The Odyssey entered its current generation in the 2018 model year while the Sienna has been largely unchanged since the 2011 model.
The Toyota Sienna is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive.
Minivans have become less popular in recent years. American families are choosing SUVs and crossovers over sedans and minivans. With only a few players left in the minivan segment, it remains pretty competitive, offering safe and sensible transportation for families large and small.
Two of the most popular minivans today are the 2019 Honda Odyssey and the 2019 Toyota Sienna. Honda and Toyota go toe-to-toe in many automotive segments, and the minivan category is no different. With an all-new Odyssey on the market since last year, let’s see if the long-in-the-tooth Sienna is still competitive.
Both of these minivans have pretty traditional minivan-shaped profiles. They’re big boxes on wheels, and that space-efficient design is exactly what makes them so family friendly. The dimensions of the two are pretty similar; the Honda is slightly longer than the Toyota. Although they have similar shapes, the styling is quite different.
The Toyota Sienna features flat sheet metal and is starting to look familiar, having been on the road since 2011. It’s received a couple mild face-lifts over the years, but it now appears dated. See the 2019 Toyota Sienna models for sale near you
The Honda Odyssey is much more attractive than the Sienna. It has interesting lines throughout the body that make it more eye-catching than most other minivans. It looks sharp and modern in a segment that isn’t exactly known for its visual appeal. See the 2019 Honda Odyssey models for sale near you
We think the Honda is the much better-looking minivan of the two.
As you’d expect, both of these minivans have tons of room inside. With a flat floor and generous seating for up to eight people, with cargo space to boot, the minivan is still the king of family vehicles no matter how popular crossovers get.
The Honda’s interior, like its exterior, is modern-looking. Every minivan is comfortable for the passengers, but the Odyssey is a treat for the driver as well. The 7-inch digital driver-information interface in the dash presents info to the driver in a way that’s clear and customizable.
One class-exclusive feature of the Odyssey is what Honda calls Magic Slide second-row seats. Standard in Odysseys with second-row bucket seats, Magic Slide enables several different seating configurations, allowing seats to slide from side to side. This feature can make it easier to access the third row of seats.
The Sienna’s interior, like its exterior, is starting to appear dated. From behind the wheel, the Sienna almost looks like it did in the previous decade, especially when compared with the much more modern Odyssey. Despite a less-than-modern design, the Sienna’s interior is still very functional, comfortable and ergonomically designed.
As for space, the Odyssey offers a little more legroom for both the second- and third-row passengers. However, the Sienna beats the Odyssey in cargo space, so the minor loss of legroom isn’t for nothing.
With a little more passenger room, a much nicer look, and a few cool tricks like Magic Slide seats and an available built-in vacuum, we prefer the Odyssey’s interior to the aging Sienna’s.
The Sienna and the Odyssey both have only one engine available and they’re very similar. In the Honda, you get a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque while returning strong fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The Sienna also has a 3.5-liter V6 but with a little more grunt at 296 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. Its fuel economy is very similar to the Honda’s at 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy.
Both engines have very close performance and fuel-economy ratings, but the Sienna has the distinction of being the only minivan available with AWD. AWD adds versatility by providing better traction and more peace of mind when the road conditions get bad. However, fuel economy takes a hit with AWD-equipped Siennas dropping to 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.
Since they’re so similar under the hood, the Sienna just has a slight mechanical advantage over the Honda because of its available AWD.
The Toyota Sienna is available with a 7-in Entune infotainment system, while the Odyssey can be had with an 8-in Display Audio screen. Both systems support Apple CarPlay, but only the Odyssey offers Android Auto compatibility.
As for safety tech, Honda and Toyota both offer their own technology suites to keep you and your passengers safe on the road. Honda Sensing is standard on every 2019 Odyssey except for the base LX trim. It comes with a collision-mitigation braking system, a road-departure-mitigation system, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. The Sienna offers the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) system on every trim, which is very similar to Honda Sensing, and automatic high beams.
We like the Odyssey’s infotainment system a little more than the Sienna’s because of its bigger size and Android Auto compatibility. The Sienna has a slight advantage in safety tech since TSS-P is standard on all trims.
Pricing is pretty similar between the Odyssey and the Sienna when similarly equipped. The Sienna starts at $31,115 and the Odyssey starts at $30,090. Both vans can reach the mid-$40,000 range in the top trims, which include rear entertainment systems, heated and ventilated leather seats, premium audio, navigation, sunroofs and much more.
The Sienna is a good minivan, but we can’t ignore that it’s starting to look a little old compared to competitors like the Odyssey. With a recent update giving it a more modern look, more customizable seating configurations and a few nice features available that the Toyota lacks, we prefer the 2019 Honda Odyssey to the 2019 Toyota Sienna. The only reason we’d recommend the Sienna over the Odyssey is if you really want AWD. Find a Honda Odyssey for sale or Find a Toyota Sienna for sale