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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • I'm comparing these two models. Most of what I'm reading on this board discusses the pros & cons of Touring, XLE, Etc. w/ navigation system. Anyone with experience w/ LE & EX? I've got a quote of $1510 off MSRP of EX ($28510). On the Sienna LE w/ BZ pkg., I've been quoted $27,000.

    I've been driving a Volvo wgn for 17 yrs, so both these vans feel very different to me. I have 3 boys (and a husband) and we frequently travel long distances. We like to tent camp and haul camping gear and bicycles w/us. The split 3rd row seat is important to us as is comfort and reliability.

    Some of my friends w/ the 2001 - 2002 Odyssey's complain about sliding doors sticking. Has Honda overcome this problem in 2005? It may have been a problem on the manual doors only. I like the
    dual sliding door feature on the Odyssey.

    I'm a little concerned about the gas mileage issue w/ the Sienna not achieving posted mileage w/ regular unleaded gas. I felt only a slight difference in handling and response between the two. With the LE, I sensed a slower response to acceleration after applying the brake.

    Has anyone out there compared these 2 models?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have sat in many Odysseys and Siennas. The Odyssey FEELS bigger and more spacious inside than the Sienna.
        I was very impressed with the specifications of the new 2004 Sienna back in 2003 when they were released. However, sitting in all minivans gave me a different impression than comparing the manufacturer's specifications.
        The front seats have comparable comfort BUT the 2nd row Odyssey seats are much more comfortable and the 60/40 split 3rd row seats are much easier to fold into the floor in the Odyssey.
        However, neither the 2005 Odyssey EX nor the 2005 Sienna LE has many of the nice features on my lowly 2002 T&C LX.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,371
    I get a kick out of the "debates" about a few tenths of an inch here and there. Both vans are huge in side and out IMO. And as long as they have enough room for you, that's all you need.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    "slower response to acceleration after applying the brake"

    Many people are experiencing a "delay" of acceleration from the 5 speed auto tranny in cars like Sienna, Camry V6, highlander...
    I sort of felt it during the test drive, too

    does anyone know what causes this problem?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,371
    It's the way that the electronics are programmed. Probably so it doesn't upset the balance of the car by dropping too quick, or maybe to save abuse on the tranny itself.

    I believe the "fix" is a software update.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • hpanhpan Posts: 61
    "You can activate voice command on the Sienna, requires a $50 mic to be added to the back of navi- no splicing of wires, plug-n-play"

    I just bought a loaded 2005 FWD XLE that comes with the navigation 4 weeks ago. Can you shed some light on how to activate the voice commands of the navigation? The owner's mannual (the thick one) and the navigation mannual have no word on this. Can the dealer do it?

    How difficult to do it by yourself? Is the $50 mic you mentioned from Toyota?

    As you know, the navigation does not allow you to input an address while the van is in motion. Does yours now allow you to input address with voice while the van is in motion?
  • chiawchiaw Posts: 92
    1. Feels? you are not telling the truth. The fact is that Sienna's seats are wider and have more leg room than Odyssey. This is the simpl truth. FEEL DOES NOT EQUAL TO TRUTH.

    2. Wrong, both sienna and Odyssey actually has the same design in folding down the 3rd row seat. Both are extremely easy. Odyssey 2nd row is not that comfortable. The only seat that Odyssey is better is the driver and front passenger seat which offer more waist support.

    3.?? yeah right. Show me where the navigation system is on your T&C. I rest my case.
  • chiawchiaw Posts: 92
    who told you that?

    None of your statement is true.

    Sienna is wider only in the 3rd row because honda was dumb for keeping the spare tire in the 3rd row. In fact sienna and Odyssey are less than 0.3 in apart in width. But due to lousy design of the spare tire location Odyssey's 3rd row has 3" less room.

    The actual volume behind the 2nd row is 94.5 vs 91.1 in favor of Sienna. Behind 3rd row is also in favor of Sienna 43.6 vs 38.4. In which Odyssey is taller and about the same width. Therefore the actual length behind 2nd row seat is longer in sienna. Sienna overall wheelbase is longer than Odyssey. None of your post is valid.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    scoutleader, I've been shopping the Sienna and Odyssey in all trim lines (except the base models).

    We had a '99 Odyssey and had not infrequent problems with the power doors - both in terms of failure and freezing shut in the winter. As a result, I would prefer manual doors and see no drawback to the Sienna LE having a manual one on the driver's side.

    Over time there should be essentially no difference in the gas mileage between the vehicles.
    For what it's worth, at the price point you are at, the Odyssey seems to me to be a slightly better overall value. Conversely, in the fancier trim, I think Toyota has done a better job with the Sienna (Nav and DVD aside, neither of which I want or need).

