Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I don't know about the rollover senor, but the Sienna can be bought with all the airbags."

    Sienna does not have the rollover sensors. Finding Siennas with the side/curtain airbag option (if desired), can be problematic, particularly in the CE and LE trims.

    "There are always warnings about how they're dangerous for kids, and if you attach your carseat correctly and strap the little ones in with the 5 ppoint harness, they won't need an airbag to prevent them from hitting the roof, side or seat in front of them."

    The only potentially dangerous airbags are the front impact airbags and the side airbags built into the sides of the front seats. Which is why children should not ride in the front seat. The side CURTAIN airbags are NOT dangerous to occupants unless they are sleeping with their head actually against the window. In which case, in the event of a side impact, I think the occupant has more to fear from the large object attempting to gain entry to the vehicle by way of their head than they have to fear from an inflating airbag.

    They won't need to airbags to prevent them from hitting interior portions of the car? You've made a couple of huge assumptions: 1) they stay in their seat and the seat stays in place (a fairly safe assumption), and 2) the roof/doors/side of the vehicle remain where THEY are.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    They won't need to airbags to prevent them from hitting interior portions of the car? You've made a couple of huge assumptions...2) the roof/doors/side of the vehicle remain where THEY are.

    EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT POINT!!!! Thank you for pointing that out - it was so obvious I completely overlooked it! :blush:
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    So true. And the Odyssey has sensors that turn the side air bags off if someone's head or even arm is in the way :)
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    It seems to me that you should decide what you most need. If AWD, buy the Sienna. If nav/RES performance is more important, go with the Honda.
  • twins2twins2 Posts: 16
    That's exactly what it has come down to. I asked this several months ago, but any experience with the Honda odyssey in snow/snowstorms? I like the drive/NAV/lower price of the Ody better than the Sienna but fear I'll need AWD and higher ground clearance of the Sienna living in New England....also, anyone with experience in aftermarket installed bluetooth for either the Sienna or Ody?

    One more test drive this thursday with the wife and then purchase time....
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    Hey we also have bad winters down here in Northern Ontario and the Odyssey is great in the snow! its very heavy and the traction control and VSA helps alot. I never got stuck once in my 2005 Odyssey. If thats the only reason holding you back from the Odyssey, its not a big concern. It handles great in the snow.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Hey we also have bad winters down here in Northern Ontario and the Odyssey is great in the snow! its very heavy and the traction control and VSA helps alot."

    I think the traction control only works below 30 KMPH? I had a 2002 that I took over the mountain into Yosemite in the middle of a snowstorm. I would take the low route if I had it to do over again, but the Ody went up fine, and the traction control worked well. But you had to go slow, not a bad idea in snow anyway.

    But AWD would probably be better, in my opinion.
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    I thought the tration control worked at all speeds? maybe im wrong. I go slow in he snow anyways. Ive never tried AWD on the Sienna so I cant compare because my aunt has a 2004 Seinna LE w/o AWD. Eather way I think both vans would hold up good in the snow. :)
  • boodadboodad Posts: 31
    Just to add, winter tires seem to be a critical factor with dealing with snow/ice. AWD, by itself, is not insurance - - you must have a good set of winter threads. I've been successful with driving with respect for the elements and decent tires to get me through the snow with a FWD minivan. Also, I wouldn't just pick the Ody if FWD is your choice - - test drive both and match up the one that best suits your needs (and wants, too!).


    Wayne in Belgium
  • 96corolla96corolla Posts: 94
    It will be interesting to see HER choice after driving both. Is she going to be driving them back to back, or have you already picked Ody and she is just driving that? Please let us know you she thinks and what you decide. I've heard and read on Siennaclub that Ody is not good in the snow with the ground clearance issue having much to do with that. Of course, it was on Siennaclub, so take it for what you think it's worth. The ground clearance also concerned me from a more silly standpoint of hitting things...parking bumpers, etc.
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    True. Every winter I said I will get winter tires, but I never have yet. But then again I'm always very cautious when driving in bad weather, but then again that doesn't mean I will never get into an accident. I've just been lucky. So really I never drove a vehicle with winter tires and cant really compare. I would of been happy with both vans though, I really liked them both but the Odyssey just met my expectations more so then the Sienna did. Good luck on your decision :)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I think the traction control only works below 30 KMPH?"

