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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had the dealer calculate an out-the-door price, with taxes and everything, before I ever stepped foot in the dealership (DARCARS 355 Toyota, Rockville, MD). They obliged. The price was accurate to the penny. I took a cashier's check and that was that, no nonsense.

    I did not have to finance, though. Rates will vary by your credit score. What I suggest is you get a rate quote before you go to the dealer, then have them match or beat it.

    There are also no-haggle dealers that take some pressure off, here in the Mid-Atlantic that includes and CarMax Toyota Laurel.

    Best of luck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just got this offer in the mail:

    Interesting that someone was complaining about service being expensive - now you can get 5% back on any Toyota service plus 1% anywhere else. No cap at all, though.

    Subaru has such a program but you get 3% back no matter where you shop, though they cap it at $500/year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    And my chief annoyance complaint- the LOCKOUT on the Navigation

    This user just shared a fix that may also help you, if you're still looking:
  • You said you had 8 seats for adults.
    Do eight adults fit "comfortably" of is it recommended just for short trips?
    Where ever I saw description that said 8-passenger, I eventually got something that "indicated" 6 adults and two children.
    Any thoughts or advice?
  • We have two very large car seats in the outboard 2nd row seats of our 8 passenger and can easily fit an adult in the center between them (or another car seat!).

    I don't think I would put an adult there (between the car seats) for a 10hr trip but I would think up to an hour or two would be fine.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I looked it up...

    Per C&D's specs, the Sienna's interior has:

    1st row: 66 cubic feet
    2nd row: 60 cubic feet
    3rd row: 51 cubic feet

    That's pretty darn roomy.

    For comparison's sake, I have the Feb 08 C&D issue in front of me, and I looked at the compact SUV comparison. The roomiest 2nd row of those 9 crossovers was the Jeep Liberty's, and that has 50 cubic feet in the 2nd row.

    So the Sienna has more room in its 3rd row than even the roomiest soft roader has in its 2nd!

    Unless you're talking about 8 NBA players you ought to fit just fine.

    Also for reference, Honda's 2008 brochure says it has 171.4 cubic feet of passenger space in the LX and EX, and 168.3 cubes in the EX-L and above (the small loss is probably due to a moonroof, I'm guessing).

    That's also quite good, but the Sienna's adds up to 177 cubes so it's a tad bigger.

    The width of the 2nd row seats in the Sienna are 22" for the outer chairs and 20" for the middle chair.

    My office chair is exactly 20" wide and I sit in it for 8-9 hours every day.

    I haven't measured the 3rd row, but you may want to do that, better yet take the whole gang with you to sample it in person.

    Best of luck. :shades:
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    The second row easily fits three child seats so I would have no problem putting 3 adults there for an extended trip (unlike the Odyssey's mother-in-law seat). I've had 3 adult men sit in the third row (one of them none too small) and they were perfectly comfortable for an in-town trip.

    There is nothing "mini" about minivans these days. On a recent trip we visited people with 12 y/o Chrysler and 15 y/o Honda minivan. Our Sienna was significantly bigger than the Chrysler and dwarfed the Honda.
  • In our case...our two outboard car seats are pretty large (a Sunshine Kids Monterey and a Britax Regent) so the center seat space is a bit smaller than if we had car seats w/ a slimmer footprint....hence why I wouldn't put an adult there for a 10hr trip (over and above the idea of them having to travel between an 8yo and 4yo for that length of time!).

    I agree...the third seat is a "full size" seat and I have way more room there than in the back seat of our sedan (VW Jetta)!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Back then Honda was really selling a tall 5 door wagon, really.

    In Japan they still sell 'em, I think. Found a pic - JDM Odyssey:

  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    The old Odyssey did have seating for 7 passengers in a 2-3-2 arrangement. I think of it as an early experiment with a crossover because the rear doors swing instead of slide. CAFE has regulated away the true large station wagon so we have to settle for the more unwieldy and inefficient SUVs and crossovers.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure manufacturers could find a loophole to categorize those as MPVs rather than cars. Look at the Venza, Crosstour, and Outback - all tall wagons basically.

    I like the concept of the Rondo and Mazda5, but they're a tad too small. The Mazda5 really only seats 4 comfortably, as you can't get a bench for the 2nd row (in the USA). The 3rd row in both has zero legroom.

    The JDM Ody is bigger.

    Subaru also has an Exiga model based on the Forester that is sold in Japan and Australia only, for now. There is no LHD version so no hope for US production of that car. It's a bit small, though, here's a pic with a human for scale:

  • Thanks all.
    Your insights and information are very helpful.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're welcome. Pop in and let us know what you end up with. Best of luck in your search. :shades:
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    I suspect that the redesign work needed to make JDM cars meet EPA truck definition is prohibitive for the projected market in this country. The Crossover/SUV/Minivan is the loophole manufacturers found for selling the larger capacity vehicles.

