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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans

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  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    No, cannot slide any seats sideways in the DCX vans. The DGC SE has the middle row bench seat, still has the storage bins in the center and the same rear folding seat as the SXT StoNGo. You just cannot fold down the second row bench seat, and equipment/options are limited.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    As stated, NO seats in the 2nd row of any DC minivan will slide side to side. My son has NEVER changed the 2nd row configuration of his 2001 Ody EX from being 2 separate bucket seats to being one bench seat. Most people prefer having separate bucket seats in the 2nd row to keep children apart so they do not fight with each other. :blush:
    However, for people with 2 small children, the 2nd row bench seat of the 2005 GC SE with 2 built in child seats is JUST RIGHT and also provides the 2 large storage compartments under the floor where the 2nd row "Stow-N-Go" seats of other 2005 DC minivan seats would go when folded. ;)
  • As stated, NO seats in the 2nd row of any DC minivan will slide side to side. My son has NEVER changed the 2nd row configuration of his 2001 Ody EX from being 2 separate bucket seats to being one bench seat. Most people prefer having separate bucket seats in the 2nd row to keep children apart so they do not fight with each other

    They're so easy to move I do both. Apart for long trips(anti touching mode)together during the week when my wife drops off my boy. :P

    However, for people with 2 small children, the 2nd row bench seat of the 2005 GC SE with 2 built in child seats is JUST RIGHT and also provides the 2 large storage compartments under the floor where the 2nd row "Stow-N-Go" seats of other 2005 DC minivan seats would go when folded.

    While nice the built ins have considerable short comings. First they are only for 22lbs to 50lbs. So for the first 2 years it's a no go. Then after 50 lbs or 47inches you have to get them out. For seat belts to work properly the children have to be tall enough approx 57 inches. This is the time when the seat belt doesn't go across the neck and their legs are long enough to bend at the seat edge. This keeps them from slouching and the belt being across the belly. This area is very weak in most toddlers/small children. So you still end up buying 3 seats baby/convertable/booster just that you only use the convertable in the rear facing mode. That said, it's almost impossible to engineer a seat good from 0-8 years old. I wouldn't waste my money!!!
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    With their new hi tech engine that will cut out three cylinders and their new five speed transmission, it seems like C.R. says it only got 12 MPG in their test and not the EPA number of 20, stated on the window. I can imagine the Dodge can do as good or better than that with their old six banger and four speed. My wife's 2004 Honda Civic does better than Honda Civic's Hybrid.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Just read of the difficulty Edmunds had when their 2005 Odyssey Touring had a tire with a nail in it. :cry:
    DC is not using their buyers to test a new, questionable tire. The tire testing should be completed before putting them on new vehicles and equipment to repair the new tires should be readily available. :shades:
  • With their new hi tech engine that will cut out three cylinders and their new five speed transmission, it seems like C.R. says it only got 12 MPG in their test and not the EPA number of 20, stated on the window. I can imagine the Dodge can do as good or better than that with their old six banger and four speed. My wife's 2004 Honda Civic does better than Honda Civic's Hybrid.

    So your saying the SXT hit the EPA numbers. Please also put the Odyssey hit the 28 MPG on the highway. Let's be fair once in a whil. BTW if CR is the king what was the overall MPG SXT VS Ody??
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    So your saying the SXT hit the EPA numbers. Please also put the Odyssey hit the 28 MPG on the highway. Let's be fair once in a whil. BTW if CR is the king what was the overall MPG SXT VS Ody??

    CR does not show the Dodge, only the Odyssey. It also does not show highway miles. Only city driving. It's on page 20 of the Oct. 05 issue
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I seem to have the grave misfortune, according to Honda lovers, of riding in a Caravan or T&C occasionally and I've never felt the seats were uncomfortable in any way, including those rearward of the driver. Now I have never been in an '05 Ody, but I rode with my neighbor yesterday in his '04 Ody and the phrase "super comfortable" most certainly is exaggerated. In fact, I'm not sure they are even as comfortable as a Chrysler mini-van.

