Last post on May 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Car Comparisons, Van
#4943 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 06, 2009 (2:15 pm)
The Odyssey is quicker...
It's not, at least not in acceleration. Handling-wise the Odyssey does better than the Toyota (simply because the Toyota is tuned to ride softer, which it does). The Odyssey has a more aggressive throttle tip-in, but the Toyota has a lot more juice under the hood. Everything I read about the 3.5L 2GR engine in Toyotas say that it seems particularly strong, perhaps stronger than its horsepower ratings suggest.
Car and Driver had this to say about the Sienna in a 2007 Comparo -
If choosing a minivan came down to the powertrain, this Toyota would be a slam-dunk. The 3.5-liter DOHC V-6 is the strong, silent type, rushing to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, nearly a second ahead of the next-best Dodge. In fact, the Toyota earned top marks in every acceleration measure. And it does so with little more than a purr from beyond the fire wall.
and about the Odyssey (which placed first, but not for engine power)
As the others' engines are upsized, the Odyssey's 244-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 is feeling outgunned these days. Acceleration is about average for the group, handling grip and braking were somewhat better than average.
*If I recall correctly, the Odyssey had an 8.5s 0-60 time. Adequate, but notably behind the Toyota (7.2s) and Dodge (8.0s) vans.
If you're interested, here's a link to the full article.
5-Van Compaison, Car and Driver
#4944 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 06, 2009 (3:41 pm)
I disagree with the characterization that the Ody is a better quality van. It depends on what you are looking for.
The Ody does handle the corners marginally better, but as someone who loves to drive hard into the corners I wasn't impressed. However to get that handling the Ody stiffens the ride so passengers have a less pleasant time. The Ody also rides lower... sports car lower; my Miata has more ground clearance lower. Riding lower is fine if you never leave well maintained pavement, but we like to go visit off the beaten, well maintained path and the Sienna with its greater ride height has comfortably gone places I would fear to tread in the Ody.
The Ody engine is a fine engine and delivers power more than adequately. That said, the Toyota beats it by a wide stretch- both by seat of pants and by objective numbers. Studying the EPA website consumer reported numbers I found that the Sienna also delivers better real world mileage.
On my quality measures the Sienna was the higher quality vehicle. The dash is thoughtfully and intuitively laid out as opposed to the Ody's haphazard, buttons scattered randomly everywhere design. It's less of a drivers van (an oxymoron if you ask me) but more comfortable to passengers with a smoother and quieter ride that can take rutted gravel roads without much complaint. The engine performs better and gets as good if not better economy. The Sienna has more space for stuff and people with an eight passenger option that I'm not embarrassed to carry an adult in for an extended trip. For parents of small children the Sienna 8 passenger also has more LATCH attachment points (5 vs the Ody's 3) and the 3rd row tethers don't stretch across the cargo area.
I'm not attempting to disparage the Ody, it's a fine van and if it's what you like, good for you. To make the blanket statement that either van is higher quality is wrong. They are each expressions of different qualities and priorities.
#4945 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 07, 2009 (6:32 am)
I think "quicker" is the wrong word to use, perhaps "more nimble" is better suited.
Note that in lateral grip, C&D recorded a tie, though I'll concede that the Ody drives better (though where's the dead pedal?), while the Sienna handles better and is quieter. It's a matter of different priorities.
I have trouble accepting your claim that the Ody is a higher quality van because to me road noise is a large part of quality, and the Ody is louder. When I hear the word "quality" I immediately think of Lexus, not BMW, and by far the Sienna is more like a Lexus than the Ody is.
#4946 of 5511 Re: Opinions [ateixeira]
Aug 08, 2009 (8:44 am)
I found both vans had about the same interior noise - very very close. The Odyssey may have more road noise (probably due to the tighter suspension, and being closer to the ground), but the Sienna's engine was slightly louder and apparent to me.
As far as whatever you think of Lexus, and road noise equating to quality, my Lexus RX350 isn't any quieter than the Odyssey or Sienna. The bouncy ride and driving characteristics are similar 'tween the Sienna and the RX350. They have an isolated and floaty ride. Neither characteristic offers good handling. That ride is fine if that's what you like. The Odyssey is more nimble, and drives / handles better. That's what I want in a car.
#4947 of 5511 Re: Opinions [yatesjo]
Aug 08, 2009 (8:44 am)
I just found the Odyssey to be higher quality. When comparing the two, it wasn't even close in my opinion.
