will find, with very few options. I like it - I wish Toyota would follow their lead in that regard (but not the others :D )
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Sunshades were standard on the second row only. '05 Tourings were either R&N (RES - rear entertainment system - and navigation system) equipped or not. R&N models included a back-up camera and XM radio. This was a package deal.

    Not sure what you exactly you mean by "rear audio controls." The only ones with which I'm familiar were incorporated as part of the RES.
  • mcjazzzymcjazzzy Posts: 62
    I have an 06 Sienna LTD AWD.. I like it. My husband and I purchased it in November 2006 and in April, I had to replace a has the run-flats. It was about 325.00 for the tire and I just couldn't believe it. All the cars my husband and I owned, we always manage to get a nail in the tire. I had a nail in my run-flat tire and was told I had to replace it. But, I think Toyota screwed me because the tire didn't even look like there was no air in it, the service writer told me that I had zero pressure. I think they really got one over on me. Anyhoo, I will always love the Odyssey in fact I am looking and always will be. My husband liked the 0% Toyota was offering at the time. If I can get out of my Sienna, I'd definetly get an Odyssey, but I would go with the EX-L w/DVD and Nav. I would never go with run-flats ever again.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Run flats have a thick, soft rubber ring inside that allows them to run without air pressure if necessary, which might be why it did not appear to have lost any air :shades: . they were only used on the AWD because the space normally used for storing a spare was occupied by the extra AWD running gear. As an '04 Ody EXL-RES (DVD) owner, I can tell you from experience that the Ody is a very nice van and it's the prettier of the two... but looks aren't everything. I've driven an 07 EXL-RES and I was smitten by it's looks and handling, but now that it's been a couple weeks, I've cooled off. I won't be buying another Ody. But then... it's a matter of tastes and preferences. I prefer the solidity and smoothness of the Toyota, and it does better in CR's ratings. There is a big difference. The Ody has been a huge letdown in terms of reliability and overall quality. Read all the blogs before you trade in your Sienna Limited. It seems like for every 3 or 4 people who really love their Ody, there is at least one who has had a tranny failure, or is just sick of all the minor issues that Honda has never addressed. I.E., battery goes dead, doors get confused, paint chips, dents too easily, etc. Those who have had their brand new Ody at the dealer several times for repairs are not few in number. The 07 Sienna 3.5 is also a lot faster and gets better fuel economy. Another thing, the Ody's engine is way too "peaky." During a recent trip to Park City Utah, I found myself constantly having to concientiously back off the throttle to allow the tranny to upshift while climbing at 6-7k feet elevation, because the Ody's engine doesn't hit its stride until about 4300 RPM, so it tries to stay above that any time you are ascending even minor grades. All the engine noise is annoying after a short time. It really needs more torque at lower RPM's. It's fun driving around town when the extra power comes on, but not so fun when you NEED the power and you have to rev the crap out of the engine to get it. The Sienna's engine has gobs of low end power - haven't tested one in the mountains yet, but it's noticeably quicker off the line with no apparent peaks or sleepy spots, characteristic of all Wards 10 best engines (also true of my Maxima's VQ engine).
  • mcjazzzymcjazzzy Posts: 62
    Thanks for the tip..You're right, I did hear about chipping of the paint in the Odys and the transmissions. I will think about it..I do like the cabin in my Sienna alot better than the Ody. But the Ody has a nicer appearance on the outside. Thanks.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Yes, I've just decided the Ody makes a really great first impression - probably better than the Sienna. It's just that in my experience, the more I have gotten to know my Ody, the less I have enjoyed it. I had a Lexus a few years back and I drove it until my wife totalled it with 140K plus miles, because it was still nearly as perfect as when new... the doors still closed with a whisper quiet thunk, there were no rattles, it still smelled good and still looked pretty, there was simply no reason to let it go. As much as I was grateful that it protected my wife as well as it did in a relatively major accident, I was truly sad to lose it. Before anyone says it's not fair to compare Lexus with Honda, I was simply illustrating the point that I admire Toyota/Lexus engineering. The Sienna shares its engine and platform with other Toyota and Lexus models, hence... fair to compare. We are talking about "the Lexus of Minivans" anyway, aren't we? I find that Toyota products simply age very well, and I always find myself amazed at how much I still like them, even when they start to get up there in years.
  • mcjazzzymcjazzzy Posts: 62
    My husband had a 1998 Lexus GS400 and it looked brand new when he bought it in 2003..he sold it to his cousin last year. My husband loves Lexus and I do too. If Lexus were to make a minivan, it would look like my Sienna-with the Lexus touch of course,I probably would buy it.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    I completely agree. Car and Driver once said that if Lexus DID have a minivan, the Sienna would be it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We are talking about "the Lexus of Minivans" anyway, aren't we?

    Basically yes. I think Toyota should have made the Limited model a Lexus, basically.

    Why? Well, mostly because it's unfair when people compare a "loaded" model with competitors, because Toyota offers more features. If it were a Lexus, noone would make that comparison.

