Last post on May 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
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Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Car Comparisons, Van
#2567 of 5511 Some Comparisons
Jul 16, 2005 (9:24 pm)
I am considering replacement of our 2001 Odyssey LX on a 2006 Odyssey or Sienna. I'm mostly considering the Sienna LE8 with Package #5 and the Preferred Premium Accessory package vs. the Odyssey EX. I might consider the XLE and EX-L, depending on how the 2006 model packages are. I might accept a 2005 if the price was right. The main reasons for upgrading are side curtain airbags, stability control and an 8th seat.
Overall, the vans appear to be pretty similar, and I'm sure I'd be very happy with either one. Even so, there are a few minor differences I've found and probably many I missed, all based on 2005 information:
Some Sienna advantages:
Sienna 8th seat seems much more functional and moves forward. It's larger, has an integrated shoulder belt and LATCH making it easier to fit 3 carseats and/or adults in the 2nd row.
Third row appears to be wider and may also seat 3-across carseats and/or boosters a bit easier.
5 LATCH positions vs. 3 for Odyssey
3rd row LATCH anchors are integrated into seat and do not require the top tether strap to stretch across cargo area
Possibly smoother and quieter ride.
Possible slight city fuel economy advantage.
2nd row seats tumble
3rd row quarter windows tilt open
5/60 drivetrain warranty standard
Telescopic steering wheel
Misc features like Tire pressure monitor, higher ground clearance, tumble forward 2nd row seats, coin holder, cassette player (we have lots of kids' cassettes), somewhat more cargo space, DRLs.
Street price appears to be around a few hundred dollars less, excluding recent Toyota incentives.
Rollover sensors integrated into side curtain airbags
ACE front end compatibility, if it isn't all marketing hype
Exterior styling (personal preference, obviously)
2nd row driver side power sliding door
Possibly better handling/braking/performance
Stowable 8th seat would be easier to store/remove
Lazy Suzan storage (mitigates the stowability of the 8th seat, however)
Driver power seat
2nd row indexing seats
Somewhat easier folding on 3rd row seat
Misc features like CD Changer, rear window sunshades, rear A/C control from the front.
The seating in the Sienna LE8 seems to be more functional for our needs, especially hauling kids. I do like the Odyssey styling and the rollover curtain airbag system. Most of the other differences don't really matter to me much at all. They'd all be nice, but I wouldn't really miss them. For example, the road noise issue isn't a big factor- our current Odyssey is noted for being noisy but is acceptable. We have manual power doors now and they are fine, so I don't mind only having one in the Sienna, etc.
We have reasonable Toyota and Honda dealers in driving range that have provided good purchasing experiences and the local Honda dealer provides very good service. No experience with local Toyota service.
I've driven a Sienna a few times, but haven't driven the new Odyssey yet, so I am basing the comments about noise and performance only on what I've read. Comments?
P.S. Hi Steve!
#2568 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [caviller]
Jul 17, 2005 (5:30 am)
Do they both have VSC? VSC is a big feature you should check. There is a rear AC and temp control in my 04 LE I think it was pckg 7. Also test out the AC. Sienna has both a front and a rear AC coil so if should run the rear AC air to take full advantage. The Sienna is definitely quieter and smoother ride. Make sure to test the ODy at 70 mph on the highway and listen. Also try it on a bumpy road. If you go to a parking lot regularly with speed bumps remember the Ody like all Hondas (suvs excepted) has really low ground clearance.
#2569 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [caviller]
Jul 17, 2005 (7:03 am)
I agree that they are both fine products and the choice frequently will boil down to one's particular needs. You really do need to spend some time driving an Odyssey though. My '05 Touring is vastly improved compared to the '99 we had for five years.
Recently, I urged a Honda leaning co-worker (who has a one year old) to shop the 8 passenger Sienna due to the forward sliding middle second row seat. Amazingly, she said Toyota salesman told her that the slide forward feature is essentially a useless gimmick that is unlikely to be of any real benefit.
#2570 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [mcase2]
Jul 17, 2005 (9:34 am)
Sienna package 5 has VSC, as that is a critical item for me. It also has curtain airbags, rear discs, wiper de-icer, DRLs and a few other goodies.
I can't comment about the utility of the Sienna slide forward seat, as I've never seen the 8-passenger version. Even so, the Odyssey second row indexing seat is probably similar. It has probably come in handy a half dozen times in 5 years...
#2571 of 5511 Re: I'm sure this is going to offend someone [05ody]
Jul 18, 2005 (6:51 am)
I have to have AWD. The choice is clear.
#2572 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [mcase2] by caviller
Jul 18, 2005 (6:53 am)
Amazingly, she said Toyota salesman told her that the slide forward feature is essentially a useless gimmick that is unlikely to be of any real benefit.
It stupefies me that, through arrogance or pure idiocy, car salespeople too frequently act as their own worst enemies!
#2573 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [caviller]
Jul 18, 2005 (9:02 am)
Excellent comparison! We recently went through the same choice and settled on the Ody. I agree that they are both excellent cars, and we would have been happy with either one, so I'm not involved in this whole discussion about which is "better." We were comparing the Ody EX-L DVD with the Sienna XLE package 6.
Let me just add a couple of thoughts about why we chose the Ody.
