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Pilot vs Odyssey - Bye-bye, Sienna

Last time on “My Rambling Thread”: replaced all four wheel speed sensors and vehicle speed sensor on 2002 Sienna w/50K miles. The ABS, brake, TPS lights stayed on, and now the shop has determined that the ABS actuator was fouled first, and effectively fried the speed sensors as their data was being rejected over time.

I am now ready to sell this car, this heap of trash that needed a new tranny at 20K miles and has suffered the indignity of broken door pulls, clogged windshield washer sprayers, and a clock that perpetually resets itself without rhyme or reason.

And toward that end, does anyone have any thoughts on the Pilot vs Odyssey debate? The eight seats in each would be good for carpool - the rest of the time, it is parents + 2 kids. The Pilot is shorter and would fit more easily in the garage (a long garage that allows two cars parked nose to tail in single file; the Odd’s longer length may not allow the second car to fit). And, AWD/4WD could come in handy getting to our “top of the hill” house. But am I discounting value or safety for negligible benefits?

Your thoughts, please.

If you must choose between those 2, I would get the Odessey, with 2 wheel drive only and the smallest engine. This car will likely burn gas at an average price of $5-$6/gallon over its lifetime and you need all the mpg you can get.

Agree the AWD has negligible benefits at the cost of more maintenance and repairs, and less fuel mileage.

The Odessey (and Pilot) for that matter only come with one engine. Fuel mileage between the Odessey and AWD Pilot isn’t much, 2-3 MPG. If you need AWD then it may be worthwhile to get it.

What you describe is a minivan vs SUV situation. We have both a minivan and an SUV. The minivan is a Chevrolet Uplander and the SUV is a Toyota 4Runner. Here are the plusses of the Uplander over the 4Runner:

  1. the mileage is slightly better

  2. I can haul tympani and string bass in the Uplander

  3. I can seat more people in the Uplander (my 4Runner does not have a 3rd seat–the new ones apparently do)

  4. It has a DVD player for the rear seats which only my 6 year old grand daughter knows how to operate
    Here are the plusses of the 4Runner over the Uplander:

  5. With the selectable 4 wheel drive, it will go through about any road conditions.

  6. It is shorter and hence more manueverable in parking situations

  7. It sits up higher which we like

  8. This is the vehicle we prefer taking on trips. The ride is firm and the seats are very supportive.

Both vehicles have been trouble free. Consumer Reports indicates a high reliability rating for the 4Runner and the Honda Pilot has a similar high reliability rating. I think that the Honda Odyssey has a good reliability rating–much higher than the Uplander, but I have had no problems.