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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Again, we wanted a comfortable and quiet cabin to take long road trips in, and we felt the Sienna was better.

    We did drive around in a new Ody for a few days when we visited friends in Tucson just before we bought the Sienna, they even let me drive it one day. From the driver's seat you don't notice, but when sitting over the rear axle you do hear more road noise and I even felt a bit of nausea, though that was probably because I wasn't watching the road.

    No regrets here, isolated is I wanted in this van.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe it varies by year, but we test drove an 07 Ody with leather, and the leather was hard, far from luxurious feeling. BMW's fake leather, or leatherette, was better than Honda's real stuff.

    To be fair we didn't even sample the Sienna leather, the Ody's leather was so bad that 3 out of 4 people in my family voted for cloth, so we looked only at cloth from that point on.

    Then, oddly enough, we liked the Ody LX cloth better than the EX cloth. The LX cloth, in 2007, had a velour like texture, exactly like my Sienna LE, could even be the same supplier. We liked both. The Ody EX we didn't like, not as soft to the touch, a thin layer of peach fuzz over a harder cloth surface. Meh, we like the cheaper LX' interior more.

    Gated shifters are better - you can feel what gear you're in. Sienna lets you choose specific gears, too. I don't think the Ody lets you do that.

    To me, one of my priorities is that my car handle well, I didn't want to compromise here

    Keep in mind that lateral grip was tied in the C&D test, no advantage for the lower, supposedly better handling Ody. I was surprised, too, but ultimately it doesn't offer more grip.

    It's funny, though, how you pick and choose priorities that match up to the Ody. If handling is so critical, acceleration isn't? A sporty ride needs both. You conveniently ignore the Sienna's much quicker acceleration.

    I'll argue that matters FAR more. You are 100% likely to carry large loads up long hills on road trips. Happens all the time.

    Now ask yourself, how many times are you driving at the handling limit, tires screeching?

    HANG ON KIDS! :surprise:

    Doesn't happen. For me, never. 0%.

    Fact is with kids you're not pushing the handling past 70-80% limits. The same 0.76g limit, by the way.

    I carry heavy loads and enjoy the extra power virtually every single time I drive the van.

    How did you put it, on yeah, "I didn't want to compromise here".

    Power does matter. Especially in a vehicle designed to carry a lot of load. It's as if you're wearing blinders.

    If anyone loads either van up with car seats, no one will have access to the back seat.

    I think you missed the point here, in fact you can use the anchors in the Sienna and still have access to the 3rd row because you don't need to use both outboard positions.

    Your counter-argument actually proves the advantage of the Sienna, here.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731

    I'm going to throw in a third POV here; not disagreeing with either of the others'. Some people have several cars in their driveway/garage. I'd wager to say that the majority of people who post on Edmunds fall into this category. For those that don't however, they likely buy a compromise. If I had a large family, but couldn't afford different vehicles (and instead needed one "do-all"), I'd likely pick the car with the best compromise of all that suited MY wants and needs. For me, it would no doubt be the Odyssey.

    Does the Sienna offer more power AND better fuel mileage? Yes. But it isn't even close to being carlike to me, something the Odyssey is. The Odyssey is louder, but more direct. Bumpier, but manages to handle like its smaller than it is. It manages to be the "Driver's Van" if there is one; one that feels like its at least trying to be fun. Will a van actually succeed at being fun? Well, not really. 2+ tons on a relatively softly sprung suspension, mated to an automatic transmission - doesn't sound like it adds up to fun, and I get that. The fact that the Odyssey combines the practicality of 7 passenger seating with a whiff of Accord-like maneuverability and the overall Honda "vigor" makes it enough that it'd be my first choice, despite not being the quickest or most efficient. I might actually enjoy driving it.


  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    When I looked at vans, both the Ody and Sienna showed high levels of interior quality. If you want cheap, sit in a Dodge/Chrysler or a Hyundai. Our Sienna has excellent fit and finish inside and your complaints are foreign to my experience as everything feels sturdy and gives every appearance of being durable.

