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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • irgirg Posts: 197
    I understand the definition of analogy, thanks so much. But telling someone who is cruising this site for thoughts on these two fine minivans, and then mentioning to them that the Odyssey is analogous to a BMW while the Sienna is similar to a Lexus is misleading at best, but mostly it is nonsensical. I've driven both, and own the Sienna. I found the Odyssey a very good van, but I never found it sporty or BMW like. I did not find it to be more BMW like then the Sienna, whatever that means. I found it to be a minivan, and a good one at that, just like the Sienna. I know what C&D have mentioned, as a subscribe to several. Doesn't mean they are right, or that I agree with all of their conclusions. Autoweek recently tested the Odyssey vs the Ford Freestyle, and judged the Ford to be the sportier of the two in terms of driving dnamics (the Odyssey won overall, but surprisngly not by much), so does that make the Freestyle even more like a BMW? Or is this a pointless analogy?

    Now to be fair, I didn't take either van on a slalom course to see which behaved better, or who did better in the 1/4 mile. I did not do a hot lap around Watkins Glen, although that would have been amusing. And guess what - no one else here on this board with the exception of you perhaps, will be doing that either. What I did do, was compare van features, like the fold away seats, how my child seats fit, and how a stroller and groceries will all fit into the back, while seating 7 people. Typical issues when shopping for a 3 series, right?

    Comparing the Sienna to a Lexus is an understandable analogy, since Toyota owns Lexus, and a sharing between the two is likely. But the Odyssey and say a BMW 3 series share nothing (obviously since they are two different manufacturers, but their designs and philosophies are completety different). If you want to continue going on about how the Odyssey is sportier than the Sienna and is similar to a BMW, fine, that's your right, but I will continue giving my opinion too, and that is that minivans are not sport enthusiast vehicles, and are not intended to be, capiche?
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    Maybe we can dream further about the DGC having the 425 hp 6.2 L V8 engine as an option. SRT as someone mentioned. Again only for Dae and I.

    The Hemi would be SWEET!! Get me one too!!!! They can call it the DGC SRT8 Family racing vehicle!
  • regganaeregganae Posts: 22
    Thank you very much! I agree w/ you. I do understand the comparison of the Sienna to Lexus, being basically the same family. I was pretty confused about the comparisons, especially since I know nothing about engines. As I stated before, I came on here to ask questions from the owners of these vans, to get real opinions. Buying a vehicle, especially when it is more than $30,000, is a very big deal to me, and it is important to do the research before hand.

    For example, if I did not get on this board before going back to Honda, I would have bought the Odyssey Touring, not knowing the PAX tires are not available for them in Germany (this has been confirmed). So I would of moved over there and been stuck after a puncture. I also came on this board to ask which vehicle may perform better on the autobahn, doing around 95mph for 5 years. Haven't really got a straight forward answer, but what do you expect? This is America and we have speed limits, so I understand that people may not have the answer to that question.

    So I remain torn between the Ody and the Sienna. The Sienna XLE at least has fog lights, which I would really need in Germany. And I think the power tailgate would be useful, Ody doesn't have those features on the EX-L. Plus, the '06 Sienna is supposed to add puddle lighting, 2 new colors, new wheels, new front end and tail lights, POWER 3rd row seat (Hello!), new optitron gauges, and turning signals in the mirrors. There just seems to be so much more on the XLE alone than the EX-L, but we really like Hondas because of their resale values and dependability (we have had about 15 Hondas in my family alone). I also do not like the exterior of the Sienna. I am only in my mid twenties and I love the sportier look of the Ody. They just screwed up making those dang PAX tires standard on the Touring. Not everyone wants the tires, but we want the other features.

