Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I am looking to buy a third car (in addition to two Camrys) in the next few months and will probably end up with a 2004-2010 Sienna (with side curtain airbags) or 2007-2010 Odyssey LX/EX (non-VCM engine with the stronger transmission). I've read a lot about both models and what to look out for on both the Sienna 3.3L and 3.5L, and am familiar with the trims and option availability.

Obviously this is a Toyota forum, but assuming I can find an equivalent deal on both, which would you go with and why? What specifically pushed you to Sienna instead of Odyssey?

Looking for any feedback you guys may have. I don't think I have a strong preference either way and am really shopping based on price. Is the Sienna really THAT much more reliable than Odyssey?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Not sure about the 07-10 Odysseys, but earlier generations were known to have weak trannies. I've had 2 friends whose Odysseys have failed trans under 150k. Granted these aren't the most meticulously maintained vans, but that's still low mileage in any case. If you plan to tow, definitely research Odysseys carefully.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Same here.. Honda transmission history is bad. When I research vans, i kept reading the phrase honda $5k transmission time bomb. Enough for me to get a new 2005 le.. Now its 220k miles.. Runs good but had some maintenance DIY stuff.
Seinna front end components need replacement about 150k miles on... Seinna way smooth and comfortable.




Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I have also been looking to "upgrade" my 1999 Sienna XLE (266K miles) with another Sienna. I want a 2007-2010 XLE or Limited, as I want a sunroof, timing chain, and middle row seats that do not leave tracks behind, as I restore leather sofas and those tracks would be a major interference. It has gotten to the point where I will only buy a Toyota as I have had such good experience with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hey, I've got a cared-for 2008 I'm getting ready to sell. I'm in southern California, let me know if you're interested. It's an XLE with a sunroof, the DVD player, JBL sound, etc. I think it's got about 160k miles. Everything works on it. Had it for about 7 years, and I'm moving on to something smaller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I think finding the same deal on both may be a bad assumption. They were both decent vehicles 10+ years ago. At this point, judge its condition. Find one in really good condition, then see if you can get it for the right price. My $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Honda VCM feature scared me away. The vibration from the VCM destroy the engine mount. Cost of replacing the engine mount and timing belt was too much. You have to be pretty tech savvy to own a Honda vehicle. The Honda Odyssey forum has way more chat/discussion going on.

The interior is better organize if you ask me.

I now own a 2007 Sienna LE AWD. Been driving it for 2 years and just changing oil. Replaced the air fuel sensor. Was getting 14mpg, now 19 mpg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
We had a 2001 Odyssey that we bought used in 2011 (10 years old, with about 60K miles). We spent around $6000 or $8000 on it, if I remember. We had it 3 or 4 years and never had any problems with it... until the transmission went out in 2014 at around 120K. I was very disappointed: not only that Honda extended no grace to us being 13K over their extended transmission warranty, but also that the transmission failure rendered our otherwise perfectly fine van "totalled" (the cost of replacing the transmission exceeded the current value of the car).

As Honda people, we did some research, and learned that Honda rectified the trans problems in the 2006 and up Odysseys (although some forums still didn't trust these transmissions), and that the latest gen. has no transmission problems at all. These vans at the time would cost us more than we were willing to pay, although my wife insisted on heated seats.

We came across a 2007 Sienna Limited that was meticulously maintained and cared for, with 90K, and the guy wanted $12K. Although a little outside our budget, we decided to check it out. On test drive, it was every bit as quick and solid as the Odyssey was (maybe even a bit more so). Told the wife if she likes it we'll spend the money. We have been very happy with the purchase ever since.

At 156K now, we have had no major issues at all. Changed the trans fluid at 100K, installed a towing receiver and brake controller for the 2 years we used a pop-up camper, and had to replace an ignition coil on one of the cylinders in the front (fortunately). Other than that, perfectly reliable - very, very little rust issues, even spending a lot of time on salty slushy roads in winter.

I also learned that 2007 was the first year for the good 3.5 liter engine (and it IS good), and it's the last year for the towing pkg. as standard equipment. I also understand it's the last year they actually put a dipstick on the transmission, not that it means a lot, but I like it. I might be mistaken on some of these facts, but if I'm not, then the 2007 is exactly the right year to look for.

