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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    Glad to see things worked out for you. I know the 3 car seat capacity of the Sienna was a big motivation for you... so it is nice to see you liked the ride in the Sienna as well. I'm sure you will cope without the extra power features.

    Could you actually slide the Ody seat with a tether attached? I can see with it anchored or belted in... then the Ody definitely would be a plus since it doesn't bend the seat forward. But the additional tethers would attach to the floor behind the seat or the front chairs depending on the fore/rear facing orientation, and they are usually very taut on our seats.

    Good point on the difference between the two nonetheless... tethers are not always used (infant carriers, booster seats, lots of other car seats). I'm sure the majority of people would still gain accessibility by the Ody.

    Thanks for the feedback on the road noise. That is very important to us since we are planning on putting a kid in the far back. I've always suspected there was a reason the Ody is playing with active noise cancellation....

    Hope you get a good deal on your Sienna.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Good summation. I drove both a while ago (also the Buick and Chevy vans too) and ended up getting the Sienna, although I really liked the Ody. For me, it came down to $, and the Sienna was a better deal for me. I think they are both very good vans, and the Sienna does indeed feel more luxurious, while the Honda a bit more sporty. I ended up with the XLE, because I liked the dual power doors, and power liftgate and dual power seats, but in the end if the LE had been a better deal for me, I probably would have gone that route. So far it has been a flawless van. I must say though, I actually liked the local Honda dealers better than Toyota, although in the end I ended up going with Fitzmall Toyota using their internet department and was happy with that experience.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    I've been looking at Fitzmall and darcars for a while and their prices really are unbelievable. I'm giong to give a local dealer or two a chance, but as soon as they start playing games, I'm heading to MD. I live in PA, so it will be ~ 2 hour drive, but for 1K or so, I'll make the road trip. Whenever you mentiond that to the local dealers they try to scare you and say "Where are you going to get it serviced then"...uhhhh 1. I generally won't get my car serviced at a dealer unless it is a warranty issue. 2. It's a toyota, I hope not to have warranty issues. 3. If I call your dealership up looking to provide your service department with business, you're not going to turn me down. Anyway, I'm not looking forward to the negotiation but again, I'll just go to fitz or dar if it gets ugly.

    Just FYI - the Honda guy said to me "the best price I've seen on these is 1K over invoice" I don't buy it, but I wasn't going to get into it their because I didn't think we'd want one anyway so I told him we'll talk about that if we decide to get any ody.

    Regarding the tether, latch, etc...I honestly have no idea how they work. In my 00MPV we use the seat belts. I mentioned to the guy that you could move the seat up with the car seat in it and he said, yes. I'm just taking his word. The thing I'm talking about had 2 little metal bars in the seat bottom(where you sit). I didn't realize/don't know if you put something over the top of the seat down to the floor. So, I was figuring if you just attach it to the seat and don't use the seatbelt...which is what he lead me to believe...then you can move the whole seat with car seat in it. If you have to use the seatbelt, then advantage gone.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    Fair enough. No car is right for everyone and we are all different.

    I agree, the Sienna has a more isolated and softer ride. The Honda is more of a "driver's car".

    Souinds like you narrowed it down...good luck with your purchase!
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775

    You cannot lose with either the Ody or Sienna.

    It all depends on your driving preferences. As you said, "We're not into cars and whole feel the road and all the jazz so to us", so your choice is obvious.

    The Sienna is the "Lexus of Minivans"
    The Ody is the "BMW of Minivans"
    So they appeal to the different driving styles of drivers on various positions in the driving spectrum range.

    Enjoy your Sienna!
  • mttskysmttskys Posts: 23
    Not that its overly important since I'm sure you have your carseats, etc. already from your other kids. The top tether attachment depends on the car. The seats might still be moveable in some cases. It just depends on whether or not the anchors are on the floor/ceiling or the seat itself.

    In any case, this link shows why we doubt we're going to be able to move, fold, stow, etc. the middle seats once we finish tying it down:

    Britax rear tethering

    Anyway, I'm sure that is more than anyone really wanted to know about tethers... just goes to show how hard access can be through those second rows with car seats in them.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    One other thing on the road noise comment. Really, it is one of those things you'd never really pay attention to while doing a test drive because you are generally focused on the "ride". That is where this site and others has helped so much. It gives you great tips of what to look for. We made a list and then really focused on those things that were important. When you take them for a ride, and listen for the road noise, you will notice the difference. We did.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Also, no 6 disk changer

    Do people really buy these things anymore? With an iPod and an aux input adapter you get far more functionality and save a bundle of cash in most cases.