I found that everything in the cabin and engine compartment fit better in Odyssey. Interior components, doors, switches, controls, lights, etc. in the Odyssey are more sturdy. The carpet didn't fit as nice ... with visible gaps and wrinkles. The difference just in the front row seats is enormous - in comfort, support and construction (leather vs leather - don't know about the cloth). In my opinion, the Odyssey's inside is more refined. The Sienna's interior looked thrown together.
As for the dash ... you may find the placement of the controls to be more thoughtful in the Sienna. I didn't. Most of the controls on the Sienna's dash were way too low for me, not only to see, but also to operate. The zig zag shift lever felt cheap and more difficult to operate.
Concerning the handling ... Odyssey clearly owns this category, probably due in large part to its lower stance - which you noted. To me, one of my priorities is that my car handle well, I didn't want to compromise here. The ground clearance isn't an issue for me. I'm not intending to take my Odyssey off road.
Improving the Sienna's tires could improve things, but it doesn't change how the suspension and car geometry works. The bouncing and body roll won't go away.
The Toyota has a softer more isolate ride. It's just the way Toyota chose to make the van. A comfortable floating ride that will make your passengers very happy on the "rutted gravel roads" you wrote about.
I only have two small children and don't need 5 LATCH attachments, so not an issue to me. If anyone loads either van up with car seats, no one will have access to the back seat.
As for the fuel economy, both vans were comparable in my experience and the vehicle specs support this.
I'm not going to change your mind about this. I just read a post, soliciting opinions, and I offered mine in hopes that it would be helpful. You and I have both already decided which van is better for each of us.
Continue to enjoy your Sienna.
#4948 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 09, 2009 (4:45 am)
Again, we wanted a comfortable and quiet cabin to take long road trips in, and we felt the Sienna was better.
We did drive around in a new Ody for a few days when we visited friends in Tucson just before we bought the Sienna, they even let me drive it one day. From the driver's seat you don't notice, but when sitting over the rear axle you do hear more road noise and I even felt a bit of nausea, though that was probably because I wasn't watching the road.
No regrets here, isolated is I wanted in this van.
#4949 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 09, 2009 (4:55 am)
Maybe it varies by year, but we test drove an 07 Ody with leather, and the leather was hard, far from luxurious feeling. BMW's fake leather, or leatherette, was better than Honda's real stuff.
To be fair we didn't even sample the Sienna leather, the Ody's leather was so bad that 3 out of 4 people in my family voted for cloth, so we looked only at cloth from that point on.
Then, oddly enough, we liked the Ody LX cloth better than the EX cloth. The LX cloth, in 2007, had a velour like texture, exactly like my Sienna LE, could even be the same supplier. We liked both. The Ody EX we didn't like, not as soft to the touch, a thin layer of peach fuzz over a harder cloth surface. Meh, we like the cheaper LX' interior more.
Gated shifters are better - you can feel what gear you're in. Sienna lets you choose specific gears, too. I don't think the Ody lets you do that.
To me, one of my priorities is that my car handle well, I didn't want to compromise here
Keep in mind that lateral grip was tied in the C&D test, no advantage for the lower, supposedly better handling Ody. I was surprised, too, but ultimately it doesn't offer more grip.
It's funny, though, how you pick and choose priorities that match up to the Ody. If handling is so critical, acceleration isn't? A sporty ride needs both. You conveniently ignore the Sienna's much quicker acceleration.
I'll argue that matters FAR more. You are 100% likely to carry large loads up long hills on road trips. Happens all the time.
Now ask yourself, how many times are you driving at the handling limit, tires screeching?
HANG ON KIDS!
Doesn't happen. For me, never. 0%.
Fact is with kids you're not pushing the handling past 70-80% limits. The same 0.76g limit, by the way.
I carry heavy loads and enjoy the extra power virtually every single time I drive the van.
How did you put it, on yeah, "I didn't want to compromise here".
Power does matter. Especially in a vehicle designed to carry a lot of load. It's as if you're wearing blinders.
If anyone loads either van up with car seats, no one will have access to the back seat.
I think you missed the point here, in fact you can use the anchors in the Sienna and still have access to the 3rd row because you don't need to use both outboard positions.
Your counter-argument actually proves the advantage of the Sienna, here.
#4950 of 5511 Re: The Great Compromise [ateixeira]
Aug 09, 2009 (11:17 am)
I'm going to throw in a third POV here; not disagreeing with either of the others'. Some people have several cars in their driveway/garage. I'd wager to say that the majority of people who post on Edmunds fall into this category. For those that don't however, they likely buy a compromise. If I had a large family, but couldn't afford different vehicles (and instead needed one "do-all"), I'd likely pick the car with the best compromise of all that suited MY wants and needs. For me, it would no doubt be the Odyssey.
