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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna



  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I bought two cars at Watertown, but I now know I was lucky in that I had nice salesman who, by the way, is no longer there. Your not alone. I had a friend who went there for a Prius on my recommendation and she ran into the same "get lost" attitude as you did. As you can imagine this was kind of embarrassing for me. She subsequently bought her car at Wellesley Toyota. Also, while I was there once I saw some nasty bickering amongst the sales staff. It was a really unprofessional display. I wonder if the management has any idea of what goes on the sale floor.
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    I'm appalled at this 'holier than thou' Toyota dealer’s attitude and could stand silent on the sidelines no more even though this forum is to compare vehicles, not dealers. Taking a test drive is a courtesy that should be extended to any customer past, present, or future. This nose-up attitude is more prevalent at our local Toyo dealer than Honda but both are guilty of I've got the cheese, you be the mouse come payday. That is the primary reason I negotiated via e-mail and just picked up our Ody out of town. What amazes me more is the reversal of this policy in the Euro-premium lines. Toyo, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW dealers all share the same owner & lot but have adjacent buildings in our town. While Sienna shopping I strolled over and was handed keys to a Bimmer and Benz even though I said I wasn't interested and they were beyond my budget. The Volvo dealer was also eager to let us have a car for the night when we were just browsing. Acura and Lexus dealers (one each) I visited were just like Toyota and Honda but dressed better, what a shame. I guess my point other than to rant is that dealers should remember that everyone is a potential customer and should be treated as the most important person in the world at that moment and could buy today if given respect. Skipping that essential step will sour most consumers and they'll likely look elsewhere. It had something to do with my T/H decision. Since this internet thing has caught on you no longer have to play these games as you can have a car at your door for a few bucks more or take a small trip to save a bundle.

    On a side note, I wonder if the folks in larger cities flock to small towns like ours to get better deals, LOL?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Out of curiousity, does anyone know what minimum age dealers allow young folks test-drive? I understand they keep a minimum for insurance reasons, but when I was 18, i went car shopping, but only my parents could drive the car. Our friend at our local dealer said in not so many words that what the dealer didn't know wouldn't hurt them as far as who drove. I test drove a Civic around a giant parking lot, but didn't take it out on the road.
  • My husband and I have been looking at the Odyssey XLT w DVD and NAV and the Sienna Limited with DVD/ NAV. We are leaning heavily toward the Odyssey.
    We have 2 small kids (7 & 9). I love the dash in the Sienna, the park assist and adaptive cruise control features. What I don't like about the Sienna is that you can only access the DVD player from the rear. If my kids finish with a movie(long trips) they must or I must remove my seatbelt to change a DVD. In the Honda I have access to the controls up front, no need to remove my seatbelt. I also like the available 8th seat. I also like the in cabin storage in the Honda. Also with the Honda I don't need to go up to a Touring model. What I like about the Sienna is not enough to buy it over the Odyssey.
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    Obviously this is a personal decision you and your family with have to make. There are good and bad points to both vehicles but you can't go wrong with either one. Just make sure you spend some quality time (hours) with both so there are fewer regrets later. FYI, there is no XLT trim model Odyssey as you said. I think you are talking about and EX-L which is an EX with Leather trim, the most popular Ody. You can have it with or without Nav and RES. The RES is a no brainer but paying that much more for Navi may not be worth it if you don't do much traveling. The Sienna packages are much more confusing but can offer perhaps the exact combination of features if you're lucky. I too dislike the idea of changing rows to swap DVD's in the Toyota. Happy hunting and let us know what you decide.
  • mcase2mcase2 Posts: 160
    I sent the sales manager at Watertown Toyota a copy of some the comments including my own just to see if they care one way or the other. Naturally I got the "thanks for interest" computer generated response and nothing else. I guess they really don't care if I send them business or not.
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    What option is RES for ODY?

