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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • Susie,

    Remember that the AWD Sienna XLE Limited comes with NO SPARE tire. Get a flat, you are struck. The FWD version DOES HAVE a spare tire. So You are golden.
  • susiejsusiej Posts: 12
    I thought with the Run Flats ( standard w/AWD) I would not be stuck. I would be okay for 100 miles or so.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    You are correct.
  • Susie, these run-flats stink. They work sometimes, but often do not. I do not believe you want to risk that. Do not rely on run-flats with no spare if you travel far out places. I frequently travel desolate roads for 200 miles at a time across the state of Ohio. All rural, no cell phone signal for the most part. No way I would want to rely on the SST Run-Flat technology alone. I want a spare to go along with it, which is why I woould not buy the Sienna XLE AWD. There is no spare, and no room to carry one because of the drive shaft underneath the car.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    In fact, Toyota claims a temporary spare (fitting into the 3rd seat storage area) is a dealer installed option on the AWD Sienna.
  • susiejsusiej Posts: 12
    What do you mean the run flats stink? Do you mean they don't work as advertised (i.e. you can't ride 100 miles on them flat).
    I don't know how to change a tire so I think I would feel more comfortable with run flats unless you say they leave you unable to travel any distance whatsoever.

    I was more worried about the Honda having the odd wheel sizes, but now I am thinking I should just wait another year and see if either Honda or Toyota fixes the tire issue! Although my dh might kill me if I don't make a decision now, he is salivating over driving my Saab 9-5 aero ( and I"m in no rush to give it up!).
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Conventional run-flats DO, in fact, work as advertised. Unless you have a flat in Hooterville (Jimmylee's scenario), chances are the tire will allow you to drive far enough to a city with a large enough tire center that will stock these. If not, you will at the very least be able to drive far enough to find cell service or a tow truck.

    The Dunlops that come standard on the AWD Sienna certainly could last longer. Most gripes in these forums have to do with tire life and cost. Expect to get about 20-25K from a set, and make sure you check your tire pressure and rotate regularly.
  • Shouldn't all this run flat talk go into the run flat and PAX thred? Sigh.
  • Anyone hear any rumors about what to expect in 2006 for the Sienna? As the mostly happy owner of a 2004 AWD Sienna Limited, I hope a few things can be, larger DVD screen, automatic shut off of interior lights if left on (my battery has run down COUNTLESS times because of a map light left on, or a door not fully closed), power retracting side mirrors (just too tight for my 8 foot wide garage door), engine could use a tad more power.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The rumor mill should be active in the Toyota Sienna Owners: Future Models discussion.

    Steve, Host
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    It's appropriate discussion for the 'vs.' thread, as these vehicles have different types of run-flat technology. And it's only one of many differences between these vehicles that affect buyers' decisions. The Odyssey has adjustable pedals, and the Sienna doesn't. So should there be an 'Adjustable Pedals' thread for that discussion too?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Hey jimmylee:

    I'm just now putting 2 and 2 together: You OWN a Touring (the unloved sister with no Nav or RES) and you're dissing the PAX system?
  • I bought my Ody touring today. Drove it home. All in all okay. But then I read the manual. My plan is to get away from PAX as quickly as possible by buying new EX Wheels, and a donut spare. As it turns out, you CANNOT do this on the touring model. It is because of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. As soon as you remove the PAX wheels, the TPMS reports a malfunction in the system. When this occurs, you get a mesage on the dash, and the VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) locks on. You cannot shut it off, even by pressing the VSA button.

    The trouble is that VSA must be shut off to use a donut spare tire (according to the owners manual) due to the difference in diameter of the spare compared to the other wheels.

    Bottom line: You cannot get away from PAX wheels once you own a Touring model. I am locked in now. The damn dealer told me it would be no problemo to switch wheels if I wanted. But the owners manual is clear: If you have PAX, you gotta stick with PAX or your warranty is DEAD.

    The manual also states that you cannot install snow tires on the Touring Ody either. What a crock.

    So, here's to PAX. I have a vested interest now. Everyone go out and buy lots of PAX equipped Odysseys. I need this technology to spread like wildfire. But there is zero chance of that happening. This will be a doomed experiment.
  • Jimmy, all may not be lost because as I hear the Canadian Touring does not come with the dreaded PAX tires, but I think it includes the TPMS. May be a Canadian member can expand on this as to whether this is a possible recourse to getting rid of the PAX on US Touring.

