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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I am curious too,hotspur...haven't you ever driven the 2001 DC vans? Or you are afraid we would take a picture of you in one :-) I just want your honest answer if you have driven one. What do you truely think of the van regardless of the history or the MSRP?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Well hotspur, it would appear as though your information on poor DC minivan reliability is becomming dated. I say this as I read a new article on on Strategic Visions Total Quality Winners. They gave the best quality in the minivan category to the 2001 Chrysler Town & Country. Contrary to the post many pro-Ody owners have posted, including would appear that the Ody doesn't win ALL of the awards.

  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Although many good points have been brought up over the last few years from both pro-Ody and pro-DC minivan owners, I think there are some variables that have been over-looked. At least on the pro-DC minivan side. Here are some of my new points that I feel have been over-looked...

    Models, trim, options. I think one of the reasons why DC minivans will continue to outsell the competition, including the Ody is because there are simply more models and options to choose from. For example, with Ody there are only two models and one wheel-base size. On the other hand, DC minivans have numerous models and trim lines, as well as two wheel base sizes. Also, the Ody only has one standard engine to choose from, whereas the DC minivans have three engine choices for people to consider (including the 3.8L V6, with a higher torque rating than the Ody's 3.5L V6).

    Now lets move onto interior appointments. The Ody's boaring and plain (yes, i do not have a problem with saying this as I've been on a few rides in my Cousin's 99 Ody LX) interior does not compare to the interiors of even the lowest model DC minivans (ie Voyager and Caravan SE). DC offers about three differently appointed interior in the Caravans and T&Cs, including the sude/leather option in the T&C Limited.

    This "one size fits all" attitude that Honda seems to have adopted is not very attractive to many consumers, especially those on a tight budget. In addition, I've just seen a new review by one of the reviewers at that has tested the 01 Caravan and the 01 Ody, and has given the DC van a slightly higher overall score. The 2001 Dodge Caravan: 72% vs the 2001 Honda Odyssey: 68%. Honda owners, could this be possible!? A DC minivan getting a higher mark than the almight Ody!? I guess so...

    -Adam (16/M/CA)

    Hotspur, I strongly believe that simply driving a DC minivan helps to sell the car more than negotiating with a salesman over the MSRP or rebates (especially a Grand Caravan ES or T&C LTD). I recommend you drive one to experience the full driving effect these vans have on the driver and passengers.
  • wellphytwellphyt Posts: 28
    I may be wrong but I don't believe Honda is manufacturing enough vans yet to outsell the DC vans. My understanding is Honda is selling every van it can make.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Many customers prefer having a choice of vehicles at the dealership ready for purchase and being able to drive one. DC produces sufficient numbers for dealers to do this.
    With the Honda Odyssey, a prospective buyer does not have this option at most dealerships.
    When DC starts giving away minivans, let me know so I can get in line for the nice gift.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    4aodoge says: Crappy breaks? Yea right. Our experience with these breaks are just the opposite. It's funny you mention breaks when your Ody doest even have 4 wheel anti-lock disc breaks
    You know what I think, that deep down inside you know that your DC Van is going to "BREAK" or you wouldn't keep saying so. No I don't have 4 wheel disc breaks, nor do I even have 4 wheel disc brakes. But I do have a van that doesn't BREAK. And as far as Odyssey having a below rating in CR they even admitted that Odyssey was brought down by the early troubles with the power sliders, but since they have recalled them and fixed them, no more problems. Maybe with a little luck DC will also do the honorable thing and recall theirs to fix the firebomb van. And again maybe not until the government spends millions of my hard earned money in court to force them to do what's right.
  • hotspurhotspur Posts: 34
    So DC gets the IIHS to suppress its "poor" rating for four months in order to "correct" the fire hazard. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of buyers purchase these firetraps (I'm sure scanner can tell us the precise number) without being warned of this terrible problem. Then DC "corrects" the problem in all vans built after July 2 or 6 or some such date, but does nothing for the poor dupes who bought between March and July.

    Is this cynical or what? Why would anyone buy from this company? The ejection rear hatch mentality all over again.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Interesting to see you post Consumer Reports reliability ratings. Do you think their conspiracy is over? Did you find sample sizes with those figures? Just curious.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Honda has always been poor on model choices and options selection. In fact, that was the major reason we bought a Saturn over a Civic some years ago. It was also a lesser reason why we bought a Cirrus over some of it's competition when it first hit the market.