    But then again this is one of those areas that is highly subjective. Body porportions, size, and weight of an individual make all the difference in how one judges seat comfort. And if your an overzealous salesperson, then whatever your selling will be the "best."

    Dusty
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    That would be correct. Though Consumer Reports indicated in that article that all results from their gas mileage(actual vs EPA) study will be available on their web site for free Sept. 7-Nov. 2. The tests from 303 vehicles will be avaiable. So, we will be able to see how the rest of the competition stacked up against Ody's weak 12mpg city. CR says to expect a 30% decrease in actual city mpg as opposed to EPA's number for minivans.Ody's was a 40% drop from EPA's listed 20mpg.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    CR says to expect a 30% decrease in actual city mpg as opposed to EPA's number for minivans.Ody's was a 40% drop from EPA's listed 20mpg.

    What is so amazing about it, is it get's that bad with all that hi tech on it.
  • What is so amazing about it, is it get's that bad with all that hi tech on it.

    Its a 4400 lb beast, so starts and stops will be bad on it. Also the VCM is almost useless around town. Here are instances when VCM dosen't work, less than 15mph, on warm up, accelleration, going uphill, and over 80mph. So as its sitting at a stop light or in traffic on the 405 it's just like any other engine. Now since this is a comparation of DCX vs Odyssey CR also states overall MPG Dodge SXT-17mpg Honda Odyssey-19mpg. That with the almost 20% quicker 0-60 times is pretty hitech. Heck at this point spending 11% less on gas than a SXT owner is pretty good!
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Now since this is a comparation of DCX vs Odyssey CR also states overall MPG Dodge SXT-17mpg Honda Odyssey-19mpg. That with the almost 20% quicker 0-60 times is pretty hitech. Heck at this point spending 11% less on gas than a SXT owner is pretty good!

    I think CR was going by EPA figures then. It will be interesting what they come out with now.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I will give Honda this much. According to CR, Honda had the lowest amount of problems for newly designed vehicles from 2000-2002, than any other auto company. That will probably raise some with their 2005 Ody. But that's a great track record.

    Most of the high priced European models were the worst.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    You are right..that was a small amount of logic. ;) The CR study focused on actual mpg in city driving "versus" EPA's estimated mpg in city driving. So, finding those numbers for the DGC and Ody would be more relevant to the current CR discussion.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yo hans, haven't heard much lately about which van you're considering purchasing. Appears as if you have crossed the Ody off your list. Which would leave the Mazda MPV and the Dodge Grand Caravan as the best remaining candidates. ;)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Right now I have found NO new minivan as desireable as my 2002 T&C LX which has some nice features that are found on NO other minivan at a reasonable price. My 2002 with 3.3L has an overall fuel economy average of 22.6 MPG with a high of 34.6 MPG and a low of only 14.1 MPG. (Dismal but NOT as low as the 12 MPG the Ody delivered for CR).
    Odyssey EX: Very comfortable seats for all passengers and driver but NO overhead console with complete, versatile trip computer and outside temp and compass. No heating coils at base of windshield and controls on doors are not lighted. Disappointed with engine and transmission response of 2005 Ody I test drove.
    Sienna LE: Must upgrade to an XLE to get separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger and Denver Region does not import base XLE. MSRP to get what we want is over $32,000. The 2004 Sienna LE was THE BEST performing minivan and Sienna is probably the most reliable.
    Grand Caravan SXT: Most 2005 models are sold and no information but Edmund's pricing yet on 2006. 2005 GC SXT does NOT have the heating coils at base of windshield, controls on door are no longer lighted, and trip computer no longer has "Current" fuel economy that is on my low end 2002 T&C.
    MPV: Was too small for our needs and NO reliable data on next MPV...but if rumors about 2007 MPV are true, it could be a viable possibility.
    Sedona: Could jump to # 1 on my "most probable next new vehicle" if the data on the 2006 Sedona proves to be accurate.
    I would not consider any minivan but 2006 Odyssey, 2006 Sienna, 2006 GC/T&C, next generation MPV or 2006 Sedona.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Its a 4400 lb beast, so starts and stops will be bad on it. Also the VCM is almost useless around town. Here are instances when VCM dosen't work, less than 15mph, on warm up, accelleration, going uphill, and over 80mph. So as its sitting at a stop light or in traffic on the 405 it's just like any other engine. Now since this is a comparation of DCX vs Odyssey CR also states overall MPG Dodge SXT-17mpg Honda Odyssey-19mpg. That with the almost 20% quicker 0-60 times is pretty hitech. Heck at this point spending 11% less on gas than a SXT owner is pretty good!

