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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    first, i wouldn't ask if there is room for negotiation, and i wouldn't be open for any color.

    i supposed i'd start by reading the material at

    i'd research TMV at

    i'd purchase a pricing report at

    i'd even consider looking at the pricing through

    then i'd go in and tell them what i wanted and how much i wanted to pay for it, based on the knowlege i had acquired, and i'd walk if they couldn't recognize a good deal.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Do NOT pay anything to buy a pricing report from CR. You can get better data FREE at Edmunds. ;)
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    This place has been pretty quiet lately, but I thought I'd post a comment since we are finally ready to trade in our "old" 2004 Ody for a new mini. Went out shopping today. First stop was the Toyota dealer, where we found a salsa red pearl LE with option pkg 3. With the rebates and some dickering, got the price down to about 26K USD. The only problem was that my wife has grown to like all the luxury features in the Ody, like leather (not offered on LE 8 passenger) and the sweet premium stereo with DVD. The base stereo in the LE isn't bad necessarily, but not quite as crisp as I'd like, and my wife seems to have developed more discriminating tastes as well... So, we deliberated for a while and decided to try the '07 Odyssey. I have been pretty critical of the Odyssey because of the problems we've had with ours, but I am prepared to eat my words - at least some of them, because I really liked the '07 we drove today. Driving these two vans back to back, the virtues of both became very clear. The Ody we drove was an EXL-RES with sunroof. Loved the way it drove, with its sporty handling and ride, thought the interior was gorgeous, even the hard plastic is growing on me somewhat... however, both my wife and I had to agree that it did not have quite the same kind of bank vault feeling that the Sienna had. And the 8th seat is a joke - very much like a thong, as axteira put it. My 2 year old just barely fits in it when the armrests are down on the other two seats, and she's fairly petite. The Siennas seat was quite comfortable in contrast. In a way, it really made me kind of mad. I want the Odyssey's style with the Sienna's functionality, and I can't have both, apparently. Can't get the Sienna XLE with 8 passenger seating. But we decided that if we get the Sienna we can't live without the JBL system, or the backup sensors, which we have grown to appreciate on our '04 Ody. As far as the engines go, the Sienna is hands down the dragstrip champion. Hit the gas and that thing just takes off like a sports car. The Ody suffers from low RPM sleepiness, but is refined and still probably powerful enough. Basically felt pretty much identical to our '04. I wish someone would tell me why Toyota can't, or won't, put some richer colors inside the Sienna, like the black on tan treatment in the deep burgandy Ody we drove, and why they have to make the options so confusing, and why I can't find a single LE with option package 5 ANYWHERE. One dealer did say they had one on the way in, if it's not sold yet. If I thought there was a chance of getting better interior colors on the '08 I'd wait, but can't seem to find any info about that. So for now I guess we're going to try to find an 8p LE #5, hopefully we can find one. If not, I might be back at the Honda dealer.... :confuse:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    GET the ODY EX-L. I think the 2nd row middle seat of the Ody is MORE comfortable than the 2nd row middle seat of the 8 passenger Sienna. ALL Ody seats but the driver's seat are MORE comfortable than the Sienna seats.

    WHY compare the Ody 8 passenger 2nd row seat with armrests DOWN? The Sienna 8 passenger 2nd row seats have NO armrests even when 2 people are sitting in the 2nd row.

    My wife likes the padded front door armrests of the Sienna with the little container inside better than the Ody front door armrests BUT I HATE the shiny circles around the gauges of my 2006 Sienna LE and also HATE the shiny surfaces on both sides of the stereo-HVAC controls. The Ody has a much nicer dash than the Sienna. ;)
  • bblachabblacha Posts: 160
    juice -- can you post a link to the site of the "2007 improvements" pdf? Interesting technical tidbits.

