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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Sell it to Andrew for top dollar! :-)
  • doug889doug889 Posts: 60
    I don't think the fake wood in the Sienna look bad at all. My 2002 Acura MDX as fake wood too, That's Honda's "luxury" brand.
  • Of course the Sienna "is far more radically removed and improved from its predecessor". The '04 Sienna change from the '03 was similar to the changes the Odyssey made from '98 to '99. Odyssey broke the ground in '99, Sienna did what van designers have been doing for years... copied the things they liked from other vehicles and added some of their own. I am sorry that your vehicle that you have owned only 1 model year just got passed again by the Odyssey but that is the way it is in the van business these days. The Sienna lost us when you need to pay extra to receive the same built-in safety features that Honda puts on its entry level van. One should not have to pay extra money for air bags that exist in a company's safetybag.
  • The wood look does not go well with the gray interior. With the ivory the look seems, somewhat, better.
  • Are there some anger management issues lurking beneath the surface when it comes to car sales people? The stuff that Edmunds did on "confessions of a car salesman" while making for interesting reading only works on uninformed car buyers or very desperate folks who have poor credit and are at the mercy of the "how much can you afford a month" style of auto purchasing. I am sorry that you have been damaged in the past in your dealings with so many car sales people. There does seem to be some hope in that you have met a few "exceptions" It is good to know that all car sales people are not boogie men. When you go back and forth between 87 and 91 how do your numbers add up? It seems a shame that spending all that extra money, according to you, gets you very little. I should have figured that a sales person would bad mouth their own product purposely because this would be to their obvious advantage. It would have to help with their sales, especially, with costs of fuel these days.
  • Does anyone have any comments on how the Odessey performs in snow and ice? I am looking at the top of the line models of the Odessey and Sienna. I prefer many of the features on the Odessey but am worried that it will get stuck in snow. The Sienna has AWD, which would help.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    You should buy two. Drive them to northern Canada or Arctic and see which one perform has a better winter performance... or wait for about a month and so to test-drive on snow!

    I want to see your answer!
  • ewtewt Posts: 127
    I think people are tired of having their time wasted by poorly-trained, uninformed, pushy car salespeople when they go to look at cars. I'm not making a decision about a 30-40K purchase ten minutes after setting foot on the lot, and I might actually want to look at some alternatives contrary to the expectations of many salespeople.

    My last car-buying experience (of the Sienna) was excellent (other than an F & I guy who was sure I wanted to pay 2.5X cost for an extended warranty and $500 for an "immobilizer"). The internet department offered me an excellent price over the phone and I was in and out in about 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, that was one of two good experiences in over 20 years of car buying.

    I find it hard to believe that many car dealers still employ the model of hiring herds of salespeople who turn over constantly, that aren't trained about the cars they sell, but are trained to be overbearing and pushy. Virtually all of the import dealerships in my city (Stockton CA) are owned by one person who employs that model at all of his dealerships. Not surprisingly, I went elsewhere when I bought the Sienna.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    I can't speak about the new model but we had a '99 Ody for five years. The worst conditions it ever experienced happened in March '03 when I took it through near blizzard conditions in the mountains of western Virginia (on I-77). Fully loaded at the time, it held the road surprisingly well in that storm.

    That said, I am currently shopping for a new minivan and looking closely at both the Toyota and Honda. All other things being equal, the additional cost for AWD on a Sienna is moderate and, IMHO, well worth the price IF you live where there is any significant snowfall.

    We have a Pilot so AWD on a van is not essential for us but is certainly preferable.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I put in 20 winters in Anchorage with FWD cars (11 years in FWD minivans). Unless you're going to Tahoe to ski every weekend or live in a place with as much snow as Buffalo but no snow removal equipment, I think good tires will get you most places.

    Take a look at the AWD vs FWD with VSC + Traction Control discussion too, not to mention a Search This Discussion for AWD in here, as people seem to have pretty definite opinions on the subject.

    Steve, Host
  • psuwifepsuwife Posts: 29
    Hmmm... I drove a rear-wheel Ford Aerostar for 8 winters in Buffalo. Never had a problem. It is precisely because snow-clearance is a breeze for Buffalo and the suburbs. Hilly country PA is a totally different story. My RWD van has had tremendous problems negotiating the ups and downs of central PA. They do not clean the roads as often and when it turns into a thin layer of ice the van just starts sliding down! Changing to Ody 05 Touring with Nav/Res in Nov.
  • Obviously, selling vehicles is a tough business. Long hours don't equal selling success. I have dealt with 5 dealerships in my latest vehicle hunt--2 Honda and 3 Toyota dealerships. I had to go to 3 Toyota dealerships because in 3 trys I did not find a sales person to my liking. At the other 4 locations, 4 excellent folks just trying to make a living.