    There is a lot of good vehicles in the rest of the world that would be sold here if not for the over regulation of our so-called free country. SUVs would probably never taken off and we'd use less fuel as a country if only those choices were there for us.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Mazda5 exceeded Mazda's sales expectations, and they didn't even market it.
  • hi all -

    a few questions on my sienna le 2010

    1- is there a way to make the power outlets work while car is turned off. i want to charge my cell phone overnight in the car while it is locked.

    2- it said in the manual that you had to have the dealer change certian settings like the way the interior lights cycle or if you want the chime to silence when you lock or open the car....anyone know where to find how i can do this? my old car was a series of turning the key on and pressing the break pedal etc.

    i did switch these door locks action when putting the shifter in park, so i thought there should be ways to do the others.

    3- the lower / larger glove box opens once and i feel like it should open one more position for easer access but do not want to force it...does it open once or twice?

    thanks in advance,

    glad i found this forum!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    1. I'm sure they do that to preserve the battery. When you shut the ignition off, there is a delay, so power remains for a little while until you exit the car. That's probably something you'd have to wire yourself to change, though.

    2. Yes, in fact besides the change you mentioned I was able to turn off the seatbelt chime for the passenger seat. Why, you may ask? Because unlike the Odyssey the front passenger seat can fold flat, and when you sit in the back and use the back of the seat as a foot rest (to lay down and watch a movie), it fools the sensor into thinking someone is sitting there. You could of course fasten the seat belt before you fold the seat flat, but I find it easier to just turn off that buzzer. I remind everyone to fasten their seat belts anyway.

    Now, do I know the specific procedure? Nope, sorry. I found it online by searching, though, so don't give up. The forum where I found my solution doesn't exist any more, but ask around in the Sienna threads, odds are someone will remember.

    3. AFAIK, it opens to one level. It's pretty deep so they probably don't want all that stuff spilling out.
  • thanks atexiera for the answers,

    i understand the battery saving idea but i have charged many cell phones overnight in different cars with never a problem and i think toyota would let us decide to take the chance if we wanted.

    and i will keep searcing for ideas on how to customize the car the way i like.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587 you should!

    I'm an aftermarket fan myself. 12" DVD player, Garmin GPS, and I'm still thinking about a tow hitch (in 07 Siennas came standard with the tow prep package).

    Good luck.
  • doggrandmadoggrandma IowaPosts: 144
    We now have 2 large dogs (thanks to our kids moving into apts.), and it's not easy transporting them in my Mazda 3. I am thinking of getting a minivan, but I'm not sure how I feel about driving such a large vehicle.

    I would like to know which minivans have the best visibility, especially for changing lanes and merging, which ones have the best and brightest headlights (I'm not getting any younger!), which ones are most reliable, and if all minivans now have skid plates on the bottom of the vehicle to prevent fires if some debris were to be caught on the bottom of the vehicle.

    Also, if anyone else transports large dogs, what vehicle would you recommend? Thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a lot of questions! :shades:

    Where do we start?

    Minivans in general have excellent visibility. They are upright, so most of the glass is vertical and tall, narrow pillars help even more. No styled D-pillars here, just nice big boxy windows all around.

    Coming out of a Mazda3 they will feel big, relatively speaking, of course. Smaller than a Mazda CX9, though, and with fewer blind spots.

    The side mirrors are also enormous, at least on my Sienna. That helps.

    They're tall, though, so visibility straight behind can be tough. I bought a fish-eye lens, or you could get proximity sensors that beep, or even better a backup cam which comes with Navi on both the Sienna and Odyssey.

    Lane changes and merging are a snap, no issues at all. Keep in mind these are shorter than a Taurus, for example. Backing up is your biggest concern, because the rear windows are high up.

    I find the standard headlights are fine on my Sienna, but you can get HIDs on both of these vans, if you get them loaded up.

    Skid plates - no. But then again, most crossovers wouldn't have those, either. You'd pretty much have to step up to a truck-based SUV to get that sort of thing. The Sienna has an inch or so more clearance, which may help. The AWD Sienna has even more.

    You may want to consider a compromise solution, like a tall wagon (Mazda5, Kia Rondo), or maybe a compact crossover with good visibility (Subaru Forester).

    Remove all the seats, though, and the power sliding doors would give low step-in access to half a dozen great danes in any minivan. Tie their harnesses to any of the seat anchors to keep them safe.