    Don't knock yourself out on this - they are both fine products and you seem to have negotiated good prices on both. Either would adequately serve the needs you've described.

    Pick the one you like best - whatever your reason - and make yourself happy!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Sorry chiaw, BUT the Odyssey FEELS bigger inside than the Sienna. The 60/40 rear seats also fold down easier in the Odyssey than in the Sienna.
        Isn't it amazing that the smaller Odyssey FEELS so much larger and more spacious inside than the Sienna? Are the Honda engineers that much better than the Toyota engineers?

        #3. Yes, my 2002 T&C LX does NOT have the navigation system...NEITHER does the Sienna LE or the Odyssey EX. (The Odyssey EX-L-NAV does and so does the Sienna XLE). The Sienna LE does NOT have the triple zone temperature control of my T&C nor does the Odyssey EX have the complete overhead console with outside temperature/compass and Trip Computer.
         Does the Sienna LE and Odyssey EX have automatic looking doors with all controls on the doors lighted? Do both of them have the heating coils at the base of the windshield?
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    I TOTALLY agree with hansienna! Chiaw, you are too biased over Odyssey!

    Here are some facts that Odyssey is better than Sienna
    1. The Odyssey seats are EASIER TO OPERATE than Sienna. (TRUE)
    reason: lighter, easier to handle, the way it flips is easier(just need to turn it up-side-down)! for sienna, you have to "lift up" the seats in order to fold flat! The way sienna fold flat the seat is awkward. It is easier to push the 2nd row seat forward on odyssey!

    2. Odyssey has longer length behind the 2nd row when the 2nd row seat is pushed furthest back.
    reason: 59 in for Sienna, 62 in for Odyssey, 62>59 by 3 in.

    3. Odyssey has a longer 3rd row minimal leg room than Sienna
    reason: 27 in for Odyssey, 23.5 in for Sienna (both measured horizontally) 27>23.5

    These 3 points are definite!

    From what i read from the manufacture specification, the Sienna has the longest 1st row legroom, but what i felt is the two are very identical, I got a measurement of the horizontal legroom, they both are 31 in

    Sienna, has a jurky transmission, that's very obvious and many people compaint about it! And it is very dangerous too. At highway speed, every fraction of a second counts, it is absolutely unacceptable to have a "delay"; you life/safety can be harm by that! I cannot imagine what would happen if someone need a sudden hard acceleration to avoid an accident!

    On the other hand there is downside to Odyssey!

    3rd row is not as wide as Sienna
    Seat measurement:
    Odyssey 17 in + 29 in (40/60 split)= 46 in
    Sienna 30 in + 19 in (60/40 split)= 49 in

    The wheelbase is longer by 3 cm, but it does not make that much of a difference! 1% longer than Odyssey... wow...

    Slightly larger maximum cargo, passenger volume (from manufacture spec!)
    and more....

    But overall, I perfer Odyssey EX over Sienna LE for a few reasons:
    +1 seat feature, traction control, Vehicle Stability assist, Side-air-bag, overhead curtain air-bag, 4 independent suspensions, comfort, seat are easier to operate, non-jurky transmission, steering, etc
  • We test drove two Odys and two Sienna's at two different Denver area dealerships. In the end, we believe we will choose Ody. Why?

    - Sienna ride and steering seemed more disconnected from the road.
    - We honestly saw no problem with Ody's 3rd row seats vs. Sienna. I am 6 feet tall and rode in the third seat of each and was very comfortable in both.
    - Sienna AT seemed to overshift when my wife drove. Not sure why. It was annoying.
    - At one point a sales guy and I were both trying to find the dash button that opened the power sliding door on the Sienna ... and we couldn't find it! Ody's was right there to left of steering column.
    - Love the bigger and better DVD/Nav.

    Both are great vehicles. For us, it appears the Ody is better. I managed $1300 below MSRP plus a discount on acesssories (we want a few). And the Honda dealership is much closer to our home than any Toyota dealers. We intend to make a deposit on an Ody. Thanks for all the great insights here!
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Wow. Your sales guy must have been newly-minted to not know the location of the power sliding door buttons. FYI: They're above the rear-view mirror--where both driver AND front passenger can operate them.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    FEELS bigger?? not to me it doesn't. Actually it FELT smaller too me honest. The Sienna doors lock as soon as you shift out out park. Heated wiper defrost windshield is included in most, but not all Sienna packages.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Very few cars get their rated mileage. My corolla actually does get its highway rating handily - at 70mph in cruise control. However its "city" mileage is not even close, especially with winter quality fuel. My Sienna does not get its rated highway miles even with 92 oct which is all I feed it. However, it comes reasonably close, closer than other cars I've owned. Most mpg ratings are a fiction so don't expect to actually get the posted mpg out of the Ody either.
       Your concern about reliabilty is legitmate. Normally I avoid new-year models, but I bought the Sienna because it was so superior to anything available in 2004. Toyota has been on top of this model and has launched preemptive upgrades. The 2005 Sienna should be very trouble free. Expect problems with the new year Ody - simply because it is a new year model. Click and Clack say never to buy a new-year model.
  • Had a rare free moment while in Raleigh NC and spent them looking at the above mentioned.

