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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Again, you still haven't answered the question: what other choices are out there if one wants to get an AWD minivan?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Again, you still haven't answered the question: what other choices are out there if one wants to get an AWD minivan?"

    I'll play your silly game - 0.

    But I don't think that means Sienna buyers must automatically put up with run-flat tires due to the lack of room under the van for a spare tire. The Odyssey doesn't stow it's spare tire under the vehicle; it's stored upright on the left side of the rear cargo area. Are you implying that Toyota simply CAN'T figure out how to store a space-saver spare in the van and that a space-saver spare MUST be stored under the vehicle?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    How come nobody answers my question: What are the choices for buyers who want to buy a AWD minivan?
    This is not a silly game. It is a serious question for a lot of buyers.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Actually, I was wrong when I said there was 0 choices. GM makes a number of AWD minivans:

    Chevy Uplander LT
    Buick Terraza CX and CXL
    Pontiac Montana SV6
    Saturn Relay

    I don't know if these AWD systems require the use of RFT's or not.

    The reason why I made the comment regarding 'silly game' is because the gist of the complaint regarding the Toyota AWD vans was the fact that the RFT's on the AWD models had problems. You seem to think that Toyota had NO CHOICE but to use RFT's on their AWD models since the AWD drivetrain intruded on the spare tire storage space.

    My point is that if Honda was able to find room inside the van to store the spare tire (without occupying storage space), why couldn't Toyota? Are you saying that Toyota simply COULDN'T design a place to store the spare on the AWD models and were therefore FORCED to use RFT's?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I'm not familiar with the 05/06. The Lazy Susan occupies the space where in earlier models, the spare donut would go correct? On an 05/06 with or without PAX, are you saying Honda puts the spare (unless horribly mistaken, there would be no spare on a PAX unless you went out of your way to buy one, and then it would have to be a full rim/tire assembly) for a non-PAX (i.e. non Touring), non-RFT model somewhere in the back?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Yes, the Lazy Susan occupies the space where the previous models stored the spare tire.

    On the current generation Odysseys equipped with standard tires, Honda provides a donut spare stored upright behind a panel on the left side of the storage well behind the 3rd row seat. I haven't checked to see, but I sincerely doubt there is room in this storage location for a full-size rim/tire (the flat). I don't know if Touring owners can purchase as an option a donut spare to go in this same location; I've been told the space is used for part of the stereo system in the Touring (either an additional amp or a subwoofer; we don't own a Touring so can't expound on this any further).

    Like Toyota, Honda apparently feels that those owners of their vans equipped with RFT's should have no reasonable desire (yeah, right) to carry a spare. Personally, I think this is a bit short-sighted on both Honda's and Toyota's part. Many folks are not sold on the whole RFT concept and have a real desire to carry a spare. Personally, I think Honda should have left the space alone on the Touring models so their owners could put a donut there if they desired. I also think that Toyota could have figured out a way to store the spare inside the vehicle; regardless of if the van was AWD or FWD.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    totally agree here. I would put the booster seat fellow in the 3rd row and save the $$$.

    Keep in mind that the little angels, no matter how cute they are now, are territorial beings and will fight to death to defend their own personal space and belongings. WHILE YOU'RE STUCK IN TRAFFIC FOR OVER AN HOUR.

    By the way, why pay for another new vehicle only to mess up the interior with spill juice, grind cheerios, fries...
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Oh ok kid your right!
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    The Sound of Donuts?

    As a Touring owner I get my donuts at the Krispy Kreme drive-thru, thank you. I have to turn down the 300W stereo when ordering and don't care if I could carry a temporary spare tire in this third row 'stereo' space (can I store other goodies there instead?). Because of the donuts, I carry my spare tire around with me all the time and am comfy doing so in knowing I have 150 miles before any flat is truly flat, plenty of distance to reach a Mich or Honda dealer in 95 percent of North America. I am completely satisfied that PAX has the right logistics in place, something Toyota overlooked, possibly because even they felt the technology was still evolving.

    I hope you aren't offended if I honk at non-Touring Ody owners changing a tire on the side of the road? As you turn your head to see who did that, note that the '06 Touring has two badges on the left side of the rear hatch, LOL.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "...Because of the donuts, I carry my spare tire around with me all the time...

    ...note that the '06 Touring has two badges on the left side of the rear hatch, LOL."

