Last post on Jul 02, 2012 at 7:03 AM
You are in the Vans & Minivans
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Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Van
#6 of 22 Re: 2011/2012 Odyssey EXL Vs Sienna XLE [quizzer]
Jan 03, 2012 (7:49 pm)
I drove both, I have to say we haven't purchased yet, but if I had to choose from those two, I would go with the Sienna.
I actually like the look of the Odyssey better, but 1) we have a 2003 Ody with a new transmission at 83K, and I am waiting for it to bust again. 2) the one thing that drives me crazy about my current Ody and the new Ody is the internal noise. It is so loud. Toyota is so much quieter.
If my van broke down today, I would actually go with the Nissan Quest. The interior is great.
#7 of 22 Odyssey over Sienna, primarily for price
Jan 09, 2012 (10:23 am)
I just recently picked up a 2011 Odyssey and wanted to share my impression of it and its competitors in general. I was determined initially to get the Quest. I love the quirky styling, interior is fantastic. Was a bit put off by the cargo capacity in that seats cannot be removed or folded under the floor, but it seemed a non issue as it is a rare occasion where I would need such a configuration. My wife drove it though and didnt like it. She preferred the Sienna as her first choice and we both preferred the Odyssey as our second choice. We were both put off by the Chrysler's exertior styling and a few nit picky things that we found seemed cheap about it. The Sienna is probably better looking of all, but lets face it, its a minivan, and the best looking minivan is still not stylish at all compared to a traditional sedan, coupe. So who cares, we are buying for utility first and formost, having a better looking minivan than competitors is really just softening the blow of owning a minivan in the first place. I thought Toyota had 2nd nicest interior, but Honda had bit more utility, better driving experience. In the end, we were shopping the Sienna and Odyssey, but Toyota wouldnt really deal on a lease. Tried a few different dealerships and Odyssey EX-L with RES still came out significantly cheaper to lease than a Sienna XLE with DVD. So that solved our dilemma for us.
I do like the Odyssey, have already taken it on multi hour trip. Kids love it. Much easier to lug 3 kids and stuff around than in our Ford Flex that we turned in. I think we got a reasonable price on it, but there are some aspects of the interior that feel cheap, such as the extensive use of faux aluminum bits that really just look like grey plastic. I wish automakers would nix faux aluminum from their parts bin, its not fooling anyone. A real gear indicator on the actual shifter would be nice rather than a sticker even though it is indicated on the display. Minor touch. Better intagration of the door tracks would also be nice, other manufacturers are managing it, but I suspect the lightening bolt effect of the side profile may prevent a hidden track. But here is my largest complaint, almost gives me buyer's remorse. No fog lights on a $38k car?? WTF. No Roof Rails?? No HID headlights??? A few other minor oversights on the equipment list is very bothersome. I realize that some of these are available as dealer installed accessories, but these things should be standard at this price point in my humble opinion. Its just another example of nickle and diming us to death.
Overall, I am pleased with the vehicle, decent price, would like a little more equipment as standard.
#8 of 22 Ground clearance
Jan 20, 2012 (8:53 am)
I've been going back and forth between the Honda and Toyota for the past month. The Odyssey seemed to be the winner with better fuel efficiency, a better ride, I actually like the exterior look and the interior felt roomier and of higher quality. I WAS leaning that way even though I am a bit disappointed in the lack of options (no back-up cam on EX and no roof rails on any) and the Honda salespeople are annoyingly over confident and not very knowledgeable about their product.
The Sienna on the other had did have some nice options on the LE including AWD, roof rails and backup cams. Their price is much is better (though my insurance company charges more for the Sienna than a comparable Odyssey) and the salesperson at Toyota could actually answer my questions.
The real kicker for me now is the GROUND CLEARANCE! Our family may not be the norm, but we do take our Vans on road trips, camping, dirt roads, snowy roads(sometimes) and our driveway. Our 2001 Odyssey has 6.5 inches of clearance which for most cases is enough, barely. The new Odyssey has lowered that to 4.5 (which was a hard number to come by and not well advertised). Sienna is at 6.5.
So my question is, has anyone had trouble with Ground Clearance? 4.5 inches doesn't seem like much especially when we're fully laden with bikes, racks and oh yes, kids! And NO I'm not interested in some big SUV, just a van that can do it ALL!!!
