Odyssey or Sienna?

Karen Kite

New member
If you could get either one, the Odyssey or the Sienna, which one would you get based on safety? I guess I am talking of 2003 models since 2004 have not been crash tested yet, have they?
Are there other things to consider?
Would one of these be the SAFEST car for a family? Thx- kk


New member
I just got a 2004 Sienna

I chose the 2004 Sienna. I believe that Toyota has an excellent reputation for building a safe minivan, and can't imagine that they would make a mistake in this redesign. I got the van with anti-skid Vehicle Stability Control Traction Control, rear disc brakes, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side and three-row side curtain(they drop from the ceiling) airbags. I think either the Honda or Sienna is a very safe choice from everything I have read. I would love to hear what the cps experts have to say about this. HOpe we made the right choice!


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
My opinion-

I would also choose the 2004 Sienna, if only for the side curtain airbag system and the vehicle stability control. The great seatbelts and LATCH positions are about the best of any minivan. That assumes that its crash test results are as good as the old version. The 2004 Sienna also has very nice convenience features the Odyssey lacks.

Anything can happen with crash testing, so if you have time to wait for the results on the 2004 Sienna, that would be ideal:) Otherwise, the Odyssey is a very good choice also! I would choose the Odyssey over the 2003 Sienna, mostly for the extra mass and length and the better rollover stability.

Really, both the 2003 Odyssey and 2004 Sienna are probably at the top end of the safety spectrum for all vehicles, and the overall differences are pretty minor. The same is true for minivans like the 2003 Sienna, Sedona, Windstar and MPV.

I am very happy with our 2001 Odyssey, but will consider trading on a 2005 Sienna. By then the crash test results will be available and any 1st year bugs should be resolved:)


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
2004 Siennas are being delivered-

They've been in and out of showrooms as fast as they can sell for a few months. Expect to pay MSRP at most dealers.

Crash tests could take up to a year to be published, unfortunately, neither the IIHS nor NHTSA will give estimates.


New member
picked mine up yesterday!

I got the 2004 Sienna. I ordered in last week in April. Got the color and package of my choice. I paid $400 under MSRP (but it was a mistake-the van had extras on it I didn't order and the dealer didn't have the chance to remove them and said "you can have them since we are so busy.)

I find it easy to drive, and most importantly my 11 month old no longer hates being strapped in her car seat. I had a feeling she didn't like her legs cramped up against the seat back in my econobox. I had to turn her almost 3 year old sister FF at 1 year due to the constant screaming making driving too dangerous and distracting for me! The minivan solves the trick with the reclining captains chairs. The baby has never not screamed while she was being straped in her car seat except for the 5 times she has been strapped in the minivan-yippie! As soon as she outgrows the RF limit (height) on her FPSE she's getting a Marathon or Wizard so she can stay RF longer.

I was pretty much sold on the Sienna-but Darren-your post a few months ago really had me sold. One thing I notice is that the windows on the sienna are smaller than on the Honda. Otherwise it seems fairly comparable to my novice eye.

Thanks for all the great advice and commentary!


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member

You mention the smaller windows. How is the visibility? Any annoying blind spots? I didn't have a chance to drive one, and this is a big issue for me personally.


New member
I was parked next to Honda...

and couldn't help notice that my van looked nicer! Hehe-no really they are comparable size wise, but I noticed that the Honda's windows are taller-I don't know how relevent it is. I am used to driving a small car and a pick-up truck. THe pick-up is blind spot central so the minivan to me has unbelievable visibility. My guess is that the windows being less tall doesn't play a huge factor-they still go all the way to the rear of the van.

It is nice to drive but it is A LOT heavier than my tiny car and the braking distance is much longer. I have missed a few turns already...and I have to get used to the ABS, but overall it is a nice, comfortable ride. And the radio controls in tegrated into the steering wheel are great since I never have to look away from the road. I just can't tell you how excited I am that my baby now rides happily in the car. Also it is so much easier to pull the straps tight without fiddling behind the seat. Reclining the captain's chair allows easy access to the harness adjuster-as you well know! Between that, and all the safety features I couldn't be happier. The only thing I find odd is that there is no tether anchor behind the 3rd row seat on the drivers side. All other positions have both lower anchors and tethers anchors.

The other thing that may need some fixing is the conversation mirror. It is great for me to see my DD in the chair behind the passenger seat and about 60% of the 3rd row. It is impossible to see behind the driver. I am only 5'2" and found that if I move the seat back and telescope the steering wheel out it helps a bit. I may be expecting too much!

Also, since I plan on buying a Britax seat soon, I was looking to see where I could tether it RF behind the drivers seat. Do I have to tether it towards the front of the car or can I run the tether down the seat towards the floor and under the captains chair to the tether anchor on the back bottom of the seat? Not really the australian or swedish way...

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