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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Sienna is the best minivan out there, irrespective of what some folks tell.

    Oh, well del says its the best, so we can go ahead and shut this thread down. Case closed!

  • delthekingdeltheking Posts: 1,152
    Grad, That was funny ! :shades: The Sienna is the top rated minivan - CR rates it the highest. And even other reviews state that it`s got the most powerful engine and the other factors stated above. And no,this thread is about the comparison . Not which one is the best. The Prius is the best hybrid out there,still we have discussion boards between it and the Insight.

    Doesn`t mean if one is the best,it is the end of discussion.If that was so, then there would be no discussion. It is a versus discussion. :P
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, its the best van for you, just as the Odyssey may be the best van for someone who hates giving up the driving feel of a sedan.

    It's all subjective - I'd dare say there is no "best." Just a "best for the individual buyer" in each case. The Sienna is better at some things, the Odyssey is better at others. How highly you count things like ride, power, steering feel, design, seat-comfort is all up to the person. There are way too many individualities about each van to sum-up one as "best," CR or not.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well said.

    I think that should be required reading for every member on Edmunds.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    thegraduate speaks way too rationally for my taste. I like to hear from folks who are absolutely, positively right on the correct choice for everyone all of the time. ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Rational, politically correct, objective... bet you'd never guess that my degree was broadcast journalism with a public relations background. :)

    Well, you might while others wouldn't. I'd hate to sound biased about you...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There was one guy who claimed he was shopping for a vehicle to give to his ex-wife after a divorce settlement (the court required him to give her a new car, supposedly).

    Someone recommended the Pontiac Aztek and that's what he said he got for her. :D
  • So with the help of everyone on here and lots of research, I made my decision and put my deposit down today! First off let me say thanks to everyone for their insights and their tips. It was sooooo helpful, I really appreciate taking the time to help me out. In case any one is wondering, here is how it happened:

    So...1st stop Saturday went to the Honda dealer - met a friend of a friend who is a sales person there. The man was a class act gentleman, objective, and knew his Odyssey, not to mention his competition - the Sienna. Peoples' reviews on here were spot on - the Honda looked so much better (IMO), had maybe an extra bell or whistle (Sienna LE EVP#2 vs Odyssey EX), such as dual climate control, floor mats included, a thing or two I'm maybe missing. Having said that, after sitting in the back seat while my wife drove, and then driving it myself, I was not saying to myself this van is better than the Sienna, let alone worth an extra $1500-$2000 (forget about the Toyota financing incentive). Sat down with the guy in his office - was going to give me the EX for $27500 - even a couple hundred less (which he said was less than invoice), but told us if we were planning on financing our new vehicle, we should just get a Sienna (what an honest salesperson - A+ in my book). I thought that was a pretty good price though.

    Next stop - Toyota dealer. We already test drove the Sienna. Despite the fact that I think the look of the Honda is superior, the Sienna just drives nicer. Interior is similar. I also like the overhead controls (temp, compass) on the LE EVP#2. Sat down with the dealer, tried to get us to sign there but we said we needed to crunch the numbers at home. On the way home, we agreed that we had to go with a Toyota, not much choice with incentive vs. no incentive - it would come to $4,500-$5,000 (including interest) for very similar vehicles. I think the only way we were going with Honda was if Honda had an incentive and Toyota didn't. I like the Honda, and I think both have pros/cons and people could make arguments for both, but I think they are worth similar amounts IMO - at least the models I compared.

    Long story short, got 9 different quotes online for the Sienna within 100 miles of me, found a dealer 15 miles away. Went in today, went back and forth on my trade in value and struck a deal.

    Also, for you people wondering, multiple dealers told me the 1.9% ends on Nov 16th. Then a new incentive kicks in. But the Toyota website says it goes til Nov. 30th - contradictory. A couple dealers said they have no clue what's going to happen after the 16h and they are assuming the 1.9 could go away, which made me worried. The guy I bought from (seemed more honest, less pushy) said he talked to his Toyota rep after talking to me, and that the 1.9 % is going to go until the 30th. The only thing that could happen is on the 17th, it might get better depending on what Toyota decides. He said they might give $X or 1.9%, or maybe they even drop it to 0.9%. But he was confident that it wasn't going to disappear. I worked out a deal with him if that happens (another reason I bought from him)..but that's just from my source, so take it as you will.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone for the opinions - it's great to hear from both sides and become more educated consumers. Best regards....