  • player4player4 Posts: 362
    RES stands for Rear Entertainment System AKA DVD Player.
  • We have decided to go with the Odyssey EX-L RES/NAV. We got a quote for 32773 for this model. The Toyota dealer wanted 37100 for the Limited Sienna. The only added features that the Sienna had that I was interested in was parking assist, memory seats and power liftgate (which was very slow opening and closing IMO). On a long trip I can't get past the problem with the location of the DVD player. Even if I could a 4000 dollar difference in price between the 2 vans makes my decision easy. I do like the interior better in the Sienna, but again not 4000 dollars better. The eighth seat in the Honda is a added plus. Maybe Sienna will get it together in 2007 with the DVD player and offering a eighth seat, but I can't wait. I also felt the Nav system in the Honda was more user friendly (we just moved to a new area, so I have no idea where I'm going)
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    slynn41072 (sounds like an interesting TV series),

    I hope you don't mind a little more help/suggestions if it's not too late? You were seriously considering a Sienna at $37,100 but opted for an Ody EX-L R&N, that'll work. Just realize that for the same price as the Toyo you could shop hard and get a Touring with Nav, (all Tourings have the RES) but you'd only have seating for seven. There is much more to a Touring than a power hatch and losing a seat besides paying $4K (+/-) more, suggest you check it out thouroughly before you sign the papers. You get AC power in the third row for a gaming system PC charger or whatever, PAX runflat tires, a nifty MID (compass, temp, miles to empty, instant & avg MPG, auto elapsed time from start, door lock, wiper settings, etc.), seat & pedal memory, a proximity warning system front & rear that works well, back-up cam, and a bunch of other things you can view best on Honda's site on a page that highlights Touring unique features. FYI, the right second row seat can easily be moved near the center if you pop out the console to allow even easier third row entry, not sure if the EX-L does that.

    You probably think I'm trying to sell you something but I'm not. No, I don't work for any car dealer or manufacturer. What I'm trying to do is make sure you feel out all options and are satisfied you made the best pro-edumacated choice going in. I've seen a many folks (three in the last two months) in EX-L's wishing they went for the Touring, mostly because of features they thought they had or wanted badly (like power rear hatch). Any of these is a fine choice don't get me wrong, just hate to see you here posting regrets later if you're currently 'rationalizing' down to the EX-L if the higher trim level better fits your needs and is still in your budget. I started looking at an EX-L but moved to a Touring because of the total package & amenities.

    Maybe Honda will get it together in 2007 and allow a 'drop-in' seat from the EX perhaps as an add-on option. There is another internet place I can't mention that confirmed there is no easy way to morph a Touring into securing eight people unless #8 uses the lazy susan --wheeee!

    I'm sure Toyota isn't marking time either in this yuppies game of one upmanship.

    As they say in New Orleans...say levee!
  • Thanks for the suggestion about the Odyssey Touring. We did look at this model, but I heard not so good things about the run flat tires (need to be replaced after about 15,000 - 19,000 miles and are also alot more expensive than regular tires). Since I am the one mostly driving memory driving seat and pedals are nice features but something that I will not use on a day to day basis. Power rear hatch is a nice feature but I don't have it now on my Lexus RX300 and I never found myself saying I wish I did. Backup cam is on the EX-L as part of the Nav system. I have research my decision on all options and feel that the EX-L with RES/NAV has enough features for the every day driving to and from school, gym, shopping and the sometime long trips out of state. Getting a minivan is not my first choice in a vehicle, but it is something I need at this point. Giving up my Lexus is going to be hard because I love it. Thanks for your input.
  • lastarlastar Posts: 30
    After driving both a few times at the dealerships, I bought a 2006 Sienna LE FWD 2 days ago.
    Smoother ride, more comfortable & sound system is far superior.
    After all is said and done, these are the reasons we either like a car or not.
  • Our 2005 Honda Odyssey has had a very noticeable wind notice around 60 mph that seems to be coming from somewhere around the sunroof area. We've confirmed nothing is protruding, and all doors and windows are closed.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Are you sure the noise is not emanating from the windshield? THAT is a well known (and easily fixed) issue with the Odyssey.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    On the contrary, I've seen NO reports anywhere (except from you, a non-owner) that the Odyssey Touring's PAX tires "...need to be replaced after 15,000 - 19,000 miles..." Mine have almost 15,000 miles on them and are showing very little wear and will easily last 50,000 to 60,000 miles.

