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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Good points. If your not planning on having adults ride in the stow-n-go seats, comfort isn't a high priority.

    I've thought the Dodges offer a lot of value and you proved that point with your post.

    I really wanted the stability control feature Honda had as well as the many other safety features. The roll up sun shades and great seats in back were also a plus. We got the power side doors, but no power tail gate. We ended up paying $4,000 more then you and we think it's worth the extra money, but hey I think you did well too. :)
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Having not seen one on the roads yet, I didn't realize they were in dealers now, or I would have said "last generation seats were lacking" in the comfort department. Sorry for the misinformed post!

    Actually, we bought an '07 which is the "last of the breed" of that generation of van. They changed the material of the SnG seats after the initial model year (or maybe mid-year on the '06s..?), so as far as I know only the '05 vans had the paper-thin padded chairs.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Ah, ok, I had *thought* that maybe SAC stood for stability something-or-other, but didn't want to look like an idiot. :P

    I think stability control would be one of those "nice to have, but not critical" things. I think it would be more useful in a vehicle more prone to tipping over like an SUV. But, not having had a car with it, I can't really say how useful it would be.

    Before I had ABS, I thought it was for people who didn't know how to brake. Now, I can see where it keeps the brakes from locking up, so IS nice to have in emergency situations. The thing that amazes me about ABS more than anything is how it allows you to brake even on icy roads. In Michigan, I've avoided getting rear ended (and sliding into intersections myself!) thanks to ABS.

    Traction control can be neat "sometimes", but I think it is more useful in a RWD vehicle. Having only owned FWD cars, several of which HAVE had traction control, I never used it.

    So, the wife's van has 2/3. Like a lot of people who need corrective vision she is a poor judge of distance, so the ABS for her is invaluable. Traction control, eh.

    I have to say I'm more than impressed that nobody has called our Chrysler "junk" yet, given that this is a Japanese van forum. We minivan owners must be a mellow lot. :shades:

    That said, the one thing that does concern me about buying a Chrysler product is the long-term mechanical quality of the thing. PARTICULARLY the transmission. Ironically, though, when I was researching vans the thing that came up again and again about the Odyssey was its flaky transmission. Now, Honda has been making them long enough where they've hopefully fixed it, but then again that's what I tell myself about our T&C. :)

    At the end of the day, I had to put my aversion to Chrysler products aside and suck it up. I have no doubt the interior will disintegrate LONG before an equivalent Japanese van, if my Maxima is any indication. That car just doesn't seem to age.

    The one negative thing I have to say is I don't get Edmunds' love of the Kia van. Honestly when I sat in the Sedona I felt like the Town and Country was a luxury sedan by comparison. The Sedona's interior reminded me of my wife's 1998 Chevy Cavalier; it was just really, really nasty and cheap. The Koreans, for whatever reason, love to just plow as much chrome and fake wood into their cars as possible. The problem with doing this is it has the opposite effect of what they intended; it comes off like a Lexus as imagined by a 3 year old.

    That said, I actually like some of the newer Korean cars like the new Sonata. While I can't *personally* see myself owning a Korean car in my lifetime, I wouldn't be surprised if my kids do. I went against my old man when he said never to buy a Chrysler because they're all garbage, so I would imagine my children will do the same thing. :P
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    I checked out the Kia when I was looking for vans and had a similar experience. I wasn't overly impressed with it. However it does offer about every feature in the book for a price significantly cheaper then pretty much every van out there.

    My wife also had a Hyundai Scoupe which was a pile of junk. However Korean quality scores seem to be getting better and that may be why Edmunds rate them the way they do. Remember Toyota didn't always have the stellar reputation it does now either.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Chrysler still uses a pushrod engine, but torque is decent and that's what you need in a van, so I don't consider the higher-revving, high HP engines that the competitors have a significant advantage.

    I had a neighbor that was a carpet distributor that went through Dodge vans like we go through toilet paper, and his trannies kept failing right around 70-80k miles. Maybe it was the weight.

    Funny thing was, he kept buying more of 'em, not exactly sure why. He just planned on one trans rebuild.

    But yes, I've seen plenty of Honda owners complain, so I would not list that as an advantage for those.

    And Toyota has had plenty of issues with new Camry transmissions. The older 3.3l Siennas were fine, but it gets the same 3.5l in the new Camry, so who knows.

    I'd put a big question mark there, and not give any of them a clear advantage. Perhaps that's why, as you stated, noone called the DCX vans junk. They aren't.

  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I think part of the problem with minivans in general is that they're engineered like cars, but are sometimes asked to perform tasks that you need a truck for.

    I remember driving my folks' Pontiac Montana halfway across the country with 6 people + luggage, and that was SCARY. You could SMELL the brakes whenever you came to anything less than a really gradual stop. It accelerated like a pig with no legs, and wallowed like one too. It's no surprise that minivans are renowned brake and transmission eaters.
    I can't imagine what the drive had been like if I had been towing anything.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not sure that was a competitive van even when they were new. Today's best vans are far better.