First, I agree that the 8th seat in the sienna is more useful than the 8th seat in the Ody. However, we have found it very difficult to get to the third row when there are three seats in the second row, particularly if the outboard seats have carseats on them. For this reason, we would have preferred the 7-seat sienna over the 8-seat sienna, since we don't usually need 8 seats. However, we liked the flexibility of the Ody, since we can generally use it as a 7-seater (and allow access to the back), but use the 8th seat in a pinch. So for our situation the 7/8-seater Ody is more functional than EITHER the 7 or 8 seater Sienna.
Second, we were originally leaning towards the sienna because it had the automatic rear tailgate in the trim we were looking at. However, we found that the tailgate moved very slowly, and so we would have turned that feature off anyway. (Others have not found this problem, and it is possible that it was just a problem with the one we looked at.)
Third, the Ody in our trim had the moonroof, the Sienna did not.
Fourth, the Sienna was somewhat more expensive.
Fifth, we liked the interior of the Ody better. Although we liked the exterior of the Sienna better, we felt that we are going to spend more time looking at the inside than the outside.
Sixth, the Sienna recommends premium fuel, whereas Ody does not.
Seven, it is true that the Ody is slightly more noisy than the Sienna. But we are upgrading from a 98 Ody, so we aren't that used to a quiet car to begin with--and the new Ody is MUCH quieter than the old 98.
Eighth, the DVD in the Ody has a better screen and, more importantly, it loads upfront by the driver. This is important to us, since we have little kids who won't really be able to load up a dvd in the back.
Finally, I hate the Toyota option package scheme. It is this byzantine system where you can't just choose what you want, but you have to take all of this other crap with you--and that;'s if you can find the option package you want.
As you can see, most of these are relatively minor, and there are some benefits of the Sienna that counter them.
In the end, we just went with our gut.
I do recommend that you do test drive the Ody if you can. But if you can't, I'm sure you'll be happy with the Sienna.
(By the way, I notice that you found the Sienna to be a little cheaper. That might be because you aren't exactly comparing apples to apples. We really wanted the DVD--yes, I know you can get them aftermarket for a little cheaper, but we didn't want to deal with it--and both power sliding doors. Once you figure that in, you have to compare the EX-L RES with the XLE (package #6).)
Enjoy your purchase!
#2574 of 5511 Re: Some Comparisons [amosanon1]
Jul 18, 2005 (2:12 pm)
I was comparing street prices (carsdirect.com price) of the Odyssey EX vs. the Sienna LE8, with package 5 and premium accessory package. Obviously, other models may vary, but those are the ones I am most likely to buy. They are actually very similarly equipped, aside from the differences I mentioned.
The rear access issue is an important one. Fortunately, our oldest will be 7 and would probably use a booster in the passenger side 2nd row seat or the 3rd row center. That will allow for easier moving/tumbling of that seat to allow rear access.
I'm not a big fan of DVD or NAV- just one more expensive thing to upgrade and/or replace once the warranty expires. So, those won't be a factor in the pricing unless I get a great deal. Otherwise, if we ever decide we want them, our preference will be for cheap portable rather than a built-in unit- much like the portable VHS unit we used in our Odyssey on long trips. Heck, I can get three personal DVD players and a Garmin GPS for less than the cost of either one built-in, let alone both, and they can be used outside the car too;-)
The premium fuel issue is not a major factor. 1999-2001 Odyssey models also recommended premium fuel and even rated HP/Torque figures on premium. Even so, they also allowed regular like the Sienna and I've never had an issue. I've seen a few anecdotes on Sienna forums of pinging on regular, but most owners appear to use regular without issue.
I will definitely take an extended test drive and inspection of the new Odyssey before deciding. It will probably depend on the pricing, changes and options of the 2006 models.
#2575 of 5511 Re: Options and pricing of 2006 Odyssey? [caviller]
Jul 18, 2005 (8:24 pm)
September Odyssey arrivals will be the 2006 model. Salesman told me they have their allocation of 12 Odysseys for September.
If the Sienna LE had the separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger, it would be more competitive for our needs. Without this nice feature, the Odyssey EX moved to a tie with a GC SXT for our desires.
#2576 of 5511 Re: I dunno [mcase2]
Jul 18, 2005 (8:29 pm)
The 2004 Sienna got a 5 star front end driver crash rating. Its the exact same frame etc. as the 2005 which did indeed get 4 star from the same testers. go figure?
Given they only tested two samples, it's quite possible that the results can vary slightly. Most likely, the 2004 model tested was just over the threshold to award 5-stars, while the 2005 model was just under the threshold. Even so, both could still be within an expected margin of error to account for variations.
It's also possible they tested two slightly different versions of the Sienna. Suppose one had a power driver seat, the other manual. Depending on the seating position, even some fraction of an inch could account for a small test difference. A retest of a different model Odyssey might show a similar variation.
It's also possible the NHTSA made a small change to their testing or ratings from 2004 to 2005 and this affected the scores of the retest.
You can nit pick small differences in the IIHS and NHTSA crash test results, but both these vehicles did very well in all the tests. Given their weight and availability of stability control and side curtain airbags, I'd consider them both to be among the safest vehicles on the road. It would be nice if the IIHS would do their side impact testing on minivans in the near future, especially since I'd think minivan buyers would be among the most safety conscious groups.