    Will your dealer allow you to return the Van? I know carmax has a five day return policy on their used cars, but don't think many new car dealerships have this policy.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I'm not sure where the sensor is, but I'd assume the TPS is on the inside of the rim. I think you could remove the TPMS sensor from inside of the PAX rims and use some HD adhesive and fasten it to the new wheels. A good hot-rod type shop is used to messing with things and might be able to help.

    This will keep the vehicle computer happy and let you use any wheel you want. I would stay with a tire/wheel combination that is w/in 5% of the PAC size. I'd get some wheels that are cooler looking .

    I don't know what to say about the spare/doughnut problem.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Some states have a three-day right of recision. You were misled and that does comprise deceptive business practice. But you have to hurry, and will need some local legal advice.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I don't think any state has a 3 day cooling off period for car sales. There are some cooling off periods for door-to-door sales, and refunds when financing falls through, but unless the dealer offers some kind of return policy, you're usually out of luck after you drive the car off the lot. Check your local state's web site for more (usually found in the consumer protection section).

    Steve, Host
  • There have been many arguments for the Odyssey as well as for the Sienna. Here are my two cents worth.

    When we found out that we were expected our first child in December, we knew we had to augment our vehicle fleet with one that is spacious, child-friendly, and practical. Neither the Intrepid nor the TT was going to quite cut it. This was in May of 2004.

    After overcoming the stigma associated with driving a minivan, we decided on a Sienna Limited AWD. The reasons included power liftgate, all-wheel drive, HID lights, space, Toyota build quality, and a rear-view camera. We would have to live with the fake wood, no CD changer (we wanted rear-view camera which required a screen that would be located where the changer would be), and the ho-hum performance.

    At the point when we were about to put money down on one, we caught wind of a new 2005 Odyssey. We decided to wait for the arrival of the Odyssey and make a comparison. Ultimately, the Odyssey blew us away. It handled better than the Sienna. We did not have to give up the CD changer if we opted for the NAV (which was necessary for the rear view camera) since the NAV screen folded down to reveal the CD changer behind it. The voice activated NAV, A/C and stereo package was quite handy... no fumbling around while driving. However, I am semi-embarrassed to admit that the one thing that really push us toward the Honda was the absence of fake wood! We feel that for a $43K van (after all the options we wanted), Toyota could at least give us some real walnut. If not, just use aluminium or plastic. I'd take real plastic over fake wood (which is plastic) any day.

    We have driven the Honda for about 1,000 miles now and we have no regrets (we also save $2k since the Honda was cheaper). That said, I am quite certain, however, that I will regret not waiting for the model with AWD and HID, if and when Honda decides to produce it. I supposed one can't have it all...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is interested in speaking with anyone who has recently purchased any of the following vehicles: Chrysler 300, Mazda 3, Scion xB, Audi A6, Land Rover LR3 or the Honda Odyssey. He would like to discuss which other vehicles you considered, why you bought the vehicle you bought, likes/dislikes, etc. If you are interested in speaking with this reporter, please forward your name, the vehicle you purchased and your daytime contact information to Pam Krebs, PR, at no later than end of day Tuesday, Dec. 14. Thank you


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • jimmylee,

    I have a deposit on a Touring with nav and DVD here in NJ. Supposed to be delivered Dec 13. Just learned about PAX limitations. No one at Honda explained it or mentioned it. Nothing on Honda web site that says no spare or jack. Nothing in Odyssey literature.

    Let me understand this:
    No donut spare included or available?

    No place to store a full size spare?

    No jack included?

    Can not switch tires with anything but PAX, not even a temp donut tire?

    I spoke to Honda service at my dealer, they have NO PAX tire right now available! Seemed clueless...

    I spoke to Michelin PAX so called customer service expert, who made many claims that he said were in the Michelin warranty about delivered PAX tires within 12 hours, free tows, free accomendations if tire was not delivered. Guess what I read warranty online. NONE of this is documented in the Michelin Warranty. He even claimed PAX tires in Canada, even though there seems to be no dealers there and no PAX tires on Hondas there!!! When I told him that he seemed stumped!!

