Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna: Which Minivan Has the Best Features?

Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna: Which Minivan Has the Best Features?

When it comes to family-oriented vehicles, SUVs are all the rage. While there’s a good reason for their popularity, they’re not the only options out there. If you have a large family that you need to drive around, nothing beats a minivan. After all, its child-friendly design is no coincidence.

The Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey are two of many vehicles from which to choose, and both come highly recommended. The Odyssey has some incredible safety features, and the Sienna is equally secure. However, if you had to compare the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, you might find it challenging to narrow down your choices.

Fortunately, we’ve pulled the specs, and we’re here to talk about the ins and outs of each vehicle and how they’ll best suit your family’s needs. Spoiler alert: It’s all about the features.

Honda vs. Toyota Minivans: Which is Safer?

Because this purchase will likely be your designated family vehicle, safety is a top concern. After all, if your family isn’t using a reliable car, there’s no point in buying anything.

As car manufacturers, both Honda and Toyota share this sentiment. When it comes to their minivans, each has prioritized a whole host of features that make the vehicles more secure. 

For example, the 2021 Toyota Sienna and the 2020 Honda Odyssey each received an overall five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, they’ve received high scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If a newer model isn’t in your budget, never fear. Earlier models have scored exceptionally well, such as the 2015 Toyota Sienna and the 2018 Honda Odyssey, which are especially lauded additions.

As part of their overall safety package, newer versions of both vehicles come standard with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Again, this emphasis on safety is not new, as the 2018 Odyssey offers a multi-angle rearview camera and emergency brake assist. 

With the 2015 Sienna, Toyota included a rearview camera as standard. Blind-spot monitoring was an upgrade. Finally, when it comes to safe handling, the newest version of the Toyota Sienna features an all-wheel-drive option, putting it at a distinct advantage when navigating stormy weather. It also handles the twists and turns on difficult roads reasonably well.

The Honda Odyssey has an excellent all-around braking system. Also, the newest model has a 10-speed automatic transmission, allowing you to drive on busy roads more efficiently.

Our verdict on the Honda Odyssey versus Toyota Sienna, and which is better? Both vehicles are incredibly safe. The one that ends up being the best for your family will come down to location, typical weather patterns, and the kinds of roads you drive on.

Seats, Cargo Space, Tech: Comparing the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna

Space is the next most significant concern for any parent looking to transport their family to and from events. In this, both the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna prove themselves to be up for the ride.

With the Odyssey, you can expect a large center console to store valuables and other items. Second-row seats slide back and forth for adjustable legroom and easier access to the third row, while large windows along either side make the ride feel less enclosed.

In the newest version of the Odyssey, cargo space is slightly larger than the Sienna, coming in at 38.6 cubic feet. To contrast this, Toyota has created an equally spacious interior, with a large console and second-row seats that slide back and forth for easy entry. On the tech side, the newest version of the upgraded Sienna includes two USB ports in the center console itself. A 7-inch touchscreen accompanies the earlier 2020 model.

With the Honda Odyssey, recent tech additions include two USB ports on the center console. In the 2020 model, the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen comes as an upgrade to the base model and has a built-in system called CabinWatch. Using CabinWatch, you can keep track of your kids in the back seats via the touchscreen.

Both current and earlier models of these vehicles are incredibly spacious, but the newest upgrades to the Honda Odyssey give you a slight edge in the gadget department.

Engine and Fuel Economy

Beyond the safety features and having enough room to fit your growing family, price is a sticking point for many people. One way you can keep those monthly bills down is by choosing a vehicle that has a decent fuel economy so that you can save on gas.

For the basic model of the newest Honda Odyssey, the minivan sports a 280-horsepower engine with 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. For earlier models, especially 2018, you’re looking at identical stats.

With the Toyota Sienna, earlier models such as 2015 achieve 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on highways. That means previous versions of the Honda Odyssey come out slightly on top in this category. 

A point in the Sienna’s favor: the 2021 model is a hybrid that achieves 36 mpg on city streets and 36 mpg on the highways, putting it head and shoulders above the competition. That's especially true when you add in its other perks: no Honda Odyssey hybrid has an all-wheel-drive for this model year.

2020 Toyota Sienna XLE (from $36,550)

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 2020 Toyota Sienna XLE (from $36,550)
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Honda Odyssey vs. Toyota Sienna: Which Has a Better Price?

The final place where you can save some of your hard-earned money – beyond the repair bills and the ever-growing insurance – is the base price of the car itself.

The starting point for a brand new Toyota Sienna, without any extra gadgets, currently sits at $51,635. For the base price of the most recent Honda Odyssey, the bill is $48,995.

However, earlier models of both vehicles come with a reduced price tag, and if you buy a used car through Shift, that price point can drop even more. Through Shift’s easy-to-use website, you can find the perfect minivan and buy that vehicle from the comfort of your home. Meanwhile, you can buy with confidence knowing that it has no hidden issues from the 150-point inspection done on every model before purchase.

Additionally, you’ll get that used vehicle at a fair, up-front price, keeping your kids and your bank balance happy.

2018 Honda Odyssey EX-L (from $31,300)

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 2018 Honda Odyssey EX-L (from $31,300)
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Buy the Best Minivan for Your Family

The newest versions of the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna are both winners. If you’re trying to choose between the two, our advice is to go with the one that suits your family’s needs the best. 

Do you want something with a few more tech features? What about that fuel economy or handling on rugged roads? Ask yourself some pointed questions before you make any purchase.

However, if you’re open to earlier models, these benefits average out, buoyed by used-car savings. Additionally, you can check out this list of the best fuel-efficient minivans that Shift has for sale.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team