    Anyone who would buy a vehicle in 10 minutes is not giving the vehicles a fair shake. Most of one's work should be done before setting foot on a lot. Both the Sienna and Ody are good vehicles...I just feel like that the features that we were looking for were overpriced by Toyota. They are both American made vehicles now. The neither one compare in quality to the 87 Toyota Camry that I purchased new. A 91 Accord purchased new was still a pretty good vehicle, quality wise. Huge drop-off to the 93 Camry purchased new.

    None of these 5 dealerships employ the mentality that you have experienced. Purchased 10 new vehicles and actually enjoyed the entire process. The money guys are usually the most interesting...trying to sell credit life and credit disability insurance used to be a real life riot as they described the value.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    I can buy a vehicle in ten minutes. I do my research in advance, and walk in to a dealership knowing exactly what I want (and having scouted their inventory before-hand). After that, it's just a matter of price.....
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    LOL, well, that's true enough (and the way I would like to do it). Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a dealer who will give you a price within ten minutes.

    As a result, the last four new vehicles I have purchased were internet transactions - all out of town and all of which went smooth as silk.
  • I bought an EXL/DVD a couple of weeks ago and have a few musings:

    1. The vehicle handles extremely well - like a car not a van. It is fun to go around off ramp curves a little too fast. There is minimal body lean. The Sienna had a smooth ride but steering was looser and it had much more body roll.

    2. There is plenty of power, even accelerating uphill it doesn't usually need to downshift.

    3. The seats are very comfortable, thicker and longer than the Sienna's. There seems to be more leg room in the second and third row seats. In fact sometimes I have my wife drive and I sit in the second row because it is just as comfortable as the front passenger seat.

    4. I like the second row sliding forward 10 inches a lot. It makes it a snap to get into the third row and also to make more room for cargo.

    5. I haven't really messed around with RES. I got it because everyone told me that it is great to keep the kids quiet. My 16 month old however is very calm in the car and I don't want him to become a whiner that needs to watch a DVD every time we go for a ride. I'm not sure how much I will use it. I don't know if it plays video CDs or burned DVDs.

    6. It is very quiet, on par with the Sienna.

    7. I wish it had an auto dimming mirror. It really should for 35K vehicle.

    8. I wish it had a trip computer. This is annoying not to have on a 35K vehicle. We have one on our saab and it is really nice. It is kind of like having biofeedback while driving - if you are a lead foot, gas mileage goes down.

    9. I thought lack of third row windowshades might be important but it doesn't seem to be a problem since the tint is so good.

    10. It is BIG. I am not sure if it is on the accord or pilot platform but it seems more like a truck in size than a minivan. Yet it handles so well and has gobs of power. I find it useful when parallel parking to turn the right passenger mirror down so I can see how close the wheels are to the curb. My saab does this automatically and it is particularly helpful when parking a large vehicle.
    11. The plus one seat is only useful if you are going to haul 8 people. Otherwise I think I may take it out to give easier access to the third row.

    Overall I am very happy with it and feel I made the right choice. I would wait a bit since I feel prices will come down shortly as dealer inventory rises. Definitely don't pay MSRP, even a couple of hundred below is a moral victory.
  • ch1313ch1313 Posts: 12
    I know I am in the wrong board. But after reading all your comments, I feel that my decision to buy Nissan Quest has been the right one. Read on and maybe I can persuade you to buy Quest instead of Sienna or Ody.

    First a few words on Car Dealers
    When I started to shop around, I knew that Car Dealers are the worst type of people. However, Toyota dealers are the worst of the worst. They are pushy and not informative. When they tried to sell me the Sienna, they thought I was stupid (I work in a Bank). They tried to sell me their types of finance. I went to Nissan dealers, they were friendly and courteous. In the end, I bought my van through It was the easiest thing to do. I place my order and in 2-3 days I received my van delivered on my doorstep. No hassle and I saved $4 G off invoice. If anyone of you are shopping for any cars, try CarsDirect.

