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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking for a Sienna SE, but can't seem to find a 2012 in the Bay Area. So after work today I decided to visit a couple of dealership near my house. First stop was the Honda dealership. I test drove a 2012 EX-L with RES. The guy allowed me to drive around two miles (no freeway) before returning to the lot. Next stop was the Toyota dealership. There was no SE, but I asked to test drive any V-6 model anyway, so I got a 2012 LE trim. I drove it for about a mile before I was asked to park it back.

These are my observations.
1. The V-6 in the Sienna seemed to pull a lot stronger compared to the Ody V-6 from a dead stop.
2. The Ody suspension felt more stable and planted on the road. It did not feel like a van, but more like a car. The Sienna LE was a little bit bouncy. I also felt seated a lot higher in the Sienna than in the Ody. Can someone confirm if the SE's suspension is different from the LE/XLE/Limited trims?
3. I performed a U-turn on both vans. The Ody seemed to have a tighter turning radius.
4. Interior comparison between the Ody EX-L RES and the Sienna LE is not fair. So I went inside and found a Sienna XLE. I checked the interior and was impressed. I'd say the interior is a toss up between the Odyssey and Sienna. It will come down to the buyer's preference and for me I kind of like the Odyssey's dash.
5. Road noise seemed to be about the same on both vans.
6. Price. I had my mind on the Sienna SE in the beginning, so I shopped online for multiple quotes on the SE. I got quotes from various dealerships in NorCal. The lowest quote I received was around $32k + tax and license fees. That price would have sealed the contract. However, the available color was the deal breaker. Then I got quotes from a few Honda dealerships and was amazed that the EX-L with RES was quoted for a couple of hundreds bucks less than the lowest Sienna SE quote I received. So what seemed to be a straightforward purchase just got complicated. Now I can't decide which van to get.

I still want to test drive a Sienna SE, which I hope is a heck of a lot better than the LE I test drove today.
 

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In the SE, the steering and the suspension are firmed up to a more acceptable level. It drives very nicely for a minivan, you won't be disappointed. While the Odyssey's pricing may be more aggressive, we didn't consider one since neither my wife nor I cared for its exterior styling.
 

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if u did not buy a van yet here are a few differences I noticed I have the sienna and my daughter has the odessey both are 2012s If u have someone in the far back seats the van is very loud over bumps sounds like meatal clanging (when driving more than 2 miles) no roof racks rear windows do not open no rear shades no door seal protectors cheap leather soft and winkly no center councel when center seat is removed engine is belt driven
sienna all windows (except wing) open, center arm rest in middle seats engine is chain driven extra glove box quiter ride se has leatherett seats door seal protectors van I think is 6'' ground level and odessey is 4.5'' seanna seems a little more roomier
Good luck with your purchase!
 

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Very Nice responses to this person quest for a Van, I am with you on the exterior of the Ody. I have not wrapped myself around that yet, The new Sienna has a Smiley :) Face on the grill!! Look for it next time.... Don't let me persuade you!!
 

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if u did not buy a van yet here are a few differences I noticed I have the sienna and my daughter has the odessey both are 2012s If u have someone in the far back seats the van is very loud over bumps sounds like meatal clanging (when driving more than 2 miles) no roof racks rear windows do not open no rear shades no door seal protectors cheap leather soft and winkly no center councel when center seat is removed engine is belt driven
sienna all windows (except wing) open, center arm rest in middle seats engine is chain driven extra glove box quiter ride se has leatherett seats door seal protectors van I think is 6'' ground level and odessey is 4.5'' seanna seems a little more roomier
Good luck with your purchase!
Maybe it's only available on certain trim levels, but my mother-in-law's Odyssey has sun shades all around.

Very Nice responses to this person quest for a Van, I am with you on the exterior of the Ody. I have not wrapped myself around that yet, The new Sienna has a Smiley :) Face on the grill!! Look for it next time.... Don't let me persuade you!!
I don't see a smiley face on any of the Sienna's. If you want a smiley face, look at a majority of Mazda's lineup.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's difficult to test drive something that is not available. There is no 2012 SE in NorCal. I would have to wait for the 2013 models which are due to arrive sometime in September and expect to pay above invoice. I decided to buy the 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L with rear entertainment system. I paid $32.6k before sales tax and dmv fees. It was a no brainer. I am getting more value for my money. Thanks for all your comments.
 

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It's difficult to test drive something that is not available. There is no 2012 SE in NorCal. I would have to wait for the 2013 models which are due to arrive sometime in September and expect to pay above invoice. I decided to buy the 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L with rear entertainment system. I paid $32.6k before sales tax and dmv fees. It was a no brainer. I am getting more value for my money. Thanks for all your comments.
Hey, as long as you're happy, and it makes sense to you. The Odyssey is no swagger wagon, though! ;D
 

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I believe they are only on the touring and touring elite at least thats what the dealer told me
Are you referring to the sun shades here? I could swear my mother-in-law's EX-L has them on the rear windows. Honda's website vehicle builder shows it on the Touring and Touring Elite. Although those can be inaccurate, it does echo what the dealer told you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I already came up with a vanity plate and a custom license plate bracket for the Sienna. Unfortunately I did not get the Sienna SE. It would have been a perfect swagger mobile. :)
 

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I already came up with a vanity plate and a custom license plate bracket for the Sienna. Unfortunately I did not get the Sienna SE. It would have been a perfect swagger mobile. :)
Lol, good deal! What are you thinking about for a vanity plate? I told my wife that if we got the Sienna SE, she'd have to get a vanity plate. I'm leaning towards SWGRWGN or SWAGWAG! I doubt we'll actually get one, but I've been having fun ribbing my wife about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lol, good deal! What are you thinking about for a vanity plate? I told my wife that if we got the Sienna SE, she'd have to get a vanity plate. I'm leaning towards SWGRWGN or SWAGWAG! I doubt we'll actually get one, but I've been having fun ribbing my wife about it.
The license plate bracket was going to read: "Daddy Likes" on the top portion; "Mobile" on the bottom portion of the bracket. Then the vanity plate was going to be SWAGGR.
 
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