    Ody control placement was nonsensical to us and we were constantly searching in vain for how to change the radio, adjust the heat & A/C, etc. As to your complaint about control position height, the only controls I perceive as being low reach are the power door off/on switch and the TPMS reset button. It's been more than a year since I tested the Ody and never could make sense of their control positions, but it seems like it had a number of more routinely used controls in the exact same location. Mirror controls, power windows and climate controls are the next lowest tier on the Sienna and are at just a bit above elbow level to me and those controls came immediately to reach at instinctive locations on the test drive.

    I like the zig-zag shift control as I can tell by feel exactly where the lever is without looking down.

    The Honda's aggressive ride quality was far too much compromise for me with not nearly enough payoff. A minivan is not about my driving experience, it is about carrying my family in comfort and the Odyssey was a lot less comfortable. I like control and I like cornering, but there wasn't enough more the Odyssey to satisfy me- it still feels like a top heavy, 2 ton minivan. Based on online reviews I expected a lot more of the Ody and was disappointed in the examples I test drove.

    I have three small children so those LATCH positions are important to me. Three positions in the middle row mean that I can put all three kids there and put the third row down for cargo. Two latch positions in the third row means that if we have another child, we can put two back there, two in the middle and still flip a seat forward for easy access. Most of the time we have one child on the third row and having two positions allows us to choose what side of the row we want down. Oh and the third row tether strap crossing the cargo area was a deal killer too- WTF was Honda thinking???

    Seat comfort is a very subjective thing. I found the Ody seats most comfortable, my wife preferred the Sienna. I really did like the Ody drivers position best since I didn't feel nearly so high up; in the Sienna in with the seat at the lowest level I still keep trying to lower it every time I get in because it feels so high. I suspect a lot perception on seat comfort is most comfortable depends on the size of your derriere with small people (like my wife) preferring the Toyota, medium size (like me) preferring the Ody and large folks (stereotypical American) liking the Chrysler. I wasn't impressed by the leather quality on either model and was fine with saving some money to get the cloth, though I do still toy with the idea of upgrading to some high quality aftermarket hide that embarrasses the OEM stuff and at lower price too.
  • We've had a 2001 Ody EX for almost 9 years. Now getting new van. Narrowed choice to 2009 Odyssey EX (no Leather, no RES, no Nav) for $26,525 or 2010 Sienna LE 8-Passenger w/Extra Value Package #2 for $25,225. Seems to me we're pretty much comparing apples to apples since the Toyota package adds dual-power doors, power driver's seat & alloy wheels. The only significant difference I can see on paper is that the Honda has tri-zone climate control, where as the Toyota has manual A/C front & rear. Both now nominally seat 8 vs. 7 in our old van. That's important for vacations since we travel with 5 and can now fold the entire rear seat down for luggage, bikes, etc.

    Do these prices seem competitive for New England? Am I missing anything 'cause at these prices the Toyota looks like a better value - especially if sourcing a 2009 Ody falls through since I'll lose the $1250 dealer incentive!
  • Have also had a 2001 Odyssey basic model and have 102,000 on it. Transmission replaced at 48,000, as expected. Looking for a new used Odyssey or Sienna. Test drove two 2006s today (EXl and Limited) The Sienna gives a softer ride than the Odyssey. The Odyssey felt more on the road and handled better to me.
    The Odyssey second seats slide forward to give more leg room to third seat passengers. The Sienna does not. The Sienna wood grain looks nice and the JBL is pleasant to listen to.
    My nephew, who is an autobody man, has noted that in the last few years the Toyota body has been more cheaply made the the Honda. Something to think about.
    I am leaning towards the Odyssey because of the ride and the because it felt sturdier.
  • In the end I got a Honda Odyssey afterall - $26.5K for 2010 EX. The car was available right away - Toyota Sienna was still in "Freight" status with a cloudy ETA forecast. And the Honda dealer offered me $1,200 more for my trade so the actual transaction cost was about even! My wife liked the interior styling and fit/finish of the Honda better anyway, I was trying to convince her on the Sienna. Once availability tilted in favor of the Honda and the cost evened out we jumped on the Odyssey.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I hear you, grad, and full disclosure here - I also own a Miata, and that's my commuter/city car. The Sienna gets plenty of miles but they're mostly long trips, highway miles.