    Money over Value
    You would thought that if you pay that much money for a van, you would get what you want. Sienna is way too expensive. You need to pay extras for the packages. Ody is doing the same thing. To get the top of the line model, you need tho shell out almost $40 G. I paid only $31 G for my Quest and I get all the stuff standard (by the way, Quest SE is selling for $29 G only in CarsDirect). After reading some of the messages here I realize that there are some things that Sienna and Ody don't have in comparison with Quest.

    - Quest has 2 trip counters. Neat.
    - Quest has MPG counter. Neat and bad. I'm getting only 15 mpg of my Quest. All things considered, it doesn't make a difference. A can of Coke costs more than a gallon of gas.
    - Quest has auto-dim mirrow. Neat.
    - With the folding seat and spacious cabin, Quest designers were still able to put in a spare tire.
    - Quest has corner lights. A $40G Sienna doesn't even have that option.
    - Quest has lower rate of rolling over, hence, Quest insurance is lower than Sienna.
    - With folding seats, Quest cabin can fit 8x4 drywall. Neat.
    - Quest has folding seats. Very convenient.
    - Quest has skyview which makes the cabin even more roomier. Cool.
    - Quest has side mirrors that automatically tilts down as you do a reverse. Cool.

    Don't get me wrong, Quest has its downside too. However, considering that I save $8 G comparing to Sienna, I can live with that.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,551
    Nice blanket statement. Might be interesting to you if you were to learn about the backgrounds of some of us.

    Enjoy your Quest!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have NOT met an obnoxious Honda salesman...but did meet one obnoxious Honda saleswoman. Fortunately, she no longer works there.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I'm sure everyone has a banker story too - but let's get back to the car comparisons please.

    Steve, Host
  • As I recall, the redesigned model had a bad first winter. Lots of complaints of side doors that wouldn't shut below a certain temp, and creaks & rattles galore in the cold weather. Sounds like Nissan addressed these kinds of problems with later vehicles in the model year.

    I wonder how the Odyssey will do in it's first winter. I hope they did enough cold weather testing in the design cycle so it doesn't have similar issues like the Quest did. I think Honda usually does a better job than most considering all operating conditions though, and the Odyssey will likely be fine in cold weather.

    I am anxiously awaiting cold weather data from you '05 Odyssey owners out there though (traction with and without PAX, creeks/rattles, etc, etc).
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Most of car magazines rate quest a distant third or forth behind these two.
  • dulnevdulnev Posts: 652
    You will have a REAL "surprise revelation" when you try to sell your Quest several years later. You will see a difference in resale value to Sienna and Ody that will erase almost all the price difference you realized now.

    What's just as important is that Nissan is not on the same quality/reliability scale as Toyota/Honda. You can expect your van to have quite a few more failures than Sienna/Ody.

    And last but not least, Quest has some REALLY terrible ergonomics.
  • I also think that Quest design is just (to be polite) bad. We tried to look at it, but by the time salesperson came back with keys to open it, we knew we did not wanted to look inside.
    It has slopping rear, this seems wasteful. Roundish center console is ... weird. Second row sets did look very thin.
    To me Chrysler looked much better then Quest, yet I did not like Chrysler design ether.

    I do like Ody design a lot. Sienna is better put to together (gaps, alignment), but to me it design is not as good as Odyssey.

    Van should be boxy. This increases inside volume, which is it's all about for a van after all.
  • ch1313ch1313 Posts: 12
    "Nice blanket statement. Might be interesting to you if you were to learn about the backgrounds of some of us." by isellhondas

    Perhaps, I need to rephrase. I didn't mean personally that these people have issues, but the nature of the job forced them to be either cut-throat or eat-dust. Granted, being a car-salesman is not the most luxurious job, but there are honest car-salesman out there who do look after their customers. The Toyota salesman that I spoke with totally disregard of who I was. He only saw my bank account, and how to get more of it.

    True that car magazines rate Quest to be third, (not fourth). There are several reasons why they do so:
    - it is out of the norm. The central console is not normal and a lot of people still stick with the traditional setting. Unfortunately, Nissan paid the price for the blunder. Personally I have no problem with it because I have a better view of what's ahead. Most of the things that you see on the dash board are really not that important when you drive except the speedometer and tachometer. Quest placed these meters probably 15 degree off center, which doesn't really affect the driving. The rest of the information on the dash board are used only when you stop the car.

    - poor quality. The Quest is being build by untrained workers in a new factory at Canton, Mississippi. The perception that if a car is built by untrained workers, you are going to get bad quality car. It was probably true for the first batch of Quests, but subsequently the quality improved. I never had any major problems with my Quest. That factory also builds other models, and they are not getting much complaints.

