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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • jimmylee,

    I have a deposit on a Touring with nav and DVD here in NJ. Supposed to be delivered Dec 13. Just learned about PAX limitations. No one at Honda explained it or mentioned it. Nothing on Honda web site that says no spare or jack. Nothing in Odyssey literature.

    Let me understand this:
    No donut spare included or available?

    No place to store a full size spare?

    No jack included?

    Can not switch tires with anything but PAX, not even a temp donut tire?

    I spoke to Honda service at my dealer, they have NO PAX tire right now available! Seemed clueless...

    I spoke to Michelin PAX so called customer service expert, who made many claims that he said were in the Michelin warranty about delivered PAX tires within 12 hours, free tows, free accomendations if tire was not delivered. Guess what I read warranty online. NONE of this is documented in the Michelin Warranty. He even claimed PAX tires in Canada, even though there seems to be no dealers there and no PAX tires on Hondas there!!! When I told him that he seemed stumped!!

    Questions, What is in storage place in back where donut is usually stored in Touring model? Is there a jack included with Touring model? What was Honda thinking when they built a van with DVD and GPS that owners would be afraid to travel away from the limited amount of dealers with replacement PAX tires???

    I probably will cancel my deal based on what else I find out here and from Honda! Very frustrated!


    Stephen A
  • Stephen-
         Don't let the PAX tires turn you off. There is an excellent, informative, very comprehensive article, "Running Flat, Low and Flat out" in the January 2005 issue of ROAD AND TRACK (pages 138-142). Everyone having reservations about the PAX system should read the article. Especially note the difference between the PAX tire pressure sensors and the Sienna tire pressure sensors.
         There have been several negative comments posted on this forum and on PAX forum. However, most of them seem to be based on the "fear factor" (what if my tire goes flat, what if I can't get to a dealer, what if--, what if--). After reading the ROAD AND TRACK article, I'm convinced that the advantages of the PAX system more than offset any hypothetical or real fears.
         Although not mentioned in the article, the PAX tires have a treadwear rating of 500, indicating that the tire should have useful tread life for about 60,000 miles, (more or fewer miles depending on driving habits). That's about double what other run flat tires are providing. Also, the PAX tires are rated "A" for both traction (wet) AND temperature. This combination is found in very few tires.
         Don't give up on the Touring until you've looked into the PAX issue for yourself. Don't let a bunch of naysayers do your thinking for you!
  • ramcfall, funny you'd say "Don't let a bunch of naysayers do your thinking for you!"

    Its not just "what ifs" based on fear factor. As one of those who avoided Sienna AWD mainly because of the runflats, PAX issues are much worse than regular runflats, whatever a magazine may say. People have had nightmarish situation with regular runflats, but atleast they can be replaced with regular tires in a pinch. Not so with PAX.

    Secondly, as long as one leases for two years, may be replacement cost is not a worry. Runflats themselves are pretty expensive (~$800 to 900 for a set of four) and it is not clear what will happen if you needed to replace one tire after the two year warranty period.

    I think Honda goofed up big time here. Sienna's runflats were necessitated by the lack of space due to the AWD powertrain. Honda seems to me wanted to be on the bleeding edge of tire technology with their touring and they even got rid of the spare for no apparent reason!

    Assuming tourings make up 10% of total Ody production, they probably are making 20K a year, so the chances of PAX catching up in the consumer market is rather slim unless other manufacturers follow Honda's lead sooner than later.

    Personally, since I tend to keep my cars for 10 years or more, PAX is a big no no for me.
  • Please read the article before you reply. A little knowledge is dangerous.
         I am disabled, so run flat tires are important to me, and PAX appears to be the best system available considering treadwear, temperature rating, rolling resistance,compliant sidewall structure and accuracy of the tire pressure monitoring system.
         I admit that I'm an optimist by nature, but I do believe the PAX system will be a winner. It is without doubt the best system out there today.
  • greg_ygreg_y Posts: 26
    The argument that impact01 is making is availability. The article you are referencing does little to address the issues of availability. The article addresses the handling merits of the PAX system with a deflated tire. You state that the PAX system MAY be a winner. If it is not a winner and becomes obsolete in the next five years, you will be stuck replacing four rims and having to figure out how to mount a spare and jack.
  • guestguest Posts: 774

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. But I am not afraid of technology, nor do I doubt it is better and worth it. But this is simply a case of letting ENGINEERS make business decisions for consumers, which has never really worked. I know I am an ENGINEER. These "what ifs" are REAL problems for someone who drives past his neighborhood.

    PAX tires may be forgotten about or changed alot in 5 years. I bet Honda will make them optional sooner rather than later, like on other vehicles when the backlash from consumers hits. Even the guy in the Honda service dept told me this.