    As for cost, yes, they are more expensive than standard tires although whether they are "alot more" depends, among other things, on one's perspective. Quoted prices I've seen seem to be about $175 each.

    The best thing about them, however, is that unlike conventional run-flats, PAX tires offer a superb ride, comparable to regular tires.
  • If you do a search on these forums for PAX tires you will see plenty of people who have complaints about these tires. Of course people hardly ever post good experiences, but I would rather hear the bad and make a decision based I what I feel is important. Seems to me from what I have read is that these tires are not always in stock, and you can't replace them with a regular tire until a PAX tire is available. I will stick with the EX-L with a can of fix a flat.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "If you do a search on these forums for PAX tires you will see plenty of people who have complaints about these tires."

    Yes, but those complaints have NOTHING to do with tire life (that is a problem with the Sienna AWD runflats, not the PAX tires) or the tire ride.

    The complaints regarding PAX are that the wheels/tires are proprietary to Michelin and that availability may be spotty (because the Ody Touring is the ONLY vehicle in NA to use this tire) and that alternate tires cannot be fitted to these rims.

    And with the EX-L, you don't need a can of fix-a-flat; you have a spare.
  • Well I have 18,000 miles on my PAX tires, an I see very little wear on mine also. :P :D
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Oh, I wasn't trying to sell you on them, slynn41072, just correct the record. It is quite true that PAX availability is an issue, albeit one that will become less serious with time. I was VERY leery of them but have been absolutely delighted so far except for one drawback that no one seems to mention (and that I didn't anticipate). Because PAX tires have essentally no sidewall bulge, there is no cushion if you scrap a curb while parking - thus it is all too easy to damage a wheel. So far my wheels are intact but I have to be exceedingly careful while parking on the street.
  • abinabin Posts: 18
    You don't have to stick with PAX tires providing it is not fit to you.
    Knowing or not knowing this issue is another thing.
    Go with these two vehicles could not be wrong, no vehicle is perfect.
    As you did, I would always want hear something negative about a vehicle.
    I am not saying people promoting a specific vehicle are associated with
    a dealership, and if it is, there is nothing wrong on it. You just have to be careful.
  • " Wearing seat belts is more important than whether the door opens or not in a crash."

    Excellent point. Locking the doors also helps. Combined, your risk of ejection would be minimal. The NHTSA intentionally unlocks doors for their side impact tests, unless an automatic system that is difficult to override is standard.

    It's now a moot point now, anyway. Honda updated the design for 2006 and a retest by the NHTSA no longer indicates any safety concern. The Odyssey retained 5-star ratings.

    Both vehicles are very safe. Each has advantages. As noted, the Honda has a slightly better rating in the NHTSA frontal driver test and the IIHS head restraint test. The Odyssey also has rollover deploying side curtain airbags with sensors for all seating rows plus standard stability control. Though subjective, many reviews indicate it has somewhat better handling and braking limits. A few hundred more pounds on most models can't hurt in a head-on crash, either. In favor of the Sienna are available features on lower trims like DRLs, auto door locks, tire pressure warning and also better driver's side rear visibility (also subjective). The new turn signal mirrors available on higher trims for 2006 are nice, too. Keep in mind the Sienna also had quadruple 5-star ratings for 2004; the numbers on the NHTSA frontal driver crash test really didn't change greatly and may not be too far from the threshold for 5-stars in any case. From what correspondence I have, it appears that updates to a restraint system to meet new regulations led to the retest in 2005 and possibly the lower score as well.