    Questions, What is in storage place in back where donut is usually stored in Touring model? Is there a jack included with Touring model? What was Honda thinking when they built a van with DVD and GPS that owners would be afraid to travel away from the limited amount of dealers with replacement PAX tires???

    I probably will cancel my deal based on what else I find out here and from Honda! Very frustrated!


    Stephen A
  • Stephen-
         Don't let the PAX tires turn you off. There is an excellent, informative, very comprehensive article, "Running Flat, Low and Flat out" in the January 2005 issue of ROAD AND TRACK (pages 138-142). Everyone having reservations about the PAX system should read the article. Especially note the difference between the PAX tire pressure sensors and the Sienna tire pressure sensors.
         There have been several negative comments posted on this forum and on PAX forum. However, most of them seem to be based on the "fear factor" (what if my tire goes flat, what if I can't get to a dealer, what if--, what if--). After reading the ROAD AND TRACK article, I'm convinced that the advantages of the PAX system more than offset any hypothetical or real fears.
         Although not mentioned in the article, the PAX tires have a treadwear rating of 500, indicating that the tire should have useful tread life for about 60,000 miles, (more or fewer miles depending on driving habits). That's about double what other run flat tires are providing. Also, the PAX tires are rated "A" for both traction (wet) AND temperature. This combination is found in very few tires.
         Don't give up on the Touring until you've looked into the PAX issue for yourself. Don't let a bunch of naysayers do your thinking for you!
  • ramcfall, funny you'd say "Don't let a bunch of naysayers do your thinking for you!"

    Its not just "what ifs" based on fear factor. As one of those who avoided Sienna AWD mainly because of the runflats, PAX issues are much worse than regular runflats, whatever a magazine may say. People have had nightmarish situation with regular runflats, but atleast they can be replaced with regular tires in a pinch. Not so with PAX.

    Secondly, as long as one leases for two years, may be replacement cost is not a worry. Runflats themselves are pretty expensive (~$800 to 900 for a set of four) and it is not clear what will happen if you needed to replace one tire after the two year warranty period.

    I think Honda goofed up big time here. Sienna's runflats were necessitated by the lack of space due to the AWD powertrain. Honda seems to me wanted to be on the bleeding edge of tire technology with their touring and they even got rid of the spare for no apparent reason!

    Assuming tourings make up 10% of total Ody production, they probably are making 20K a year, so the chances of PAX catching up in the consumer market is rather slim unless other manufacturers follow Honda's lead sooner than later.

    Personally, since I tend to keep my cars for 10 years or more, PAX is a big no no for me.
  • Please read the article before you reply. A little knowledge is dangerous.
         I am disabled, so run flat tires are important to me, and PAX appears to be the best system available considering treadwear, temperature rating, rolling resistance,compliant sidewall structure and accuracy of the tire pressure monitoring system.
         I admit that I'm an optimist by nature, but I do believe the PAX system will be a winner. It is without doubt the best system out there today.
  • greg_ygreg_y Posts: 26
    The argument that impact01 is making is availability. The article you are referencing does little to address the issues of availability. The article addresses the handling merits of the PAX system with a deflated tire. You state that the PAX system MAY be a winner. If it is not a winner and becomes obsolete in the next five years, you will be stuck replacing four rims and having to figure out how to mount a spare and jack.
  • guestguest Posts: 770

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. But I am not afraid of technology, nor do I doubt it is better and worth it. But this is simply a case of letting ENGINEERS make business decisions for consumers, which has never really worked. I know I am an ENGINEER. These "what ifs" are REAL problems for someone who drives past his neighborhood.

    PAX tires may be forgotten about or changed alot in 5 years. I bet Honda will make them optional sooner rather than later, like on other vehicles when the backlash from consumers hits. Even the guy in the Honda service dept told me this.

    I drive a 2001 Chrysler T&C now and have 94,000 miles on it already. I plan on driving to Canada next summer from NJ. There are NO PAX dealers or tires in Canada! There are NO Michelin certified PAX dealers in NYC!!!!!

    I spoke to my local Honda dealer service dept where I have my deposit. NO PAX in stock right now. If I do get stuck on road with a flat (I have had 3 flats in the past three years) the BEST I could hope for is driving out of my way to find a dealer. The worst is sitting over a weekend waiting for an expensive tire to come in a remote place! No donut tire available for this vechicle. Full size tire has no place to fit. Can not put a non PAX tire on van, even in a pinch!