    I guess it's just that I chose the best van for my family, not the best van for the driver. I felt that the job of a van is to provide the maximum versatility/hauling for lots of people and lots of cargo, and IMHO the Sienna best meets those needs.

    I don't like large cars, to be honest, and I doubt I'd be happy driving the Ody in the city, either. I had a Subaru Tribeca for a week and even that felt awkward/too big for the city.

    Back to the Sienna, though, this past week we took yet another road trip, went to the beach, and I got to use several features that you may not notice on a short test drive:

    * the front passenger seat folds flat. If you drive with the kids only, this improves their view. On a trip to Florida, I took turns driving with my brother, and the other person slept in the 2nd row, feet up on the folded seat, watching a DVD. Total luxury, and something unique to the Sienna, I believe.

    * hauling a few beds back and forth, the tumbling 2nd row came in handy and gets out of the way. Dodge wins here with Stow-n-go, but the Sienna at least beats the Ody in getting those seats out of your way.

    * my son was in skate board camp all week, and so each day I had to put on all his pads. I did so with the 3rd row folded tailgate style, i.e. facing the rear of the van. No problem putting on his knee pads, shoes, elbow pads, write guards, helmet, etc. plus the hatch kept us in the shade in a week with 100 plus humiture (temps with humidity factored in)

    To me that's what a van should do - pull all sorts of tricks to meet every need you have and even those you didn't know you had.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    both the Ody and Sienna showed high levels of interior quality

    And they do. These are very much on par with each other. You won't get the fabric-wrapped A-pillars nor the suede headliners and wool carpets found in luxury cars, but they are definitely a step above what you'd find in a Dodge, for instance.

    Compared to our Forester, the headliner in our Sienna is a nicer fabric and is nicely padded, the A-pillar has a nice texture to it, the dash itself is padded and the passenger airbag is seamless (something the Ody is missing FWIW).

    To be honest with the things he said I wonder if bwires was really looking at a Sienna? Significantly slower, poor quality, huge panel gaps, horrible fit and finish, and a bouncy ride? Sounds more like a 20 year old pickup with busted shocks. :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've seen $24.7k for the Sienna you described, but $1200 lower on the trade offer pretty much kills that deal.

    I think the Ody EX also has the power hatch, no?

    That Sienna would have had a trip computer, though.

    The Odyssey second seats slide forward to give more leg room to third seat passengers. The Sienna does not

    Not true - my Sienna's 2nd row seats all slide fore-and-aft, all 3 of them. I am absolutely certain.
  • nmomof2nmomof2 Posts: 14
    got a quote of 29.7 for a Sienna XLE with EVP3, Tow package, floor mats, fog lamps, towing. Got 31.1 for an Odyssey EXL. No Res. With Res would be 33.1. The only way to get the sunroof on the Sienna was with EVP3, and that lumps in the DVD. The Odyssey has the backup camera, the Sienna does not.

    It's so hard to compare apples to apples when their packages don't sync.

    Toyota has financing incentives right now though, so I'm leaning toward that one.
  • toyojunktoyojunk Posts: 19
    The Odyssey IS a HIGHER quality van than the Sienna - unless fake wood plastered all over the Sienna interior is a measure of higher quality. ;)

    The Odyssey resale value is much better than the Sienna (the real world Sienna resale is lower than Chrysler minivans). I know because I wanted to trade off my 2006 Sienna LE on more than one occasion and received price quotes from Toyota and Honda dealers..

    The Odyssey drives MUCH better than the Sienna which is less stable on corners and in crosswinds than the Chrysler minivans.

    The Odyssey seats are MUCH more comfortable than the Sienna seats.

    The Odyssey has MUCH better legroom than the Sienna.

    However, the Sienna has more cargo space behind the 3rd row seats than the Odyssey. :shades:
  • siennamisiennami Posts: 116
    Oh, we go again.... You haven't traded your 2006 lemon of a Sienna yet?? Since it's such a cheap-looking, uncomfortable, unstable vehicle......
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Long time no see hans.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tow prep package is nice, you get oil coolers so the drivetrain ought to be even more robust.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hans! What's up buddy? You've been slacking, haven't heard you slam the Sienna in weeks.