Does the Sienna offer more power AND better fuel mileage? Yes. But it isn't even close to being carlike to me, something the Odyssey is. The Odyssey is louder, but more direct. Bumpier, but manages to handle like its smaller than it is. It manages to be the "Driver's Van" if there is one; one that feels like its at least trying to be fun. Will a van actually succeed at being fun? Well, not really. 2+ tons on a relatively softly sprung suspension, mated to an automatic transmission - doesn't sound like it adds up to fun, and I get that. The fact that the Odyssey combines the practicality of 7 passenger seating with a whiff of Accord-like maneuverability and the overall Honda "vigor" makes it enough that it'd be my first choice, despite not being the quickest or most efficient. I might actually enjoy driving it.
NO REPRESENTATION IS MADE THAT THE SKIDPAD GRIP OF THE ODYSSEY IS GREATER THAN THE SKIDPAD GRIP OF THE SIENNA OR ITS COMPETITORS
#4951 of 5511 Re: Opinions [bwires]
Aug 09, 2009 (5:03 pm)
When I looked at vans, both the Ody and Sienna showed high levels of interior quality. If you want cheap, sit in a Dodge/Chrysler or a Hyundai. Our Sienna has excellent fit and finish inside and your complaints are foreign to my experience as everything feels sturdy and gives every appearance of being durable.
Ody control placement was nonsensical to us and we were constantly searching in vain for how to change the radio, adjust the heat & A/C, etc. As to your complaint about control position height, the only controls I perceive as being low reach are the power door off/on switch and the TPMS reset button. It's been more than a year since I tested the Ody and never could make sense of their control positions, but it seems like it had a number of more routinely used controls in the exact same location. Mirror controls, power windows and climate controls are the next lowest tier on the Sienna and are at just a bit above elbow level to me and those controls came immediately to reach at instinctive locations on the test drive.
I like the zig-zag shift control as I can tell by feel exactly where the lever is without looking down.
The Honda's aggressive ride quality was far too much compromise for me with not nearly enough payoff. A minivan is not about my driving experience, it is about carrying my family in comfort and the Odyssey was a lot less comfortable. I like control and I like cornering, but there wasn't enough more the Odyssey to satisfy me- it still feels like a top heavy, 2 ton minivan. Based on online reviews I expected a lot more of the Ody and was disappointed in the examples I test drove.
I have three small children so those LATCH positions are important to me. Three positions in the middle row mean that I can put all three kids there and put the third row down for cargo. Two latch positions in the third row means that if we have another child, we can put two back there, two in the middle and still flip a seat forward for easy access. Most of the time we have one child on the third row and having two positions allows us to choose what side of the row we want down. Oh and the third row tether strap crossing the cargo area was a deal killer too- WTF was Honda thinking???
Seat comfort is a very subjective thing. I found the Ody seats most comfortable, my wife preferred the Sienna. I really did like the Ody drivers position best since I didn't feel nearly so high up; in the Sienna in with the seat at the lowest level I still keep trying to lower it every time I get in because it feels so high. I suspect a lot perception on seat comfort is most comfortable depends on the size of your derriere with small people (like my wife) preferring the Toyota, medium size (like me) preferring the Ody and large folks (stereotypical American) liking the Chrysler. I wasn't impressed by the leather quality on either model and was fine with saving some money to get the cloth, though I do still toy with the idea of upgrading to some high quality aftermarket hide that embarrasses the OEM stuff and at lower price too.
#4952 of 5511 Ody EX vs Sienna LE w/EVP#2? Worth $1300 more?
Aug 12, 2009 (3:33 pm)
We've had a 2001 Ody EX for almost 9 years. Now getting new van. Narrowed choice to 2009 Odyssey EX (no Leather, no RES, no Nav) for $26,525 or 2010 Sienna LE 8-Passenger w/Extra Value Package #2 for $25,225. Seems to me we're pretty much comparing apples to apples since the Toyota package adds dual-power doors, power driver's seat & alloy wheels. The only significant difference I can see on paper is that the Honda has tri-zone climate control, where as the Toyota has manual A/C front & rear. Both now nominally seat 8 vs. 7 in our old van. That's important for vacations since we travel with 5 and can now fold the entire rear seat down for luggage, bikes, etc.
Do these prices seem competitive for New England? Am I missing anything 'cause at these prices the Toyota looks like a better value - especially if sourcing a 2009 Ody falls through since I'll lose the $1250 dealer incentive!