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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    the problem is that the front wheelwells get crammed with snow

    I disagree 100% - if your suspension had an inch or two lift, you'd have an extra inch or two of clearance in the wheel wells. That would definitely improve things.

    If you get ice sticking to your wheels try cleaning and even waxing them so it doesn't stick and throw the wheels off balance.

    Clearance helps, of course it does!

    I find it funny that when it comes to handling and a low center of gravity, the lower suspension on the Ody is cited as a significant advantage. Yet when we're talking about driving over snow, or ice, or even a tall speed bump, the advantage of the Sienna is dismissed as insignificant.

    It is a trade-off, you can't have both, so pick which matters more to you.

    More ground clearance helps you in the snow, period.

    I can't believe people are debating this.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Of course going to the extreme, like mounting snow chains, will make the biggest difference.

    Is there room for those on the Odyssey, though? I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking.

    Subaru recommends against those. You can mount low-profile Z-chains, but not the regular ones meant for large 4WDs. I wonder if the Ody really has room and if Honda allows that (again, I'm asking, I don't know).

    how often are you going to see that much snow

    Valid point. That's why I've said it depends on your needs. The funny thing is we have a Subaru, so I got the FWD Sienna. Never mind that our Forester has twice the traction, it also sits 2" higher, with more clearance underneath, as well as more space in the wheel wells. We did not feel the need for 2 AWD vehicles here in the Mid-Atlantic, since my wife works from home, so I'm the only one who really needs to get around.

    it's a total non issue on most maintained roads

    Agreed - and I acknowledged that earlier. Back roads are not plowed as early or as often as main roads, so we'd be stranded.

    Our last blizzard was several years ago, but it took a good 7 days or so before they got to our street. I was buying milk for neighbors with Audis simply because I could get around and they could not.

    Ground clearance absolutely does matter in that situation. It's absurd to argue otherwise.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,194
    Good post. The ground clearance debate has several sides -- no use debating it because you won't change any minds. Is extra clearance helpful in deep snow? Yes. Not much on slick ice. No advantage in braking. How often it is needed depends on where you live and the road conditions. Is it essential in most areas of the country? No. Good tires and driving SKILLS are very helpful. I've seen just as many 4 wd suv's in ditches as other vehicles on bad days. Inexperience, overconfidence,speed and stupidity are all alive and well on our winter roads. Be careful out there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587 tire-chains-or-awd.html

    Even though they worked, note their conclusion:

    I felt like I was abusing it a bit. Maybe next time we'll rent an AWD or 4WD vehicle for the trip and avoid the chains issue altogether.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In trying to answer my own question, I found this:

    They say it's OK, and to put them on the front axle only. I guess that means you'd also have to turn off your stability control, since wheel circumference would be affected.

    And note that even Honda mentions "your vehicle has limited tire clearance" on page 3 of the 6.

    The SC1042 retails for $36 and Edmunds said they found someone to install them for $40 (but they had to remove them on their own).

    So it's an option, ableit not a very elegant one. I'd suggest a set of snow tires instead.

    Or just get one AWD vehicle for your fleet. :shades:
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,597
    I guess that means you'd also have to turn off your stability control, since wheel circumference would be affected.

    Why would you have to turn of stability control?? It measures yaw, pitch and slippage AFAIK. I don't believe it measures wheel circumfrence.

    Personally I use snow tires but that is because I'm mountain bound in the winter.

    One could also consider Auto Socks - - it's not a snow tire replacement but could work for those caught by suprise.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Why would you have to turn of stability control??

    When two wheels are turning faster than the others (which will happen with any circumference change), I'm thinking it'll find something "unstable" about that. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The front wheels would have a bigger circumference with the chains, so the front axle would turn slower. The VSC would keep trying to brake the rear wheels. That would only make it fish tail, since there would be no chains on the rear tires.

    Those autosocks look interesting and may not affect the circumference as much, either. I'd see if you could mount those on all 4 tires, to maintain balance and avoid having the rear end slide out on you.

    They look easier to mount and probably wouldn't make the CLOMP-CLOMP-CLOMP noise when you drive, also. They say limit speeds to 50kph (about 31mph) but that's more than enough if you're driving in conditions where you'd need them. :shades:
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,597
    IMHO, the change in circumfrence would be so little, it wouldn't adjust for that.

    What happens when folks put only 2 new tires on the vehicle? Wouldn't that affect it also?

    Besides, I think Honda would tell people to turn of the TSC if it were the case.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure how much tolerance would be built in, but not too much if it's quick-acting.

    The auto socks seem like a much better solution.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,597
    Don't even have to click it - seen that one many times!!

    I'm guessing former Honda or Toyota owner.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Epic Fail.

    Gotta love it!
  • Click and laugh:

    The only way that would work is if he would drive in reverse all the time :surprise:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    And it would still be dragging a front axle that probably would not turn on its own. :D
  • Ha, ha. I spoil my dogs, but I haven't gone that ga-ga yet. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hey, you asked! :D
    I am glad I found this discussion. Bought 09 Odyssey in Feb this year and I used to drive 98 Sienna before. Since I bought Odyssey, I am hitting almost every curb in the parking lots and it is very annoying. In the last winter storm in North East, we had about 5-6" of snow and I had spots of compacted snow on my driveway. My odyssey was scraping that compacted snow every time I drove on my driveway.
    I will appreciate if someone can suggest how to increase that front ground clearance on Odyssey
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure they fit before you do this, but a simple solution is taller tires.

    Ask other Ody owners to see what sizes fit without any clearance issues. Also be sure to change all 4 tires, actually 5 with the spare, so that the stability control doesn't go crazy.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,194
    Don't think ody's have lift kits available. Next time go with the Pilot. With that much snow don't think the extra on a Sienna would be that much help.
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