    Just as you said, the same is true for the Odyssey. Obviously, it isn't a competitive disadvantage, since the demand is so high. Clearly, if Honda's 2 models and dealer installed options don't suit someone's tastes, another make will.

    For us, Honda had it right. The base LX model had a nice 3.5L V6, standard traction control, good passenger room in the 3rd row, good crash and rollover ratings, lap/shoulder seatbelts and headrests in all seating positions and switchable locking seatbelt retractors which make carseat installation relatively easy. While I've not needed the magic seat once, my wife finds it extremely convenient quite frequently. The LX also didn't stick us with frills we didn't want, like leather or power doors/hatches. Sure it would have been nice to have some things Odyssey didn't have, like side curtain airbags, stability control and run flat tires. Unfortunately, no competitor had all those for 2001, either.

    I don't expect anyone else to have the same priorities that we had, but Honda's one-size-fits-all apparently fits as many people as Honda can make vans.

    Now had the crash tests been completed when we purchased, and had the 3.8L engine you tout been available on a model without the other frills at a cost comparable to the Odyssey LX, then a GC/T&C would have been a strong possibility for us. Funny how Chrysler's many sizes didn't happen to fit all, either. To each their own.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Excellent writting hotspur, but I bet scanner scanned right on by or maybe his common sense got a crack in it and is leaking 2 tablespoons a minute. What the DC people need to do is carry a couple of 5 gal. cans of gas behind the 3rd seat and only put in about 4 tablespoons of gas in the tank at a time. Then if they get hit from behind and DC by chance didn't fix the rear latch than the gas cans would be ejected and that way no fire.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    In case you didn't read my post #354...I am curious too,hotspur...haven't you ever driven the 2001 DC vans? Or you are afraid we would take a picture of you in one :-) I just want your honest answer if you have driven one. What do you truely think of the van regardless of the history or the MSRP?
  • If the ody's interior is boring and plain than what is the dodge's.....exciting and vibrant? Puhleeasse, gimme a break, its plastic my man, both of them, I mean....plastic. How emotional can you get about it? You want leather to go with your plastic, fine, then spend the bucks to get it. If you have a Honda, take it to the aftermarket guy or wait for the 2002 EXL. It's only an extra days hassle for a decade of comfort.

    The one size fits all is not attractive to many customers? Once again, what is the wait time for an Odyssey these days? Oh thats right, they are just keeping supply low for some sort of conspiracy thingy.

    Especially not to those on a tight budget?
    Yeah, all these Ody owners just have tons of cash to throw around. Wrong, the LX is a great buy for a someone who's worried about the bottom line but still looking for a few comforts. If thats still too much than as I said before, the MPV offers more than a short-base Caravan for the same price and Kia is knocking at the door with a 10 year warranty.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Interesting to read the apologies for buying the "Magic Seat" minivan. As I have written many times, we would have purchased a Granite Green Odyssey LX-C and in fact ordered one on March 16, 1999. The 5 month waiting time was not possible and after looking again at the Grand Caravan, we both felt the features of the GC SE AND the nice price we paid outweighed the benefit of waiting 5 months.
    So far our 99 GC SE has provided us with exceptional comfort in 30,588 miles while getting an overall average of 23.6 MPG and having ZERO problems. We do NOT regret our purchase.
    I believe we would have been just as happy with the Odyssey we had ordered...and would have purchased if the waiting time had been more reasonable. Each van has unique advantages.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    for proving my point several times over.



    What was that you were saying about Odyssey owners being a bunch of mindless drones? ;-)
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    dmathews3, a "firebomb" van? I think not. It is so very convienent for you Ody owners to take advantage of the crash test news and use to it slander the image of a perfectly safe family vehicle. You all act as if under no circumstances would an all-mighty Honda Odyssey develop a minor fuel leak, AFTER a crash at 40mph into a concrete wall. A fuel leak could develop in any automobile depending on the severity of the crash and many other incalculable variables. I'm sorry your experience with Chrysler breaks hasn't been a good one, but I have experienced just the opposite in both of my DC minivans.