    Well, I think it's safe to say we won't be exceeding 30,000 MPH in an Ody anytime soon. :P

    But seriously, where have you heard the 30mph limitation? I've never heard of this before and I don't recall seeing anything about it in the owner's manual. If there is a speed limitation, is the Sienna fitted with traction/VSC also only effective at speeds below 30mph? :confuse:
  • lastwraithlastwraith Posts: 350
    It makes NO sense for VSC to have any kind of mph limitations and it doesn't really make any sense for traction control either. You could argue that it will mostly be used at under 30 mph speeds due to the nature of traction control (which is basically to control acceleration which compromises tire grip) but really, why should the ABS system not be able to counteract acceleration that compromises your car's traction needs just because you are over some arbitrary speed? Seems like a farfetched idea to me anyway.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    The VSC and TRAC system on the Sienna doesn't have a speed limitation on them. They work at any speed.


    Toyota Ken
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    in my '03 ODY, i believe there IS a speed threshold after which the function will not be active. 30MPH seems high actually. I think the speed threshold is lower. will have to check the manual. realize that traction control is not to manage acceleration but rather to limit uncontrolled wheel spin (like when there is no traction). VSC or stability control is another animal - helping to control vehicle yaw by modulating the appropriate brake. ABS is ABS and the framework for the other functions.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    But the question becomes WHY put a speed threshold in place in the first place? Just because traction control is unlikely to be necessary at higher speeds? What about traveling on dry roads and then hitting a patch of black ice? Wouldn't traction control be of benefit to keep the drive wheels from unexpectedly spinning before the driver must react and take his foot off the gas?

    Again, this is the first I've heard of ANY kind of speed limitation either traction control or VSC. As pointed out above, the Sienna has no limitations on the speed at which either system is useful. So why should Honda go to the trouble of installing a speed cutoff point after which the system is no longer functioning????
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    First, I'm reasonably sure the poster meant 30 KILOMETERS per hour. That would be something like 18 or 19 MILES per hour.

    Secondly, as Toyota states in their glossary, Traction Control is generally needed when starting up (thus Honda's slow speed limitation) and sometimes on acceleration on slippery surfaces. However, the latter requires some more sophisticated decision-making software with pretty precise controls (to avoid making the matter worse which can happen very quickly indeed at higher speeds). Toyota has apparently provided that added sophistication to their system, while it seems Honda has not (apparently using the speed-limit on their Traction Control to avoid having a less complex system exacerbate rather than solve slippage problems at higher speeds).

    In both makes, the VSC/VSA (Vehicle Stability Control/Assist), is a much more complex system including sensors for yaw, steering angle, and G-force to help determine over/understeer and activate throttle and individual-wheel braking to attempt to improve things.

    Toyota wisely goes so far as to strongly suggest safe driving habits by pointing out that even their marvelous system is still subject to the laws of physics (being unable to provide more traction than could possibly be available in a given situation).

    Let us hope that the programmers of these systems use near-Space-Shuttle levels of error tolerance acceptance in their coding and testing practices. I would hate for some Monday-morning-code glitch to decide that I should really drive straight off the highway rather than to follow the pavement. So far no such reports have surfaced. Let's hope it stays that way.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    well, regarding your last point, i believe i read somewhere in a toyota forum, (not sure which), that a failure in the yaw-rate sensor or steering angle sensor (again, can't remember which), caused VSC to activate and the driver ended up in the other lane...
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    I guess that is the thing that really frightens me. I mean, when your vehicle does unexpected things on its own, then the driver reaction to such things might be even worse still. Think about how tense driving would be for some weeks (months? years?) after something like that happened to you. Trips to the chiropractor would be a weekly fact of life, not to mention tension headache effects and nervous ticks....

    I'm only slightly exaggerating here. For someone who experienced the car "taking over" in a bad way like that, it would be like the ocean suddenly rising for the first time in human memory as it did in the Indian Ocean. It takes a while to willing go near the water (or vehicle, in this case) again once it proves that it won't necessarily behave like it is supposed to do.