    Just a suggestion...

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I generally agree with your overall assessment of the two although we weren't too concerned about 3rd row noise. I actually prefered the 'sportier' feel of the Ody compared to the isolation in the Sienna but then my wife would be the principal driver, so I kept my opinion to myself. She prefered the ride of the Sienna but felt that they were both very good and much smoother/quieter than her old 4runner (no argument there). I can say that if the two vans were within $1k of each other (and we were comparing the EX-L with an XLE w/ package 6), we probably would have gone with the Sienna.

    About the best we could do though put the Sienna about $4k more than the Ody (which we paid $28.6k+TTL for our Ocean Mist EX-L in February). So, based on price, for us the Ody was a clear winner.

    Enjoy your Sienna. :)
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    Our comparison really isn't a true apples to apples since the Ody has those couple extra features. That is why I'm able to get the Sienna guess 1 - 2K. My problem is I really can't even get those features for a comparible Sienna because I'd need to step up to XLE which doesn't have 8 passenger. The toyota option limitations still frustrates the hell out of me, but what are you gonna do.

    They are both great.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Take a look at the ratings. I believe these are based on JD Powers stats.

    In the three measured categories:

    mechanical quality - Sienna - 5 star ------------ Ody 4 star

    body and interior quality - Sienna - 5 star ------------- Ody - 2 star

    feature quality - Sienna - 5 star ------------- Ody - 3 star
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    Why be so apologetic? The Sienna is generally acknowledged to be the Lexus of mini vans. Its also proving more dependable than the Honda. I think this handling issue is hype for people who wives won't let them buy a Jaguar instead off a mini van. Personally I don't like the hard steering and rough ride on the Ody. Its not as if Toyota could not engineer the car with tight steering. The easily palmed wheel of the Sienna is a deliberate design feature as is the comfortable suspension. So sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    The Sienna and Ody are both great vehicles. You cannot go wrong with either. The choice depends on your driving style and preference.

    That is why Buick Le Sabre/Mercury Grand Marquis attract a certain crowd and Accord/Maxima/BMW a different crowd - i.e. different ends of the driving spectrum. The Avalon used to be the Toyota's Buick; now the new version is trying to shed that image and going the other way of "sportiness". The Avalon would be in strong consideration as well as another Ody to replace my current 10+ year car when that time comes.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    Good luck with your local dealers. I really wanted to buy locally myself, but of the two local dealers, one made me really irritated (he basically said there was no way I could get the van for that price, when I showed him the spec sheet from Fitzmall - in fact my actual payment was to the penny). The other dealer didn't want to negotiate past $700 over invoice. The Honda dealer was just as competitive. I drove even further than you to go to Fitzmall (318 miles) but it was very much worth it. With darcars, I couldn't get them to give me a lease quote. I even called them on the phone, and they told me I had to come in person to get the quote. No way. So Fitzmall treated me good all along, and I stuck with them. One other thing, I also leased, and in NY there is a $1050 acquisition fee from Toyota. FItzmall didn't charge me this fee at all (not even the $400 Maryland fee). If you aren't leasing though, this won't apply to you. A great deal for me though!