    "I also think that Quest design is just (to be polite) bad. We tried to look at it, but by the time salesperson came back with keys to open it, we knew we did not wanted to look inside.
    It has slopping rear, this seems wasteful. Roundish center console is ... weird. Second row sets did look very thin." by hifisoftware

    That was my first impression too, but once I sat in it I changed my mind (too bad you didn't sit in it). It is rated to be the roomiest of all minivan. The second row seats are actually comfortable. Chrysler stow n' go seats are much thinner, but all car magazines think the seats are one of the most comfortable seats they ever seat on. Looks can be deceiving.

    As I mentioned, there are certain things that I think Nissan can improve on. For the price and value, I think Quest can beat Sienna. BTW, Quest has the same engine as the 350z, which is the award winning engine for 4 years (I think) in a row.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    Quote from: "What's just as important is that Nissan is not on the same quality/reliability scale as Toyota/Honda. You can expect your van to have quite a few more failures than Sienna/Ody."

    I would disagree with your point.
    have a Toyota carmy 98, it is very very poor in everything like driving, build quality, reliability, etc

    1. bad alignment, even with a 3 different sets of tires (with idential pressure+rotation), the car will never go straight for 100 ft/steering is too soft-- Hands must always be on steering! :(

    2. Unknown engine noise @ 60mph

    3. With a few years consuming Octane 87, the engine funtioning not properly, even you step all the way down on the gas pedal, the car accelerate at a regular street start speed<-- very dangerous!! Now using Octane 89 and is sort of okay now!

    4. Lacking engine power with 4 people when entering the freeway, even on gear 2! only 133 hp

    5. suspension is too soft, unable taking sharp turn or heavy weight... with about only 400 lb human weight, the lower body scretch the speed bump

    6. body is either too light weight or the tires suck (aerodynamic), could not dare to push beyond 75 mph on a moderate wind day and when there is a truck next to you on freeway, the truck will sort of drag you toward it and have to sort of steer toward another side... with michelin 195/70R14, turning speed could not be above 22, or else its going to squeek

    7. Noisy engine... try to open all the windows and test drive camry... is very noisy... almost compariable to a WINDSTAR... is just that toyota did a great job on sound insulation while people test drive with shutted windows

    Thought toyota has reliability??? where???

    so what's up with the Ody transmission? Sienna feul tank...? the rattle and stuck winter doors wont have be fatal unlike the other 2

    what might be happening in Ody VMC a few yrs later? (it works now doesnt mean it going to be working forever) what happen if you really need power to avoid an accident with the "half V-6" engine for 2 tons+ weight...
  • ch1313ch1313 Posts: 12
    "You will have a REAL "surprise revelation" when you try to sell your Quest several years later. You will see a difference in resale value to Sienna and Ody that will erase almost all the price difference you realized now.

    What's just as important is that Nissan is not on the same quality/reliability scale as Toyota/Honda. You can expect your van to have quite a few more failures than Sienna/Ody.

    And last but not least, Quest has some REALLY terrible ergonomics."

    I'm not sure how you come up with the conclusion. All cars lose their value the moment they leave the dealers. Sienna will lose the same value as the Quest, albeit Sienna may retain a couple of hundres more. That does not erase the price difference if you know math. A couple hundred vs. $9 G.

    Again, this may be based on your perception that Nissan's product is much inferior than Toyota/Honda. My friend's father still drive the Datsun 120Y after 25 years. Do you see any Toyota or Honda that old still around? All cars are made differently. A car breaks down doesn't mean the car is bad. It could be the driver's fault for not taking care of it. Next time, please get your facts right first.

    Yes, Quest made a blunder by creating a center console. The question is, does it prevent you from driving? No. In fact, it takes the clutter away that it makes it safer to drive. It forces you to focus what's ahead of you.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    Just read over 2004 sienna and ody "consumer ratings" from (here) read them from lowest rated first, and you will find how interesting they are!
  • soyyo1soyyo1 Posts: 18
    Iwait for couple months,,,and you see why a got Toyota sienna awd 2005....I had the nissan Quest 2004 with everything....After 3 months van whent down down they give me $37,500.00 back after i Drove irt for 11000 millas....But i will tell you i relly loced the van...But i do not love all the problem the came with it....I still beavele the is the best looking van....But with all the problem is just trash....That is why you got such good prive,,,and you got 5 years warranty ,,,I say that because they send me extra 2 years after all....But now I'm so happy with my Toyota...and about sale person...I never have so much problem like i had with those from Honda ..Because of them i think I will never going to get Honda in my life
  • dulnevdulnev Posts: 652
    "I'm not sure how you come up with the conclusion. All cars lose their value the moment they leave the dealers. Sienna will lose the same value as the Quest, albeit Sienna may retain a couple of hundres more. That does not erase the price difference if you know math. A couple hundred vs. $9 G."