When I changed the transmission fluid, I used the start-the-engine-and-pump-out-the-old-and-suck-in-the-new method until it flowed clear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
We had a 2001 Odyssey that we bought used in 2011 (10 years old, with about 60K miles). We spent around $6000 or $8000 on it, if I remember. We had it 3 or 4 years and never had any problems with it... until the transmission went out in 2014 at around 120K. I was very disappointed: not only that Honda extended no grace to us being 13K over their extended transmission warranty, but also that the transmission failure rendered our otherwise perfectly fine van "totalled" (the cost of replacing the transmission exceeded the current value of the car).

As Honda people, we did some research, and learned that Honda rectified the trans problems in the 2006 and up Odysseys (although some forums still didn't trust these transmissions), and that the latest gen. has no transmission problems at all. These vans at the time would cost us more than we were willing to pay, although my wife insisted on heated seats.

We came across a 2007 Sienna Limited that was meticulously maintained and cared for, with 90K, and the guy wanted $12K. Although a little outside our budget, we decided to check it out. On test drive, it was every bit as quick and solid as the Odyssey was (maybe even a bit more so). Told the wife if she likes it we'll spend the money. We have been very happy with the purchase ever since.

At 156K now, we have had no major issues at all. Changed the trans fluid at 100K, installed a towing receiver and brake controller for the 2 years we used a pop-up camper, and had to replace an ignition coil on one of the cylinders in the front (fortunately). Other than that, perfectly reliable - very, very little rust issues, even spending a lot of time on salty slushy roads in winter.

I also learned that 2007 was the first year for the good 3.5 liter engine (and it IS good), and it's the last year for the towing pkg. as standard equipment. I also understand it's the last year they actually put a dipstick on the transmission, not that it means a lot, but I like it. I might be mistaken on some of these facts, but if I'm not, then the 2007 is exactly the right year to look for.

When I changed the transmission fluid, I used the start-the-engine-and-pump-out-the-old-and-suck-in-the-new method until it flowed clear.
I should add this: I don't think you'll ever have to worry about the driveline in this van. Biggest problems I've had (and several), are the annoying issues with the power sliding doors. They have a LOT of moving parts: cables, motors, solenoids, latches and linkages. I'm in there working on some problem with a sliding door on a regular basis. I have the door panels off way more often than I have the hood up. Also, don't like the removable (yet very difficult) second row seat removal and replacement. Seems I can never do it right. I will struggle with it for a week to get a seat out, then by the time I have to do it again I forgot how I did it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Not sure about the 07-10 Odysseys, but earlier generations were known to have weak trannies. I've had 2 friends whose Odysseys have failed trans under 150k. Granted these aren't the most meticulously maintained vans, but that's still low mileage in any case. If you plan to tow, definitely research Odysseys carefully.
Same here.. Honda transmission history is bad. When I research vans, i kept reading the phrase honda $5k transmission time bomb. Enough for me to get a new 2005 le.. Now its 220k miles.. Runs good but had some maintenance DIY stuff.
Seinna front end components need replacement about 150k miles on... Seinna way smooth and comfortable.
Yep, thanks for the heads up. Honda put a newly designed transmission in the Odyssey starting in 2007, that was significantly stronger than the 2006 and older transmission. It appears to be very reliable as long as it was maintained regularly. If I was towing, Honda wouldn't even be a consideration. I am very impressed with how smooth the Sienna is; my uncle had a 2004 LE that he sold two years ago that we took many family road trips with. I do wonder if the Odyssey would be significantly less comfortable (although some say it's more "fun" to drive than the Sienna).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I have also been looking to "upgrade" my 1999 Sienna XLE (266K miles) with another Sienna. I want a 2007-2010 XLE or Limited, as I want a sunroof, timing chain, and middle row seats that do not leave tracks behind, as I restore leather sofas and those tracks would be a major interference. It has gotten to the point where I will only buy a Toyota as I have had such good experience with them.
Don't forget Odysseys require a timing belt every 105,000 miles or 7 years. Costs between $600 and $1200 (some dealers).
Yep, I'm aware of the timing belt. Personally, I don't see the belt as a huge deal since I'd get the water pump replaced at the same time too. On the Sienna with the 3.5L and timing chain, I don't know how comfortable I'd feel taking a road trip with a water pump with over 150K so I'd probably have it replaced anyway. I know water pumps have the potential to last very long, but I've heard of quite a few failures once it passes the 120Kish mark that I wouldn't mind paying for the timing belt, water pump, and tensioner at the same time for piece of mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Honda VCM feature scared me away. The vibration from the VCM destroy the engine mount. Cost of replacing the engine mount and timing belt was too much. You have to be pretty tech savvy to own a Honda vehicle. The Honda Odyssey forum has way more chat/discussion going on.