    Whoa, that was you? I thought it was all the badges on the left side making the van lean over that way.... :P ;)
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    How come nobody answers my question: What are the choices for buyers who want to buy a AWD minivan?
    This is not a silly game. It is a serious question for a lot of buyers

    For now, I believe Toyota, Chrysler does not for now.
    However, if you really want AWD, there are so so many options out there, why would you limit yourself to a minivan. The mpg is not much better than some of the mid size SUV's and they don't have off road or towing capabilities.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I've already answered this for ctsang.

    The Sienna offers AWD.

    ALL of the current GM offerings (Chevy Uplander, Buick Terraza, Pontiac Montana, Saturn Relay, etc.) are also available with AWD.

    Are they as 'good' as the Sienna? Dunno; reviewers seem to place the Ody/Sienna quite a bit higher than the GM offerings. However, just trying to point out that the Sienna is NOT the only game in town when it comes to AWD and minivans.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    GM's AWD minivan offerings are forgetable for obvious reasons. They are warmed-over versions of nine-year-old designs, confirmed by their huge and always-available rebates.

    As far as I'm concerned, Toyota has the only AWD minivan worth serious consideration.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    As far as I'm concerned, Toyota has the only AWD minivan worth serious consideration.

    Keep in mind that more budget-conscious consumers may like the lower-cost of the Chevrolet Uplander, mainly due to its plentiful rebates usually offered. ($33,500 for Chevy before rebates, but with such Red Tag sales events being so common, I would imagine you can usually find this for under $27k.

    I agree with you though, heywood, I wouldn't begin to consider a 9 year old van when better alternatives exist for similar money.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "As far as I'm concerned, Toyota has the only AWD minivan worth serious consideration."

    I can't disagree with you, but not everyone likes Toyota/Sienna. I know, I know....shocking.

    I was simply trying to answer ctsang's question regarding minivans and the availability of AWD. What I don't know (in keeping with this separate little mini-subthread) is whether or not the AWD GM offerings use RFT's or standard tires?

    I also have noticed that starting with the '06 models, the PAX tire system is available AS AN OPTION on some Nissan Quest models. I don't know if one can carry an optional spare tire if the van is fitted with the RFTs.
  • I see these terms used in the forum. Can someone explain what 'satellite-ready' means? Is the 06 Sienna Limited 'satellite-ready'? If so, what equipment is needed to attach XM or Sirius? Thanks from a novice.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    It means your installed factory radio can support a certain brand of receiver. For example, my '06 Odyssey is "XM Ready" meaning I could have the dealer install a propriatory Honda XM receiver that would plug into and work through the factory radio. This addition is very expensive on a Honda. I had my XM MyFi receiver hooked into the radio at Circuit City for about $125 including installation, wiring splitter and cup holder mount. I already owned the radio. Works just as well and was about $500 less than Honda's cost.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    question: does the XM radio require a special antenna? would an XM-ready vehicle have a special antenna already installed on the vehicle? just curious.

    as a buyer "XM-ready" would potentially be a negotiating lever if we were close on a deal..."toss in the XM radio and it's a deal". ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Both XM and Sirius require an special antenna.

    Don't kid yourself, no dealer ever "Throws" anything into a deal. You pay for everything. In the case of the Odyssey, the XM receiver costs in excess of $350 plus a complicated installation. The XM antenna gets glued to the inside of the windshield on the passenger side. The actual receiver is installed under the driver's seat. Extensive removal of trim and seat are required.

    Go to Circuit City or Best Buy and buy a receiver for about $50 and have it installed. They will take it out when you sell or trade the vehicle.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    i had thought those "pods" or "fins" on top of people's cars were the antenna. very confused.
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    Does any know if either model comes with "reading" lights in the 2nd and 3rd row seats, and not a "dome" light? I understand both cars advertise to have reading lights but I am not sure how true or effective they are? Can anyone share their experience comparing the two? Thank you.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Both the Sienna and Odyssey have overhead lights (combined with the overhead air vents) for the outboard seating positions in the 2nd and 3rd row.

    I don't know how you make the distinction between a 'reading light' and a 'dome light' so I can't tell you what these are.

    However, I know that in our Odyssey, these lights are fairly bright and I would NOT want to be driving at night with a passenger in either 2nd or 3rd row attempting to use their light to read by; it would be too bright and distracting to the driver. I don't know that any manufacturer offers what I would call 'reading lights' (ie. a light which shines a very small spot of light into the lap of the passenger).