    I think I'll prefer my vehicles stay somewhat less decisive for the foreseeable future so that I can attempt to avoid any that run wild on their own. (Being a programmer/analyst/trouble-shooter myself makes me even more nervous knowing the many ways to miss something in coding, then to consider the many ways sensors can fail... Shivers run down my spine!)
  • jdubsjdubs Posts: 5
    See the raw government video footage of the side impact test....
    See the "Safety Concern" they note in bold letters. Shame on Honda.

    So, let me see, your wife gets hit driving it, she's ejected and killed....

    If you don't skip this vehicle for that reason, you aren't human !
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I believe the direct link is link title

    Secondly, I believe your statement If you don't skip this vehicle for that reason, you aren't human is a bit strong. If it was so serious, why was it still awarded 5 stars?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,551
    If the driver had her seatbelt on, there would be no problem!
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Sure there would be a problem. If you were in the middle of an intersection,having just been in an accident, would you want to be sitting there with your car door open? Or, if the vehicle that rams you spins you around into the path of an oncoming car... it could be a BIG problem. Let's not minimize saftey issues just to score points for the brand we prefer...or sell.
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    No one designs vehicles for secondary impacts. Of course, we would like the vehicle to survive as intact as possible as long as it does so by leaving the occupants in that same desirable state. However, a crush zone once crushed will not help when the next vehicle slams into the wreckage.

    Here in North Texas (and I suspect most everywhere else), a major cause of physical injury in automobile accidents is the inattentive (or frequently, drunk!) driver who slams into the up-until-then accident survivors and good samaritans trying to aid them after the initial dust has settled.

    By far, the best thing to do is to avoid the accident in any way possible. The point here is that, if the people in the vehicle were wearing there seat belts, the vehicle still would have protected them.

    Having said all that, I will acknowledge that the laws, highway safety improvements, and vehicle safety improvements to protect even those numbskulls who refuse to reasonably protect themselves account for the fact that the annual highway death toll in the U.S. is almost exactly what it was in the 1960's (about 44,000 per year). That despite the fact that the number of vehicles on the roadways and, even more so, the number of highway miles driven have increased by at least one order of magnitude.

    I also agree with those who asserted that Honda has undoubtedly already been trying to identify and rectify this potential problem if there is any reasonable way to do so.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    viewing the footage, it's interesting to see the side airbag and side curtain airbags deploy but also, it appears the door and pilar did it's thing and the test vehicle did not intrude much, but i wish we could see the video from the hood-mounted camera. as for the door becoming unlatched, in this type of impact, it seems to me your most likely to make contact with the side airbag first, then be thrown towards the passenger seat as momentum is transferred to the vehicle. hopefully the belt will keep you in the seat, even if the vehicle should roll over. not defending this particular vehicle - i'd be surprised if in a number of side impact crashes, vehicle doors across models don't become unlatched.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,551
    Think what you want. In a serious wreck I would much rather be in an Odyssey than a MPV. Wouldn't you?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    Nope...I chose the 5 star saftey rated MPV over what I thought to be a less desireable/inferior in many ways Ody. The MPV's doors stay shut during side impact test crashes. In a serious wreck I would want the doors to stay closed. Again...wouldn't you?

    Nothing against the Ody...which is a very good and safe van. You just can't have doors flying open in a collision is all.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    the side curtains would have saved the child in the 2nd row from serious head injury from what i can see in the short video segment. wish my '03 had side curtains that is for certain. what other vans do (as standard equipment)?

    question: if they ran another side impact crash test against another '05 ODY and the door didn't open, what would you conclude?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    "....what would you conclude?"

    You guys don't want to answer my questions...but I'll go ahead and answer yours.
    I would conclude that sometimes the Ody doors open during a side impact collision and sometimes they don't. If I was Honda the first thing I would do is crash test about 5-10 more Odys. Since they probably did that and we have not heard the results... I would conclude that there is a problem with the doors coming open in a crash and they are working on it.
  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    But if it was that much of a safety hazzard...why would the Odyssey still get 5 stars for driver side crash test? I think the Odyssey still did it's job by keeping the driver safe.
Sign In or Register to comment.