    Back from a weekend camping trip to Canada, 4 adults (no complaints about 2nd row seat comfort for 4-5 hour drive), 2 dogs, loaded DCX Minivan and Coleman Popup RV...18 mpg overall, doing 75mph highway, and thru many small towns etc....not bad! Lowest was 17mpg, highest was 22mpg. Not bad considering only 7200 miles on her so far.

    CR is good only for very data they collect i.e testing similar vehicles at same time with same instruments, in a very scientific method. Their write ups are very slanted, always favoring Japanese vehicles even if totally new i.e..the Oddy.

    We've been seeing for months now, the dismal MPG the Oddys are getting. Maybe on the CR test loop it gets better mileage than a Dodge, but real world experience isn't close.

    I wonder how the HEMIs with cylinder deactivation fare? I haven't read latest CR yet.

    So are we now playing the percentage game ??? Like having 1/4 of the recalls of an Oddy is pretty good? or how about spending 20-30% less on a Dodge minivan is fantastic!!!!
  • swb9swb9 Posts: 5
    ....and would appreciate input. I'm brand new to this forum, which I'm excited to have discovered. As I said above, we're looking to buy our 1st minivan, but have very little knowledge of minivans or brands, aside from what I've read concerning Oddys, Siennas and T&C in places like CR. :confuse: I had been looking for a used 2002 Odyssey w/low miles, but I'm getting a little nervous after having read of the problems that forum members have been having with the transmissions and other parts of the 2002s.

    Is there a consensus in the Odyssey v. Town & Country debate? I know even less about the T&C than I do the Oddy....does the T&C suffer from the problems that many American vans have? Will it only be reliable for 100,000 miles and then die an untimely death? Also, is there a model that's smaller/shorter than the others?Also, whether I ultimately buy an Odyssey or a T&C, are there any years/models I should stay away from?

    Sorry for the 20 questions. I would really appreciate any and all comments/thoughts/suggestions/advice. Thanks in advance for your help! :)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    The Odyssey had transmission problems for that year as Chrysler did a few years before. But Honda does give you a 1000,000 mile warranty with it. I wouldn't buy a Chrysler before 2002 as they had a number of other problems. From 2002-2005, the Chrysler/Dodges seem to be pretty problem free. The Dodge does offer a shorter model to go with their G.C. and it comes with a smaller engine.

    I would say as long as your going for no older than a 2002, either van would be a good one.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree with marine2 with a few additions.
    # 1. There was a Chrysler Voyager clone of regular, short wheel base Caravan from January 1, 2002 until the name was changed to Chrysler T&C. The T&C with no letters after it is a short wheel base clone of Dodge Caravan. In 2002, each had a 7 year 100,000 powertrain warranty that would be transferable to next owner IF the original owner had purchased an additional DaimlerChrysler warranty for other items. That made the original 7 yeard 100,000 powertrain warranty transferable for the same length of time as the additional warranty.
    # 2. A used 2002 Odyssey will cost you about twice as much as a used Grand Caravan or Town & Country in same condition due to the perceived better reliability of Honda which may or may not be the case. An equally nice 2002 Sienna would cost slightly less than the 2002 Odyssey but each costs much more than Grand Caravan or T&C.
    # 3. Have you considered either a NEW 2005 Caravan or T&C with the HUGE discounts now in effect as long as dealers have NEW 2005 models? :confuse: They would cost not much more than a used 2002 Odyssey or 2002 Sienna and you would have a NEW vehicle with a long factory warranty. ;)
    # 4. Also to look at are NEW Kia Sedonas or Mazda MPVs that also have large discounts and are very reasonably priced ;) or even a used 2002 MPV or Sedona?
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    1) Check out the different areas of this forum...it's invaluable

    2) If you want smaller minivan, there's the SWB Chrysler vans, and also Mazda MPV. I was very impressed by Mazda but needed LWB for extra space. In my opinion, for the difference, I'd go with a larger minivan.