    by the way, thanks for extensively posting on your decision process. I'm in a similar boat, long-time a Subaru fan but my family is growing and Subarus are not ;-) I still have a few months to decide, but the value/reliability/size equation of the Sienna just seems unbeatable, soft handling notwithstanding.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Yes, I completely agree about the Ody dash - much nicer and richer looking, especially with the leather interior, but I don't think the decision is that simple although I wish it was.... I would be persuaded to buy the Ody in a heartbeat, if not for my own disappointing experience with our '04EXL-RES (very bad fuel economy, electrical issues galore, low quality paint and body panels, etc.) and for that reason, I hesitate to love it as much as I want to. We tried the Ody with the armrests up and down; I was just illustrating how tiny and "thongish" it is. I totally disagree with you about the 2nd row middle seats in both vans - the Sienna was clearly better in this regard. Everyone in my family liked the seat comfort better in the Sienna, except for my wife who thought the driver seat in the Ody was more supportive even though she thought the passenger seats were better... but at the end of the day, the kids and I were talking about how NICE the Ody was, and my wife was pulling for the Sienna because she now feels that Hondas quality is sub-par, and Consumer Reports seems to agree with her as it has only an "average" reliability rating. I'd like to think I would be happier with the Ody because I love the styling and the handling, but with our current Ody, I feel like it's deteriorating faster than it should. And I'd love to think the Sienna looks as pretty.... it just doesn't. So in the end, like most of us here, I'll probably get the one my wife wants, which is the Sienna 8 passenger with leather and the high end audio and the RES - if I'm lucky enough to find one. Forget the leather, because then you have to get the XLE and you can only get that in 7 passenger seating. You seem really disenchanted with your Sienna. Do you really dislike it that much?
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    One of things that bother me in 2007 Sienna is that arm rests on the front seats use to be adjustable (I'm not sure if rear seat arm rests were adjustable in the previous models). Toyoya went backward in this feature by removing this ability :mad:
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Yes, as much as I admire Toyota, sometimes it seems they succeed in spite of their marketing folks. I don't know why they don't build the features people want... it's like they say "we're going to build it the way WE want it, not the way YOU want it." :confuse: Probably a function of the highly efficient lean manufacturing model they are so famous for, but I can't find one with option package 4 or 5 anywhere. I had the dealer do a nationwide search and he called back apologizing - no luck. I can special order one, but then I have to wait like three months. No thanks. I keep trying to convince myself the 07 Ody would be better than our 04, but I keep reading about failed transmissions at 10K and other problems. So it appears my choice is to go for looks or sensibility. I think we're going to end up buying the salsa red pearl LE 8 passenger with option package three, even though the stereo isn't as good as our 04 Ody EXL-RES stereo, and it doesn't have the leather. I may just have the leather added on aftermarket, but I have to see it first.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Front and rear armrests are adjustable in the 06. Hard to believe they changed that for 07 - maybe there is a defect.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    VERY DISAPPOINTED would better describe my feelings toward our 2006 Sienna LE. First of all, the right side 2nd row seat had been installed WRONG at the factory and could not be moved or folded for access to the 3rd row. :sick:

    After reading Edmunds and CR, I expected it to be better than our 2002 T&C LX....but sadly, it is not. The 02 T&C was just as quiet, just as smooth riding, had a superior radio/stereo, had separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger. The 2nd row Quad seats and front passenger seat of the T&C were more comfortable than those of the Sienna.

    However, the Sienna has a MUCH more comfortable driver's seat and twice the cargo area behind the 3rd row seat which is very nice when 6 of us go on long trips (680 miles one way). The 60/40 split "fold into the floor" 3rd row seat of the Sienna has been very convenient. The Toyota dealer has a VERY convenient facility for Oil and Oil Filter change. I do not dislike the Sienna sufficiently to trade it in for the low trade in value it now has and I like it better now that I have taken out the fold down tray between driver and front passenger. :shades:
  • samautobuysamautobuy Posts: 12
    Hi Odyssey & Sienna Owners,

    I am looking to buy either a new 2007 Honda Odyssey EX-L With DVD or 2007 Sienna XLE with FP package(DVD included). I would like to get the experience from the owners of these vehicles including both pros and cons, so that I can make a effective decision. Any information related to comparison of these two models are also welcome.

    Please send me your valuable feedback or inputs.

    Does Odyssey engine makes more noise than Sienna?

