Automotive

Why does Sienna lag behind the Odysey?

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  • Sep 5th, 2019 9:40 am
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Sr. Member
Aug 21, 2014
634 posts
320 upvotes

Why does Sienna lag behind the Odysey?

Seems every reviews I read recommends the Honda.

How can this be? Toyota does not improvise its van over the years?
30 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2013
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jetsfan69 wrote: Seems every reviews I read recommends the Honda.

How can this be? Toyota does not improvise its van over the years?
Toyota hasn't redesigned it in ten years. Odyssey was done in 2018.

Hopefully there will be a new redesigned Sienna for 2021 but they could also just continue on or discontinue it because minivan sales are tanking hard.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2018
903 posts
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So many updates to the Odyssey yet it still hugs the ground and doesn't have an AWD option. Toyota keeps the same formula, Honda is still trying to find their's
Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Montreal
95thRiflesOCI wrote: So many updates to the Odyssey yet it still hugs the ground and doesn't have an AWD option. Toyota keeps the same formula, Honda is still trying to find their's
Euuhh, that's what makes a van a van. If you want clearance and awd, plenty of options out there. They're just called CUVs.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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jetsfan69 wrote: Seems every reviews I read recommends the Honda.

How can this be? Toyota does not improvise its van over the years?
I got a feeling we will see a new Tundra/Sequoia and Tacoma before you will see a new Sienna.
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Jan 7, 2007
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Xtrema wrote: I got a feeling we will see a new Tundra/Sequoia and Tacoma before you will see a new Sienna.
The next Sienna will be out for the 2021 model year and most likely be revealed at the LA Auto Show later this year.
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Mar 23, 2004
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jetsfan69 wrote: Seems every reviews I read recommends the Honda.

How can this be? Toyota does not improvise its van over the years?
So you're saying that Honda improvises? Or that you want Toyota to improvise? Not sure what you're saying here but either way, improvising doesn't sound like something anyone wants to hear a car maker doing (whether or not they do it).
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Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
Most reviewer like the handling [lower to ground] aspects of Ody over Sienna. But Sienna no slouch and you're not drag racing when buying a minivan.

Both have more then enough power and space.

IMHO there are no great minivans made anymore. The current gen Sienna probably best from Ody , Grand Caravan, Pacifica, VW badged Chrysler, Sedona.

Think the last great minivan was Ody two gens ago; like 2010.
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Mar 1, 2008
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If Toyota brought over the Alphard, it would be the king of minivans.
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Dec 15, 2017
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I would also choose an Odyssey Honda over Sienna. Its smoother and comfy. But I bet the Sienna is more reliable.
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Feb 9, 2006
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jackrabbit000 wrote: x2. The 3rd Generation 2005-2010 we're the best.
Except most of them died due to the rusting issue and oil bb urning issue in conjunction with the VCM.

You actually see more later 2nd gens around provided people got their transmission recalls done. The 3.5 was solid in that due to a lack of VCM and no rusting issues.

At this point the Sienna is a full generation behind the Odyssey but still holds its own in a sagging segment. Toyota has very little plans to invest in a new van at least not until it's better selling products have moved to TNGA.
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Jan 11, 2004
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I'd pick the sienna over the odyssey, any day!
the odyssey is just ugly to me.
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Jan 15, 2006
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akito925 wrote: I'd pick the sienna over the odyssey, any day!
the odyssey is just ugly to me.
The only good odyssey was the first generation!
Sr. Member
Jan 12, 2006
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Woodbridge
Owning a 2018 Odyessy Touring, i love my van but reliabilty, forget about it. It was rated in the top 10 most unreliable cars by consumers report.

In 1.5 years of ownership, so many problems with this thing including.
1. Grenading the 10 Speed Auto tranny (took over 2 months in the shop, car was only 5 months old with 12,000kms!)
2. Infotainment is feature filled but constant crashes (network connection lost, freeze, etc)
3. Sliding door issues - consistently not closing all the way.. UNtil the crappy recall where they wanted for months to disable the power sliding doors. My car again in the shop for a week to get the door fixed as it would not shut properly.
4. Unusual smell (told it was the leather in the car) but it always is there when you first get in


Despite that, i love the feautres in the car, and a huge upgrade over the 2016 Ody i had. I would still buy this car again over the Sienna, but man, honda really needs to fix this crap reliability!
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Sep 8, 2007
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Tell that Sienna reliability to my POS AWD 2011 Sienna with the rear vicious coupler (a known issue) failing at 100k (typical mileage failure). No coverage or goodwill by Toyota. Then failing o2 sensors at 8 years. Not to mention the cheap garbage plastic interior and the bulbous soft ride. I’ll take another gen 3 Odyssey (05-10) any day. I prefer the handling and solid feel to the Ody.