    3) If you go to the Chrysler minivan problems on this forum, you'll see many owners wtih many many miles on their DCX products. Any modern vehicle can last 250k+ miles, it's just maintaining it and taking care of little things as they come up.

    4) One other thing to consider...how you going to use this? Hauling kids around and Home Depot runs? or empty nesters? I think the Honda and Toyota are "too prissy" i.e..nice, to stand up to some abuse.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    One other item:
    The smaller minivans ( MPV, Caravan, SWB T&C ) would fit more easily into the smaller garage of older homes or even new homes when space is at a premium. The smaller minivans can still carry 7 people with seat buckles for all and have adequate cargo space for many people unless 6 or 7 people are going camping or must take a large quantity of luggage. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Yeah, I would go short wheel base MPV or Dodge Caravan instead of a used Honda Ody. Why pay 18k-20k for a used 2002 Ody with 60,000 miles, when you can get a brand spanking new MPV or Caravan loaded fairly sweetly for the same amount? Plus, you'll be getting piece of mind with 4 years/50,000mile warranty of the MPV or the ,,,what 3yr/36,000 bumper to bumper and 7yr/70,000 powertrain warranty on the Dodge. Of course if I had to choose between the two I would pick the MPV....which I did. ;) Zoom Zoom
  • Me and my Wife back in September 2003 were in the market for a used minivan. Safety, reliability, cost and features were all considered. After doing careful research here on Edmunds and using other resources, we ended up buying a new/used two year old 2001 DGC EX for $15,995.00 with only 37K. (This was well below the budget we set). We were able to get the rear cargo organizer, an alarm, Maximumcare bumper to bumper warranty to May 2007 or 75K, (the original warranty expired from miles) and paint protection with all taxes and title included for just over $19,000. At the time of purchase, according to KBB, our van was worth over $18,000 to which the original price new was around $26,000 -27,000. So we were blessed to find our vechicle of choice with color, features, reliability, warranty and cost. We paid cash, so no car note. Man what a good feeling to own a new/used car with no car note. Out of five cars I've owned, I only had one car note which was my Wife's car that she had before we got married. (To which we own together now). We now have over 64K and the only problem that we've had, was right after purchase when both front window regulator motors needed to be replaced. Replaced the battery in mid 2004 along with the gas cap. We had some front suspension work done from a knocking noise. (Covered under warranty). Outside of these few things, everything works just as it's suppose to and our van has been very reliable. Although now we are going to have to replace both lifters on the liftgate sometime in the future, since they are getting weak from time and use. It will only cost us under $50 and time of course. Good luck with your research and future purchase. :)
  • We've been seeing for months now, the dismal MPG the Oddys are getting. Maybe on the CR test loop it gets better mileage than a Dodge, but real world experience isn't close.

    I have the numbers from CR they are free online until Nov. 2nd. 2005 Honda Odyssey Highway EPA28 CR 28 City EPA 20 CR12 Overall 19 EPA 23. Overall a 17.4% shortfall for the Odyssey.
    Now Dodge GC SXT City EPA-18 CR-11(Even less than the Ody) Highway EPA 24 CR-25(Not bad) Overall EPA 21 CR-17. 19% shortfall.
    Stil better overall mileage! Even the 12 MPG city looks good compared to DCX.

    I wonder how the HEMIs with cylinder deactivation fare? I haven't read latest CR yet.

    This along with 4 other models were tops at underpreforming in percent from EPA for that type of vehicle! 300C 41% less than EPA.