    You think deep down I know my 00 T&C will "BREAK"? It's insulting that Ody owners, many of which have under 30k miles (at most) on their vans, are telling me I think my DC van is going to "BREAK." We have driven over 110k trouble-free miles with both our 98 GC SE and 00 T&C LX combined. Throughout that time period of 110k miles, these vehicles have hauled our family of 6 through desserts, over moutains, and through city traffic without ANY trouble. Can any Honda Ody owner here (99-01 model years) say the same? I didn't think so.

    Now back to the Ody dash and interior. As I've said before, sit in a 01 Ody EX and then a 01 DGC ES and tell me which you find more attractive. It won't be that hard, really. Hutspur, stop quoting these magazines and online publications and make up your own mind about the interior of these two cars. You have still not answered the question, "have you ever driven or riden in a 01-02 DC minivan?" You boast about how many reviewers have given praise to the Ody without keeping in mind I could do just the same for DC minivans.

    Yes, Chrysler does offer more options, models, and packages in their minivan line-up. Do not deny that this is more benefitial to the consumer than a car like the Ody, with only two models and one engine size to choose from. For someone that is on a tight budget and doesn't do much hauling or towing, a 4cyl Caravan/Grand Caravan SE will do the job just fine and can be bought at an excellent price (much lower than the Odys).

    Masshoosier, while both vans indeed do use plastics in their interiors...some plastics are obviously better than others. I've sat and riden inside an Ody before and find do find the dash boaring and unappealing...especially compared to my 00 T&C's. How emotional can you get? It all depends, but I certainly wouldn't expect to see someone getting emotional over a dash like the Ody's.

    While the Ody LX is nicely priced and has many usefull standard features, so does a Chrysler Voyager or Caravan/Grand Caravan SE. In fact, these vans might even come with more features than the Ody LX, despite them being so low on the model-chain. Yes, you can get a Ody LX for a nice price, but you could get many DC vans (Voyager, DC SE) for a much lower price without sacrificing any major features.

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    You drove thru desserts? What kind? Baked Alaska. Maybe a DQ Blizzard?

    Why do people place such importance on leather? Did we really suffer that bad on vinyl as kids. Really now, aren't the kids just going to tear it up too?

    Personally, I want all vinyl, rubber, and plastic so I can just hose the damn thing out. That would be an outstanding selling point for many of us with kids. Forget magic seats, nine cup holders, ten
    speakers, video entertainment centers, and triple zone a/c give me the ability to hose out the van.

    BTW I found the Dodge interior tacky too. No, I did not find it to be a superior driving vehicle. With Caravan's history for reliability and many friends tranny woes and my needs the Odyssey was the better choice for my situation.
  • hotspurhotspur Posts: 34
    The vinyl interiors on my BMW 2002 and 530i looked as good at 90,000 miles as when new. A Mercedes-Benz diesel with MB-Tex interior (that's vinyl) will look good as new at 300,000 miles. And no cows have to be killed to install it.

    Strange how we've come to view leather as "luxurious." On the M-B 560SEC in the late 1980s, leather was standard and cloth was an option for those that wanted luxury. I guess leather appeals to those who like plastic made-to-look- (badly, at that) like wood. They must feel more important sitting on leather "seating surfaces."
  • a Caravan? You can't fit nothing in a caravan compared to the Ody. The Grand Caravan perhaps. Don't say a Caravan compares cause it doesn't, They are way too small. Have three kids first then talk to us about the sacrifices between the low model caravan and the Odyssey. A whole different ballgame.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Well, to all you DC van owners, congratulations on getting a van with an exciting interior. I suppose to each their own, but even something as exciting as say a BMW, MB E-class, or even a Honda Insight's interior will eventually wear out in a couple of years (if not sooner). Remember that commercial where the guy is standing outside in the rain admiring {intensly} his Kia (or Hyundai)? C'mon how long that will last for any car (save an exotic one)? I suppose us "plain Ody folks" look for excitement somewhere else in life. ;) j/k
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Hotspur keeps boasting about how many possitive reviews the Ody has been given over the last few years as if the same cannot be said for DC minivans. In fact, this is not true and I think in this post I will successfully prove my point.

    And while the Honda Odyssey comes closer than the Montana, the Honda still feels a bit more ungainly and heavy than the seemingly more nimble Chrysler van.

    One driver summed up the T&C's impressive road manners thusly: "Unlike the Honda and Ford vans, which are big and feel it, the Town & Country is big but doesn't feel it."

