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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So leaks suggest that the sienna will go hybrid, and only hybrid in 2021.


I love my odyssey, it was the clear winner on driving dynamics when shopping around in 2013. Many years of comfortable family transport, very satisfied. Recently did a road trip with some guys in friend's town and country, which was a minute by minute reminder that I made the right choice. I'm not sure the T&C third row seats were even level sideways.....brutal on the back.

But by 2021 model year, our ody will be 10 years old, so thinking ahead to what we might want. Mileage for city driving is obviously outstanding for hybrids, which I have to assume is why most cabs in my city (and many cities) are Prius' now. The mechanical issues of the 4th gen Odyssey also make me wonder about whether Honda is really at all close to Toyota on reliability anymore. On the other hand, hybrid's are expensive to fix, and a mechanic friend who recently bought a Prius said even he would have to take it to the dealer if there are batter issues. However, Toyota's hybrid tech is more than 20 years old, and proven very reliable, and they are upping the battery warranty coverage to 10 years (from 8) for everything 2020 and newer. And lastly the AWD factor, very attractive here in prairie winters with trips to mountains.

On looks, personal preference, I think current Sienna's are ugly to look at (particularly the profile view), somewhat less nice inside, and with somewhat less comfortable (but still good) seats. But it's also likely 2021 will bring a redesign (last one was 2011 MY), so maybe things will improve. The recent models of the highlander and Camry are significant visual improvements IMO, although they seem to be copying Mazda second-gen look (especially highlander).

I have to assume the Odyssey will still drive better, but what do you guys think?
 

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So many factors and personal preferences to account for that only you can decide. I'll admit I haven't been impressed with all of the Honds quality issues in recent years, though Toyota has had some too. I used to buy new, but have switched to buying 5-7 year old 100K cars with excellent service history. That allows me to avoid the pitfalls of unknown technology issues like VCM, GDI, etc., or at least buy knowing how to reduce or eliminate issues with those weaknesses.
 

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When we were shopping for our minivan, we cross-shopped the Sienna (and others) to see if we wanted to stick with Honda. If I could have had the exterior looks of the Sienna, coupled with its AWD, and the Honda's interior, we would have paid MSRP gladly. As I am usually unable to see the outside of the car while driving, we went with the Odyssey. Similar to what @pkrface mentioned, I try to avoid the first year of a new generation (or newly incorporated technology). If the 2021 Sienna Hybrid turns out to be a good one (reliable, good driving dynamics, pleasant interior), then 2024 should see some 2021 lease-returns for me to purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When we were shopping for our minivan, we cross-shopped the Sienna (and others) to see if we wanted to stick with Honda. If I could have had the exterior looks of the Sienna, coupled with its AWD, and the Honda's interior, we would have paid MSRP gladly. As I am usually unable to see the outside of the car while driving, we went with the Odyssey. Similar to what @pkrface mentioned, I try to avoid the first year of a new generation (or newly incorporated technology). If the 2021 Sienna Hybrid turns out to be a good one (reliable, good driving dynamics, pleasant interior), then 2024 should see some 2021 lease-returns for me to purchase.
Ya I'm along that same thoughts process. Surprised you found the exterior of the Sienna more appealing, but to each his own. For sure if AWD, I'd go Honda again due to interior and driving feel/ride as well. I wouldn't be worried about the hybrid system as 'new tech' because toyota hybrid tech is quite mature and reliable, and it's very likely it will be the powertrain already used in the highlander. But ya the other aspects of a new redesign are always cause for caution.
 