#9 of 22 2nd/3rd row better on Ody
Jan 23, 2012 (2:46 pm)
Been looking at the Sienna XLE and the Odyseey EX-L. Some cons on the Sienna were the 2nd row middle seat can't become a console/arm rest. You have to take it out (and put it in the hole in the back) and use their floor console. Seats felt narrower than the Ody, however there was a lot more leg room on the Sienna. I think if you have a child on a car seat, you can literally stand in front of the seat.
Another neg was the console - the rear view camera is a small 3" screen vs the 8" on the Ody.
Both test drove nice however. We got an Ody in the end.
#10 of 22 Ride??
Jan 30, 2012 (10:37 am)
Getting rid of an 01 Ody, so looking at both of these - Ody and Sienna. Test drove an LE and LE AWD and both had a constant road feel through the seats. Our 01 actually rides smoother. All the reviews say the sienna rides great but I didn't feel like that. Roads in Indiana are not great so the ride is important. I am looking for others' impressions. Thanks.
#11 of 22 Re: 2011/2012 Odyssey EXL Vs Sienna XLE [quizzer]
Feb 20, 2012 (9:21 pm)
I have not made up my mind which one I will buy but I am pretty sure it will be the Sienna. I have owned several Honda's and was sure I would buy an Odyssey. Here are the reasons.
The ground clearance is too low on the Honda. I believe it is only 4.5 inches but it is difficult to find out if that is correct because Honda will not publish the clearance. Go to Honda.com and compare let's say the CRV, Pilot and Odyssey. Notice they give you the ground clearance on the CRV and Pilot but not on the Odyssey. Originally it was on their web site but they pulled it off. I believe they pulled it off because some people are bottoming out the front end under certain conditions. I do not have a link handy to problems I found.
Whether or not you plan to tow anything you should know the Honda towing package will cost you about $1500 (about $950 for parts and the rest for dealer installation). The Sienna comes standard with a heavy duty transmission cooler and I believe also a heavy duty radiator). Part of the cost on the Honda is for a heavy duty transmission cooler. With all the transmission problems Honda has had, I wonder if their transmissions would last longer if they ran cooler (especially in Arizona and other hot places).
I know three people who have over 100k miles on their Sienna with zero problems. I know two Odyssey owners including my son who have had transmission and other problems within 100K miles.
The only thing I do not like about the Sienna is that when you take out the second row seats, the roller mechanism for the seats remains in the car so you do not have a completely flat floor in that area.
Feb 20, 2012 (9:25 pm)
If you buy the AWD Sienna, you do not have a spare tire because they use 'run flat' tires. A set of new tires will cost you about $1600. I was told you can only buy those tires from Toyota.
The insulation under the AWD might not be as good as a FWD since they run a drive shaft underneath.
#13 of 22 Low Ground Clearance on the '11/'12 Odysseys
Apr 03, 2012 (7:17 pm)
I too was worried about low ground clearance on the Odysseys, but I ended up buying one anyway. The 2nd week, I looked under the front of my van, and I was pleasantly relieved. Try this at the dealership: Get down on to the ground and look under the FRONT end of the van. Where the ground clearance is 4.5" is the bottom of the suspension arms, close to the front tires. When you hit a bump, that part near the tires will rise up too. Now look under the rear part of the van. There you'll find plenty of ground clearance, even with a trailer hitch installed. I take 5 of us plus 5 bikes on biking trips, and ground clearance doesn't concern me.
#14 of 22 Odyssey EX-L vs Toyota XLE vs Quest SL
Apr 03, 2012 (8:14 pm)
I researched the minivans heavily in the winter of 2012. On paper, at least, the Sienna was my first choice. Although my gut choice was the Nissan Quest with its cushy and quiet ride, which I longed for. I had an '08 Odyssey for 4 years which worked out well, but I didn't like all the road noise and the stiffer ride. It was last on my minivan shopping list. Then in mid-March, I started test-driving these 3 vans. Here are the results: 1)Nissan Quest SL--I liked the smooth, quiet, limo-like ride, but seats were smallish, with seat cushions that were too flat. It lacked storage space, but the seating arrangement I had no problem with. It's lower resale value was a turn-off 2) Toyota Sienna XLE--I liked the van overall, but on the test-drive, the engine seemed to be noisier and rougher than expected. The van itself seemed to be noisier too, but then Hondas are noisey too. 3) Honda EX-L--It was definitely improved from my '08 model. I'm indifferent about the exterior. The engine is all but silent, and it's smooth too. The road noise is reduced a little, but I wish they had reduced it more to match the Quest. I thought the Ody had the most comfortable seats for adults. (I carry a lot of senior adults around) I especially liked the improved 8th seat in the center of the 2nd row. So after the test-drives, and more thinking, we decided to get another Honda EX-L. (which was NOT my plan) I've had it 2 1/2 wks. I would say it's better than the older ones like my '08, but I can see where it's not really THAT much better. And I think both Honda and Toyota have cut some corners on content and quality. The Sienna was my 2nd choice by a slim margin.