    Where else can you get AWD, HIDs, and laser cruise control in a van?
  • simonsez5simonsez5 Posts: 21
    I'm not sure if anyone has ever posted these numbers but I just wanted to confirm the Governmental fuel economy ratings for these two vans in Canada.

    Below are the metric fuel economy numbers provided by the Canadian Federal Government (Natural Resources Canada to be specific) along with an exact imperial conversion to gallons and miles:

    Odyssey: City: 13.3 litres per 100 kms = 3.51 gallons used for every 62.14 miles
    Highway: 8.5 litres per 100 kms = 2.25 gallons used for every 62.14 miles

    Odyssey: City: 12.7 litres per 100 kms = 3.35 gallons used for every 62.14 miles
    (with VCM) Highway: 8.2 litres per 100 kms = 2.17 gallons used for every 62.14 miles

    Sienna FWD: City: 11.7 litres per 100 kms = 3.09 gallons used for every 62.14 miles
    (all models) Highway: 8.1 litres per 100 kms = 2.14 gallons used for every 62.14 miles

    Hope all of this makes sense. So in essence the vehicles purchased here (in Canada) are identical to the ones in the US(as in they come from the same factories) save for the trim levels and equipment, the overall fuel economy champ up here is the Sienna even better than the Odyssey with VCM technology. Of course this doesn't reflect real-world driving.

    The reason why I decided to post this was because the EPA numbers in the U.S. for both models are identical correct? Seems like when you calculate fuel economy the metric way the numbers are slightly different.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It would not surprise me if the Canadian tests follow a different methodology.

    Interesting data point, though.

    For MY2008, EPA numbers for the FWD Sienna match the Odyssey with VDM exactly, both get 17/24.

    Too close to call. Call 'em both fuel economy champs for the minivan segment.
  • mcjazzzymcjazzzy Posts: 62
    Where else can you get AWD, HIDs, and laser cruise control in a van?

    Maybe Honda is already working on that.

    How come Honda is a little behind with the features? If Toyota has more features then the Odyssey, then why is the Ody still the number one selling minivan. Do you think if Toyota re-designed the Sienna to make it nicer looking on the outside, it might appeal to customers? I like the way the Ody looks on the outside versus the Sienna but I think Sienna did a much better job inside.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe Honda is. Or maybe Acura is! :D

    I think Dodge has the #1 selling van, however. Low prices, tons of dealers, and lots of fleet sales ensure that.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    honda's product offerings make more sense to people that just don't buy into the "we can design it, but we can't find it" mentality / scam.

    how frustrating it must be for people to be looking for a sienna with a certain feature mix only to find it can't be had in their area at any price...

    its just a way for the company to appear it is addressing customer preferences, when ultimately it supports the dealerships and puts the customers at a disadvantage.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Toyota is obviously doing something right... their lean manufacturing model dictates that they produce to satisfy *demand* for each specific model. Sales of those models trigger the production of new, like models, and apparently sales indicate most buyers are opting for LE option 2 & 3. Yes, for the few of us that seem to want the model they aren't producing, it is frustrating. I do like that you can go to a Honda dealer and find plentiful selection with the trims you want. All the EXL-RES models had "the thong" seat in the middle row and leather doesn't force you to choose seven passenger seating (you can have 7.5 in the Ody's case). Even if you're not planning to spend the extra dough for a loaded up model, when you see one you're probably more likely to want it. From this perspective, I like Honda's business model, and at least when it comes to Minivans, Honda seems to know the broader base of customers wants/needs better as sales indicate. But that doesn't change how I feel about owning another Ody - I don't want one. The Sienna Limited is more of a niche vehicle, and not everyone is going to want it for the price, but it really has no peers. IT IS like a Lexus with a Toyota badge (although I'm guessing the wood trim is probably fake, where the wood in Lexus models is the real thing). Also agree with you about the Sienna's styling. I wish Toyota would do away with the circles and ovals that have appeared in the tail lights lenses of recent models (liked those on the 04-05 better) and I thought the hint of F1 style nose on the front end styling was a tiny bit quirky on the 04/05 Sienna when it came out, but it was handsome and looked upscale. I did not like the smiley face front end treatment on the '06 restyle of the front end. But it's not offensive, it's just not as striking as the 04/05 or the 05+ Ody front end. Sienna designers need to drop the circles and arcs design theme and not be afraid to use a straight line here or there, like on the new Camry and Avalon - both have very nice styling.
  • mcjazzzymcjazzzy Posts: 62
    I love my Sienna, but I don't care much for the outside, but I do like the way the Ody looks. I wish Toyota would give Sienna a face lift. Yesterday I was at a red light and there was another Sienna across the street from me and I felt like it was smiling at me. It's pretty funny looking, its just the front end that I don't like as much but the side view and the rear view is ok. I do see a lot of older models that have a more squared front and I like that much better than my 06 model.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Yes, totally agree! I wish they had left the front end alone. The old look was sharp with the meatier looking headlamps and the horizontal slats in the airdam. The new face looks like they hired Rubbermaid to do the styling. It's like their designers have some strange aversion to straight lines and are on a quest to replace them with dorky arcs and circles. I thought those looked bad in the eighties and nineties when they were popular. Soft lines are nice, so are straight lines. The Sienna front end just seems to have curves in all the wrong places :shades: The rest of it looks great (other than those circular shapes that appeared inside the tail light lenses on 2006+ models, but maybe that's nitpicking a little). Sorry Toyota, you know I love you, but are you listening?
  • allezallez Posts: 21
    Hmmm. . . I like the 2006+ front end and the circular shapes in the tail light. To each their own :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like them, too. The older model had a straight line all the way across and just seemed boring. The new headlight look especially good up close, when you see them in 3D.