    Despite the differences, both are very safe vehicles overall. The IIHS side impact tests on the minivan category are due to be released soon, so that should add another round to the debate. I suspect most models tested with side curtain airbags will do well, though.
  • it doesn't matter where it is, it is all about power, and safty, and maybe design, the limited doesn't have a side curtain airbags do they?
  • the honda do have ex-l with res and nav, witch is alot cheaper than the sienna, but then, i have heard that odyssey can many defect in its 1st year generation, dunno about its 2nd year in its generation
  • "The IIHS side impact tests on the minivan category are due to be released soon, so that should add another round to the debate."
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    We purchased a new 2006 Odyssey. It had 44 miles on it because it had been driven from another dealer about 30 miles away specifically for us to test drive. The dealer we went to did not have exactly what we wanted so got it from another dealer. We then took it out for about a 30 mile test drive so it ended up with 74 miles when new.
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    Was this a sliding door or a front door? The Odyssey EX and above have dual power doors so this wont happen. Most people dont have this problem with regular doors.
  • fljoslinfljoslin Posts: 237
    But the 2006 Ody speedo goes to 160 mph!
  • I struggled for a long time between the Sienna and Odyssey. As a two-time Toyota owner, I was comfortable with the Sienna, but found that the Odyssey was more sporty and masculine. I really didn't want another minivan, but I didn't want a gas guzzling SUV either. I chose the Odyssey Touring with NAV & RES - XM radio was the deciding factor (Toyota doesn't offer satellite radio on the Sienna). After three weeks with the Odyssey, I am extremely disappointed. I think that the media gives Honda a pass for using cheap materials and user-unfriendly designs. For example, in order to move the roof rack crossbars (that cost 3 times as much as the ones for our Pacifica), you need to use a Torx driver. Almost all the surfaces that the driver touches on the doors and dash are hard, cheap-looking plastic. The upper glove box pops open all the time when closing the lower glove box. There's no place to put coins for toll roads. The driver's visor is an inch or two from the driver's face when positioned to the side. The ride is rough over uneven surfaces. The seats are unsupportive and there is no power passenger's seat. The gas mileage is poor and is worse than the mileage I got in our old 1998 Oldsmobile minivan. I had to get Michelin's run-flat tires in order to get the other features that only come on the Touring model. I could go on and on about minor irritations, but I'll sum it up by saying that I've never been so disappointed with any other new car that I've purchased.

    On the good side, the stereo sounds great and the DVD player is very nice. The Odyssey looks better than other minivans on the outside. The engine compartment is the most organized I've seen on any vehicle.

    I wasn't happy with any of the choices when I bought the Odyssey, but I thought it was the best compromise. After three weeks, I wish that I had bought the Sienna, even though it's not as attractive and doesn't come with satellite radio. By every measure our 2006 Odyssey is a better minivan than the 1998 Olds Silhouette that it replaced, yet I'd have to say that the Olds never disappointed me the way that the Odyssey has. I don't think I'll buy another Honda in the future.
  • The Odyssey has some nice features that the Sienna doesn't have, but the Sienna has a lot of nice features that Odyssey doesn't have:

    - power vent windows
    - front console
    - 10 speaker stereo with surround
    - roof cross bars included ($285 extra for Odyssey)
    - windshield wiper de-icer
    - stereo jack for Ipods & CD player plays MP3s

    You get the idea. You may have to give up some nice features either way. The Sienna has a much smoother ride than the Odyssey, but the Odyssey is sportier looking and feeling.

    I bought into some of the reviews that talked up the Odyssey without pointing out any of it's faults. The articles said that it rides like a premium sedan - no way. It's nice on smooth pavement, but hit some expansion joints or potholes and it's a violent ride. Enough that the wireless headphones kept falling off my kid's heads.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Don't forget the trip computer that is readily available on Sienna, but only on top of the line Odyssey. Biggest plus for me with the Odyssey is the 7+1 seating. Cake and eat it too vs Toyotas one or the other.

    Speaking of crossbars. How easy are they to take off of a Sienna. I have some nice Thule cross bars that I use for serious rooftop duty (Canoe etc) that are stronger and more stable than the factory bars. Right now I keep the factory bars on (along with the Thule) and install the other bars for carrying things. Are the bars on the Sienna easily removable. Would be nice for wind noise and gas mileage (slightly).
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