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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    By reading what you wrote, it makes me wish I could remember just how different my van drove compared to when we first got the '96.

    In my '88 Grand Voyager LE, I do remember all the rear air vents being placed below the middle row driver's side window and the back row driver's side window. The setup in the '96 made more sense, but I kinda missed how the '88 was semi "dual zone" in the respect that the '88 and your '94 had the ability for the rear passengers to choose heat or air. Now that was not nearly as advanced as what the '01 has which REALLY lets the back-seat choose what temperature they want.

    I take it your '94 was a white van based on what you said about your wheels. While you didn't have them and some people may have liked them, I thought the '93-'98 GOLD Chrysler wheels were incredibly tacky and bad looking. I hated the gold wheels on my LXi. I thought it would take Chrysler an act of God to finally get rid of those dumb gold flower design wheels, which they finally did when the Limited came out in '98 as a '99.

    But enough about that, I agree with you that even compared to my '96, the '01 vans are giant leap for Chrysler in terms of quality and definitely luxury.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Here's a picture of my van :-)

    Click here

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    dave210: yes, I had a white van, and although the white wheels looked cool they had 18 individual holes that each needed to be scrubbed with a brush, plus another 36 nooks and crannies needing a special brush. I agree the gold wheels for the T&C were hideous. We chose white because we wanted a bright color (or "colour", I should write for Drew :) ), and the only other choices were dark green, dark brown, or if you looked really hard, dark blue. The Town and Country was a small part of DC minivan sales in '94 so very few colors were available ... in '96 the T&C line was expanded considerably.

    Drew: looks in great shape, especially for Canada. Looks like a new housing development too. The house styles could be California.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    We don't get much snow over here on the West Coast (relatively speaking) so our vehicles here are almost always in a lot better shape than those on the East. Running a fan time sprinkler underneath after driving in the snow, provided that the taps aren't frozen, also to get rid of the salt.

    Heh, I hate washing the wheels. The gaps are indeed extremely annoying to clean, even though they are no where as small as the T&C's.

    Yeah, the entire mountain that I live on is a fairly new housing development. The oldest houses are only 10 years old. My area is about 5-7 years of age. The slopes can be pretty steep in some places. The street up to my cul-de-sac is about a 25% grade. 2WD cars with winter tires can normally only make it up a maximum of 20% grades, so you see why the AWD comes in handy. You can see a couple of other pictures in the background here (not my street or my vehicle, but the one slightly further up) if you're interested: Picture 1, Picture 2, a href="">Picture 3.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards

  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    If you do get an Odyssey, I truly do hope you have absolutely no problems.
    As for the DC leaking gas tank test, it is no big deal. I have been driving for 40 years (somewhere near your age I'd guess). I remember metal dashboards with big metal knobs, no seat belts or air bags. No collapsible steering wheels.
    Safety is really relative. Compared to cars of the 50s and early 60s every one of today's vehicles are 100's of times safer.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    Hi Carleton - could you direct me to the website you found this info. I find this all very interesting, and I'm wondering when the high end models will get a more reasonable MSRP. So since the EL has a trip computer, I assume the EX will, too, right?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The website is under the links tab.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560

    Sorry dave210...I just learned how to post links here.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    From time to time people here have commented that Odyssey sales numbers are slightly down this year versus last year. Some people have concluded the Odyssey is therefore less popular. Unlikely. A recent NY Times article provides a more probable cause:

    "Interest remains high in the Honda Odyssey minivan, still a suburban status symbol three years after it came to market. Odyssey sales are actually down slightly this year; not for lack of buyer interest, but because of a production quandary. Both the Odyssey and the Acura MDX sport utility are built at a plant in Alliston, Ontario, that is at full capacity. Honda has had to cut Odyssey production to build more MDX's.

    "At the moment, the scales are tipped in favor of MDX, which has a four-month waiting list; the Odyssey wait is generally about three weeks nationwide, said a Honda spokesman, Andrew Boyd. Supplies of the Odyssey should ease up late this year, when Honda opens a factory in Alabama that will be devoted to the minivan."
  • I have seen quite a few Ody in dealers' lots over the weekend. I think Honda may have opened the plant a year too late.
  • jguojguo Posts: 49
    What happend to Caravan? a 49% drop! I wonder what the inventory looks like on dodge dealer lots.

    Month Sales DR % Sales CYTD DR %
    Model Curr Yr Pr Yr Change Curr Yr Pr Yr Change
    Voyager 3383 8841 -62% 30962 49563 -38%
    Town & Country 9341 10100 -8% 95451 63580 50%
    Caravan 14582 28711 -49% 170732 210460 -19%

    Odyssey 11792 11042 6.8% 85777 87065 -1.5%

  • I have been reading with great interest the numerous posts regarding the 2001 DC van gas leak during the IIHS offset crash test. While it is makes for a thread filled with controversy, I find it intriguing that there are very few posts on what I think is the REAL issue: the 2001 GC gets a poor rating on the IIHS test, compared to the good rating of the Ody (both get good ratings on the NHTSA front and side impact tests). I cannot, in good conscience, trade the safety of my wife and 3 kids for 0.8% financing or big discounts, reliability, design and convenience factors aside. Am I missing something here? Do consumers not know? Do they not care ("it won't happen to me")? Is the test flawed or not representative? What gives?