    Anyone expecting much better resale from an Ody will be sorely disappointed, both only get a 3 star rating from Automotive Lease Guide. No significant difference.

    You paid too much, got a bad deal. Time to get over it. It's been, what, 4 years now?

    The Odyssey drives MUCH better than the Sienna

    Which is why you paid (way too much) money for your Sienna, right? ;)

    Please stick around, you bring much needed humor to these threads. :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, folks, click to read for yourself:

    These are actual quotes by the same guy! Note the same writing style (he uses all caps every once in a while, consistently so), and when "hansienna" disappeared "toyojunk" took his place:

    We prefer white exterior and the Sienna LE has a very nice taupe interior while Ody white has an unattractive (to us) light yellow/tan interior

    We felt the Sienna instrument cluster is THE most attractive on any minivan and slightly preferred the Sienna LE cloth interior to the Ody EX cloth interior

    the Ody dealership required a $ 500 NON refundable deposit just to get on the waiting list.

    Suffering from severe amnesia, Hans?

    Maybe you can explain to us why you hate the "fake wood plastered all over" ... "THE most attractive" interior?

    Your words, hans! Shame on you....
  • lavrishevolavrishevo Posts: 312
    Looks like Sienna is still slightly behind in safety but has improved.

    or - - - 3992381601031046108a0c/?javax.portlet.tpst=4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_ws_M- - - - X&javax.portlet.prp_4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_viewID=detail_view&itemID=0- - - - 99aaf2f62196110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD&viewType=standard&detailViewURL=/portal/- - - - site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/menuitem.416f74e8613992381601031046108a0c/!69237953- - - - 3!2136375818?javax.portlet.tpst=4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_ws_MX

    This is interesting too:
    From the nhtsa for 2008 and under

    The table presents vehicles' collision loss experience in relative terms, with 100
    representing the average for all passenger vehicles. Thus, a rating of 122 reflects a
    collision loss experience that is 22 percent higher (worse) than average while a
    rating of 96 reflects a collision loss experience that is 4 percent lower (better) than
    Buick Terraza 62
    Dodge Grand Caravan 63
    Honda Odyssey 63
    Saturn Relay 63
    Chrysler Town & Country LWB 65
    Ford Freestar 66
    Chevrolet Uplander 68
    Chrysler Town & Country SWB 70
    Kia Sedona 72
    Hyundai Entourage 73
    Chevrolet Uplander SWB 76
    Mercury Monterey 77
    Toyota Sienna 78
    Toyota Sienna 4WD 79
    Nissan Quest 86

    Clearly, according to the nhtsa, the Ody is safer and also has a significantly less collision loss percentage.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kudos on the Ody's NHTSA results, though those have been out for quite a while, no? Did they re-test the Sienna after model year 2007?

    I ask because it got a whole new 2GR engine block and the firewall was revised as well, things that would certainly affect results like that. The 2007+ Sienna should be re-tested. Those results would apply to the 2004-2006 models with the 3MZ engine family.
  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Toyojunk is the same as Hansienna,I feel..How much are the dealers giving you for your 06 LE?Probably the van is in a filthy condition with dents everywhere and no maintenance.
    Stop the childish arguments and go buy a new Odyssey and report us your findings as Odyjunk ! :shades:
  • allavalonsallavalons PennsylvaniaPosts: 67
    Read the NHTSA page from the link. this was for Model year 2008.

    Summary of 2008 Model Year Crash Tests and Rollover Ratings for Vans and Pickup Trucks

    "The 2007+ Sienna should be re-tested."
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if they really re-tested it, though, or if they just use the same results from one year to the next?

    If they tested a 2004 model, when the current generation Sienna came out, the results would differ at least somewhat. Nowadays they design vehicles so that the engine breaks off the cradle and gets pushed under the vehicle. Things like engine mounts, the size and shape of the block (the 2GR is lighter than the 3MZ, for instance), and the design of the firewall would play a vital role in where that hunk of metal ends up and how safe the passengers inside would be.