    Personally, I would rather have bigger, brighter lights for passenger entry/exit at night. If a passenger wants to read at night, there are countless book lights available on the market which would not be a distraction to the driver.
  • px260px260 Posts: 42
    When you purchased the Odyssey, did you consider the Sienna? What made you decide on the Honda. I am considering the following elements:
    1. Odyssey styling, a "+".
    2. Odyssey offers interior air filter, a "+".
    3. Would consider the Odyssey EX-L, but not sure about the reliability of the VSA, after all, it is an extra feature that could cost big $ when needs repair. (I plan on driving it for many years to come)
    4. Toyota powertrain reliability and reputation, a "+".
    5. Interior quietness. I think Toyota is quieter.
    6. Fuel economy and safety. I think they are about the same.
    Can you share your experience on the two vehicles?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Yep, considered long and hard on the Sienna (actually preferred the Sienna). Long story short, here's how we ended up with our EX-L:

    Traction/skid control and side curtain airbags was very high on our list. Standard on Ody; when we were looking in Jan. of last year, these were optional on the Sienna XLE. We wanted leather/sunroof/CD changer (all standard on the EX-L) but would have required one of the major option packages on the XLE (I believe it was Pkg#6 if memory serves).

    On quietness/smoothness/interior quality we felt the Sienna had the edge. On handling and some features (+1 seat, in floor storage) we felt the Ody had the edge. To be honest, I felt straightline performance was a wash; any differences were nothing to get excited about.

    VSA was not an issue for me because: a) it uses VTEC technology to control the valvetrain (which is how the cylinder deactivation works) and Honda has a pretty good reputation with their VTEC technology, and b) the only new stuff associated with the VSA were the active engine mounts and the ANC used to eliminate (reduce?) the effects of 3-cylinder operation. I figured that any problems we would have with these systems would show up in the first few months of ownership. After a year of ownership, so far so good.

    In the end, we felt the two vans to be very very close. There were features on both vans that we liked which were only available on one or the other. Neither offered EVERYTHING (drat!). If they had been priced similarly, we would have ended up with the Sienna.

    However, availability of Sienna's with pkg#6 was somewhat limited and (at least in our neck of the woods), we weren't able to get the local dealers to deal very aggressively. If I remember right, the best deal we got was $31.5k +TTL on the Sienna. We were able to negotiate $28.6k +TTL on the Odyssey EX-L quickly, on the color we wanted (Ocean Mist) for a vehicle in stock. No trade-in involved in either deal.

    We liked the Sienna, but not enough to overlook a $3k delta. I hope this helps.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    As an FYI, I traded a 2005 Odyssey EX-L RES for an awesome reliable,luxurious and free of defects 2006 Sienna Limited... no issues so far, where the 2005 Odyssey gave me repeated issues for ever and yes was not a lemon, but one fact remains that HONDA is cheaply made... never ever again HONDA (I am so glad I got rid of HONDAs)!!!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    VSA is vehicle stability assist which is standard even on the low-end trim (LX).

    VCM is variable cylinder management, the technology which deactivates cylinders, has the active engine mounts and uses ANC (Automatic Noise Cancellation) technology through the radio speakers.

    Got to love all these acronymns huh?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Actually, I think an acronym is an abbreviation that forms a word you can speak, like SWAT, MASH, or RADAR. Just FYI (which is not) ;)
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Websters has the following entry for acronym:

    a word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also : an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters : INITIALISM

    Maybe FYI is an acronym. Either way, thanks for looking out for me. ;)
  • Hi,
    I've been following this discussion for some time, trying to get a feel for the differences between the Sienna and Odyssey. We're now ready to buy since we sold our old car. Both minivans sound like they have certain advantages over the other, but the most important decision point for me is safety, with my wife and two young children in it. Can anyone help me understand the differences between a Sienna with AWD and an Odyssey EXL which does not have AWD, in terms of safety. We live in NH and see lots of snow and ice. Is AWD necessarily superior? How much of a factor is tire quality? Are there other traction features that are more important? Would ground clearance come into play in a snowy climate?
    I would really appreciate any opinions or experiences anyone cares to share. Thanks.
  • uggugg Posts: 2
    I want to buy a Honda or Toyota but I cant believe I'm not able to get what I want. I want a fully loaded Touring Honda or Toyota AWD limited mini van with 8 seats!!! I want all the bells and whistles but if I go this route, I have to lose a seat? Does this make any sense? What product would make you spend more but give you less?
    Before I give up, does anyone know if it is possible to add the smaller center 8th seat in the Odyssey Touring. I know a seat will fit but the touring doesnt have the belt guide coming down from the roof at the center seats. Is it possible to get one added so I can have 8 seats that are all safe. Wouldnt it make more sense to have lowers models come with 7 seats but if we are willing to pay more we can have 8 seats? :mad:
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