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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    You very well may be correct about condensers being more fragile than previously. The never ending battle against cost and weight in the auto industry, I assume.

    Any "field fix" shield installed in the 2005 models must been adapted in production, as my 2006 GC is very well protected.
  • Hmmm...Your profile shows you have a 2006 Accord and a 1996 Accord.
    Would you mind telling why you no longer drive an Odyssey? My wife and I could never go back to driving a sedan after getting our first minivan


    Keep in mind that I'm 19, go to school and commute from my family home; BE WARNED, THIS IS A LONG POST

    Here's my little car-ownership bio:

    Before I graduated high school, my parents gave me an incentive. If I got a scholarship to one of the colleges I wanted to attend, my parents would take the money they were going to put towards my college, and put it into a new car for me (I've always been a little too big @ 6'4" for my 1996, plus it has a good number of miles on it)... When I started at University of AL @ Birmingham, I got a $16,000 scholarship. At the time, we had my 1996 Accord, our 2000 Ody, and our 2005 Accord (the 05 is "Dad's" car, the van was "mom's."

    Let me say, first of all, that our van was getting driven very little. By September, gas was over $3, and our van got 18-20 MPG and wanted premium gas. I was putting over 2,000 miles a month on my 96, and even mom was taking my Accord out around town, b/c it gets 28 MPG versus 18 of the Odyssey. My parents work at the same company, and their offices even share a wall (they met at work over 20 years ago, insert 'awwww' here ;) ). They took my dad's car to work 99% of the time, and the van sat almost untouched the majority of the time.

    SO, by Nov. of last year, our van had been paid off for a year, and mom realized that they ought to go ahead and fulfill their promise to me, by trading in our 5 year old van (with only 39,000 miles on it). They traded the van in on my 2006 Accord, and the 1996 will be driven kind of as the family's "beater" car, or whenever someone left at home still needs to go somewhere and both new cars are gone. The van got $13,000 as a trade-in, since it was exceptionally clean, low mileage, and had zero door-dings/paint flaws save for a couple of rock chips on the bumper.

    When I move out, the 2006 Accord will go with me, and the 1996 will stay with the parents. Currently though, I drive the old car in rush hour traffic every day, and drive my new one any other time. It works out nicely, as I put 1,000 miles on each of the cars per month.

    As a family of three, the van was nice, but very unnecessary 90% of the time. Now we have three Accords at my house, two of which I generally pick from to drive.

    We are just glad that our lowest mileage vehicle happens to be the old Accord (23/31) and averages 27-28 MPG!

    Now we have 1996 Accord LX 165,500 miles, 2005 Accord EX 58,000 miles, and my new 2006 Accord EX, 10,800 miles.

    I do miss our van on trips though, as it was great to sleep in, and really nice to drive too!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    THANKS for the detailed information. Congratulations on the scholarship and for being a man of size. At 5'8", I have always been a little envious of taller people and feel taller people have an advantage in life (substantiated by your posting).
    I just got my 2007 Odyssey brochure and noticed the EPA ratings have been lowered to 18/25 for LX and EX and 19/27 for the EX-L and Touring. How far will the EPA ratings drop for the other minivans? :confuse:
    You have convinced me that I should dump the Sienna and get a more desireable Odyssey. :shades: It will have to be Ocean Mist Metallic EX with cloth although I prefer Taffeta White. My wife and I do NOT like the light colored Ivory with very light colored carpet interior.
  • Well, being a "man of size" has its downfalls. For example, in basically any vehcile, I don't set the seat to my comfort level; instead, it just goes all the way to the back of travel (I'm long of leg, but short in the torso). Headroom isn't a problem, but legroom almost ALWAYS comes up short. The congratulations on the scholarship are also appreciated. I'm now a little nervous, since I've recently changed my major over to broadcast journalism, but I'm loving it so far (soon to intern at NBC 13 in Birmingham hopefully {!

    I convinced you to dump the Sienna? I didn't think I'd ever talked you out of your 'Yota? I also didn't know about the new EPA ratings on the vans.