    So are we now playing the percentage game ??? Like having 1/4 of the recalls of an Oddy is pretty good? or how about spending 20-30% less on a Dodge minivan is fantastic!!!!

    The best thing to do is go out and try and find the best van that suits you. Cost features etc. The price of the Ody is high(now 20-30% is a little out there for the same features) but I think It's worth it. I am happy with the added safety features I have standard. I can only say no problems here and I expect the Odyssey to be at least average in reliability. The 2006 should even be better!!
  • I had been looking for a used 2002 Odyssey w/low miles, but I'm getting a little nervous after having read of the problems that forum members have been having with the transmissions and other parts of the 2002s.

    The main problem was a lack of lubrication to 2nd gear. All of these trannys should have been inspected and modified(if no damage was found) or replaced. Honda also has a 100,000 mile warrenty on it. As with anything that mechanicial these vans do have some problems. You can get quite a bit for your money from a 2002/2003 Dodge or Chrysler(which I prefer because it holds better value) the Honda is in high demand so resale value is a little high. The SWB/MPV route is fine it you have 2 or less kids. The storage behind the 3rd row seat is tight to say the least.

    Is there a consensus in the Odyssey v. Town & Country debate? I know even less about the T&C than I do the Oddy....does the T&C suffer from the problems that many American vans have? Will it only be reliable for 100,000 miles and then die an untimely death? Also, is there a model that's smaller/shorter than the others?Also, whether I ultimately buy an Odyssey or a T&C, are there any years/models I should stay away from?

    You can make cars last a long time no matter what the brand. The main thing is to stay on top of the maintenance. I had a 2001 DCX van it was ok but first year of model so I had my share of unscheduled dealer visits. Never got stranded, so not too bad. 2002+ should be fine. CR rates them average, cars are so dependable now average is great compared to 20 years ago. 1999 Odyssey also had quite a few more problems than the years after that! Hope you find a good car!! GOOD LUCK!!!
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    I question CR's test methodology. I have yet to read or hear of people getting as poor city fuel economy as they did for a several of their vehicles. Lower than EPA, yes, but 40% lower? Not one account. How is their information useful except to get people upset?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I question both EPA and CR methodologies, especially so when it comes to city driving mileage. It can vary so much from driver to driver and city to city that it is almost impossible to develop a one size fits all test. If you live and drive in a very congested large city you could spend an inordinate amount of time sitting and idling. On the other hand, if you drive in a less congested city or drive primarily in less congested suburb areas of the larger cities, or in a less congested "midsize" city, your city mileage could easily beat the CR or the EPA city ratings.

    Add to that the ability of the manufacturers, with the sophisiticated software now used to control engines and transmissions, to design their engine/drive train control software to beat the EPA test, it is nearly impossible to determine in advance what kind of mileage an individual driver will get, relative to anyone's published data.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Excellent analysis.
    Many years ago before the freeway became crowded one co-worker was bragging about city mileage but when questioned, her city driving was 15 miles interstate with only one stop light going home from work or to work. She lived a few blocks from the freeway and work was just one block off the freeway with one "right on red" stoplight intersection enroute to work. We worked the 2:30 PM to 11:00 PM shift when traffic was normally very light each way.
    On the other hand, I had a total of 5 miles each way with 7 stop lights with less than 2 miles on the freeway. Our "city driving" was so different that no reasonable comparison on gas mileage was possible based on driving to and from work. My vehicle had just warmed up to ideal operating temperature. :blush:
    The ONLY reasonable comparison of mileage between vehicles is to drive them each on a round trip on exactly same long route at the same time...and that is virtually impossible. The EPA "Highway" rating is the closest to fair comparison that can be made and then as badgerfan pointed out, manufacturers can cheat on that test. :confuse:
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    What is EPA's or CR methodology in conducting city mpg??? CR sure didn't indicate how their test was set up. One would think they would have...wouldn't one :confuse: i.e 3 five second stops per mile...accelerating at such a such a speed to such and such a mileage.
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