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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    As a DC minivan owner I recognize the adverse effect rental sales have on depreciation. I also recognize the lower cost of production effect that VOLUME production has. DC minivans are normally discounted to ordinary buyers because DC has volume production.
    Almost all rental and fleet DC minivans are purchased by private individuals and thus, virtually all DC minivans are eventually purchased for private use.
    The total initial sales of DC minivans (fleet, rental, private purchase)indicates the popularity of DC minivans.
    The arrival of a viable Odyssey as a 1999 model and Sienna as 2004 has been very beneficial to we who own DC minivans because their good ideas have been copied by DC just as Honda and Toyota copied good ideas from DC and Mazda.
    The BIG question is: "Why have GM and Ford been sleeping all these years"?
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    you are now counting used car sales? LOL.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    They're discounted because they produce too many. No manufacturer wants to discount their vehicles, period. But that's the price the market will bring so they give-up profit to cover overhead by producing more. It's a situation Honda and Toyota monitor very closely, and adjust their production accordingly.

    Ford has clearly stated they don't feel the minivan market is profitable enough to pursue developing a new vehicle. They're going for an SUVish type thing, maybe it'll be the next best thing. Personally, I think the market leaves just enough room for what's out there and Ford is probably smart to bow-out. The domestics need to stop building crap they can't make money off of, period.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "The DC corner touts their high sales numbers as an indication of a more desirable vehicle."

    Two points:

    First, I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if the numbers of DCX vans sold to private individuals wasn't substantially higher than the numbers of Odysseys sold to private buyers. Even if you throw out all the fleet sales, I think this is still the case.

    Second, 'desirable' for whom?

    Stepping back for a moment:

    Why do we spend so much time in this forum (and I've done it many times myself) trying to 'prove' which vehicle is the 'best'?

    Both vehicles are very good. Both vehicles are substantially better than the equivalent offerings 10 years ago. Both vehicles do a good job of meeting the needs of this market. Both vehicles have traits which are specific to their particular model. Both vehicles have features/options/etc. which are not found on the other.

    Is the intent of the forum to continually validate to ourselves why we made the decision we did? Is the intent to try to convince the 'other guy' that he screwed up with his purchase decision? If this is all it is - hey, you guys have a GREAT time. I'll check in from time to time to catch up and maybe have a few laughs.

    Or is the intent of the forum to (hopefully) provide some info to those folks trying to make an informed decision? Maybe it would be helpful for owners of the specific vans to talk about what they DON'T like about their vans after living with them for a while? This would be a different perspective.

    I'll even go first:

    I don't like the 'lazy-susan' rotating tray in the Ody. The tray takes up too much room and doesn't rotate unless the big lid is opened. I've taken ours out.

    The Ody should offer either a telescoping wheel or adjustable pedals on all models. It's difficult for me to find a really good balance between legroom and reach to the steering wheel.

    I wish the tray table between the front seats was a console (with hidden storage) instead of a flip down table. I understand the concept (access to the rear) but honestly, ours is always so loaded down with junk, the LAST thing we'd ever do is flop that table down.

    That's about all that comes to mind immediately..... :)
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Volume production = more vehicle for the money. That is why DC minivans continue to be driven by more people than the closest 2 competitors combined.
    The Odyssey is a fine minivan but it is too expensive for many people. DC offers minivans in a wide price range to satisfy the needs of more people than does Honda. A fully loaded Chrysler T&C Limited is just as luxurious as the Honda Odyssey Touring...without the questionable PAX tires of the Ody Touring. The Ody Touring is better for a person who wants a minivan that handles most like a sports car.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    I will be in the market for a minivan soon.

    We are considering 3...the Chrysler , Sienna, and Odyssey.

    What do you guys think ? Any concrete reasons for each, and any concrete reasons against ?

    I wanted to buy American, to support our local industries...but are they up to par.. ?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,231
    They're all-three good vans. All are built here in the states (about 1/2 of the Chryslers are build in Canada). It really comes down to personal preferences IMHO.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Wow, that's a loaded question; especially for this board!

    I'll do my best to give an unbiased report, as I'm sure a few others will do.

    Merits and issues for each van...

    Stow and Go is an idea no other van currently offers, and is quite ingenious. Chrysler has the most interior space (EPA says by about 15 cubic feet). The Chrysler usually can be had for less than the other two vans, often substantially so. The Chrysler is also nice looking, but seen EVERYWHERE on the road. Engine runs on regular fuel. The Chrysler has a softer than the Odyssey.

    Engine is only mediocre when compared with either Toyota or Honda, especially considering the horsepower advantage offered by Honda (Chrysler has 205 hp). The Chrysler makes do with a 4-speed automatic while the Honda and Toyota get a 5-speed automatic, which provides quicker acceleration and better economy that a 4-speed can. The Chrysler, while doing better, is still ranked "below-average" in consumer reports reliability study. Handling has been criticized for its less than stellar abilities.

    Smooth, smooth, smooth! Quiet engine, cushy ride, stellar quality and reliability. Good pep from the Engine, although not as zippy as the Honda. It gets good mileage (19/27) for the class. The interior, when optioned appropriately, borders on Lexus levels of luxury, and regardless of options are well finished and exmplify quality

    Many option packages are actually a con, it makes finding a Sienna you want difficult (many come to dealers over optioned). Handling is not a strong suit of the van b/c of its soft suspension; steering is relatively vague and very light. Toyota is PROUD of their product, and the price is often accordingly high. The Toyota reccommends Premium fuel for full performance from the engine (215 hp)

    Terriffic engine power (244 hp)for the class. Despite the power, the EPA got 20/28 mpg in instrumented testing for Leather models, 19/25 in cloth trim (Variable Cylinder Management makes that possible in the Leather-trimmed models).It's handling is the most carlike of the three, meaning it has sharp responses to steering. It has a "controlled" ride, meaning it does not float after you've hit a bump, the suspension just settles back down. Equipping an Odyssey is a simple process; there are no option "packages" to decipher; just simple trim levels. From lowest to highest they are LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The only options are DVD entertainment and a Nav system. Otherwise the cars are fully equipped. Engines run on regular gas.