    Don't like the Sienna because the side doors can't be shut manually but have to be shut electrically. What happens when it is raining and you get in and want to shut the door in a hurry?

    I found out the tailgate can be opened manually but has to be shut electrically. If the tailgate bumps something in the back it opens. You have to stand there and wait to make sure it shuts!! Wonder what happens if it gets out of adjustment?

    The Ody is nice except I hate the black and gray colors on the dash. If you get the gray or black interior it would be ok but if you want the beige leather, it stinks. I wanted the beige. Now I don't know what to do.

    Also hate the grill compared to the previous year grill. The chrome piece around the grill makes it look like 1955. Again, depending on the exterior color, it isn't so bad on some colors as other. Why can't they pain it the color of the vehicle? I,E, Color code it?

    The Highlander is too small.

    The Pilot looks nice but the gas mileage to pretty bad. Wish they could get it up. Seems it ought to be since it is only front wheel drive most of the time.

    Also looked at the Ford Freestyle. When the seats are folded flat, the material that shows for the floor looks cheap. Neither the middle seats nor the third row seats can move forward or back!

    If I had to make a choice, I guess it would be the Pilot but I wish it got better mileage.

    Since there doesn't seem to be a big difference between the 04 and 05, should I get the 04 on sale?
  • tbilltbill Posts: 5
    Okay, it is official. I was able to get a fully loaded comparable Sienna FWD Limited for $3.5K less than a fully loaded Odyssey Touring. Honda's unwillingness to go below $500 off MSRP is what decided it. There is no way in my mind or with my calculator that I could justify spending $3.5K more for the Odyssey even though I think it is slightly better - driven mainly by the Nav and DVD.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Sienna has a manual override. It is located on the drivers left next to the low tire reset button. Does Ody allow you to shut off the automatic feature at the door handle?
  • hey guys, do u mind answering a question for me cuz it has been bothering me for a while now...

    i'm from vancouver, canada, and i just purchased a 05 honda odyssey last month @ MSRP, but the thing is, i have not yet gotten the vehicle from them depite the fact that i paid my $1000 depoosit.

    they keep on telling me that the odyssey that i've specified has not yet arrived (which is only an EX-L and apparently they only have the ones w/ the DVD pkg).

    i'm wondering if they're trying to process this deal till the price of an odyssey drops so that they can make more money since i've already agreed to pay the current msrp.

    anyways, dunno if anyone has seen an 05 odyssey around vancouver yet but plz help me out! thanks a bunch.
  • chiawchiaw Posts: 92
    Wrong. Sienna doors can be shut manually. There is a switch on the left side of dash that turns off the power sliding door and power lift gate. Therefore both door and liftgate can be operated in manual mode if you prefer. You simply did not look into this further.
  • chiawchiaw Posts: 92
    Hmm? let's see. So you are now comparing a loaded 2002 Town and country LX.

    2002 T&C LX $25,535 with quick order pkg #3 $3040. Total comes to $28,575. So this gives you power driver seat (not available on Sienna LE), RH power silding door, dual zone temperature control (with extra switch for the 3rd zone, but temperatue control is for front and rear only), CD& Cassette, overhead console.

    So factor in 1% inflation. The today price would be $29440. 1.01^3.

    Let's look at both Sienna LE and Odyssey EX.
    LE#9, other than power seat not avaiable. It has everything in your town and coutry LX. Plus side airbag, VSC, and curtain airbag. Not to mention other interor upgrade no avaiable in your T&C LX. All that for $28,815.

    The Odyssey EX has all the feature above at $28510 plus additional feature not on the TC as well. Both offers more van than your DCX LX ever did for same price. Period.

    I found it amusing that you are compare a fully loaded $29k van to a base LE and is justifying it. When fully optioned to same spec, both Odyssey EX and Sienna LE#9 offers more than your T&C LX as same price. BTW, LE#9 comes with a DVD rear entertainment center build in.
  • chiawchiaw Posts: 92
    Feels bigger? I beg to differ. Sienna feels bigger in all three rows and are backed up by real numbers. Your Feeling is not the truth. Number is.