    GM made those narrow so they could also be sold in Europe, a big mistake IMO. The Uplander still shared a lot of that DNA and should be put out of its misery if it hasn't already.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Someone shared this pic with me today...
  • cmh707cmh707 Posts: 2
    I am new to these boards, but have been avidly reading posts regarding Odyssey vs Sienna vs Chrysler, for the last week, as we are in the research phase. We're finally looking to move to a minivan, from the very reliable, but ancient, Olds station wagon, that has back killing seats (we use all kinds of little padded supports, etc. to help with that), but a non-rough ride.

    I have already eliminated the Sedona/Entourage twins, based on test drives yesterday (our daughter remarked that she felt like she was in a boat, but maybe that's the way all minivans are, giving you that sort of swaying feeling???), and depreciation.

    I'm also wondering how the new '08 Chrysler might compare...?

    We've owned Hondas for 28 yrs., which other family members drive, and I have neck/back issues, so we don't want to spend megabucks on a vehicle that will give me a headache, literally, every time I drive it, due to a rough or bouncy ride. Already have a pickup truck that does that! And, you can't always tell these things on a little test drive. Our dealers aren't too keen on letting you take the vehicle home for a day, either.

    So, question to all you owners out there - which has the least bumpy ride, Odyssey or Sienna or Chrysler?
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    The Odyssey rides notably firmer than the Sienna. When I'm alone, my Touring is almost too stiff for my taste. When fully loaded, it is just right.

    The Sienna is much softer, at least with only a driver aboard. Haven't been in one loaded up.

    Don't know about the current Chryslers.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    We bought the Odyssey because we thought it handled better than the Toyota and was more responsive. Because of that you tend to feel more of the bumps too. The Toyota has a softer ride.

    I heard one guy compare the Toyota van to a Cadillac as it has a relatively soft ride, while the Honda could be compared to a BMW with a more sport tuned ride.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yeah, that was me. Unfortunately, a Toyota driver got offended with the Cadillac/Lincoln reference. I didn't mean the whole vehicle resembled Lincoln/Caddy, just the ride characteristics (plush).
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    Oh yeah I remember that exchange. That was silly. It was intended as a compliment. You were comparing apples to oranges and really wasn't saying one was better than the other, just different.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    The Odyssey rides notably firmer than the Sienna. When I'm alone, my Touring is almost too stiff for my taste. When fully loaded, it is just right.

    The Sienna is much softer, at least with only a driver aboard. Haven't been in one loaded up.

    Don't know about the current Chryslers.

    I would put our T&C in between the Toyota and Honda vans as far as ride goes. The Honda isn't bad, but it definately carries the bumps into the cabin, which the others don't. I drive a Maxima so I don't mind this, but I can see how this wouldn't be a favorable trait to a lot of minivan buyers.

    Actually, I think the Toyota -> Lincoln analogy works very well, although I'd be more inclined to say Toyota -> Buick. It's a very soft, wallowy ride. I personally like this kind of ride in a minivan, I'm more interested in comfort than cutting curves.

    IMO the Chrysler's ride and handling are more similar to the Toyota, but it's not quite as numb and isolated and therefore has a touch of the Honda.

    Better yet, cmh should go test drive all 3 and get back to us. :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Your post sounds about right to me.

    The Odyssey, in my opinion, is the minivan for people who really don't want one, therefore they have made it as carlike as possible (sportier handling, lower seating position). The other two fully embrace their mini-van-ness with a soft ride for its passengers, and no fun whatsoever behind the wheel as a result. The Odyssey tries to compromise, the others do not. As a result, you end up with very different driving experiences.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Just of the sake of being complete, the Nissan Quest is quite a bit like the Honda. It drives a lot like a giant Maxima, actually. :shades:

    Too bad the driver's seat only goes like 13 inches back from the brake pedal. It is seriously built for dwarves and hobbits.
  • benchbench Posts: 14
    I need a minivan to aid in lifting an oxygen generator. Our present vehicles are the Ford Five Hundred and Toyota Avalon. We already have an arm lift in the Avalon but have difficulty easily putting it in or taking it out of the trunk, especially on vacation with frequent moves. With a minivan we thought we could eliminate the 3rd row of seats to install the lift but not certain if the flooring would allow installation and space. If we left the seating as designed I believe we'd ruin the last row by installing and placing 50 lbs. of equipment on the collapsed seat. Any suggestions?
  • hondalovahondalova Posts: 189
    Maybe so but, unlike the Toyota and Honda, which have Average or Above-Average reliability ratings in CR, the Quest is a solid black dot (worst possible rating).

    I found that surprising (both the Quest and the Titan) - coming from a Japanese carmaker that is probably making the next Accord fighter in the new Altima and whose models otherwise have fairly good reliability (I used to own a Maxima - great car).

  • crestonavecrestonave Posts: 219
    I don't think 50 lbs is a whole lot of weight. Several bags of groceries might add up to close to that.

    In any case what I would do would be to first lay down a sheet of plywood, cut to cover the rear seating area over the top of the folded down seats, and place the oxygen generator on top of the plywood. The plywood should help disperse the weight of the equipment.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    I don't know what to make of CR ratings. How could rate a 2007 models so soon? Specially, Sienna just came out.

    I probably would not put a lot of weight to their ratings. Historically, ODY and Sienna have been Nos. 1 & or 2&1... with new engine in Sienna, I suppose it also had a new transmission... who knows what problems it will have....
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