The interior is better organize if you ask me.

I now own a 2007 Sienna LE AWD. Been driving it for 2 years and just changing oil. Replaced the air fuel sensor. Was getting 14mpg, now 19 mpg.
I think finding the same deal on both may be a bad assumption. They were both decent vehicles 10+ years ago. At this point, judge its condition. Find one in really good condition, then see if you can get it for the right price. My $.02
I know people tend to judge how well a car was maintained by its exterior condition, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. Both my Camrys look pretty beat up on the outside from years of street parking and being outside in the sun but I have maintained the engine and transmission religiously. Personally, I think the best deals that can be found are cars that have some minor scratches or dents but had an owner who kept up with maintenance. That way, I can get a car that is inexpensive but super reliable. It's going to be a people-hauler and will be parked on the street anyway. In my experience, many of my relatives take good care of their cars but don't necessarily keep records of everything, especially if they do their own work. So, I wouldn't necessarily dismiss a car that had some dents or didn't have complete maintenance records.

I agree with the VCM thing. I'll most likely stick to an LX or EX unless I find a really good deal on an EX-L if I do go Odyssey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I should add this: I don't think you'll ever have to worry about the driveline in this van. Biggest problems I've had (and several), are the annoying issues with the power sliding doors. They have a LOT of moving parts: cables, motors, solenoids, latches and linkages. I'm in there working on some problem with a sliding door on a regular basis. I have the door panels off way more often than I have the hood up. Also, don't like the removable (yet very difficult) second row seat removal and replacement. Seems I can never do it right. I will struggle with it for a week to get a seat out, then by the time I have to do it again I forgot how I did it.
We had a 2001 Odyssey that we bought used in 2011 (10 years old, with about 60K miles). We spent around $6000 or $8000 on it, if I remember. We had it 3 or 4 years and never had any problems with it... until the transmission went out in 2014 at around 120K. I was very disappointed: not only that Honda extended no grace to us being 13K over their extended transmission warranty, but also that the transmission failure rendered our otherwise perfectly fine van "totalled" (the cost of replacing the transmission exceeded the current value of the car).

As Honda people, we did some research, and learned that Honda rectified the trans problems in the 2006 and up Odysseys (although some forums still didn't trust these transmissions), and that the latest gen. has no transmission problems at all. These vans at the time would cost us more than we were willing to pay, although my wife insisted on heated seats.

We came across a 2007 Sienna Limited that was meticulously maintained and cared for, with 90K, and the guy wanted $12K. Although a little outside our budget, we decided to check it out. On test drive, it was every bit as quick and solid as the Odyssey was (maybe even a bit more so). Told the wife if she likes it we'll spend the money. We have been very happy with the purchase ever since.

At 156K now, we have had no major issues at all. Changed the trans fluid at 100K, installed a towing receiver and brake controller for the 2 years we used a pop-up camper, and had to replace an ignition coil on one of the cylinders in the front (fortunately). Other than that, perfectly reliable - very, very little rust issues, even spending a lot of time on salty slushy roads in winter.

I also learned that 2007 was the first year for the good 3.5 liter engine (and it IS good), and it's the last year for the towing pkg. as standard equipment. I also understand it's the last year they actually put a dipstick on the transmission, not that it means a lot, but I like it. I might be mistaken on some of these facts, but if I'm not, then the 2007 is exactly the right year to look for.