    The "controlled" ride is often interpreted as more harsh that the other two vans. Many prefer a smoother ride to better handling abilities, and for those, the Odyssey may not be the best choice. The Odyssey is noisier than the Toyota, and I can't honestly say I remember the noise level of the Gr. Caravan I rode in a couple years ago. The Odyssey has had some first year quality issues (things like whistling and rattles), and is rated "Average" but is Reccommended by Consumer Reports.

    A lot of this is opinion, yes, but some of it isn't. The best thing for you to do is look at your wallet, drive the cars, and pick whichever one pushes the right buttons!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Pretty good synopsis; what the heck is wrong with you? :P

    I'd recommend that anyone interested in this trio get full brochures on each, and then (if at all possible) go to a car show where you can spend A LOT of time going back and forth between each of the three contenders.

    Things like interior/exterior style, material quality, control arrangement, seat comfort, ease of access, etc. etc. are best appraised by the individual rather than a bunch of partisan hacks here in the TownHall (including myself :blush: ).

    And by all means, don't decide on ANY of these without a thorough test drive of each contender. What we in here may like/dislike may be totally opposite of whatever floats your boat.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Pretty good synopsis; what the heck is wrong with you?

    Sorry, I forgot to bring my forum baggage on that last post. What was I thinking? ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Your post was the best on here in months. Let the buyer make up their own mind. You provided just what the person was looking to read.

    I have owned 7 minivans since my first in 1983....all brands both good and bad. I am presently driving a 2006 Odyssey EX-L. I have accumulated 6,700 miles since 10/3. The van is solid, powerful, very comfortable and well made. I test drove the Sienna prior to driving the Odyssey. I also frequently have Grand Caravan or Town and Country vans as rentals. I prefer the Odyssey because of the virtues listed above plus none of the others comes close to its handling and standard safety features. The Odyssey is as tight as a drum.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Some actually sane, evenhanded postings! Now we can shut this discussion down, as there is nothing left to argue about :D

    Seriously, no one has the "best" minivan. It all depends on what you like/rate as most important and what you can afford.

    If pocketbook issues are important and the most flexible interior is necessary, the DGC minis have the edge.

    If you just gotta have an OHC engine and a 5 speed tranny, then you have to pick Yota or Ody. If plushness is your bag, Yota. If drivetrain and performance, ODY, but truthfully, no minivan is going to be a sports car.

    All of them are within a stones throw of each other on fuel efficiency. All have gobs of storage space compared to any other vehicle in the same length and fuel efficiency range. None of them would be considered super towing vehicles, though DGC's can be equipped for towing much less expensively from the factory.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I must be gellin!

    (like a felon)

    ((want some melon?))
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Agree with all of the above posts.
    We test drove a 2006 Ody EX-L with all the options and a used 2004 Sienna LE. The Sienna we drove had better performance than either the 2006 Ody or our 2002 T&C LX.
    All 3 are good choices (as is the new 2007 Quest...or a current Mazda MPV if you want a smaller, sportier minivan).
    DC minivan interior is more spartan than Ody or Sienna but the HVAC and stereo controls are much easier to use with a separate control for each function of the stereo instead of having many functions on the same knob where a person must scroll thru a menu to adjust each.
    We bought a new 2006 Sienna LE but there are things on the Sienna that I do not like as well as on the GC SXT.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    None of them would be considered super towing vehicles, though DGC's can be equipped for towing much less expensively from the factory.

    Towing was a major factor in my DCX purchase. For $625 you get HD cooling, tranny and steering, beefed up electrical, and auto leveling rear suspension, and a tow rating of 3800lbs. You do need to buy the actual hitch and mount it though.
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    Very good I would have also stated the standard safty VSC/side airbags on the Odyssey and I think the Sieena now has them standard for 2006.
  • I'm looking for anyone who has driven a 2005 Honda Odyssey with VTEC Fuel Injection. My 2005 Odyssey EXL-RES has the "Variable Cylinder Management" fuel injection system that is supposed to increase fuel mileage. I have been disappointed with the fuel mileage, as the 1998 Olds Sillouette I previously owned did 3+ mpg better on mileage under the same driving conditions. THis winter, we are getting 20 mpg and last summer, we got 22-23 mpg when we were on the road. I expected better mileage than this, and want to know if that is all I should expect from this vehicle. My van has 25,000 miles on it now, so it is broke in. My honda dealer has no answers and told me it would get better when it was broke in. It hasn't. Does anyone have any info for me? reply at
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    When driven the same way as the EPA you should recieve the same mileage. This means that "on the road", to get 28 mpg you should average no higher than 59 mph, drive at approx 60 degrees F, with no hills, and no A/C running.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    28.1 MPG on a round trip of over 1300 miles with speed control set at 65-66 MPH...sometimes driven up to 80 MPH and on I-15 winding Virgin River Gorge stretch of northern Arizona the speed was closer to 50 MPH.
    EPA rating is 18/24 indicating it is NOT hard at all to get EPA rating or better with a DC minivan.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's not hard with a Honda either. I recently got approx 3 mpg over sticker in my Honda when driven 75mph (passing near 85) in the Alabama hills.
This discussion has been closed.