    Despite the fact the Town & Country wasn't the quickest van in this test, the engine and transmission still got high praise among the drivers.

    With 215 horsepower and 245 foot-pounds of torque, he said the engine "moves this vehicle with authority."

    Despite the few gripes, Chirico really enjoyed his time in the minivan. He spent the better part of one month driving all over Southern California in a Dodge Grand Caravan and "loved it." Wow, who woulda thought? CHRYSLERS RESPONSE TO INTRO

    "The Grand Caravan's engine and transmission seem to be a much better match for each other than the Odyssey's. Acceleration from a stop was much quicker, therefore making it easier to enter a freeway."

    Karl feels the 3.8-liter V6 in our long-term vehicle provides abundant low-end torque, giving the Grand Caravan an almost nimble feel during around-town cruising. The copious power delivery is backed up by a responsive, communicative steering system that further elevates the Dodge to "almost fun-to-drive" status. Rather amazing for a minivan.

    During his commute, Brent found time to evaluate the interior. The amount of feature content impressed him, specifically the leather seating, automatic headlights, power doors/mirrors/locks, automatic climate control, seat heaters and moveable center console. The console's flip-out cell phone holder earned a thumbs up, as it held his Nokia 6160 perfectly. And while this van can't be ordered with a navigation system, it does have a compass mounted in the rearview mirror, a feature Brent used on a couple of occasions. He also really liked the audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, saying that they are perfectly placed on the back of the wheel and are easy to use.

    In an announcement made at the New York International Auto Show, Dodge Caravan was awarded the coveted Automobile Magazine Readers' Choice All-Star for Best Minivan.

    The 2001 models of the Dodge Dakota, Caravan, and Stratus Coupe and Sedan have all been rated as Consumers Digest "Best Buys".

    The 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan took home top honors as the best minivan in the market for the second year running, according to AAA rankings.


    DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group was the only company with domestic brands to tally four winners in TQI segments. These were the Chrysler PT Cruiser, LHS and Town & Country and the Dodge Dakota.

    Hands down, this 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan has everything you want in a passenger vehicle, truck and minivan. I tried to find something to complain about. I just couldn't.

    This new Grand Caravan has a lot to offer a busy mom or dad who wants a different level of comfort and convenience to haul your busy family to the ice rink or swimming pool.

    Fifteen Years After It Created A New Market, The Chrysler Minivan Is Still The Leader And Trend Setter. Now They Add The Selectable Autostick Transmission.

    Many trendy vehicles will come and go, but I predict when flash and fashion fade, there will be the Dodge Caravan, rolling along in undiminished numbers.

    Some of the basic ingredients of this eminently successful offering have not been changed, things like its size, seat-height, and front-drive configuration. But the upcoming Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, and Chrysler (nZ<caron>e Plymouth) Voyager, and models do benefit from quieter-ride suspension pieces, bigger brakes, a trio of more potent V-6 engines, a powered rear liftgate, dual powered sliding doors, improved front airbags and new side-impact bags, power-adjustable pedals, fresh exterior sheetmetal, and an even more clever interior design.

    The 2001 lineup includes the Chrysler (formerly Plymouth) Voyager, Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, a trio that has given DaimlerChrysler mini-van dominance with sales of 600,000 plus, or about 40 percent of the 1.5 million market annually.

    It would appear as though the Ody isn't the only minivan out there winning awards and praises from various organizations. Dispite all of the hype over the Ody, Chrysler's minivans are still the only ones on the market that have been awarded MOTORTREND's CAR OF THE YEAR (1996). That's very impressive when you consider the other cars over the year that have been given that honored award.

    As a friend put it best, "you can't stay on top forever, at least in the eyes of the critics." I think a major reason why so much hype as been given to the Ody since it was redesigned is that DC has simply done so well in terms of customer loyalty and minivan sales. Of course critics are going to be eager to give the crown of "the best minivan" to a new contender after a single product has been given that title 16 years in a row.

    It allways amusses me that despite all of the awards Honda has been given for the Ody, it's sales are eclipsed by those of the DC minivans and I think will continue to be well into the future. After all, a company just doesn't sell 9 million minivans over a period of a decade and a half for no good reason.

    -Adam (16/M/CA)

    00 T&C LX FWD

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