    I drive a 2001 Chrysler T&C now and have 94,000 miles on it already. I plan on driving to Canada next summer from NJ. There are NO PAX dealers or tires in Canada! There are NO Michelin certified PAX dealers in NYC!!!!!

    I spoke to my local Honda dealer service dept where I have my deposit. NO PAX in stock right now. If I do get stuck on road with a flat (I have had 3 flats in the past three years) the BEST I could hope for is driving out of my way to find a dealer. The worst is sitting over a weekend waiting for an expensive tire to come in a remote place! No donut tire available for this vechicle. Full size tire has no place to fit. Can not put a non PAX tire on van, even in a pinch!

    After 60,000 miles I then can be lucky enough to pay premium for new hard to find PAX tires. Which will happen on my 2-3 year old minivan that cost almost 40K.

    Honda should have made these optional for those who wanted them on Touring models. Honda should be held accountable for NOT telling customers the limitations of replacing PAX tires. Nothing on their web site, nothing in writing, nothing on van at dealer, nothing on their brochure, nothing on invoice, salesmen seemed to neglect telling me... I found out on this forum only after my deposit was placed! If Honda was so sure of themselves, it would NOT have been hid from buyers! Why not have a replacement tire included until this system catches on, if it does?

    I work in technology. One thing I know is a more expensive, hard to fix or replace product will fail without a great business plan. Honda seems to have missed the mark with this one. Good luck with PAX, I will buy it when it IS a STANDARD, not before!

    I am going to look at Toyota Sienna again tonight and will compare price, features, and delivery time to EXL-RES-NAV with as many options, even with its anemic radio/sound system!

    All the ratings and technology is just wonderful until you are stuck or need replacement at a very high price! PAX as I find out has been around for some time in europe and has NEVER "caught" on to mainstram even there. With only one van, one model, Honda and Rolls Royce using PAX here. NO regular tire place will fix these anytime soon, probably never.

    Check out the tire tool manufacturers web sites. PAX is not a big deal to them and they supply the tools for tire shops. One even stated "since small tire shops will never really see a PAX tire, it is NOT worth the expense to outfit to repair a PAX tire". NOT even Michelin's, the inventor, PAX certified shops are fixing these in most places. All they have is a PAX tire for swap in stock, you can hope, I checked! Same with Honda dealers, swap is what they do , NOT repair.

    Might be a nice class action suit coming soon to Honda at this rate. I will be getting my deposit back, Thank You.

    Sorry for the long post. But I am a bit frustrated. I appreciate the feed back from you all.

    Stephen A
  • Well mark at least one loss to Honda due to PAX ONLY tires, ME! I had a $1500 deposit on Honda Odyssey Touring with RES and NAV. When I found out about the great limitations of cost, supply, and chance of getting stuck without replacements, I cancelled my deal!


    Today I bought a Toyota Sienna XLE Limited which actually has the same equipment and some more things the Honda did not. But has "REAL" tires and a spare! Same exact price as dealer matched Honda deal.


    I hope Honda is listening. I was all set with the Odyssey and cancelled ONLY due to having NO choice of tires. As much as I thing PAX technology may be great, having limited replacements and NO repairs ridiculous on a vehicle made for travel. Now when I need tires on the Toyota Sienna I will have choices and NOT pay premium of what ever Honda and Michelelin feels like charging.


    I think it is terrible how many Honda buyers have no idea about PAX, as Honda is hiding these limitations from consumers. Nothing in brochures, nothing on their web site, nothing on invoice or car. I found out in these forums. Thank you Edmunds!


    All the great technology goes out the window when you are stuck on a remote road on a Saturday night on a vacation or when you are stuck paying double or triple or worse for a regular replacement of worn tires.


    Bet Honda will change the PAX only in 2006 or sooner when they see what they lose.


    Stephen A
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Odyssey is the most fuel efficient of the modern minivans.

         Edmunds long term test 1999 Odyssey EX was 18.3 MPG and 2004 Sienna XLE is 16.0 MPG. By comparison, the long term test 2004 Quest SL was 17.8 which is the same as the 2001 GC ES 17.8 MPG.

         Why doesn't the 5 speed AT of the Sienna deliver better gas mileage than the old fashioned 4 speed AT of the other 3?
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Here are some more to add to the comparo:


    - Sienna requires premium gas for its rated 230HP. If regular gas is used, power drops to 220HP. Ody gives you 255HP with regular gas.

    - With the most HP and sport car handling, The Ody will out accelerate and out handle all minivans out there, if you are a sport car guy type of person.