    BTW ateixeira - despite your strong recommendations, we just went with the 7 passenger (FWD too). But because you and another poster, I will say we gave it a strong look. Thanks again! :)
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    If you got that Sienna bought for $23,000, good for you. Can't beat a deal like that. Toyota must be pretty hungry.
  • "he Sienna is the top rated minivan - CR rates it the highest"

    Does anyone else find it odd that CR rated a minivan with a poor rear impact rating highest?

    I questioned CR directly on this and was told they evaluate "overall safety".

    In other words if three sides is good enough for you and your family.... It's the best!

    I see everyone fretting about three in the second row. Oddy is not the best for three the plus one is small. However. If you have two it's great. I've not seen it mentioned but on the EX/EX-L you can remove the "pluse one" and shove one large seat towards the center. This is ideal for two kids... Two big seats within easy armreach of the driver yet maintaining some seperation between car seats. Plus easier access to the rear. Very nice.

    Good luck with whatever you do.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    4-5 grand difference would seal the deal for me. Maybe toyota is really trying to clear out the 2010's for the all new 2011 next year. Doesn't make sense that there should be that much difference in price between those two vans.
  • Just to clarify, the price difference between the Odyssey and Sienna I compared was not $4-$5K. It was actually $1700-$1800 (Odyssey EX vs Sienna LE EVP#2 with mats/door sil protector).

    That $4K - $5K difference factored in the interest savings. The Honday Odyssey doesn't have any incentives right now on purchases, Toyota does (1.9% financing). That interest savings (obviously depending on how much you would have put down, your interest rate, etc) can save you $2500+.

    Going back to what I was saying, I think both vehicles are nice, with both having pros/cons. For me though, it was a pretty easy choice to pick the Sienna given the price difference - including interest savings.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Congrats on the purchase. Being an educated shopper can make finally striking a deal an exciting and satisfying thing, but if Toyota comes back and has $xxx more dollars for incentives, etc, don't sweat it. You got the van you wanted at a price you were comfortable with.

  • this is not a dig at the odyssey but a post i read on re the tranny probs they have had over the last few years (not sure if still a problem) and how honda handled it: threadid=50624&perpage=15&highlight=&pagenumber=3

    the one post that said it all to me:

    Junior Member

    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: Florida
    Posts: 6

    One last follow-up post to all,

    In June the Better Business Bureau ruled that Honda had to buy back my vehicle. At the turnover meeting Honda's representative tried to backcharge me for $1,400 worth of "above normal wear and tear" damage to the vehicle due to bug splatters on the front bumper. I assumed that this was Honda's one last stab at me for making them take back the vehicle. I refused the estimate and took it back to the BBB for a clarification ruling. Finally after another favorable ruling from the arbitrator, Honda was forced to buyback my vehicle in late August with no deductions for excessive wear and tear.

    Lessons learned from this whole experience:

    1. Honda Odysseys' have a problem that Honda cannot and obviously will not fix.

    2. Unless you stand up for your rights and use the lemon law systems, Honda will not do anything for you, no matter how many Honda's you've bought in the past and or how good of a customer you may be.

    3. Honda has a dark and maybe even evil side when it comes to them loosing a battle and having to "do the right thing".

    My advice to all of you:

    If you're still eligible for a lemon law claim in your state, learn the facts about what you need to do and start doing them now. Honda has definitely proven to me that they are not willing to correct the problems with this vehicle and that they will not do anything positive for you and this problem until you make them!

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I also like the overhead controls (temp, compass) on the LE EVP#2

    That's the trip computer I was mentioning, I love it too, especially the fuel economy read outs. 2 of our 3 vehicles have that and I miss it when I'm driving the 3rd one.

    You may not have noticed but you also have power 3rd row window vents (switch by your left knee), another bonus on the Sienna.

    I'm not sure about what's standard right now, but back in 2007 when I bought mine, the Sienna also had a tow prep package standard (I think Toyota removed that for 2008), puddle lamps, and cross bars for the roof rack.

