I drive Sienna at work and Odyssey at home. Both are great cars. I bought Odyssey over Sienna because when you compare feature to feature, Ody is a better buy even at MSRP. If you go to Honda's website and select "Competitive Comparison" under Odyssey, you will know my point.
(b) the Honda dealer I work with is far and away superior to the idiots that sell Toyotas in this town. In fact, if my Honda dealer told me tomorrow that they were switching to Ford, I might even consider a Ford. Service is important to me, all around--from the sale to 100K miles after the sale.
Then there's the magic seat. I refuse to even acknowledge that forcing an owner to remove seats from a family passenger vehicle is up for discussion. It's ludicrous. I don't know why the world thinks it's OK to lug 40 pounds of seat around, and to be inconvenienced when looking at a spur-of-the-moment purchase ("darn it, now I have to go back home, take the seats out, then come back and pick up that TV set. Well, I guess I didn't want it that bad anyway").
What yanks me about the Sienna is that Toyota knows darn well the validity of my opinion on this; they had rearmost seats that fold up to the sides on their Previa. Great system. But when they went to Sienna, they were looking to cut costs any way they could--or something--and went the route of the stupid Chrysler concept of inconveniencing the owner. That mindset right there turned me way off--that they know how to do it right but actively refused to.
For 2002, there has been significant changes that make the Sienna no longer a competitor. Things that you would expect to see with a new redesign. Just look at the specs:
5 spd auto 4 spd auto
4 whl disk brks Rr drum brks
Std. side air bags Optional
MSRP on my Ody EX-L is pretty darn close to a similarly equipped Sienna XLE at invoice.
In So. Cal, there are plenty of Honda/Acura specialist to pick from instead of relying on dealer services - can't say the same for Toyota. Also since the ODY sells at MSRP and demand exceeds supply, you can expect very high resale value. For Sienna, they're a dime a dozen.
Now if you wait until '03, Toyota will have a new van to possibly answer the ODY, but then again in '04 Honda will have theirs. In any case, it's a long time to wait. Those are just some of my reasons.
Never thought I could get so excited over a minivan!
'02 GG EX-L
'93 Acura Legend L
Before I found this fantastic site, I checked two news groups (alt.autos.toyota and rec.autos.makers.honda) to check out the opinions about Odyssey and Sienna.
In addition to the pointer to Odyclub, one thing I found out was this "Charlene Blake" character is NOT a normal person. I would not believe anything she has to say.
You can check the above mentioned news groups to confirm.