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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans

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  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    According to edmunds.com, the Chrysler Town & Country either tied or beat the Honda Odyssey in the following categories.

    Engine Performance-Chrysler
    Transmission Performance-Chrysler
    Breaking Feel/Performance-Tie
    Suspension Performance-Chrysler
    Tire Performance-Chrysler
    Steering Performance-Chrysler
    Fun To Drive-Chrysler

    Seat Comfort Front-Chrysler
    Seat Comfort Rear-Chrysler
    Wind and Road Noise-Chrysler
    Rattles and Squeaks- Tie
    Climate Controls/Stereo Operation-Chrysler
    Secondary Control Operation-Chrysler
    Cupholders-Chrysler
    Exterior Design-Chrysler

    The only category where the Honda really stomped on the Chrysler was in storage.

    Akin67, even edmunds.com says the Chrysler beat the Honda in almost every test they ran in their minivan comparison for the 2001 model year, although it did not win 1st place. And no, I am not a politician.

    -Adam
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Eneth opens his last post by saying he doesn't hold a grudge against Chrysler but then look at next several anti-Chrysler PARAGRAPHS of his message...
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I don't hold a grudge against the Honda Odyssey but I would never buy one because they are boxy, boaring, bland, comfort feature-LESS, unreliable pieces of plastic...
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Right Edmunds thought so highly of the Chrysler that is why Chrysler didn't come in first in the comparison tests. Oh wait they didn't come in second either. Hold on, not even third.

    That is right, Chrysler came in 4th on Edmunds comparison test of 6 vehicles. And you know where the Odyssey came in? That's right number one again. But that is no surprise, the Odyssey has been ranked NUMBER 1 in every comparison test since it came out in 1999. YES Every comparison by every automotive authority.

    What makes it even more pathetic for Chrysler is that Chrysler has been building minivans for over a decade now, and here comes along Honda and the first minivan they themselves build and it blows past Chrysler's top of the line Town and Country.

    You talk about Honda quality and problems with the Odyssey, why don't we compare the Odyssey to all of the problems the Chrysler vans went through in the first four years of their introduction? Chrysler is notorious for having mass recalls after every new product rollout. Look they just came out with the new Jeep Liberty and sure enough not even out a year yet and they are already recalling 120,000 vehicles for airbag defects.

    Please do not mention quality and Chrysler in the same breath. The American consumer knows of Chryslers quality or lack thereof.

    And lastly Honda has been selling them as fast as they can build them. What other car do you know that still has a 3 month waiting list going into the fourth year of its introduction? Chrysler on the other hand can not give them away. 0% interest, cash back, they are using every gimmick in the book to unload their product.

    You can say all you want, but the consumer has already determined which the better van is. In fact they prefer the Odyssey so much that they are willing to pay the full MSRP and more at times. And even waiting three months is not swaying their decision to buy the Odyssey.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    That's right, the Chrysler Town & Country came in 4th place out of 6 vehicles tested in the 2001 minivan comparison test. Why? For two main reasons, it is expensive and it lacks a third row fold away seat.

    It is too expensive? Oh common, when you test the ultimate minivan in terms of comfort features and luxuries, of course it is going to be expensive! It lacks a third row fold away seat? So what? Not everyone NEEDS that feature on their van and many seem to prefer the 50/50 split rear bench seat configuration over the third row fold away seat. Hey, it's whatever floats your boat...

    Akin67, lets get real about reliability. The Honda Odyssey hasn't exactly been the penacle of reliability for that brand. If you want to talk about reliability, vistit the Honda Odyssey problem board here at Troll Hall where you can find all the horror and complaint storries you want about Odyssey owners with broken power sliding doors and failing transmissions.

    Now, about the 2001 Jeep Liberty recall. If I can remember correctly, Honda issued one or two recalls for the 1999 Honda Odyssey. One of which was concerning the power sliding doors. These recalls are to be expected for first production year vehicles, such as the 2001 Jeep Liberty and the Honda Odyssey when it was first being built after its redesign in 1999.

    As for what people prefer, you can site all of the rave reviews you want for the Odyssey and try and relate that to how much people like the car, but Chrysler still sells more vans than Honda. I think we all know that if Chrysler produced just as many vans as Honda does they too would not have to resort to rebates to quickly move their product as the demand would increase greatly. To me, that concept is very simple and easy to understand but it seems that some Odyssey owners just don't get it.