    Woof! ;)
  • doggrandmadoggrandma IowaPosts: 144
    Thank you so much for all the useful information!

    As the brilliant economist Thomas Sowell says, "There are no solutions; only trade-offs"

    In my research I have found that the Sienna has more "oomph" and better braking and headlights. However, the Odyssey gets somewhat better marks in safety tests. Oddly enough, neither of them do all that well in the complicated rear end collision tests that some group has devised. It's all based on the configuration of the head rests, etc., and not on any real-world test or outcomes, so I don't know how much stock to put in those ratings.

    I have test driven both vehicles now, and so far, I like how the Sienna handles better than I do the Odyssey. Funny, since many reviewers say the Odyssey is better on that score. Oh well, we all like different things.

    Skid plates (sometimes called underbody protection) are available on some vehicles, but not on these minivans. Perhaps it is not considered to be that important.

    Woof, to you, too. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    complicated rear end collision tests that some group has devised

    You are correct, in fact the vehicle is not crashed - they basically use a sled to test the seats.

    And note that the Sienna has not actually been tested yet. The score is preliminary and based solely upon static measurements - the distance of the headrest to the dummy's head. It could do well or score poorly if they eventually do actually test it, who knows?

    like how the Sienna handles better than I do the Odyssey

    Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.

    Just kidding. :D

    You're definitely in the minority, but I will say I think the Sienna has a better ride and is generally more isolated from the road, which passengers may prefer if they want a quiet, soothing ride.

    The Ody provides more feedback - tire noise, road noise, most importantly - steering feel, which many drivers use as inputs to adjust their driving. The Sienna's steering has less feedback than my kids Nintendo Wii Wheel.

    Like lots of things - a trade off.
  • doggrandmadoggrandma IowaPosts: 144
    Hmm, perhaps I need to test drive a few more vehicles, because the Ody I drove felt very "floaty" and the steering seemed vague.

    I'm looking at the Ody, the Sienna, and perhaps the new Subaru Outback. I like driving the Mazda5, but it's a bit too small and very underpowered.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    CR just gave the Outback a good review. The 4 cylinder model was rated higher than the Venza V6.

    Honda will soon add a competitor to that segment - the Accord CrossTour.
  • OK I test drove a 2010 Sienna and a 2010 Odyessey today and I am torn between the two! I like the looks, interior, and features of the Odyssey better, but I thought the Toyota drove better (less wind noise and bumps felt)had more pep to the engine too! I am interested to hear other opinions to see if my findings are true or perhaps the type of road I was driving on skewed my test drive.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The general consensus (I think both Sienna owners and Odyssey owners will agree) is that the Odyssey is more sporty, while the Sienna is more comfy.

    The Odyssey drives like a scaled-up Accord; tight, accurate steering, slightly lower seating position, and less isolation from the road and noise. A good option if you really "like" to drive, but need a van.

    The Sienna is more Lexus-like; quieter, more softly sprung, but isn't nearly as carlike. The Odyssey drives like its smaller than it is.

    The Odyssey is your choice if you drive it every day (unless you crave power, which the Sienna offers more of without an economy penalty); the Sienna is likely to be the choice of your passengers, as its quieter and softer.

    Hope my opinion helps you a little!!

    Happy shopping!
  • Thanks for confirming what I thought. My wife is going to be driving it the most and she likes the Odyessy better, so I think it will be the winner! She wants a more "car like" drive and I agree 100% to your post... She could care less about the wind noise and the bumps anyway. She wants to be able to manuever it easily and I feel like the Odyessy will be the easiest to do that. The male in me wants the Lexus ride, but ease and functionality are most important to everyday driving!
    Thank You
  • So I read through the past 10 pages of this forum and tough to get some good info. Here's the situation I'm in. I need a car soon - my current car is just about had it. My wife wants a minivan - 2 kids, another one on the way. We both prefer the Odyssey (by a slight margin), mainly based on exterior looks and a couple nice interior features. However, the Sienna is about 2K cheaper for the models we like for both, plus Toyota is offering 1.9% financing currently while Honda has nothing, making it more like a $5K difference when you factor in interest. I almost feel stupid going for the Honda for that much more when I think they are that similar. Any thoughts, opinions? I appreciate it...I feel like I'm lost here...
  • i had the same experience as you... i could have gone either way but honda was about 2100.00 more and would not budge or offer any other incentive.

    i went with the le evp#2 and never looked back.

    i am very happy with the van and think it feels great when i "drive" it....... when i "push" it, i am in love with the power and response.

    i also feel the handling and ride are great for me and my family.

    good luck whatever your choice.
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