    So being that I have learned so much from this board, I will not let someone's misguiding views lead me not to come on here. We do all have our own opinions anyway. Hopefully I will have my mind made up when my husband returns from Iraq in Oct. (I pray for his safe return), then we will get whatever, prepare for our move back to Germany, and be happy. But until then, I for one will continue seeking these boards for advice. Thank you all!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree with you based on a test drive of a 2004 Sienna LE and a 2005 Ody EX. The Sienna was just more responsive. Was it because the Sienna weighs less, the Sienna transmission quicker responding, or is it because the Sienna torque is available at a MUCH LOWER engine RPM? :blush:
    Based on driving each, maybe the difference between the performance of the Sienna and Ody depends on the individual vehicle of each. ;)
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Great post. I've been following these comparisons for some time. I was tempted to challenge some van owners to a race (just to show how ridiculous some postings have been). However, I was afraid some would take it seriously. Let's all race our vehicles to ball park. It's like some are trying to justify their choosing one van over an another (they are both excellent choices). This is a van people. Pick the one that best suits your needs or desires and drive on "with caution".
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    "I understand the definition of analogy, thanks so much."

    Not TOO SURE! Since by your response, it is not obvious that you do. Maybe it would be a waste of time to continue to illustrate...

    In the minivan category, the Ody is called(i.e. nickname/alias) the "BMW"(By - this same forum source) of this segment because of its better dynamics and handling characteristics.
    The Sienna is called the "Lexus" of this segment because of its quietness and luxury amenities, etc.

    FYI, The Freestyle is NOT a minivan, but a Crossover - it does not know what it wants to be, pretending to be a half breed SUV/minivan. The Freestar is the minivan which scored dead last in the 5 minivan comparo of June 2004 C &D. Ford and GM have given up on minivans as shown by the poor execution of their models.

    "If you want to continue going on about how the Odyssey is sportier than the Sienna and is similar to a BMW, fine, that's your right, but I will continue giving my opinion too, and that is that minivans are not sport enthusiast vehicles, and are not intended to be, capiche? "

    In my family of 5 vehicles, we always pick the ones that are fun and exciting to drive. We needed a minivan and the Ody was it. It is judged the best in handling and spirited driving by 7+ independent sources. I support their findings after test driving all the competing minivans, including 70+ minivan rentals, mostly DGCs and some loaded virgin T & Cs.

    If you believe that you have more wealth of knowledge than all(7+) independent agencies/sources who have tested all the minivans and supported the Ody with awards/accollades, then that must be interesting - VERY INTERESTING!

    Capiche? Comprendo?

    Mit freundlichen Grüssen (As they say in German)
  • regganaeregganae Posts: 22
    :sick: It's okay..We get it...really...
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Re: "BMW" of minivans vs. "Lexus" of minivans......

    The problem I have with this analogy (and yes, I understand what the term 'analogy' means) is that it is so completely misleading.

    The Odyssey does give the impression that it is more 'sporting' than the Sienna (due to it's firmer ride/steering and chassis control). But the differences between the Ody and the Sienna are SLIGHT in this regard. With regards to performance and chassis control, the Ody and the Sienna are MUCH closer in feel than, say, the difference between an actual BMW and Lexus.

    At the same time, the Sienna does give the impression of more luxuory/isolation than the Ody; but again, the differences (IMO) are also slight in this regard. Personally, I think the two vans feel more similar in terms of creature comforts than in a similar comparison between a BMW and a Lexus.

    Odyssey the BMW of minivans? The key terms that everyone should key in on are "of minivans" Kinda like if I shoot a round of 'horse' with my half-blind brother, I would be the 'Michael Jordan' of the family. Entertaining but doesn't mean a damn thing.
  • gondogondo Posts: 5
    Re: "BMW" of minivans vs. "Lexus" of minivans.....

    Just remember that the Oldsmobile Silhouette is the undisputed "Cadillac of minivans."
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Maybe the correct analogy the sources should use is,

    Ody - "BMW" of minivans

    Sienna - "M-B" of minivans

    They are both fine vehicles. It is just that the Ody suits my driving preference better.

    My son uses his father-in-law's new toy frequently. It is a new M-B SL500. Lovely car - which causes a lot of head turns when you cruise the parkways.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Olds as a division is now history.

    Hasta la vista!

    Buick is next???
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    Buick just led the GM brands in quality on JD Power ratings, ranking up in the vicinity of Lexus (and way higher than BMW! ;) ). It will probably save their bacon during the next round of "let's try to increase profits by cutting costs" jockeying.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    The problem with Buick is that it has a "Grandpa and Grandma" (including our dear Aunty Mildred) driving image that is not popular.