    Along with our trouble free 2000 Chrysler Town & Country w/33k miles, we also own a 2001 PT Cruiser Limited. We have had the PT for about 5 months now and already have over 10k miles on it. This car rocks! My parents drive it an average of 80 miles per day and the car has been excellent as we have not had a single problem with it. Too bad many of the Odyssey owner's can say that about their vans here at Troll Hall.

    Akin67, Honda did not "blow past" Chrysler on its first try with the Odyssey. If you do your research you would know the Odyssey, which wasn't very popular by any means then, was in production well before the 1999 model year...

    -Adam (16/M/CA)

    TWO TROUBLE FREE CHRYSLER VEHICLES
    2000 TOWN & COUNTRY LX
    2001 PT CRUISER LIMITED
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    Well my 2002 T&C Limited is better than your Odyssey so there! OK would have said that when I was 12. I recently did buy a 2002 T&C Limited. Yes the issues of reliability were on my mind. The 7yr 100K powertrain warranty was enough for me to overcome my fears.
    The Ody was a close second, just preferred the T&C. Both makes serve their purpose, can't we all just get along!
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Honda did not produce minivans before the 99 model year. They were rebadging the Isuzu van as they have been doing with the Isuzu Rodeo (Honda Passport).

    So in fact it is a brand new vehicle in a brand new factory so if they had some quality glitches in the first model year it is certainly expected and understandable. I recall reading about dozens of recalls from Chrysler minivans when they first came out.

    If you want to compare a comporable van to the Honda just compare the Town and Country not every other Voyager and Caravan. They cover for the most part a different (more lower end) segment of the market that Honda is not vying for.

    Once again I reiterate since the Town and Country sells about the same number of Vans as the Odyssey why are people so eager to wait for the Odyssey and pay full MSRP yet the Town and Country needs significant rebates to sell the same amountof vans? Honda is pumping them out as fast as they can yet Chrysler is operating plants at a mere fraction of capacity.

    And if you are so happy about your T&C why are you on the Honda Odyssey board always knocking the Odyssey (I don't mean this board we are on now, this is totally legitimate for you to compare the two vehicles). You will never catch me on the T&C board knocking the T&C? What is your gripe with the Odyssey?

    Also I own a 2000 Ody EX and have had no problems with it whatsoever. And I am trading it in for a 2002 with a depreciation of only $4000 over 2 years. I bet you can not do that with your T&C.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    akin67: You have it only partly correct. The Honda Passport was a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. BUT: The old Honda Odyssey with 4 car-like doors 4-cyl power and the magic seat was made by Honda, and rebadged for sale by Isuzu, as a reciprocal arrangement. This old body style is still sold in Europe as the Honda Shuttle.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    I was under the impression that both vehicles were manufactured by Isuzu and rebadged as Honda's.

    Thanks
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Why do you assume that a review is biased because it rates the Odyssey number one. Were they biased when they ranked the Town and Country better in some categories? Or are they only biased when they are giving the Honda better reviews?

    What about Car & Driver, Road & Track, MoterTrend, Automobile Magazine, Consumer Reports, Consumer Guide, Popular Mechanics, NY Times and basically every other automotive authority since the 99 Odyssey came out. Please tell me there is a worldwide conspiracy to to make the Odyssey out to be the best minivan when in fact it isn't. Man this is some conspiracy they even have the consumers collaborating.

    We should get to the bottom of this. Lets get Ashcroft to investigate.

    Folks get real.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I have owned a 96 grand caravan, which I traded in on a 99 Odyssey. There are advantages to each. I personally believe that the actual differences between the 2 are really relatively small
    The hidden seat, or triple zone temperature controls may have distinct personal advantages to one buyer but not to another. One vans seats may be more comfortable as a matter of personal preference.
    I do miss the infinity sound system, the variable speed rear window wiper, the auto door locking at 16 MPH, the heated element at the base of the windshield, the easier to adjust roof rack, and the spare tire system of the DC.
    I have not had to bring my Odyssey to the dealer to correct any problems ( I got the two recalls done at scheduled service intervals. - my van did not have the problems). I had my DC back to the dealer 7 times to get the remote door opening system to work. (on one of those visits, the only guy who could do the work was not in). Some Honda owners have their share of complaints, too.
    I traded in my DC with 72 K miles I now have 50 K miles on the Odyssey. I plan on keeping it until it needs replacement, hopefully well past 72k miles
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    I enjoyed reading your post. Unlike some of the other posts that have recently dominated this board, I think your post is objective and the type of post that provides useful information for those considering either of these minivans. I agree with your sentiment that both vans have items that are likely to appeal to different individuals. And when you find a van that has more of what you want that becomes the better choice for you.