    First of all, where's this "$9 G" coming from? The price difference in less than $6,000 in reality. Second, you ever heard of this thing called "resale value"??? I would expect resale value for Quest to be 10-15% lower than for Sienna or Odyssey after 3-4 years.
  • torquetorque Posts: 14
    IMHO, even with all of the '05 Ody's shortcomings the touring Ody may beat the FWD Sienna XLE limited for one simple reason. The Ody simply drives better. Accelerate onto a highway or take a mild hairpin turn and the winner seems clear. If SECURE driving characteristics are what is most important in a minivan then there seems to be little contest.

    However, it is frustrating that Honda missed the opportunity to achieve true perfection. Here is where the Sienna tops the Ody in my opinion:

    1. Fit, finish and attention to detail of Ody is relatively poor. e.g., The floor mats can never fit well due to poor design (eg,snaps that don't line up), and the rattles in the cabin are numerous. Also,wind noise as heard from the front passenger seat is annoying. In addition,look at the floor models. The weather stripping on the sliding doors, located near the step is already working it's way off. Little kids have a hard time getting in and out of the sliding door because there is no handle except the one on the back of the passenger seats. That handle is too high for preschoolers.

    2. Minivans are for kids right ? Then why is the Latch child seat system for the third row seat only equipped in the middle position on the Ody ? While the Sienna has it in two third row positions. And why, why, why does the top tether for the only Latch equipped Ody middle third row seat designed to transverse the cargo area and effectively bisect it in half. Toyota does it the right way, the third row top tether hooks onto the back of the seat leaving the cargo area unobstructed.

    3. No DRL or HID option on Honda. Toyota's got it!

    4. Nothing against run flats but the PAX thing concerns me. The tire and rim size is unique to the 05' Ody. In a pinch, you do not even have the option of placing a standard tire on you Ody rim because the Ody rim is a uniquely sized metric rim. So unless you are within run flat driving distance of a someone who has that tire or knows how to fix it - YOU ARE STUCK. Literally Stuck. Weekend road trips planned? Make sure you are never more than 100 miles or so of a Honda dealer. Oh and don't travel on Sat night or Sunday since the dealers are closed. Toyota got it right - run flats of a standard size on standard rim, so at least you have options.

    5. Ody front passenger seat is uncomfortable to me.
    Too much fixed lumbar support that is not adjustable.

    6. No AWD option, even though they have already perfected this technology in the Acura MDX.

    7. No telescoping steering wheel on Ody.

    8. The memory seats buttons do not also remember the settings of the side mirrors and power adjustable pedals. (But perhaps that being picky.)

    9. The front wheel drive versions of both cars BOTH have torque steer issues and pull to the right. But at least with the Sienna you can escape that issue by getting the AWD version.

    10. The Ody third row windows do not open at all. Toyota's got power third row windows that pop open - nice for ventilation on beautiful fall days.

    All that being said, the Ody has some areas of seeming perfection, e.g. the NAV and the driver's seat.

    But the bottom line is that even Toyota loyalist must eventually concede, the Ody simply accelerates, drives and handles better. Don't focus on the stats, drive it and focus on the feeling. IMHO, once you get over the glitz of the Sienna and really just concentrate on it's driving characteristic it becomes clear. Unless you are a very passive driver, for all of it's seeming luxury, you may eventually find the Sienna lacking. For example,04-05 Sienna owners are well aware that the Sienna transmission has the annoying habit of searching for a gear in the midst of an attempted acceleration. (You have all felt it.) The service department will tell you that the car is learning your driving habits and will "adjust" over time. They will tell you that if the car has more than one driver then it confuses that process. So I guess the Sienna is meant for single parents only. This transmission issue in not a fixable problem, rather it is a design feature that is also apparent in other new toyota models like the Camry. BTW, it is also apparent in the AWD Sienna - sorry.

    Toyota makes a great minivan, but the Ody may come out on top because above all else it excels at what a minivan is made for - driving.

    Thanks for listening.
    Enjoy your families.

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