    For the record, we have more or less narrowed our choice down to a 2001 GC or Ody (we discounted the Venture for safety, the Windstar for reliability and the Sienna for size). Most of the local Honda dealers claim (in their best salesperson voice) "you'll never find a 2001 LX", which really means they don't have one and would like to sell you something else. But the one dealer we have been working with still has 3 left (had 4 a month ago), probably because people are waiting to compare with the 2002s (as we are). In contrast, the Dodge dealer next door had about 20 GCs at last count.

    I am also interested in towing a pop-up tent trailer at some point in the future, so I am interested in perspectives on the capabilities of these two vans in this context.

    This is my first post on this board so please excuse the scattered subjects.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    you say: "the REAL issue: the 2001 GC gets a poor rating on the IIHS test, compared to the good rating of the Ody"

    The poor rating applied only to 2001 GC *before* the fuel tank fix. After that the rating is "marginal" for vans without side air bags and "acceptable" for those with.

    Yes, if you examine the data closely for both tests you'll see the Odyssey protects better than the DC minivans, but if you're looking at a 2002 DC van with side air bags the difference is not that big. It isn't as if we're talking about the Venture/Montana/Silhouette or Quest/Villager, which both scored poor due to weak body structure in the offset test.

    You need to balance the better crash test scores against the rest of the price/value of the minivans. If the two vans had identical prices for equivalent features the Ody would win hands down, but the market price for the Ody is far higher than for the equivalent DC van.
  • Thanks for the response. I looked more closely at the IIHS site and need to spend a little time with the details. I also noticed they haven't posted the results for the 2002 Ody (one of the things I would speculate on is that the standard side airbags on the Ody will give it an even better rating).

    My general feeling is that although value (which I define as the features I need or want - vs. what the manufacturer heaps onto the vehicle so he can charge me more - for the lowest price) is important, it is orders of magnitude less important to me than safety. Therefore I am willing to pay more (within reason) for a safer vehicle. I'm just not sure if the evidence gives me a clear indication of which is the safest.

    On a related note, has anyone seen statistics for injuries due to SIDE airbags? I realize the technology is very young and at least one consumer advocate recommends staying away from them until their effectiveness has been more adequately tested.

    BTW maybe it's just Canadian pricing but the GC and Ody are not far apart at all on price. It's tough to compare apples and apples, though. For example I feel that in order to get the same handling as the Ody, the GC needs the Sport Touring suspension, which comes packaged with other stuff for around $1200). And I the only way I can get as much HP out of a GC is to go with the ES model (3.8L) which is another $2000 pop.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "BTW maybe it's just Canadian pricing but the GC and Ody are not far apart at all on price."

    Could be. Supply and demand varies greatly depending on locale. Admittedly, the SF Bay area, where I live, has exceptionally high demand for Odysseys. But it's worth noting that when I was shopping 4 months ago I found the best price I could get was $500 over MSRP for the Odyssey, but bought my T & C Ltd for $8000 under MSRP (including $2000 rebate, $500 owner loyalty, and $400 college grad). Although the cars were almost $10k apart in MSRP they were only about $1k apart in the true price. In terms of features, the T & C Ltd won hands down. Of course, that situation was probably extreme, but it's important to compare what you actually pay, not just MSRP. Also, there should be a lot more price flexibility on DC minivans ... if you do some hardball shopping and negotiating you may be able to save thousands.

    I will also note that this was before the crash test results were published. It is certain that had I known the results I would have, at the minimum, delayed purchase until the 2002 model year (or at least a 2001 model year manufactured after July 3, which should include the fuel leak fix). It is also possible that, were I to make the choice again, I would choose the Odyssey due to the weaker DC minivan crash test results ... I'd been expecting better.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100

    You raise some good points. Popular Science this month has an interesting article about crash tests. They point out that some vehicles do well in the mandated NHTSA tests and not so well in the IIHS tests. This of course leaves customers confused. It also raises the question of the relevance of any of these tests to real world accidents.

    Insurance companies do have statistics on injury rates for various vehicles and these show that vehicles bought by younger people have higher rates than vehicles bought by older or more conservative people and that large vehicles have much lower injury rates than small vehicles.

    In general, amongt similar vehicles such as all large sedans, there is not that much variation.

    Similarly, minivans in general have a relatively low injury rate with not that much variation amongst vehicles.

    Popular Science ended by saying hopefully in the future all these tests can be put together in a more meaningful way.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Did I read somewhere that J.D. Powers rated the new DC vans a tad higher than Odyssey. Are you people slipping? No one has rubbed my nose in it yet. Or did I screw up? First time this year.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    dmathews3, NO you did NOT screw up. J.D. Powers did rate the Town & Country over the Honda.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    What really disappoints me is all my opponents haven't said a word. God I hate that when no one listens. Takes all the fun out of hanging around this board.
  • I think DC really are beginning (emphasis on beginning) to improve the quality of their vehicles. Personally I attach alot of credibility to J.D. Powers, so perhaps the Town & Country has finally got the quality of the Odyssey. But until that quality is demonstrated consistently year-in year-out, coupled with rave media reviews, depreciation on the Town and Country vans is going to continue to suck compared to the Odyssey. I bought a 2002 Odyssey recently (I'm sure you had already worked that out), not because it had lots of gadgets in it (the DC vans are renowned for that), but for the reliability, safety, and more than anything the resale. There's a good chance I will need to sell the van in a few years, and I know I can sell the van in two or three years for only $2-3,000 less than I paid for it. I could never do that with a Town and Country, at least not at the moment...
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