    I hope you continue posting your experiences with it.
  • I have read the Edmunds comparison, as well as almost every other minivan comparison, and find it to be fairly comprehensive but rather subjective and not completely logical. To me it would make sense to compare vans that are comparably equipped and then compare price or to compare vans that are comparably price and then compare equipment. The Edmunds compares fully loaded vans and then docks the T&C for being expensive. I do not think I have read anywhere on this board that anybody disagrees that the T&C has more features and creature comforts than the Odyssey. For the 2001 model the Oddysey did not even have leather as an option yet the T&C Limited that they tested was covered in it. Also, their top 14 features were extremely subjective. Many of them I very much agreed with and others I thought were a complete waste for a comparison (navigation system, entertainment system, in-dash CD changer) even if they were nice.

    I guess that what I am trying to say is that people need to look at the information in the comparison and ignore the rankings. If a fold-away rear seat and adjustable middle seats are important to you then the Oddysey is a great choice. If better handling and more creature comforts are important to you then the T&C is a great choice. Figure out what features are important to you and then make an apples to apples comparison based on the vehicles that have those features and the price of those vans.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Thanks for the compliment. I consider that some may be looking to choose between these 2 vans.
    One of the advantages of Daimler Chrysler vans is that you can get them built to suit your needs. The Honda has 2 trim levels. So it may be easier for some to get more of what they want by special ordering a van from DC. I consider that a point that has been a little over looked. .
    I have rented a few DC vans on business trips. They have always been the standard length. The last one, last May, was a Sport version. I have always thought the shorter van handled better than my grand caravan The sport version was really good in traffic. They are also newer and have been improved, I am sure. The older, shorter ones were always easier to drive in traffic, too..
    As for handling differences, It is a little difficult to describe. The DC has a tighter, more responsive feel to the steering than the Honda. The Honda drives and rides smoother, more like a sedan than the DC, which is more like sports car. The Honda, with its independent suspension, holds the road better. I can comfortably drive the Honda at higher speeds than I could my 96 DC. The Honda handles like I am still going 45 . The wind noise does increase. The brakes on the DC were better. I could stop quiker with the 96 DC. The Honda weighs more, so it would take less distance to stop the DC with the same brakes. The Honda out accelerates the 3.3 L DC I had. It feels like the Honda is much quiker, but, it probably is not near as much as it seems when driving.
    The Honda has a shorter turning radius. I can do a U turn in about 1/2 a lane less than I could with the DC
    I would bet the DC would do a faster slalom type race if they ever did that for minivans. Now all that boils down to is going to be a matter of personal preference. I would say the differences are between Sports car(DC) or a sedan (Honda). Long rides in the Honda are more comfortable.
    So what I would suggest is that one test drive both; but. finding a Honda to test drive is not very easy.
    As for comparison tests between the two in magazines, Edmund's, etc, I am reminded of what Vince Lombardi once said about football. "Statistics are for losers".
    It is a choice the individual buyer makes, presumedley after doing some homework. If you only looked at the problems posts at Edmund's, you would probably take the bus and never buy a vehicle.
  • It blows me away how defensive some people are about their choice being the only correct one and the other choice being totally stupid. We bought an Ody almost 2 years ago and have been happy with it. We narrowed the choices down to the GC and Ody. The triple stroller (we were still expecting the triplets at the time; they are now about 18 months old plus we have a kindergartener) would fit better in the Ody well, we could afford to wait a couple of months for the van to come and on the test drive an Ody seemed marginally better to my wife and she would be the primary driver.
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    I am sure we would have been happy with the Oddy. For us the T&C was a good choice. Can't even use the buy American as an argument as out T&C was built (well) by our neighbors north of the border.
  • Cars, trucks, and yes...VANS. Quality is something the folks at Chrysler dream about. Their dealers treat their customers like garbage. Why would anyone ever put themselves through such a nightmare by even considering a Chrysler product. I should know. I ONCE subjected myself to the garbage produced by Chrysler.
  • If you have something constructive to say then by all means add to the discussion but your last post was about the same as the quality that you attribute to Chrysler. What year and model was it that soured you to Chrysler anyway? I currently own a '95 Chrysler Cirrus that I bought new in December '94 and it has been a very good vehicle. My parents own a '94 LeBaron which has served them well and now has 120,000 miles on it. It hasn't been perfect but has served them well. My sister also has a '93 Grand Voyager that has served them well and now has well over 100,000 miles.

