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Discussion Starter #1
I am here to report on my drive tests on both vehicles.
I did at least 4 (!) long and extensive test drives on each.
The vehicles I tested were very similar in features:
1. Toyota Sienna EXL - leather seats, power doors\tailgate, navigation, power chairs, heated chairs, usb, bluetooth etc
2. Odyssey EX-L w/Nav.
I ended buying an Ody EX-L a month ago.

Toyota Sienna Pros:
- Engine power and torque; I found that the Sienna's engine is much more powerful than the odyssey, the difference in 20 HP feel like a difference of 50 HP. The sienna really flies, while fuel consumption is similar.
- Toyota has 2 years free service, not a big deal since most are just changing oil and a filter, but still.

Toyota Sienna Cons:
- Exterior design. I find the Ody more appealing to the eye. In spite Toyota's efforts, the Sienna still looks like a Lego box.
- Interior design. Sienna's dashboard design is one of the ugliest things I ever laid my eyes on. It looks like a Flintons van from the 80's. It reminds me of my made in japan rice cooker. horrible.
- Technology and user interface. Another disaster, the navigation system is touch not-sensitive, which means this is not like the iPad. You need to push your fingers hard to get it working. The entire concept of the dvd slot hidden behind the folding LCD screen is horrible. I would give an F to whoever designed the interior of this car.

Ody pros:
- Exterior and interior design, just beautiful compared to the Sienna. See above.
- Technology and user interface - I found everything to be well designed and in place. I like the fact the EX-L has a hard drive of 15 GB that will record all my audio cds. Although officially Bluetooth music streaming does not work with the iPhone, in reality it does. It is not perfect, as there is a 3 sec delay when you hit next or prev.
- Driving experience - I felt more connected to the road with the Ody. With the Sienna it was a bit floaty.

Ody cons:
- Software bugs in abundance. As someone who writes software, I can tell you the technology package has many bugs (how many times do you need to press OK to go out of the intro screen? some voice commands just lock teh system, etc)
- Engine not really powerful for a V6.

Although the sienna is considerably more powerful than the Ody, I bought an Odyssey because of the design, user interface and usability of interior features.
Honda 1: Toyota 0 :DD
 

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I am curious as to how many times you expect to find yourself needing more power than the Odyssey provides.

Before I purchased the Odyssey I owned several Chrysler minivans with hp ratings of 180 and I never found myself in a situation in which I needed more power. The Odyssey with 248hp is plenty in my book. I have yet to use full throttle and I have about 14k on it.

It wasn't that long ago that a V6 with more than 240hp was not very common.
 

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My wife and I just test drove a Sienna XLE with navigation and an Odyssey EX-L with navigation. Agree with your comments. Also can't use the toyota nav from the passenger seat while car is moving. Dumb. I went in thinking I wanted the toyota but after just sitting in them the honda interior is worlds better.
 

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My comparison:

Toyota:

Very good looking exterior but still a minivan
Depressing looking interior and terrible quality of materials used.
Not a reassuring handling (boat like) and disconnected steering feel
More standard features, available AWD, lower pricing.

Odyssey:

Not a love from the fist site exterior, grows on you with time, does not look like a minivan (a plus)
Acura appointed interior (EXL and up)
Very good handling and decent steering feel
Less powerful, no AWD, most expensive in its class
More available OEM upgrade accessories.

Said all that I'll take Odyssey any day over Toyota so I don't have to look at that gag inducing dashboard every day.
 

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Didn't the new sienna also have lower marks in crash tests, i heard it only got 3 stars while the ody was 5.
 

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Didn't the new sienna also have lower marks in crash tests, i heard it only got 3 stars while the ody was 5.
As rated by NHTSA for 2011 models...

Overall, Odyssey = 5 stars, Sienna = 4
Frontal, Odyssey = 5 stars, Sienna = 3
Side, Odyssey = 5 stars, Sienna = 5
Rollover, Odyssey = 4 stars, Sienna = 4 stars

They also recommend that Sienna owners order ESC.
 

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Ok, thanks for the clarification Dave. The Frontal number is a bit alarming that alone would eliminate the sienna for me.
 

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Whether you buy an Ody or Sienna the bottom line is, buy what fits your taste.
 

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Sienna is also lighter

Sienna is also lighter with much less hp to weight ratio (16.7 lb/hp vs 18.1 lb/hp for odyssey). That's almost 13% difference.
 

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Sienna is also lighter with much less hp to weight ratio (16.7 lb/hp vs 18.1 lb/hp for odyssey). That's almost 13% difference.
Much less? What trims are you comparing if I can ask?

Not that it really matters for a van anyway, but some numbers:

  • Sienna XLE FWD V6 6AT 8 seater: 4520lb, 266hp - 16.99 lb/hp. 18/25mpg
  • Honda Odyssey EX-L V6 5AT 8 seater: 4483lb, 248hp - 18.07 lb/hp. 18/27mpg
Difference: ~ 5.98%

(and the Odyssey highway mileage is really decent for a 5AT)

Source:

2012 Honda Odyssey - Specifications - Official Honda Site

Toyota Sienna - 2012 Performance & Specifications
 

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Just thought I would throw my two cents in here on the Toyota.
I researched for a long time before I settled on the Odyssey over the Sienna.
I got the opportunity to drive a 2012 Sienna as a rental while the Odyssey had body work done. I wouldn't trade my Honda for that at all. It wasn't up the same specs as ours as we have an EX-L w/ RES this was just the general model for the Sienna I think.
I do remember thinking that it seemed bigger in space wise…the space between the diver seat to the back coach chair seemed to be a lot bigger..I'm no sure on that, but that was nice. But over all I was VERY glad to have my Honda back!!!
 