    We just put in our rear facing child seat (waiting on baby #3 any day now) and my wife put the seat in, and was very please about how secure and easy this was. However we have the 7 seat XLE model. Do you need the seats for 8 people? If not, I would recommend the 7 seat. We have 2 other kids who use booster seats, and they work well in any kind of seat at this point. We love the flexibility of the Sienna. I've heard the '06 model might have powered folding rear seats in the upper trim model. Now that would be cool (and totally unnecessary, but still cool).
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    that's what I did a few months ago, but I was comparing the ex with a LE w/option 6. Cost pretty much the same, the additional pwr slider seals the deal.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    Regarding your 8 passenger question - we have #3 on the way but ours others are 4 and 2. Our kids are small and both still in regular car seats although the 4 year old will be getting a booster any day now. For us, we just really want to put all 3 kids in the 2nd least for now. We know that eventually they will grow of it and we'll want to seperate them to remain sane, but we think for 1 - 2 years, we can keep them all in row 2 and have all our storage space in the back which we need for strollers, dog, etc. That is basically the reasoning. I guss you put your bigger kids in the 3rd row, right? At least one of them.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    It is funny, I had this conversation/thought with my wife this morning. It is funny how different people just have totally different perspectives and wants/needs. I said to her, " you know, on paper, the Ody has a lot more functionality and features" For the ones we are comparing anyway. I stated that there are some folks who just really want that 2nd sliding door and will get the Ody as a result. For us, particularly my wife, the Sienna had the Ody beat by such a wide margin that not even the 2nd power door would sway her to the Ody. Safety was also a big issue, we both just feel much better about putting the baby in the middle row of the Sienna 8 then the plus one on the Ody. Bottom line, we are choosing the "luxury feel" , by our opinion superior drive, & somewhat safety related issues over functionality. Again, everybody is different and I just find it interesting finding out the different decision factors that people use.
  • irgirg Posts: 197
    You know with the 7 seat models, you can move one of the middle seats into the middle track, (moves it a little closer to the middle) which I am not sure whether you are aware of this feature or not. Something to consider. Both my 3 year old (soon to be 4) and 5 year old are in booster seats. I think it is based on weight in our state (NY). One of them, usually the 5 year old, sits in the way back. She is very capable of doing things herself (Miss Independent), like buckling, and it is easy for her. The two youngest will be in the middle seats. Originally we liked the idea of 3 across, but that didn't last long. They would fight too much being that close. Much better space in the 7 seater, especially with one in the back seat! But the nice thing with either the Ody, Sienna or DC, is the split folding seats, so we can still have one in the back, and the 60% seat folded down for those times when it is necessary. But with things like trips to the grocery store, just the storage alone in the back is huge. The well that is created by having the seats up is great. It holds a ton of stuff. To this day, I can't understand why GM didn't do this, and for this reason alone, I think they will suffer in terms of sales. And Nissan should have split the seat. Too easy to do, and I didn't consider the Quest for this reason.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    Yeah, I do know about the seats sliding over. The 8 passenger is definately a wild card and I do understand the drawbacks. Part of me definately knows that we could be sitting here in a few months or a year saying "I wish we would have gotten the 7"...but then again maybe we won't. For us, it is the main reason we are even getting a new van. We have an MPV now and frankly really like it. We didn't wan to lose the space behind row 2 though, but you have no option on the MPV, you'd have to put kid 3 in the back.

    So, having 3 kids accross row 2 is really the primary reason we are even getting a new van. Again, wild card. The kids can end up wanting to kill each other in 6 months, then the oldest goes to the back anyway....but as you say the 60/40 split helps a lot there. We think/hope we get a while out of the 3 across because the 2 oldest don't fight now and they'll still be seperated by the new born which hopefully they'll be mesmerized by at least for a while. Who the hell knows!!

    Thanks for the input!
  • 96corolla almost convinced me to get Sienna. But I still have one concern--poor braking power in Sienna (this is Sienna's weak point well noted by many rating agents, such a Consumer Report, Motor Trend, etc.)

    I recently returned my new Ody because my dealer cannot fix the "hot air" problem (see the discussion in the Ody's "Problems and Solutions" forum. Right now, I am still debating whether I should get Sienna right away or wait until Honda improves their Odysseys' reliability.

    If I cannot wait, I have to figure out how to increase Sienna's braking power. I am thinking that maybe by getting 4 disc brakes option (instead of LE's 2 drums in the rear) and by changing to 235/65R15 tires (instead of standard 215 mm), I can increase the braking power. Am I right? Do anyone have any suggestion?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Sienna takes a few feet longer to stop from a 60 mph stop....but hardly a saftey issue. Unless, you tailgate all the time at 60mph. 4 disc brakes will give you a couple more inches. A good set of tires with a little more rubber on the road should help some as well. I wouldn't wait till Ody's reliability is to short as they say. :blush:
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I recently got rid of the stock tires that came with my four-wheel-disc 04 LE Sienna and replaced them with Michelin HydroEdge 215/65R16. They were not cheap, but boy, what a difference they made! Handling and braking improved substantially. I am told that these tires are also far better in the snow than the stock tires (come December we shall see).
  • lojefflojeff Posts: 29
    I'm not sure I follow.....XLE with package 6 has leather, moonroof, VSC....Package 7 and 8 are only for AWD?

    BTW, XLE with 6 isn't available in NYC area. I live in NJ and had to go to MD to buy it.