When I changed the transmission fluid, I used the start-the-engine-and-pump-out-the-old-and-suck-in-the-new method until it flowed clear.
Thanks for the feedback! The 1999-2001 Odysseys had the worst transmissions (4 speed), which were improved for the 2002-2004 models (5 speed), updated again for 2004.5-2006, and finally had a stronger transmission design starting in 2007. The 07+ models tend to be reliable as long as you don't tow and change the fluid regularly. I don't plan on towing, so this isn't a huge concern for me.

You are correct that 2007 Sienna was the first with the 3.5L and the last year to have a standard towing package. The dipstick lasted until 2010 and went away for 2011. I really wouldn't want a 2011+ van for this reason - it's very difficult to measure the amount of fluid when trying to change it (you need to measure the temperature of the fluid through a pretty complicated process).

The power sliding doors seem to be a problem on Siennas and Odysseys alike. Not a big deal to me - I don't really need them, so if they ever stop working, I'll just convert them to manual doors.

Glad to hear your Sienna has been trouble-free at 156K. Seems to be typical of a Sienna!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I also learned that 2007 was the first year for the good 3.5 liter engine (and it IS good), and it's the last year for the towing pkg. as standard equipment. I also understand it's the last year they actually put a dipstick on the transmission, not that it means a lot, but I like it. I might be mistaken on some of these facts, but if I'm not, then the 2007 is exactly the right year to look for.
I second that, but I have a 08 with a dipstick for the transmission. Great engine. Though, they come with the rubber oil cooler hoses unless they've been replaced. Mine sprung a leak at 151k miles. 1000 miles past extended warranty for that piece. I changed it out in my driveway for $80. Would recommend this as a preventative fix if anyone buys this era sienna.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
If you go with a 2nd gen Sienna, there are a few years with some pesky design flaws that affect some folks. The first couple years of the 2GR-FE in the 2007 and up Sienna had issues with the rubber rear bank VVT-i hose, the oil cooler hoses (if equipped), and the VVT-i actuators. Later revisions (some by 2009 and all by 2010) fixed these issues. The VVT-i actuator issue isn't as widespread as the oil leaks, but it is insanely expensive to repair.

Yes, water pumps have to be replaced; the water pump on the 2GR-FE (2007-2010 for 2nd gen Siennas) is fairly easy to replace. The water pump on the 3MZ-FE is harder to replace and should be done when the timing belt is done.

That's good to hear that Honda made significant improvements on their transmissions starting in 2007.

Other 2GR-FE issues to watch out for when looking over a used vehicle: 1) timing cover oil leak - the typical trouble spot is on the back bank of the engine where the timing cover, head, and block all meet; if there is an oil leak there, know that fixing that leak is very expensive. 2) there have been a few reports of external head gasket failures causing an external coolant leak; this happened to me. Check the engine for signs of external coolant leakage.

AWD is an attractive option; just be aware that it adds more drivetrain hardware that needs maintenance and eventual repair. I had to re-seal the covers on the transfer case and the rear diff on our 08 AWD.

We own an 08 and an 06; the 2GR-FE in the 08 is more powerful but feels less refined.

- G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
I had a 2000 Odyssey from new.I sold it with 133 k miles , on third transmission then I got my 06LE. By far the Sienna has been a much better vehicle
 

·
Registered
2006 Sienna LE
Joined
·
88 Posts
Not sure about the 07-10 Odysseys, but earlier generations were known to have weak trannies. I've had 2 friends whose Odysseys have failed trans under 150k. Granted these aren't the most meticulously maintained vans, ...
I have a suspicion I can't prove. I think the trans problems were due to the ridiculously long maintenance interval for the transmission.

The reason for the long interval is to meet EPA requirements for reducing petrochemical usage over the expected lifetime of the vehicle.

I bet if you find a low mileage Odyssey and change the trans fluid every 35k miles, it will run a long time.
 

·
Registered
2006 Sienna LE
Joined
·
88 Posts
AWD is an attractive option; just be aware that it adds more drivetrain hardware that needs maintenance and eventual repair.
It also requires more care with your tires. You have to keep all 4 in the same condion. That means when one wears out, you buy all 4. OTherwise you'll have your AWD working overtime all the time and it won't last.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top