    60/40? Last time i check both Odyssey and Sienna has same design for the 3rd row seat. Simply pulling two straps. One to fold down the seat, and other to pull the seat into the storage area. Both requires same amount of effort. The simple truth is that you really did not spend enough of time in both minivan.
  • Not to mention your 2002 T&C should have floor vents under the driver and passenger front seats, as well as on the right side panel in the third row near the floor. You should have vents on both front doors for the rear passengers and a separate heat/ac unit for 2nd and 3rd row passengers which is located in the right rear of the van.
  • Sorry - Sources of my info were (1) Dumb salesperson and (2) Car & Driver article. The salesperson informed me about the side doors and Car & Driver reported on the liftgate issue.
  • We compared the two and ended up with the Ody. This was a major blow to me since I am a Toyota guy. We had a 00 Sienna and I drive a 97 Camry.

    Big differences for us were drive quality, safety and options. We really like the integrated sunshade on the side windows which were not available in the 8 passenger Siennas. Also liked the accessories, esp. the cargo board that fits into the storage well in the back giving what is essentially a shelf. It seems so minor but the little things will make life so much easier on my wife with 4 kids under 7.

    Only real irritation is the lack of latch system in the Ody's 3rd row.

    We got the Ody for $700 under invoice but could have stolen a Sienna. We were quoted under $26k for a Sienna LE w/ Option 4, allowing $10,900 for our trade (very fair).
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Sienna brochures list many options BUT many are never made. The Odyssey comes with every configuration listed in the brochures.
        The Odyssey EX cloth has ALMOST every thing I want whereas the Sienna LE lacks many. The Odyssey is also much more attractive inside and outside with more horsepower and more torque.
        As a bonus, Honda salesmen tend to be much nicer, friendlier, courteous, and less pushy than Toyota salesmen.
  • Ok, to hit a couple of posts back there...

    Odysseys do have a switch to disengage the power drive on the doors/liftgate. It's right above power door switches on the left side of the driver.

    As for Odysseys in Canada, there's a lot of reports of long delays getting them up there. Dunno if there's a real supply issue, or just that the allocations are so low compared to the US that they're exhausting supply several months ahead of time.

    Honda vs. Toyota 3rd row. The seats are different. The Sienna's seat folds down, then "slides" back into the well, such that the back of the seat is facing up. The Honda's folds straight in, such that the bottom of the seat faces up in the well. This makes it possible (although not as easy as it sounds) to pull the latch and fold the seat into the well with one step, rather than taking a couple of steps with the Toyota. Pulling the strap to flip down the back of the seat is not necessary because it will do this on its own as it goes into the well. A minor difference? Perhaps. But it's still there.

    The location of the 40 of the 60/40 split is also opposite of each other. Honda is on the driver side. Toyota is on the passenger side.

    Oh, and the Odyssey does have LATCH in the 3rd row. Just one spot, in the center. Sienna has two positions, one center and one side.

    By the time you get yourself down to a difference of a couple inches of legroom or a couple cubic feet of storage, there's going to be a lot of other reasons that come into play whether you want one van or the other. Both are good vans. It's about what you want/need.

    --> Andy
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Many are never made??? Honda salesmen (people) are friendlier???
    ONE: Toyota has a long list of variable option packages that can be confusing, but they are available. It is not a game, rather they over tailored their packaging.
    TWO: The Ody is considered by most to be cheaper on the interior finish, but I'll grant this completely subjective - you should acknowledge that your jingoistic comment about the attractiveness of the Ody interior is merely over exuberant opinion.
    THREE: Parent companies (Saturn excepted) do not control dealer "friendliness". My personal experience has been that Honda and Toyota dealers are generally less pushy than Ford, Gm, Chrysler, but there are some real pushy Honda dealerships in my area. Perhaps part of your Honda dealers friendliness stems from the fact that they are selling you a car at or near MSRP.
    FOUR: if you followed the discussions in this forum you would already know that the horse power and torque of the Ody do not translate into better acceleration due to the fact that the Ody is 500 lbs heavier than the Sienna
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    What features does a town and country have that a 2005 Sienna or Ody does not have? Rear window vents come on all Siennas. Chrysler second row windows are fixed in place. the seats are uncomfortable. The old TC does not even have third row folding seats!! I onwed a Dodge G Caravan (exact same power train as TC) and its tranny bit the dust at 34,000
  • More than once (at different dealerships) I've been told that an AWD Sienna XLE with Navi and DVD was possible on paper, but wasn't appearing to be built. One dealer thought it might be possible to put in a special order, but wasn't sure. Naturally, this killed the potential for dealing for a good price. Which was unfortunate because 2005's appeared to rectify a lot of the exclusion problems with the 2004 packages.

    I know not if this is true or not. I only know what they tell me, and the fact that I didn't see one on the ground at any of those dealerships.

    --> Andy
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