    I am sure that the handful of Honda combos are available in all markets.

    Toyota's approach stinks. I thought the Sienna was a better van but since I couldn't get the combo I wanted, I almost went with the Honda. If the Honda dealership came down say $300, I would have bought the Honda a week before I actually got the Sienna
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    A couple of days ago I was driving along at about 60KM/H when 2 kids decided it would be funny to bike out in front of me. Obviouslly I nailed the breaks and you could feel the 4 disc breaks kick in with the ABS. Thankfully I did not hit them and the guy behind me must of seen them run out and nailed his breaks as well so thankfully I didnt get rearended. Wasnt a happy person at the time but I am thankfull the Odyssey stopped as fast as it did and was very surprised. Now to be honest, I never had to nail the breaks on the Sienna so I would not know to compare. Another thing is that the Honda's new ACE structure design is supposed to do less damage to smaller cars and pedestrians. Weather this is true or not I dont know and hopefully will never fund out :)
  • I notice that most SUVs have bigger (e.g., 235 mm and wider) tires than vans do. Why? Do wider tires give the car better emergency-handling capability, braking power, and stability? Perhaps that is the reason why 05 Odys use 235 mm tires and as a result--in addition to their firmer steering--they attain better rating in emergency handling. Sienna uses 215 mm tires on most model, except some high-end models which uses 225/65/R17 tires. It seems to suggest that indeed wider tires are better. What would happen if I use 235 mm tires on Sienna that comes with 215 mm tires? Can they fit? I would say, the road noise will increase, because more surface contact. But since Sienna is very quite inside, I am willing to trade some noise for safety. Am I right in making such choice?
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    I would say go for it, of course if they would fit. I mean for better traction and safety, it would be worth the sacrafice for a little extra noise. And of course wider tires also look better :)
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Besides getting better traction and handling with wider tires, you would (in theory) get higher fuel consumption due to the greater friction of the wider tire contact area with the road. Skinny tires has lower rolling frictional resistance resulting in lower fuel consumption. It becomes a compromise between the two.

    A lower aspect ratio, i.e. a shorter tire wall, that is usually associated with wider tires gives a stiffer/harsher ride and better cornering/handling because there is less tire height to cushion the bumps and irregularities of the road surfaces. In addition to these basics above, the suspension system including the shocks and springs play a significant role in a vehicle's handling.

    I have used wider lower aspect ratio tires in my vehicles on many occasions in the past. I did notice improvements in cornering, handling, traction and braking. If you can spin tires before, it would be more difficult due to the increased traction tire area. Just make sure that you have sufficient fender clearance at 4 corners and the rims can accomadate the wider tires.
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    You guys definately know way more technical details then I do regarding the tires. My only input would be that unless you've had a specific problem or are unhappy/feel unsafe I might not jump to make the change. I can't remember if it in in this thread or if I read it on Sienna Club, but somewhere somebody mentions that in spite of the poorer brake ratings then Ody, the person was "surprised or amazed...something like that...what his Sienna could do when he has to". Just a note.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I too have driven them both. Being tall I thought the available telescoping wheel would sway me to the Sienna. There seems to be less room in the front footwell of the Sienna than the Ody. I did find the Sienna to be quieter and smoother but I appreciated the handling of the Ody. For me, handling would win out.

    Both are fine rides but if I had to buy today I would get an Ody Touring for the power adjustable pedals and slightly larger front passenger area.
  • boodadboodad Posts: 31
    I admit that I purchased the Sienna outright without driving the Ody. Being tall, too (6'1" and 34" inseam) I found the telescoping wheel of the Sienna more than adequate for me. I also like the quiet cabin and smooth ride. I wish I could offer a comparison between the two vans, but I can't. However, I offer a different opinion from nowak66 regarding the "tall" person perspective - - I have absolutely no problems with the front footwell. YMMV. Who knows, maybe the Ody's adjustable pedals is a better situation. However, I'm happy with the Sienna, with it's "no rattles" interior, smooth and quiet ride, decent mileage, more than adequate power (geez Louise, this thing can get up and go when you stomp on it during emergency situations!) and available nice features (especially the power sliding doors and power hatch - - I will not get another mini-van without them).

    Again, I cannot compare with the Ody since I've personally never driven one but I've been told and I've observed that folks are extremely happy with their Ody's (same for the Sienna's) and I'm sure you can't pick a bad choice with either mini-van. :)
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