For many shoppers, picking a minivan involves pitting two of the segment’s top picks against each other: the Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna. Both come with tech and convenience features that can make life easier for busy families. They also offer safety equipment that can prevent accidents and protect your family if a collision occurs. Which of these two strong choices is the ideal match for you? Let’s take a look at how the 2019 Honda Odyssey and 2020 Toyota Sienna compare in key areas.
About the Honda Odyssey:
Honda sold 106,327 Odyssey minivans in 2018. This figure makes the Odyssey the third best-selling minivan for that year, behind the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica. The Odyssey is currently in its fifth generation. It was last redesigned in 2018, so the current model is pretty up-to-date. This minivan can be configured to seat seven or eight passengers. Five trim levels are available: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Though Honda is a Japanese brand, the Odyssey is built in Lincoln, Alabama. This minivan has long been a favorite with automotive journalists, and it’s won numerous awards. It was named a 2019 Best Buy by Kelley Blue Book, and it was voted the best 2019 minivan for families by U.S. News & World Report. Want to learn more about the 2019 Honda Odyssey?
About the Toyota Sienna:
There were 87,672 Toyota Sienna minivans sold in 2018. This places the Sienna behind the Odyssey in sales for that year. Currently in its third generation, the Sienna was last redesigned in 2011. As with the Odyssey, the Sienna seats seven or eight passengers, depending on how it’s configured. Sienna buyers can choose from 10 trim levels. These range from the base L trim to the top-of-the-line Limited Premium. Toyota is a Japanese company, but it assembles the Sienna in Princeton, Indiana. Though this minivan has won some notable commendations, it doesn’t have as many awards under its belt as the Odyssey. Kelley Blue Book named the Sienna one of the 12 best family vehicles of 2018.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: What has Better Interior Quality, Space, and Comfort?
Both these minivans provide spacious cabins. Whether you choose the Sienna or the Odyssey, all three rows offer enough room to comfortably seat adults. What about the design and quality of the interior? The Odyssey’s cabin has a more upscale look than the Sienna’s. Also, the materials used throughout the Odyssey’s interior have a more premium look than the materials found in Toyota’s minivan. The Odyssey manages to create a relatively deluxe environment for passengers. The Odyssey also provides more cargo capacity than the Sienna with the second and third rows folded. This makes it a great choice for transporting large items. But the Sienna has slightly more cargo space when all seats are in place. Toyota offers the Sienna with an optional Auto Access seat for those with mobility challenges. This seat rotates and is power-adjustable. It extends out of the minivan and can be raised and lowered for easy entry and exit. The Odyssey doesn’t offer this feature. Overall, we think most shoppers will be happier with the Honda Odyssey’s cabin. But if you have passengers with mobility challenges, the Sienna’s Auto Access seat makes it a more suitable fit.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: What has Better Safety Equipment and Ratings?
For crash protection, the 2019 Odyssey earned a perfect score. That’s according to tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2020 Sienna hasn’t yet been tested by NHTSA. However, the identical 2019 model got a perfect score, just like the Odyssey. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2019 Odyssey was named a Top Safety Pick. The 2020 Sienna hasn’t yet been evaluated. But the 2019 model didn’t perform as well as the Odyssey in IIHS tests. Active safety features can help you avoid accidents. The Sienna comes standard with a broad range of these amenities. The list includes:
- Lane departure warning.
- Adaptive cruise control.
- Forward collision warning.
Many of the active safety features that are standard on the Sienna are optional on the Odyssey. Based on its IIHS scores, we think the Odyssey is a better pick than the Sienna for crash protection. But the Sienna offers a wider selection of standard active safety features.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: What has Better Technology?
Many shoppers look for vehicles that offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These features are optional on the Honda Odyssey. The Sienna isn’t available with Android Auto, but it comes standard with Apple CarPlay. The touchscreen interface in both minivans is a breeze to use. There’s not much of a learning curve, and the menus are easy to navigate. However, the Sienna’s interface features graphics that look rather dated. The Odyssey’s interface has a more contemporary and attractive look. Thanks to its modern touchscreen interface and available Android Auto, we think the Odyssey is a better choice than the Sienna when it comes to technology.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: Which is Better to Drive?
We imagine most shoppers will be happy with the driving dynamics offered by the Odyssey and Sienna. Both models deliver strong acceleration. They also offer comfortable handing that can make your commutes smooth and pleasant. However, the Odyssey gets the nod for its relatively sporty performance. Honda’s minivan tackles corners with little body roll, and its steering is keen and responsive. The Odyssey’s suspension is communicative enough to add some spice to your journey. And we’re fans of the Odyssey’s optional 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s one caveat, though, and it’s a big one: The Sienna is available with all-wheel drive. This feature isn’t offered with the Odyssey. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain and snow, the Sienna’s all-wheel drive provides traction that can help you travel more safely on slippery roads. What about fuel economy? In this area, the Odyssey has an advantage over the Sienna. Overall, we prefer the Odyssey’s driving dynamics to the Sienna’s. Honda’s minivan also offers better fuel economy. But shoppers who regularly face slick roads will want to consider the Sienna for its available all-wheel drive.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: Which Car is Priced Better?
Honda’s 2019 Odyssey starts at $30,190, while the 2020 Sienna kicks off at $31,415. This makes the Odyssey the more affordable choice if you’re looking at a base model. However, it’s worth remembering that the Sienna comes with a broader range of standard active safety features. How about reliability? In this area, the Sienna has a slight advantage in comparison to the Odyssey. That’s according to the most recent J.D. Power dependability survey. This survey covers vehicles from the 2016 model year. We think both the Odyssey and Sienna offer great value for minivan shoppers.
The Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna: Which Car Should I Buy?
For most shoppers considering the Honda Odyssey versus the Toyota Sienna, we’d recommend the Odyssey as the superior pick. The Odyssey offers a more upmarket cabin, better safety scores and a more up-to-date touchscreen interface. It’s more fuel-efficient than the Sienna. And its sharp handling makes it a more rewarding vehicle to drive. However, shoppers who face snow and rain may want to consider the Sienna, since it’s available with all-wheel drive. And the Sienna is a better choice for those with mobility-challenged passengers, thanks to its optional Auto Access seat.