  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Sorry to hear that you have had so many troubles with your Sienna... Having had a similar experience (different problems though) with our Ody, I know how it can throw a wet blanket on an otherwise good thing. My wife is now saying she wants to look at the Sequoia, because she can't get the 8 passenger Sienna with all the amenities she wants and doesn't think the Ody 8 passenger is a true 8 passenger (and I would agree - it's more like a 7.3 passenger). So... I am just throwing my hands in the air at this point. I may have to change forums soon, ha ha.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll share a couple of thoughts...

    First, keep in mind you drove a loaded up, more expensive Odyssey, and are comparing to a mid-line Sienna. Of course the Ody was nicer. Probably $7 grand nicer.

    I understand why you drove that particular Sienna - you wanted 8 seats. So did I. I bought package 3, like you're considering.

    Are you open to the aftermarket? We got a giant 12.1" Jensen DVD player for the kids. It's huge! :shades:

    They watch movies and when we arrive after a 3 hour trip, THEY DON'T WANT TO GET OUT! :D

    I have to scold them, get out now or you'll get time out! NOOOO, PLEASE DADDY LET THE MOVIE FINISH! :D

    You also have more options - you could get dual head rest screens if the kids have different tastes. The Sienna LE8-3 costs about $24.8k now, and a similar Ody EX costs $26.8k. (source for prices:, Browns Honda)

    That $2 grand could buy the massive 12" LCD screen plus the leather you want. Katskins makes some good stuff.

    And before people say you can't get leather in 3 rows for $1100, remember that the 3rd seat in the Odyssey is entirely vinyl, no leather at all.

    Sienna XLEs do have a leather 3rd row, but alas, no 8 seat model, so forget that.

    Think about this - don't your kids sit in booster seats anyway? Leather may not be as important as you think, given they're not sitting on them anyway. Out of the 4 of us, 3 actually preferred cloth.

    Is my van perfect? No.

    I wish you could get the JBL sound system seperately. This also allows you to fit the Solara's GPS NAV system right in the dash. That's Toyota's best and most modern GPS, better than what comes as OE in the Sienna.

    If you get the JBL, you can add NAV for $1700 stand-alone. Pay less for a better system.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A test-drive will reveal all of this to you, and let you know the extent of what I'm about to say, but here's the short version on how they drive/ride from my perspective...

    Odyssey: Handling like an Accord, ride like an Accord (firm, car-like). Best handling minivan on the market.

    Sienna: Handling more truck-like/more numb steering, smoother ride. Best riding minivan on the market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd have to agree. The Ody does handle better. Ride was just higher on my priorities list for the mission this vehicle will have.

    One nice thing - the Sienna has an incredible turning radius. It actually turns a tighter circle than the Subaru Forester it replaced, and that was a compact!
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    I completely agree with everything being said. Ody wins for handling and crispness, while suffering slightly in ride comfort. Sienna wins for ride comfort - AND power, espcecially in the low end, and generally feels more solid to me, plus it has a better rating in Consumer Reports which seems to be validated by most of the owners. It's a tough choice. Sienna is very nice, but somewhat plain in 8 seat configurations. Wish they made the XLE/Limited in 8 passenger, but I doubt that's going to happen. There is the option of adding leather through the aftermarket, it's just nice to be able to find what you want on the lot. Honda does that better. The Ody is very classy looking inside and out, and it's easy to find exactly what you like; but in my mind, it's a lower quality vehicle and from what I've read in blogs and in CR, I can expect more of what I've had with my '04 model if we go that route. Does anyone have an inside line on the changes coming to the Sienna for '08? I haven't been able to find anything in my search and the dealer did not know anything either. We're in a holding pattern until something tips the scales as far as the wife is concerned. We plan to keep whatever we buy for a long time, so we want to make the best choice possible. She wants to drive a Sequoia now, just to see what it's like. As much as I like them, it's hard to think about $90 fill-ups. :cry:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    She wants to drive a Sequoia now, just to see what it's like. As much as I like them, it's hard to think about $90 fill-ups.

