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There aren’t that many options available in the minivan segment, but the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey remain as two of the best. Toyota and Honda both compete ferociously though, and it’s a very close race. That being said, the 2021 Honda Odyssey once again beat the 2021 Toyota Sienna when compared head to head.

The pros and cons of the 2021 Toyota Sienna

As MotorTrend said, Toyota made some bold choices for the 2021 model year of the Sienna, and it’s now offered exclusively with a hybrid powertrain. Not only that, but the 2021 Toyota Sienna is currently the only minivan that can have a hybrid engine as well as all-wheel drive. This big change to the Sienna’s powertrain creates a lot of positives, but also some negatives for the Sienna, especially when compared to the Honda Odyssey. 

For example, on one hand, the 2021 Sienna’s hybrid engine gets 245 hp combined, as well as an overall fuel economy of 35 MPG. On the other hand, however, since it’s a hybrid engine, it’s going to cost a bit more than if it was a regular gas engine. The Sienna has a base price of just over $51,000, which is a lot of money for many families.

The Sienna’s hybrid engine is also not exactly powerful, and MotorTrend said that it felt “stressed” even when driving at city speeds. Other than that, another significant flaw with the Sienna was the fact that, unlike its rivals, it doesn’t have a family-monitoring camera. However, since the Sienna is still a Toyota, it does have a long list of standard smart safety features.

The pros and cons of the 2021 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey, on the other hand, has a regular 280-hp V6 engine, and MotorTrend said that it was “punchier and more dynamic than the Sienna.” But of course, having a regular gas-powered engine has its pros and cons too. On one hand, the Odyssey is more affordable than the Sienna, as it starts at about $49,000. On the other, the Odyssey only gets about 22 MPG combined, which is 60 percent less MPG than the Sienna.

With that being said, while the Odyssey may not have made big and bold changes like the Sienna has, it still does what it needs to do very well. For example, not only does the Odyssey also have a long list of standard smart safety features like the Sienna has, but Honda also offers a family-monitoring camera system for the Odyssey. 

Plus, the Odyssey has a spacious cabin that’s also designed in such a way that it’s very versatile. The Odyssey’s MagicSlide seats, for example, will make it easier for elderly folks to access the third row, according to MotorTrend.

Why the 2021 Honda Odyssey wins

Gray 2017 Honda Odyssey is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Honda Odyssey | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Overall though, just like in prior years, the Honda Odyssey beat the Toyota Sienna. Although Toyota’s made some welcome changes, the Odyssey is still a better minivan for many families. This is largely because, like MotorTrend said, although the Odyssey isn’t as modern as the Sienna is, it simply does the basics better.

For instance, the Odyssey has more cargo room behind the third-row seats than the Sienna. The Odyssey has 38.6 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the third row compared to 33.5 cu. ft. in the Sienna. Additionally, since the Odyssey has better driving dynamics than the Sienna, it’ll allow drivers to more easily overtake someone on the freeway. 

And then there’s the price difference. Obviously, since the Sienna is a hybrid, it can save owners money on fuel, but it’ll take a while for that to add up. So, the roughly $2,600 price difference between the two minivans can be a significant amount of money for some families.