    - Ody has the highest residual/trade-in value, per USAToday article,

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,168
    I have no idea what this means, but discovered today the current gen Siennas are becoming very common as yellow cabs in NYC. Saw them all over the place. Plastic partitions and everything.


    That should be a good test as to how durable they are!


    I didn't get to check out one up close, so I don't knwo wha tmodel it was, or what they did with the interior.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • ewtewt Posts: 127
    "With the most HP and sport car handling, The Ody will out accelerate and out handle all minivans out there, if you are a sport car guy type of person"


    I didn't really hear "sports car handling" and "minivan" mentioned in the same sentence did I?


    Also, have you dynoed a Sienna with and without premium fuel since you're throwing out HP numbers? I didn't find any difference in timing advance at WOT between the two. Without a difference in timing advance there shouldn't be a difference in HP either.
  • Some quick responses to recent Sienna-bashing posts (I now own a 2005 Sienna).


    1. Max HP is rated at over 5000 rpm on both vehicles. The HP at 3000 rpm is a much better metric of useful power. I do not have the curves for each engine so I do not know the truth on this.

    2. Sienna torque reaches 242 ft-lbs at 3600 rpm. The Ody doesn't reach its' 250 ft-lbs until 5000 rpm. When pulling, etc. low rpm torque is more important than high rpm HP.

    3. I drove our brand new Sienna from D.C. to home and measured the fuel mileage. I averaged between 26 and 28 mpg with 5-speed on the interstate at 70 mph using regular (87 octane) gas. Averaged about 23 mpg when running in 4th gear at 65 mph.

    4. Sports car handling? I've driven the Odyssey many times and am certainly impressed with the variable velocity steering "feel" that Honda uses in all of their vehicles... but sports-car like?.

    5. Resale value: supply, demand and quality will drive resale values as will how well you keep it. Where I live, there are more used Odysseys for sale than Siennas. Trust me, Siennas hold their value extremely well around here--which is why I bought new.

    6. Toyota recommeds premium fuel? Where did this come from? All documentation states 87 octane and I can testify that it runs perfectly at this level (no knocking, pinging, etc.). Maybe it would matter under heavy towing load since the engine may want to adjust the ignition timing a bit? Clarification/references are needed.

    7. The Sienna has a higher power-to-weight ratio than the Odyssey. Acceleration probably has more to do with how the transmission is geared than anything else. Low-end pulling power will suffer the acceleration and vice-versa. I personally want low-end torque since we sometimes pull a trailer. Thinking of that... only the Sienna comes standard with a 3500 lb tow rating. All Siennas come standard with heavy duty alternator, cooling, etc. The new Ody does not (one of those trade-offs that Honda decided to make to pay for the extra goodies on the inside I suppose).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,601
    Personally I think people are focusing on what they perceive are the negatives of the PAX system and not the positives. Heck, they could well save your life! Being able to drive after a flat on a rain slicked dark freeway surrounded by heavy traffic seems like a HUGE plus to me!


    Still, if you feel this way, then others must as well. I hope Honda Corporate types monitor these forums.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Obviously, Honda also thought PAX would be perceived as a huge plus because they effectively charge a huge premium for PAX. IMHO, the positives and negatives are a wash which means the added cost is a decided downside in contemplating a Touring model.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    All the advantages you named can be accomplished with conventional run-flats--with the added benefit of multiple brands and tread patterns from which to choose at replacement time.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,601
    that's the point I keep trying to make. I have yet to hear even ONE customer speak about this in a negative fashion. To many people they are a selling point!
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    My point was that all the PAX benefits you noted, while true, can be achieved with conventional run-flats--without the odd size and risk-of-obsolescence of PAX.


    I do think it's silly that so many people are scared of run-flats in general. But the real issue is conventional run-flat vs. PAX-- sort of like VHS vs. Beta....


    It's a bit of apples and oranges, though. Sienna AWD has run-flats because it HAS to. Odyssey Touring seems to be PAX-laden for no good reason.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Leave it to the experts at Car & Driver. In their June 2004 issue, the 2004(NOT 2005 now) Ody was rated above the Sienna, Quest, Grand caravan and Freestar.


    I have driven both the Ody and Sienna and I have to agree with C & D on the reasons why they chose the 2004 Ody over the 2004 Sienna. The 2005 Ody has raised the bar even further!
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Your summary of the 'Car & Driver' review is over-simplified. As I recall, the rating difference was about one point, and the review said it basically comes down to your personal preference. Also, I remember being a bit bewildered, as they seemed to say more positive things about the Sienna, but then rated it behind the Ody (again--barely).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,601
    If it had rated the Sienna about the Odyssey you would have thought that a good thing I'm sure.


    Since this didn't happen you disagree.
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