    Same with Crown Vic and Grand Marquis. But Ford is lucky here that the police and taxis use them.

    Buick is trying to change that image with the Lacrosse. But I heard many seniors prefer the previous designs/shapes.

    Toyota has changed that image with the 2006 Avalon.

    It looks like the Baby Boomers are not yet ready to succumb to the golden age that quickly!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    You've completely missed the point.

    You might as well call the Ody the "F-16 of minivans" or the "McLaren F1 of minivans". Or maybe the ".454 Casull of minivans".

    The 'BMW of minivans' is absolute, pure, 100% hyperbole and has absolutely NO relevance in the real word. My 'driving preference' would be a 10-year old Honda Civic over an Odyssey.

    Look, I have an '05 Ody. It drives.....okay. Doesn't it 'handle' better than the Sienna? Yes, a bit. But the difference was marginal. Was the Sienna more cushy/comfy (Lexus-like)? Yes, a bit. Again, the difference was marginal. But you try to make it sound like one would get behind the wheel of an Odyssey and start channeling Aryton Senna. Uh, no.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    In analogies, one must not take the compared items to mean literally exactly the same things. That's extreme. It could become tedious like dealing with lawyers where every 'i" has to be dotted and the 't" crossed. This analogy is just for relative ease of comparo.

    Yes the Ody is not a "BMW"

    Yes the Sienna is not a "M-B" or 'Lexus"

    But the BMW tends to have a better drive feeling than the M-B(even more than the Lexus) in the car category, just like the Ody is vs the Sienna in the minvian category.

    They are both fine vehicles - it all depends on one's personal driving preference. Like you said many times before, you could have purchased the Sienna as well.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "...just like the Ody is vs the Sienna in the minvian category."

    "just like"?

    No. There is a much wider range of drive feel between the BMW and the MB (or Lexus). The differences are huge. There is a very narrow range of difference between the Ody and the Sienna. That is why I have a problem with the analogy. One can't use these analogies for 'relative ease of comparo' because while there IS a large difference between the BMW/Lexus comparo, there is NOT in an Ody/Sienna comparo.

    Try this on: under your logic, I could call the Ody the "F1 of minivans" and the Sienna the "Maybach of minivans". The problem is that there is an absolute universe of difference between a McLaren F1 and a Maybach while there is NOT between the Ody and the Sienna.

    If you insist on analogies for 'ease of comparo' , how about: the Ody is the 'Accord' of minivans and the Sienna is the 'Camry' of minivans. This would actually convey a more realistic comparisons of the strengths of the two vehicles. Of course, it doesn't sound nearly as sexy as comparing it to a BMW.....
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Too many "i's" to dot and "t's" to cross!!

    Not prepared to go further.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    One more try:

    If BMW were to make a minivan, do you think it would drive just like an Odyssey?

    After all, Honda makes the Pilot. I can certainly envision you making some statement like "the Pilot is the BMW of SUV's". But BMW does make an SUV. So, do you think the Pilot drives just like an X5?
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Last try...

    Since I do not wish to use my personal resources on this further, I suggest that you take the subject up with which had a paragraph(which I concur with) in their 2004 minivan comparo in the link,

    with extracted paragraph,

    "If you value sporty handling and sedanlike driving dynamics above all else, then get the Odyssey. Where the Sienna is the Lexus of minvans, the Odyssey is the BMW of minivans. The Odyssey is actually fun to pilot down a twisty mountain road. Here's a really great quote from our editor in chief that effectively sums up how we feel about the Odyssey's driving dynamics: "Honda has done a great job of making the Odyssey drive, ride and feel like a big Accord." And that, as they say, is a good thing. The Odyssey also earns five stars in government crash tests."

    The 2005 Ody would fare better with its improvement and indeed trade places to the top spot in the 2005 comparo.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I see, so everything you read in Edmunds (or other reviews) you treat as gospel?