    Any how, you look at those results and can pretty much conclude minivans are quite safe.

    This link is even better, you can watch the actual videos for both vans: eo.htm

    Give CR credit for distinguishing between the early 04-05 Siennas without side curtain air bags, but they also say nothing about the 2007 changes in the sheetmetal, engine block, and firewall.

    The video shows how side curtain airbags make such a big difference.

    The Ody deploys the side air bags in the front offset crash, which is a bit odd, but who cares, the vehicle would be totalled anyway and the driver is extremely well protected.

    In side impacts, it also does well, though the rear passenger might fracture a few ribs and injure some internal organs. Yikes, my son sits in that spot.

    I'd say the Ody did better in the front offset, while the Sienna with side air bags fared better in the side impact.

    I'm splitting hairs, though, both these vans are extremely safe. Look at the A-pillar - no deflection at all, the passenger cells on both are completely intact even at 40mph. That is a massive amount of energy to absord.

    The NHTSA tests are done at 35mpg IIRC, head-on, not offset like most real-world crashes.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Motor Trend site is really hard to navigate. I only saw 2007 or 2008 for the model year, so I wasn't able to search 2006.

    If the results for 2006 are different, then I'd say they apply. If not, they just re-used old scores from the model with the 3MZ engine.
  • allavalonsallavalons PennsylvaniaPosts: 67
    The site itself says MODEL YEAR 2008 and it is the NHTSA website so why even debate what year it really was. No reason for the NHTSA to put the model year in the title if it wasn't for that year. - - - - 3992381601031046108a0c/?javax.portlet.tpst=4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_ws_M- - - - - X&javax.portlet.prp_4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_viewID=detail_view&itemID=0- - - - - 99aaf2f62196110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD&viewType=standard&detailViewURL=/portal/- - - - - site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/menuitem.416f74e8613992381601031046108a0c/!69237953- - - - - 3!2136375818?javax.portlet.tpst=4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_ws_MX
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No need to yell, I understood what you were saying. I just disagree.

    And here is proof that it's wrong:

    The '06 has identical numbers to the '08. So indeed they just copied data from one model year to the next.

    Just as I expected.
  • nmomof2nmomof2 Posts: 14
    In order to get close to the specs on an Odyssey EXL, the dealer said they could install a backup camera on a Sienna XLE. Is there any "problem" with doing this? By that, I mean, is there a higher chance that something will be messed up later because it wasn't done at the time the car was being built? If they do install it, the cost of the Sienna XLE, with evp3 will still be less than the EXL w/RES.
  • allavalonsallavalons PennsylvaniaPosts: 67
    All that proves is there was no improvement from 2006. Just because the numbers didn't change doesn't prove they "copied anything, and since they specified on the report it was model year 2008, you will need to produce real proof not just a supposition.
    The real proof is that the NHTSA said they tested 2008 models and unless you can show it was not, then it is all conjecture on your part. Oh wait, it's a giant conspiracy to use old models but say they were current....LMAO...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I disagree, the numbers are identical, yet the 2006 and 2008 models are not.

    There would be at least a small change given the totally different engine.

    What it proves is that the NHTSA only tested one of those models, yet Motor Trend is publishing the results as the same for both. They don't even crash test cars, so they're not the authority here, NHTSA is.

    NHTSA did not crash test both. This is a fact, not my opinion.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ask them if they have to splice wires - if so you run the risk of electrical problems down the road.

    I sort of doubt it, but it depends on the manufacturer of the Nav system.

    I shopped for aftermarket systems, and a backup camera is usually a $99 add-on option, so this should be cheap. The video feed is run to the back of the GPS. It can turn on when the reverse lights are activated, so that's also relatively easy to figure out.

    I think Toyota offers reverse sensors that beep from the factory. I think a backup cam would be great to line up a trailer, though, if you tow.
  • nmomof2nmomof2 Posts: 14
    I would never need to tow. I just thought it would be a good option to have since I'm going from a smallish SUV to being a van driver. ;-) Considering they told me it'd be over 1K to have it dealer installed vs. $99, it sounds like there's no way I should have them do it. Thanks.
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