Yes, it’s true. There are still minivans on the market. While they are a dying breed, it’s still possible to get a vehicle that meets all your family needs.
The Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey are two of the last standing minivans, and trying to choose which will be the best investment for your money is a harder task than it should be. In fact, the critics are having trouble choosing which is the superior minivan. So which should you choose?
The 2021 Honda Odyssey is perfect for parents
For anyone who has ever driven with little ones, even if they’re not your kids, it’s all too clear that children know how to make a mess. One small bump and that bowl of cereal they were munching on is now all over your vehicle.
In a typical vehicle, this is a prime opportunity to work on using child-friendly language. In a 2021 Honda Odyssey, you just pull over, whip out the vacuum, and suck up the mess.
That’s not the only thing the Odyssey has going for it, however. Honda reports that it comes equipped with a 3.5L V-6 engine that can whip in and out of traffic. Intelligent traction management with snow mode helps driving in wintry conditions a smoother transition, and the automatic climate control system makes sure that everyone remains comfortable.
Other features that make the Odyssey so great is sliding second-row seats. This gives even tall individuals the ability to get comfortable on long rides. There is also plenty of tech like a multi-angle rearview camera with grid lines, Bluetooth, rear seat reminder, anti-lock braking system, and a 5-inch color LCD screen. It has a starting price of $31,790.
Toyota is branching out by making the Sienna a hybrid
The 2021 Toyota Sienna breaks the mold by making it a hybrid. Toyota reports that it’s 2.5 L engine and electronically controlled continuously variable transmission makes for a smooth, eco-friendly ride.
Like the Sienna, it offers sliding second-row seats. It also comes with a wider range of standard features. The Sienna comes with the Toyota Safety Sense, which includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist.
There is also a 9-inch touch screen that is compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. The Odyssey has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but buyers must upgrade to a higher trim level to get it, whereas it comes standard on the Sienna.
The critics are torn between the two vans
Critics don’t always agree, but for the most part, they tend to be on the same page regarding vehicles. That’s not the case with the 2021 Toyota Sienna and the 2021 Honda Odyssey.
Motor Trend is 100% team Odyssey. This is due to the large range of options on the Odyssey, especially the vacuum. Tragically, the vacuum is in hiatus for the moment due to a supplier issue, but Honda expects to have this resolved soon. Motor Trend ranked the Sienna as number three out of four minivans to make its list of Best Minivans to Buy in 2021.
Kelley Blue Book was definitely not in agreement with Motor Trend, and is Team Sienna. The review site was a big fan of the hybrid model, even though it was disappointed there is no plug-in option. Even though the Sienna costs around $3,000 more than the Odyssey, the fuel owners will save will definitely make up for the price difference in the long run.
So which one do we recommend? While it’s a very tough call, there’s something about the Sienna that stands above the Odyssey. The all-wheel drive is a great feature for anyone living in an area where Mother Nature can change her mind at a moment’s notice.
There’s also the pesky fact that while the Sienna costs more, owners are getting more for their money at a lower trim level. The wheelchair-accessible ramp, which is optional is also a feature that will more than pay for itself for anyone with loved ones who have mobility issues. It is features like this that show Toyota is looking out for the whole family, and not just a small portion.