    First, reviewers utilize excessive hyperbole all the time. It's called entertainment and is expected. You should see some of the hyperbole thrown around in C&D from time to time; I remember one analogy comparing the handling characteristics of the subject vehicle to "a pregnant water buffalo with dysentary". Humorous? Certainly. But not to be taken seriously (I can just see a customer expressing real concern to a salesman that he heard that car handled like a water buffalo).

    But when that hyperbole is repeated ad naseum in here by owner's, then other potential owner's start thinking 'hey Mildred, that thing'll drive just like a Beemer'. That's not the case.

    "The Odyssey is actually fun to pilot down a twisty mountain road." Umm, I've driven an Ody on mountain roads. Competent? Yes. Sure footed? Sure. Confidence inspiring? Okay.


    FUN??? The whole time I was driving the Ody on our vacation through Colorado, I kept thinking about how much fun I COULD have had if I had been in my Celica instead of herding 2+ tons of understeering, body-leaning, slushbox-motivated, crayon-hurling, juice-spilling minivan. If your idea of 'fun' is driving an Ody on a mountain road, you've led a fairly sheltered automotive life......
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    Driving our Yukon XL through Rocky Mountain National Park was exciting (if knotted muscles and white knuckles qualifies as excitement :surprise: ), but I wouldn't call it "fun". I'm guessing the Odyssey is at least a little bit less of a tension creator in such situations, if not exactly fun. ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Oh, I had no hairy moments whatsoever with the Ody; it was extremely competent. It also handled a few inches of slushy snow on downhill decreasing radius curves with aplomb. I just think that 'not terrifying' and 'fun' are two different things.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,441
    "But when that hyperbole is repeated ad naseum in here by owners..."

    Yeah, I would agree with rorr. I read that Lexus of minivan, and BMW of minivan, junk so much in here I'm about ready to hurl. Comparing the 2 is about as useful as you know whats on a bull.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Help me with this math

    Why not just use the same source for all the sales prices? can provide an actual quote for consistency.

    Adjust the ALG residuals if their percentages are based off MSRP.

    It may still come out in favor of Chrysler, but at least you haven't added any spin. Not that Chrysler needs to be in the comparison. Given that the title of the forum is "Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna", I think more people would be interested in numbers for those two vans...
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Don't let it get to you; I understand that the MPV is the Porsche of minivans. zoom zoom ;)
  • ewtewt Posts: 127
    "Don't let it get to you; I understand that the MPV is the Porsche of minivans. zoom zoom"

    Isn't it really more the Lotus Elise of minivans since it is the smallest and lightest? I read it somewhere so it MUST be true.....
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    This isn't the "My Analogy vs. Your Analogy" topic, and the discussion's being derailed again. Please get back on topic.


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

  • 05ody05ody Posts: 103
    VERY good camparo. I do feel the Ody drives better then the Sienna but I mean a BMW to a Lexus? C'mon! The Accord to a Camry is alot better seing how the Odyssey does drive like an Accord and the Sienna does drive like a Camry. I know because I have an Accord and my uncle has a Camry! That is the better term to campare to not BMW to Lexus!
  • My latest on pricing: Best we could find on Sienne XLE, package 7: 32,000. But we'd probably go with our local dealership at 32,250 because of what they threw in for service. Best we could find on the EX-L, RES was in Langhorne, PA: 31,000 (our Virginia dealerships laughed at us - they gave us $33,600 as an original price, but then came down to 32,600 when I told them what I was going to pay for the Sienna at Rosner Toyota in Stafford, VA). Inventory on Odysseys in Virginia (Fredericksburg and north, anyway) is pretty bad - but we're not surprised because of the high demand down here. For those of you shopping for these cars with any chance to shop out of market, I'd look into it!

    I did get the opportunity to test drive the EX-L up my steep driveway, and we're really close, but we make it.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    I do have a BMW 530i and also an Ody as well as a Sienna and Mercedes C class. The Ody is in NO WAY like the Bimmer at all. Owers of Ody can dream though. I suggest they test drive a Bimmer and see for themselves. But the Sienna is even better than my Mercedes in term of the interior appointments and the quality feel.
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