#15 of 22 Still conflicted
Apr 11, 2012 (6:55 pm)
Great thread -- and thanks to all who offered an opinion. I am still undecided. Here's where my head is at:
*Background: I am at the end of a lease on a 2010 Honda Odyssey EX-L with Nav and RES. We wanted to get an equivalent.
* Models -- Honda now does not offer NAV + RES on EX-L, so I started looking at Odyssey Touring and Sienna Limited with the Premium Package. I have since started considering EX-L with RES vs XLE with RES + Nav.
* Price: in these models, Sienna is more expensive. Yes, the base price is less than on Odyssey, but once you add the Premium package (which you have to add for the rear entertainment system), Sienna is ~2K more expensive (Touring vs Limited or EXL vs XLE -- same thing).
* Lease: Toyota has better residuals (by 2-3%) and better money factors (0.00066 vs 0.00115). But they are less willing to negotiate, so the lease costs on Honda come out about $50-60/month less than Sienna on average.
* Exterior: don't care -- both look fine to me. It's a minivan.
* Ride: don't care -- both ride fine for a minivan.
* Features/interior... this is where things get wacky
- Nav system: both suck, but Odyssey sucks more. No more touch screen. Oh my god -- the joystick/nob design is terrible and is many years behind. Why they switched? Don't know. the 2010 had a touch screen, and while it was bad, it was usable for input. Sienna is functional, I just don't like the low screen resolution. In the end, I've decided I'd rather not pay for the nav and get an aftermarket Garmin or TomTom for $300. I rent a lot of cars, and see much better systems on Fords, Cadillacs, Audis... why can't they put a decent nav in these?!
- Dashboard/console: Odyssey looks much more polished. The center stack on the Sienna is very functional, but to my eye, ugly. The textured plastic is unattractive. More importantly, the center stack on the Sienna is harder to reach that on Odyssey.
- Third-row folding system: Both are good. I like the push-button style on the Sienna, but the Odyssey manual system is easy and painless. Overall, not enough of an advantage either way.
- Push button ignition: Sienna can have that, but only on Limited. Odyssey can't have it. Ridiculous. My el-cheapo sedan has it. Many new cars have it. Come on, Honda and Toyota!
Winner: Sienna (kind of - Limited only)
- Second row: I know, Honda's done some magic here. But for me, the second row on a Sienna in a 7 seat configuration is just better. The seats are more comfortable, they move further back, and the recliner feature, while not fit for adults, is great. The windows on the Sienna in the second row are also wider, so it just seems roomier.
Winner: Sienna (subjective)
- Sunroof(s): Sienna offers two sunroofs on Limited. Some people say they don't use them -- we do. My three kids loved the second sunroof.
Winner: Sienna (Limited only)
- Auto Folding mirrors: Ooh, Toyota, you've got that one right. Again, Limited only, but it's nice. I park two cars in the garage, and routinely fold the mirrors by hand. The push-button convenience here is useful. Honda, you listening?
Winner: Sienna (Limited only)
- All-wheel drive. Need I say more? I can live without it, but the fact that Toyota offers it is great. The incremental price is small (a little over a grand). The extended cost of replacing a $1600 set of run-flat tires is a bit of a downer.
Winner: Sienna (only if you MUST have AWD)
- Other Options: Both are bad. Odyssey -- why not over nav and RES on EX-L? Answer: to push people to buy Touring. Sienna -- why are the nav and res options so expensive? Answer: to make the buying experience confusing. HID lights? Get the Touring Elite with Odyssey or buy the expensive high-tech package on the Sienna. You do get more flexibility with the Sienna (at a price), but overall it's a tie.
Winner: Tie (Small advantage for the Sienna)
Still undecided, but I fear I will end up going with an Odyssey EX-L with RES and buying an aftermarket nav. I will miss the dual sunroof, the auto-folding mirrors, the push-button third-row seat, and the push-button ignition. But at $60-$80/month less expensive on a lease than a comparable Sienna, it's hard to justify not going with Odyssey. Unless I can get an incredible deal...