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When we were shopping for our minivan, we cross-shopped the Sienna (and others) to see if we wanted to stick with Honda. If I could have had the exterior looks of the Sienna, coupled with its AWD, and the Honda's interior, we would have paid MSRP gladly. As I am usually unable to see the outside of the car while driving, we went with the Odyssey. Similar to what @pkrface mentioned, I try to avoid the first year of a new generation (or newly incorporated technology). If the 2021 Sienna Hybrid turns out to be a good one (reliable, good driving dynamics, pleasant interior), then 2024 should see some 2021 lease-returns for me to purchase.
The only issue I have with going late model on Honda or Toyota is that it isn't uncommon to pay too close to new price at that point. In most cases if you pro-rate the depreciation cost per mile the 2 or 3 year old used car is actually higher cost per mile than brand new. The reason for that is most banks will finance that 3 year old car for the same term as a brand new one and close to the same interest rate for a well qualified buyer. That means an $8K less price than new lowers the payment over $150 a month and when buyers are only focused on payment that drives the sale. By the time it isn't the current body style, has 100K miles and needs the TB done, I can pay cash for it and do the 105K service for$500, and drive it for 100K miles with very little repair cost. My current Ody just had the 2nd 105K service at 222K and it looks and runs beautifully, so unless something happens like my previous one that got totaled I probably won't need another one for at least 5 years. One thing I know for sure I won't buy a 9 speed.
 

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Damn! The 2021 Sienna looks good!

All hybrid (no gas-only option) with AWD available in all trim levels. And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think it's pretty good looking too. Those quarter panels are pretty prominent but I don't think they're any weirder than the Odyssey swoops and curves. Down on power a bit but tow rating stays respectable for a minivan. Looks like the Odyssey has some extremely serious competition.


 
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It looks nice. I like their idea for the AWD option. Hybrid + AWD available on all trims.Also 8 seats. The only lacking option is a PHEV variant. I might hold out for that. Maybe a Sienna Prime Plug-in Hybrid 🤔
 

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If you trade cars every 10ish years, I wouldn't worry about the hybrid battery. Toyota's hybrid batteries don't seem to have issues until after that. Me, personally, I'm not sure that I would want a Sienna Hybrid since I don't drive a lot of miles and would plan on keeping it 20+ years, which would almost certainly necessitate a battery replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The only issue I have with going late model on Honda or Toyota is that it isn't uncommon to pay too close to new price at that point. In most cases if you pro-rate the depreciation cost per mile the 2 or 3 year old used car is actually higher cost per mile than brand new. The reason for that is most banks will finance that 3 year old car for the same term as a brand new one and close to the same interest rate for a well qualified buyer. That means an $8K less price than new lowers the payment over $150 a month and when buyers are only focused on payment that drives the sale. By the time it isn't the current body style, has 100K miles and needs the TB done, I can pay cash for it and do the 105K service for$500, and drive it for 100K miles with very little repair cost. My current Ody just had the 2nd 105K service at 222K and it looks and runs beautifully, so unless something happens like my previous one that got totaled I probably won't need another one for at least 5 years. One thing I know for sure I won't buy a 9 speed.
You guys must have some good banks down there. I think the lowest used car rate I’ve ever seen here in Canada was 4.9%, more typically it will be something like 7.9% or 8.9%. New van be close to zero. It for sure makes more sense to buy new with Toyota vs 3 years old. Plus then you get no questions about history, and 5 years of warranty (10 on the battery).
 

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Just the thought of having an auto payment....makes the new Sienna looks like a 2001 for Escort coupe in my eyes.
 

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You guys must have some good banks down there. I think the lowest used car rate I’ve ever seen here in Canada was 4.9%, more typically it will be something like 7.9% or 8.9%. New van be close to zero. It for sure makes more sense to buy new with Toyota vs 3 years old. Plus then you get no questions about history, and 5 years of warranty (10 on the battery).
Two very different markets and economies, lending rules, marketing concepts, etc. Impossible to compare CA to USA.
 

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I think the lowest used car rate I’ve ever seen here in Canada was 4.9%, more typically it will be something like 7.9% or 8.9%. New van be close to zero.
Yeah, true. That's why the banks are still making tons of money even in the midst of the pandemic.

However, negotiate the best sale price before shopping for financing. Dealers sometimes emphasize the low manufacturer finance rate and the monthly payment, while distracting the customer from the sale price of the vehicle.

In this case, it's possible to have your cake and eat it too - a good sale price and a low interest rate.
 
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