    BTW I once had a Honda and it was always breaking down (1974 CVCC). If I let that experience sour me I wouldn't even consider cars from what is now one of the highest quality manufacturers on the market.
  • The crap I had was a 97 Town & Country. Electrical problems(windows, both drivers and passengers motors went before the vehicle had 31,000 miles. The engine developed a stuck lifter at 38,000 miles. (The engine had Mobil 1 in it since its first oil change). And the alternator went out at 42,000 miles. My 94 Civic has 160,000 miles on it and I DID have to replace a clutch on 12/23/2001. The 2002 Odyssey I just purchased has a TOUGH act to follow in the Civic, but it can't be as bad as the T&C. As I was saying, CHRYSLER BUILDS CRAP!!! Sure there are more horror stories out there if you ask. You must work for a Chrysler Dealer!!!!!
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    Hoping my 2002 does not have same problems as your 97. But did get extended warranty.
    And gglenn1, let it go. The anger is scaring the rest of the town hall folks. And by the way good luck with the Odyssey, great vehicles.
  • There are more horror stories out there. There are stories of Audis with sticky accelerators, Hondas with bad transmissions, Fords with blown head gaskets, Toyotas with engine sludge. There are also a lot a success stories from all of those same manufacturers. It just amazes me that there are so many people who are willing to condemn a given manufacturer forever because they got a bad car. I'm not saying that I would immediately buy from the same manufacturer but I would continue to moniter their progress in the future. Your 2002 Oddyssey does have a tough act to follow but if it had been a '99 it may have been a repeat performance of your T&C.

    By the way, I currently own three vehicles by three different manufacturers. I drive what suits my needs, my tastes, and my wallet and I am not loyal to any brand. I also tend to be a little more forgiving of minor problems because I do most of my own work and can often turn a $200 repair into a $40 repair.

    P.S. Good job getting your clutch repaired in the future (12/23/2001). There is nothing like getting something done ahead of schedule:)
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Lets try to keep this board civilized. The whole value proposition of message boards are the collective wisdom resulting from all of its participants. If the participants go away the value of the board diminishes.

    Also agree with the notion that the same car manufacturer can produce very good quality cars and some bad ones. I think we have to be more forgiving especially if it is a new product from a new plant. I had a 1998 Volvo S70 and had tons of little problems with it and coulnt wait for the lease to expire. I learned then to stay away from first model year vehicles.

    I now have a 2000 Odyssey EX and have had no problems with it at all. Currently trading it in for a 2002 EXL-with NAV. The new vehicle should be coming in, in about another week (been waiting 2 1/2 months now). And the dealer is providing me $24,000 for the 2000 Ody so the amount I have to pay is minimal. The Odyssey really does retain its value. I could have gotten more by selling it direct but didn't want to deal with all of the hassle. And by trading in I also save on sales tax (only have to pay sales tax on the difference between the trade in value and new vehicle price).

    Hopefully the 2002 Odyssey will be as problem free.
  • Slip of the finger! Clutch replacement date on the Civic was 12/13/01. Thanks for pointing that out!!
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    One major point being missed here is that it does appear the the 2000+ DaimlerChrysler minivans appear to be better-built and more reliable than those of previous model years.

    The Honda Odyssey appeard for 1999, and the Toyota Sienna, a year before that.

    Coincidence?

    I don't think so - competition improves the breed, and just as the arrival of the Camry and Accord forced the U.S. (and German, in the case of DaimlerChrysler) automakers to improve quality and reliability, the competition from Canada (and Alabama) and Kentucky forced D-C into addressing long-standing issues with its minivans.