    Any how, these are vans, they're not going to win any beauty contests.

    Honda still has not hidden the door tracks, what's up with that? ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    While it's true that Honda's packaging system is a *lot* simpler, that doesn't necessarily make it better. It's much less flexible, for instance.

    Here are issues I had with Honda's packaging:

    * have to buy leather to get VCM, which is absurd
    * I didn't like the EX' cloth, and the leather was hard, so I could not get power doors at all
    * can't get a movie player without leather, either

    Siennas get the better gas mileage no matter which model you choose, making saving gas simple. I understand Honda will change this next model year, GREAT. Too late for me.

    Sienna's cloth was nicer. I liked the LX cloth on the Honda but the EX was like mouse fur. The leather was hard, plus the 3rd row is all vinyl not real leather. Problem is if I got the only fabric I liked I had to give up power doors, 6CD, DVD, etc.

    Toyota lets you buy a DVD player with cloth, it's LE package 5.

    You do need a PhD to understand Toyota's option package, but once you do, it's much more flexible. For instance, you can match the Honda models quite easily, here you go:

    Odyssey EX = Sienna LE pkg. 3
    EX-L = XLE pkg. 6
    EX-L-RES = XLE pkg. 7
    EX-L-RES-NAV = XLE pkg. 8

    There are a few very minor differences, but those packages mostly match up. Actually the Toyotas have slightly more equipment.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    My opinion is it's because with the Honda, everything is included. In the Toyota, you pay for it. And when comparing truly similar models, say an EXL-RES with an XLE with whatever option package that includes leather and DVD, you either pay more for the Sienna, or you get sticker shock looking at the price breakdown for each option. With the Honda, it's simple. I think people just like Honda's marketing methodology better. However... I also think the Toyota has a lot of what I would call "hidden value," due to the fact that it has indisputably better reliability ratings, better fuel economy, and if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the Toyota for how well it will hold up over the long haul.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Ateixeira - good point. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. The biggest problem I had with the Sienna's though, was that none of the models I wanted were available. I have decided now that I'm going to get the XLE, so no 8 seater, but it will have all the nicities we want. But, again, I can't find one! I may have to hold off until 08's arrive or find a gently used 06 or 07 (I'd really like the 3.5 if I can get one).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    comparing truly similar models

    See my post above.

    Note also that when I shopped local no-haggle dealers in MD the Ody EX was $26,883, while my LE-3 was $25,346, both with fees included. $1500 less, actually.

    The EX did add auto-climate control and the nifty lazy susan storage thing, but the Sienna has a trip computer, power 3rd row windows, a 3rd row that can face rearward for tailgating, puddle lamps, standard tow package, cross bars for the roof racks, 22 more horsepower, and a stereo that plays WMA and MP3 files. There are a few more things I'm fogetting, too.

    Remember, it was $1500 less.

    It pays to cross-shop.
  • lojefflojeff Posts: 29
    How do you face the 3rd row rearward for tailgating in the sienna?
  • minivanguyminivanguy Posts: 85
    I think the old Sienna look cross-eyed :P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can open the seat with it tilted back. Tailgaters have a comfy pace to sit. The seat is upside down, of course, but still comfy because the headrests lie flush with the seat.

    Toyota just didn't have the package you wanted in that region, but who says Honda got the packaging perfect anyway?

    My cousin bought a Ody LX and had to have a roof rack and cross bars installed after the sale. She also had to swap out the stereo to get a 6CD changer.

    If you buy a tow hitch you have not one but two oil coolers you have to install first. Sienna comes with those standard, so it's heavier duty out of the box.

    I don't disagree that Toyota makes it a pain to shop with all the confusing packages, but I think you will find issues with options on any brand.

    Hyundai for instance, even the Limited model doesn't come with a 6CD standard, you have to buy one in an option package. The Sienna LE comes with a 6CD standard at a lower price point. Ody gives you one in the EX, which costs more, and I'm told it will not play MP3s.

    MP3 is cool becauase you can read the name of the song and artist on the stereo display. Works out of the box on a basic Sienna LE.

    I guess it depends on which option is important to you. I wanted a 6CD that played MP3s - you can get that cheapest in the Sienna.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Sienna comes with those standard, so it's heavier duty out of the box.
    Everything on the Sienna, as with Toyota's generally speaking, is heavier duty out of the box!
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