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My buddy has a 2011 AWD Sienn which I have driven extensively. Other than the AWD that he swears by, he'd take my 2011 Odyssey any day. So would I.

I did note the comment about soft ware bugs though and I agree 100 %. Very frustrating. Most recently I added voice tags to all the numbers in my speed dial. Was working fine. Came out the next morning and everything was gone. Duplicated it again. I can add the number to speed dial without voice tags and they stay there forever. Try adding voice tags and all the info is gone when I shut off engine.
 

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I got 2012 Odyssey EX-L (No NAV, No RES).

After reading a lot of reviews, hands on test driving, and youtubes.
My reasons for picking Odyssey EX-L over Sienna XLE.

Pro:
1. OTD price was ~$1000 cheaper
2. Interior looked better
3. Bigger rear view cam screen
4. 3rd row much easlier to fold
5. Child seat hooks/clips on 2nd row middle seat
6. 2nd row give extra space by moving left/right about 1 in
7. Cool box
8. no rail on the floor for 2nd row seats. no cheerios going into track.
9. leather felt better

Con:
Little worry about transmission on Odyssey, but planning to buy extended warrenty.


Pro and Con about Seinna.
Pro:
1. middle 2nd row seat can be store in the cargo space
2. felt like it had more power
3. exterior looks
4. 0% fianacing
5. 2 year maintaince (oil change)

Con:
1. worried about power door jamming issue
2. worried about water leak
 

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I was excited about both new gen vans when they came out last year. I gave a slight edge in exterior looks to the Sienna but really liked the Ody too.

Went to the auto show and sat in the SE Sienna and was severely disappointed. I have never seen such cut rate materials. The dash has a weird raised texture and a very brittle hard feeling plastic. Although the Odyssey is also not great and I think it took a step back vs the 3rd gen model, it's still much better than the Sienna.

I've driven the new Ody and it was great, but have not yet driven the Sienna.
 

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I got 2012 Odyssey EX-L (No NAV, No RES).

After reading a lot of reviews, hands on test driving, and youtubes.
My reasons for picking Odyssey EX-L over Sienna XLE.

Pro:
1. OTD price was ~$1000 cheaper
2. Interior looked better
3. Bigger rear view cam screen
4. 3rd row much easlier to fold
5. Child seat hooks/clips on 2nd row middle seat
6. 2nd row give extra space by moving left/right about 1 in
7. Cool box
8. no rail on the floor for 2nd row seats. no cheerios going into track.
9. leather felt better

Con:
Little worry about transmission on Odyssey, but planning to buy extended warrenty.


Pro and Con about Seinna.
Pro:
1. middle 2nd row seat can be store in the cargo space
2. felt like it had more power
3. exterior looks
4. 0% fianacing
5. 2 year maintaince (oil change)

Con:
1. worried about power door jamming issue
2. worried about water leak
Good luck with your extended warranty, I bought it, tried using it at the dealer and they told me the whining and shuddering is normal for that year.
I love my Odyssey, much like every one else on this board, but Honda really dropped the ball with the power train, and this is a bigger con than all of the other pro and cons listed. None of the electronics or dashboard look or cheerios in the rails matters if the van doesn't move.
Other things to consider
VCM has overly complicated engine mounts
power steering pump
groaning at 2000 rpm
groaning brakes
noisy interior
noisy engine
choppy ride, although that's a matter of taste, I just think these vans should ride like limos
4th generation is really ugly, this is another matter of taste, to me the entire Honda line is getting really ugly (Accord Crosstour, huntch back CRV, Acura ZDX, Acura TL) whereas Toyota is getting out of the ugly with the 2013 Avalon, at least they are making an effort.
Honda never bothered to upgrade their engines accross their entire line, they are falling behind the industry, even the Koreans have better MPG and horsepower.
The old V6 GM cars (in the 80s) has high transmission failures because their engines were weak, straining the torque converter, perhaps this is whats happening with these big Hondas.
My 05 Ody has 100K miles now and is on its second tranny. If I have to get an new van now, it will be a Sienna
 

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Good luck with your extended warranty, I bought it, tried using it at the dealer and they told me the whining and shuddering is normal for that year.
I love my Odyssey, much like every one else on this board, but Honda really dropped the ball with the power train, and this is a bigger con than all of the other pro and cons listed. None of the electronics or dashboard look or cheerios in the rails matters if the van doesn't move.
Other things to consider
VCM has overly complicated engine mounts
power steering pump
groaning at 2000 rpm
groaning brakes
noisy interior
noisy engine
choppy ride, although that's a matter of taste, I just think these vans should ride like limos
4th generation is really ugly, this is another matter of taste, to me the entire Honda line is getting really ugly (Accord Crosstour, huntch back CRV, Acura ZDX, Acura TL) whereas Toyota is getting out of the ugly with the 2013 Avalon, at least they are making an effort.
Honda never bothered to upgrade their engines accross their entire line, they are falling behind the industry, even the Koreans have better MPG and horsepower.
The old V6 GM cars (in the 80s) has high transmission failures because their engines were weak, straining the torque converter, perhaps this is whats happening with these big Hondas.
My 05 Ody has 100K miles now and is on its second tranny. If I have to get an new van now, it will be a Sienna
Uh...You're comparing a 2005 and any issues that it may have faced to the newest generation of the van?
 
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