    So even if you don't buy one, if you're in the market for a minivan, you benefit from the presence of the Odyssey and Sienna in the marketplace.
  • My folks bought a T/C only because they couldn't get a Honda. It is a '01 and they have driven alot... over 24000 miles this year. So far it has been trouble free, and they are happy about everything except the resale value (milage taken into consideration). I just picked up my Honda EXL-RES this week, and although it is light years ahead of my Olds '00 Premier as far as quality, I will have to take it back because it pulls to the right way to much...

    I do believe that the ride quality and fit/finish in the Oddysey is better than DC (and GM). If you live for bells and whistles, then you'd be dissapointed in the Honda line-up. The '00 Olds I traded had more equip than the EXL-RES Honda has for '02. I still like the Honda better though...
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Back when we had our 1998 Grand Caravan SE we took a trip to Hawaii and rented a 1999 Oldsmobile Shilouhete minivan and I was very dissapointed in the interior build quality of that car. I almost felt as though it was an embarrasment to GM to have a van with such poor interior quality. The dashboard was plasticly, the seat cloth was cheap, and the power sliding door was broken (granted, this was a rental car). I'm saying all of this while comparing the Oldsmobile to a rather lowly 1998 Grand Caravan SE with the base interior cloth and only several options.

    Thus, I can see how someone could say the Honda Odyssey is light years ahead of GM and it's fleet of minivans. While the Honda interior may look better put together and assembled, I think the Chrysler dash is much nicer to look at and doesn't look as dull and boaring. I think that also adds to the "sporty" feel when driving that many reviewers attribute to Chrysler's vans.

    Just some observations...
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 396
    OK. Here is my opinion. If I can get Chrysler to give me FREE 10 years/100K bumper to bumper warranty, I will choose Chrysler; otherwise I choose Honda. I will even ignore Chrysler's poor to no resale value. Our van at $25K new, is not worth more than $9K ( I will be lucky if I even get that)

    we do have a 97 Grand Caravan LE that we bought new. it has 89K miles on it. Its lay out, function, its operation of sliding doors, and solid feel of its door shutting is unmatched.
    BUT(and it is a big but)Chrysler reliability is not there.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    4aodge,

    There's a world of difference between the 97-2000 vans and the 2001+ models from DaimlerChrysler - the assembly quality and materials have improved considerably. The same can be said for the newer LH and JA cars as well - so there may be some hope that Daimler brought some substance to go with the flash and dazzle that Chrysler had been known for in the prior decade.

    Now, with it appearing that the large vans from Dodge will be replaced with Freightliner-badged Mercedes vans sold through Dodge dealers, it would appear the integration of the companies is going even further - one has to wonder whether, with most of its own platforms (Neon/JA, LH) about to disapper in the next few years, how Chrysler Group will design its next generation minivans - will they be Mitsubishi or Mercedes platforms?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Why don't you check out the dash in this DC van. I'll bet it isn't prettier than Hondas.

    What is your response to this story.


    http://www.detnews.com/2001/autosconsumer/0112/16/a01-368193.htm

  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I hope you won't ask DTKWOK to drop a bomb on my house after you read my message. That would be very similar to what happened to the lady in her 1999 Town & Country when it errupted into flames. I honestly can say that burning up in your own car has to be one of the worst ways to leave this world.

    I can also say I'm glad Chrysler is finally going to get themselves together and recall the affected minivans. Although I am troubled as to why it has taken them so long to get all of the replacement fuel parts for these vans. I remember reading something a few months ago that said 2000 model year vans built after a certain date were not effected, and my 2000 Town & Country is one of those vans. Thank god.

    No one here ever said Chrysler made the safest cars on the road. So I think I'll brace myself for what the Odyssey fans here will say. No, I do not believe that all Chrysler vans are time-bombs waiting to explode and no one should buy them as a result. The article states that the 2002 models are not effected (and I am asumming 2001 models as well, since my 2000 model is not effected by this).

    But nevertheless, the 25 inccidents where fires have been reported isn't good. I'm just glad Chrysler says it is finally going to recall the effected vehicles. I just hope they don't flake out, again...

    -Adam
This discussion has been closed.