It’s like these companies know minivan buyers are captive to a small selection set and can just make trash. Pacifica? Please. Pricing on that is a joke.

These days I’d probably just as well keep cycling thru Dodge Caravans on CVP clear out sales and pitch them before 100k/5yrs. Brand loyalty is for suckers. Like being loyal to Bell or Rogers.
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Jan 14, 2008
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EP32k2 wrote: The only good odyssey was the first generation!
Are you referring to the 4 cylinder, 4 swing out door one, which made them go back to the drawing board for gen 2?
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gc99 wrote: Are you referring to the 4 cylinder, 4 swing out door one, which made them go back to the drawing board for gen 2?
There's only 1 gen 1. It's the one that was the VIP special 4 swing out doors and the 4 Cylinder. It was indeed the best Generation.
cartfan123 wrote: Tell that Sienna reliability to my POS AWD 2011 Sienna with the rear vicious coupler (a known issue) failing at 100k (typical mileage failure). No coverage or goodwill by Toyota. Then failing o2 sensors at 8 years. Not to mention the cheap garbage plastic interior and the bulbous soft ride. I’ll take another gen 3 Odyssey (05-10) any day. I prefer the handling and solid feel to the Ody.

It’s like these companies know minivan buyers are captive to a small selection set and can just make trash. Pacifica? Please. Pricing on that is a joke.

These days I’d probably just as well keep cycling thru Dodge Caravans on CVP clear out sales and pitch them before 100k/5yrs. Brand loyalty is for suckers. Like being loyal to Bell or Rogers.
At least with the VSC there's a tried and true way to prevent them from dying, every 40k KM you need to change the diff fluid and check the diff vent. Toyota's maint schedule is wrong dead wrong for the diff. IIRC for the Venza/Matrix or Rav4 they put Inspect the fluid every 40k or 60k. Never says Replace and even in the service documentation that dealers would have it does not have a replace recommendation. I understand the Parts may not be the same but the designs for the VSC are all similar they are all electromagnetic couplers and it's in use right now in the torque vectoring rear diff for the new Rav 4.

For The issues with the Odyssey they are all design and rush to market issues. The 10 speed speed, The VCM, the various issues with all the sliding doors over the years (So many revised parts to replace them with strong plastics or finally metal). Rusting issues with Gen 3.

TBH the Caravan is actually more reliable than the current Odyssey at this point. But no one on RFD will admit it or even bring that up(because Chrysler = Crap and it's true for the most part). The Caravan at this point is about 11 years old. When VW paired up with Chrysler to make the Routan, they actually did a significant amount of reengineering of the parts and suspension. Brakes were made bigger which was a very common issue(premature brake wear). They finally worked most of the bugs out of the Transmission, make sure it has the tow package on it and it's pretty solid.
The 3.6L Pentastar is for the most part a solid engine from Chrysler provided you didn't get one of those sand filled engines.
There's very little tech in the Caravan that's mission critical, it doesn't even have electric power steering.
As far as creature comforts go they can be optioned with the latest gadgets and still be cheaper than the Japanese options. Yes the interior materials may not feel as nice as a fully opted Sienna but that's basically a Lexus Minivan with out the Lexus badge.
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May 10, 2011
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tebore wrote: As far as creature comforts go they can be optioned with the latest gadgets and still be cheaper than the Japanese options.
I take it you meant the American if you are referring to Odyssey. :-) Honda Odyssey is desgined and built in America, with parts sourced from America. Unlike other 'Built in America' Honda, such as Civic, Accord, etc, Odyssey exists only in North America (The JDM Odyssey is a completely different car). Other Honda's cars are developed mostly in Japan and build in America.

I own an Odyssey as well, and yes it's just about as reliable as most America cars.
Newbie
Aug 17, 2019
33 posts
5 upvotes
When Toyota changed the design of Sienna in 2011, it became one of the worst looking minivan out there for me.

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