Minivans, which one to buy?




We are very close to purchasing a new minivan after having a 2001 Chevy Montana (surpisingly good car!). We have narrowed it to the 2010 Odyssey and the 2011 Sienna. Any pros or cons out there for models close in age to these vans?? I notice the difference in handling but the rest seems to be a wash. Toyota’s woes are concerning but so is the Odyssey transmission issues. We have three daughters (all tweens and teens) and a dog so we need room. HELP!!


My wife has a 2006 Sienna (replaced a 98 Windstar). The radio/CD was replaced the first week and the sliding door latches needed adjustment for rattles. These were the only warranty repairs done in the 3.5 years she’s had it. The Sienna has not been part of any of the recalls so far. We’ve have 2 daughters and a dog and the van has been handy.

Ed B.


Many of the recall woes are just hype.

A redesigned Odyssey is coming soon. You may want to watch for that.


Flip a coin…the usual differences in that Toyotas are quieter and Hondas handle better…throw the kids in for longer drives with each and let them help make a decision by their reactions. Between two, you may be happy with either.


I suggest a nice, long test drive in both. Then buy whichever one you prefer. These are probably the best two minivans on the market.

Which one does mom like?

That’s the one to buy.


Toyota will survive the current rash of problems and bad publicity. The Odyssey transmission issue should be resolved but jury is still out on whether late model Odyssey’s will hold up.

You should be able to get a deal from Toyota with their need to sell some cars. Unless you really, really like the handling of the Honda much more, I’d go for the Sienna.


I still like the Dodge Caravan!! I have had 2 of them.


I’m glad you’ve asked this question. I have the same problem. I may sell my 2006 Chevrolet Uplander to my son who needs to replace his 2000 Ford Windstar. My wife thinks I should purchase either a new Odyssey or new Sienna. I think her preference would be the Sienna since the 2003 Toyota 4Runner that she drives has been trouble free. My thought is to purchase a 2008 Uplander from a rental fleet since the 4Runner is our road trip vehicle and any trips I make I find the Uplander perfectly adequate (my present Uplander is a “program” vehichle that I bought in 2006 with 15,000 miles at about half of what I would have paid for a Sienna or an Odyssey). However, my wife thinks I should have a nicer vehicle to drive, so I am pondering over the Odyssey and the Sienna.


Do I have a deal for you. My son in law lives in Manchester, wants my 4Runner real bad and bugs me about it with every visit. So, you could trade your’s for his Odyssey when his wife(my daughter) is at work. His demise will be on your head though when she returns. :slight_smile:


My wife will never give up her 4Runner. We bought the 4Runner new in 2003 and she keeps it looking like it just came out of the showroom. On the other hand, after I’ve had a vehicle for 10 minutes it looks like it went through 3 wars.


Dodge Caravan, Mazda 5, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest, Hyundai Entourage(though discontinued after 08)