    Oh dear! Remember, the Sienna will be faster, better handling, and most likely more comfortable. The obvious benefit of the Sequoia is towing ability and off-road capability. Coming from an Odyssey, however, I can't see that you have needed either of those two truck characteristics in the past. Maybe you can remind your wife of that next time y'all are out shopping!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 08 Sienna won't have any significant changes, IMO. The 06 model got a face lift and the 07 model just got a new engine.

    I don't think we'll see any major change until the next model, to be honest. Maybe a Symphony model, like they had for the outgoing 2002-2003 years (previous generation).

    The Ody is getting a face-lift by the end of this year, but the changes look pretty minor. There was nothing wrong with the current look. Check the Edmunds blogs.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    LOL... I think she will draw that conclusion on her own. She likes BIG when it comes to cars (she wanted a minivan even before we had any children :lemon: ) but she is also very frugal. I think in the end, the Sequoia is going to lose the battle in her head, even if it wins the one in her heart :)
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    You are probably right ateixeira, but I wish they would do a Symphony model like you suggested, and make it available for the 8 passenger. If they do and we haven't purchased something by then, I think that would be a great option for us. I would personally be happy with an LE#3, but my wife said she felt like she stepped out of a Lexus, into a Camry, going from our '04 Ody EXL-RES to the Sienna LE#3 (although the acceleration of the Sienna did impress her enough to make her giggle). Not a bad thing at all, but she didn't like the sound of the non-JBL audio system and really wanted leather, and wished for a black on gray or black on tan two tone treatment on the dash like the Ody has. The important thing to know here is that my wife is someone who can't make a decision at McDonalds in less than five minutes and she hates to spend $$ unless she really feels good about what she is getting. In a way it's nice - I don't worry about her breaking the bank... on the flipside, it tends to make things like this drag on... and on...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At the very least get the JBL sound system, then. I think that's package 4 or 5.

    Katskins leather is easy to add.

    And the JBL is paired with the movie screen, and like I mentioned you could get her the in-dash NAV from the Solara if she wants to be more Lexus than Camry.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    How much did you say the NAV system is? That would be nice to have.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Oh yeah, the dealer I talked to said there were no LE#4 or #5's coming at least through September. Special order might be the best answer... it just takes so long and I want it NOW ;)
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Just out of curiosity, I just went to the Toyota website and tried to build my own Sienna - they only let you choose option packages 2 or 3 now. So the dealer was apparently right in saying they won't produce any more pkg 4 or 5 models this model year. Anyone know when the '08 will out?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    YES. Another GREAT feature of the Sienna that I had overlooked.

    The Sienna is a nice minivan but disappointed me when it was not better than the 02 T&C LX it replaced. As with most different vehicles I have owned, it takes months to discover things I like better with the new vehicle than the one it replaced. :shades:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I'll third the turning radius - amazing for such a large vehicle.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    What was the reliability like on your T&C? I have to believe the Sienna is better in that respect. The Chrysler minis are nice, but have a rap for trouble. I've only been in one T&C - it was nice enough, but it had extremely bad shifting and the tranny felt like it was ready to blow. That was on an 03 model with 70K on it. Scared me away from them... Plus, even your 3.3L Sienna should run faster than your old T&C. 0-60 was a tick below 8 seconds for the 2004-06 models. Forbes magazine says the 07 ranges from 6.8 to 7.5 seconds, depending on FWD or AWD. Seems about right, judging by the seat of my pants as compared to my '04 Ody EXL-RES, which ranges from 7.5 to 8.1, depending on the publication. Of course no one buys a minivan for the acceleration, but it certainly makes it more entertaining to live with and drive. :shades:
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Also, don't forget Sienna has tow package, that means better cooling for transmission. I'm not sure what else would be upgraded to make it towing package. You have to buy hitch separately though.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Last I remember, the Odyssey offered a dealer-installed tow package (with transmission cooler).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It also has a power steering cooler, even the base CE model has both and it ready to tow the full rated load.

    For the Ody I think you can tow 1000 lbs, but need to add the oil coolers to tow any more than that, up to the rated limit.

    This is important for me and I'm shopping for hitches as I write this.

    I can get a Hidden Hitch and harness for about $185 delivered. The Honda tow kit runs $400 plus.
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