    After 60,000 miles I then can be lucky enough to pay premium for new hard to find PAX tires. Which will happen on my 2-3 year old minivan that cost almost 40K.

    Honda should have made these optional for those who wanted them on Touring models. Honda should be held accountable for NOT telling customers the limitations of replacing PAX tires. Nothing on their web site, nothing in writing, nothing on van at dealer, nothing on their brochure, nothing on invoice, salesmen seemed to neglect telling me... I found out on this forum only after my deposit was placed! If Honda was so sure of themselves, it would NOT have been hid from buyers! Why not have a replacement tire included until this system catches on, if it does?

    I work in technology. One thing I know is a more expensive, hard to fix or replace product will fail without a great business plan. Honda seems to have missed the mark with this one. Good luck with PAX, I will buy it when it IS a STANDARD, not before!

    I am going to look at Toyota Sienna again tonight and will compare price, features, and delivery time to EXL-RES-NAV with as many options, even with its anemic radio/sound system!

    All the ratings and technology is just wonderful until you are stuck or need replacement at a very high price! PAX as I find out has been around for some time in europe and has NEVER "caught" on to mainstram even there. With only one van, one model, Honda and Rolls Royce using PAX here. NO regular tire place will fix these anytime soon, probably never.

    Check out the tire tool manufacturers web sites. PAX is not a big deal to them and they supply the tools for tire shops. One even stated "since small tire shops will never really see a PAX tire, it is NOT worth the expense to outfit to repair a PAX tire". NOT even Michelin's, the inventor, PAX certified shops are fixing these in most places. All they have is a PAX tire for swap in stock, you can hope, I checked! Same with Honda dealers, swap is what they do , NOT repair.

    Might be a nice class action suit coming soon to Honda at this rate. I will be getting my deposit back, Thank You.

    Sorry for the long post. But I am a bit frustrated. I appreciate the feed back from you all.

    Stephen A
  • Well mark at least one loss to Honda due to PAX ONLY tires, ME! I had a $1500 deposit on Honda Odyssey Touring with RES and NAV. When I found out about the great limitations of cost, supply, and chance of getting stuck without replacements, I cancelled my deal!


    Today I bought a Toyota Sienna XLE Limited which actually has the same equipment and some more things the Honda did not. But has "REAL" tires and a spare! Same exact price as dealer matched Honda deal.


    I hope Honda is listening. I was all set with the Odyssey and cancelled ONLY due to having NO choice of tires. As much as I thing PAX technology may be great, having limited replacements and NO repairs ridiculous on a vehicle made for travel. Now when I need tires on the Toyota Sienna I will have choices and NOT pay premium of what ever Honda and Michelelin feels like charging.


    I think it is terrible how many Honda buyers have no idea about PAX, as Honda is hiding these limitations from consumers. Nothing in brochures, nothing on their web site, nothing on invoice or car. I found out in these forums. Thank you Edmunds!


    All the great technology goes out the window when you are stuck on a remote road on a Saturday night on a vacation or when you are stuck paying double or triple or worse for a regular replacement of worn tires.


    Bet Honda will change the PAX only in 2006 or sooner when they see what they lose.


    Stephen A
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Odyssey is the most fuel efficient of the modern minivans.

         Edmunds long term test 1999 Odyssey EX was 18.3 MPG and 2004 Sienna XLE is 16.0 MPG. By comparison, the long term test 2004 Quest SL was 17.8 which is the same as the 2001 GC ES 17.8 MPG.

         Why doesn't the 5 speed AT of the Sienna deliver better gas mileage than the old fashioned 4 speed AT of the other 3?
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Here are some more to add to the comparo:


    - Sienna requires premium gas for its rated 230HP. If regular gas is used, power drops to 220HP. Ody gives you 255HP with regular gas.

    - With the most HP and sport car handling, The Ody will out accelerate and out handle all minivans out there, if you are a sport car guy type of person.

    - Ody has the highest residual/trade-in value, per USAToday article,

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,330
    I have no idea what this means, but discovered today the current gen Siennas are becoming very common as yellow cabs in NYC. Saw them all over the place. Plastic partitions and everything.


    That should be a good test as to how durable they are!


    I didn't get to check out one up close, so I don't knwo wha tmodel it was, or what they did with the interior.

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

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