    Feeling better? Another bonus - your front seat folds flat. The 3rd row can be positioned for tailgate seating, with the kids facing out. The 2nd row tumbles forward, too.

    So you do get some nice extras.

    The Ody EX gets you the dual-zone climate control and I think it has a power passenger's seat.

    Congratulations! :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In other words if three sides is good enough for you and your family.... It's the best!

    Active headrests were just added, so those ratings are outdated. Not to mention that's not "your family", but rather you, the driver.

    And...I will politely remind you that in the IIHS side-impact tests, the Sienna does far better at protecting the 2nd row dummy, which is "your family". From IIHS:

    Rear passenger — Measures taken from the dummy indicate that rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries would be possible in a crash of this severity

    Ody is better at protecting the driver, Sienna is better at protecting the driver's family.
  • dgrodgro Posts: 6
    The Ody EX has theft deterrent system. I don't think the LE EVP#2 has that - probably an option though for more $$.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sienna LE had that standard in 2007, even without options packages, but again this is 2010 and that may have changed.

    It's like they're playing games with us, no? Shuffling options each model year, adding this and removing that.

    They want to keep us guessing. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That got me curious so I checked out the crash details. Both of these only earn an Average score for structural integrity in the side impact tests by IIHS. Ody also drops to Average for torso protection for the child dummy in the back.

    The overall score is Good, but I think we can all agree there is room for improvement for both - plenty.

    Compare images:



    We should not get complacent, and instead demand that automakers continuously improve these designs.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    Expect all the crash issues to be addressed in the 2011 sienna. I don't know if honda is doing a re-do on the ody for 2011 but would expect improvements there as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hopefully, but let's not assume that. In a few cases the scores can actually go down. Not likely, but it can happen.

    Edit: I looked at the Entourage and Grand Caravan and neither of those have a Good rating for structural integrity in side impacts either. Let's see who can earn it first! :shades:
  • dbtdbt Posts: 298
    Those images definitely show the weak point in a big box on wheels. It's real tough to get sufficient structural integrity to withstand the basher when you have a huge front door right next to an even huger sliding door. The SUV competitors (with conventional doors) are actually better for this, but face the problem of higher rollover.

    There should be some solutions to it, but it will be costly. Tough to work around the geometry. To my eye, it looks like increasing the floor panel integrity at the B pillar would be something they should be looking into.
  • bobber1bobber1 Posts: 217
    $1,800 difference would have not swayed me if the Honda had some more features(which I think you said it did) and if I liked it more. The interest deals a non factor since I usually go the cash route. Funny Honda doesn't have some interest rate deal. They usually do.

    As I've said many times, they're both good vans. I've had my Honda for 3 years now and no regrets.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    It is somewhat surprising that honda doesn't offer some form of incentive to match up better in price. If the vans are selling well than I guess there is no reason to deal. Market share issues could trigger some stuff in december I suppose. $1800 would be a factor for me if I was shopping now.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Honda's probably a year away from a new Odyssey design. Toyota's current model will be the "old model" by early next year, making its current model value drop a little more than the Ody's would for this year, I'd think. Just like buying any car right before the new version comes out.

    Just speculation here. Feel free to disagree. :)
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    That makes sense -- getting rid of the old stuff by pricing it a bit better. Wonder if they will pump out a lot of 2010's just before the unveiling and put additional incentives to make up for the lag in inventory that new models usually produce? I don't even know why I asked that question --- could care less since the 2012 model is the soonest I'll be in the market. :confuse: Need to focus on lunch or improving my golf game. Makes more sense.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It varies, almost by season. Less than a year after I bought the Sienna people were reporting Ody prices had plunged, more than a grand lower than when I had shopped.

    Timing matters - some times Toyota offers the better deal, other times it's Honda.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    This is off topic, but i saw a pic of the possible all new nissan quest and it looked great. May offer another competitor in the minivan market. The current one is poorly rated.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,741
    I've actually been seeing a fair number of Sienna's at the Hertz lots.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wanted to rent one when I went to Florida in January.

    Not worth it.

    Most vans rent for $3xx something, the Sienna was over $600 for the week! :sick:

    We got my brother a Grand Caravan for half the price. I don't think any van is worth double as much, that's just nuts.
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