    I would avoid Ivory at all costs; we had an Accord with the "Camel" interior, and it showed all kinds of stains, even though my family tends to lean towards the anal-retentive side of keeping cars clean.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Probably should be reworded. The Sienna is a very nice vehicle IF the front passenger and the driver have the same metabolism rate. My wife now wants cold air and I need warm.
    We MUST have separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger since she does not want to sit in the 2nd row so I could have the heater on in front and run the air conditioning in the rear. :shades:
    Sadly, to get this feature in a Sienna one must get an XLE and none are made for Denver region without $2,000 in extra options. The Ody EX has it and so do most DC minivans.
    The Odyssey has THE BEST seats, the MOST legroom all seats, the BEST designed hardware for 2nd and 3rd row seats, the MOST power with best or tied for best fuel economy.....even though Car and Driver reports the 2007 Sienna will have the Toyota corporate 3.5L V6 rated at 268 horsepower.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I have added NBC 13 in Birmingham to my AOL favorite places and will be checking up on your success. Can you do a comparison between the 2007 Odyssey EX and the 2007 GC SXT on TV? :shades:
  • Haha, well, there will be no mention of me in the near future, (remember I'm not set to graduate until 2009). Still, that station is my dream job - location; I've met many of the on-air personalities, and most of them are genuinely nice people, and were more than willing to let me tag-along on field reports, or watch the news at is was produced. Give me a few years, maybe I can be a consumer advocate reporter and check up on all these vans!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Hans, you can get the separately controlled driver and passenger controls on even a low end Grand Caravan SE, at least you do if you get it with an option package that includes three zone AC. This is not an automatic climate control system on the SE. I think you have to go up to the SXT to be able to get the automatic climate control option.

    If you just want three zone AC and stow and go, Grand Caravan can be purchased for under $20K. We just replaced our 1996 short wheel base Caravan. Got the new Grand Caravan that MSRP'd at $26,640 for only $19555 plus sales tax and title transfer.

    Quite a lot of vehicle for fairly little money. Very quiet, comfortable and smooth riding, and despite the smooth ride it still handles pretty well for a big box with a high center of gravity. I am critical of vehicles that ride smooth but float too much, and Chrysler seems to have hit on the nose the compromise all automakers have to make between ride and handling.

    Yes, the interior is quite plain, especially on the SE model, however everything is very functional and well put together, which in my book counts much more than "bling".

    We did not trade in the old Caravan. We sold the 1996 for $3400, so we upgraded to the new Grand Caravan for only $16155. Now we should be good for another ten years of Caravaning.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Correction, I believe that Caravan/Dodge Caravan have individual passenger/driver side temperature controls on even the base models of Caravan/Grand Caravan.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The SE is now the base Caravan/Grand Caravan but the separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger is NOT available on the Caravan SE but is standard equipment on the Caravan SXT with MSRP $ 23,235.
    It is available as an option on the SWB T&C in the $ 990 Popular Equipment Group.
    The Odyssey EX @ $28,945 ($ 29,290 for 2007 Ody EX)has automatic separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger...but has NO trip computer or compass.
    To get the feature in a Toyota Sienna, one must get an XLE which is about $ 30,000.....BUT, in Denver Region the XLE least expensive mandatory option package costs about $ 2,500. :sick: which puts the MSRP well over $32,000. :cry:
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    No shiny surfaces at the top of the dash in the Ody or DC minivans to cause glare from the sun as in the very poorly designed dash of the Sienna (and my 2003 PT Cruiser).
    I can't understand why the so-called experts at CR, Motor Trend, etc. never notice something as obvious as glare from poorly designed dash and instrument cluster. :lemon:
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564

    I have to disagree, as my brand new 2006 Grand Caravan SE has a separate temperature slider control for driver and passenger. This is still a manual, not automatic climate control. This feature is for sure included when you get a GC SE with the optional three zone AC/Heater. I also found a picture, I believe it was in Edmunds, showing the center stack on a Base Caravan/Grand Caravan that did not have the three zone option, and this center stack also had separate driver/passenger manual temperature sliders. I could tell this was the base unit, because the center control knob that allows override of the rear A-C heater controls was missing, yet it still had the separate sliders for driver and passenger.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The photo you are referring to with the separate sliders is one of the short wheel base Caravan SXT since it has separately controlled temperature for driver and front passenger but NO rear A/C and NO rear heater with the separate fan in the right rear. (There are heating vents under the front seats of ALL Caravans and Grand Caravans).
    In 1999, the Caravan SE and Grand Caravan SE were one step UP from the base Caravan and base Grand Caravan. DC eliminated the base and renamed the lowest priced Caravan and Grand Caravan the "SE" model in 2001 or 2002.
    With NO extra options, the Grand Caravan SE has the same front air conditioning as the short wheel base Caravan SE with one control, NO sliders, and NO rear A/C and NO rear heater.
    When you add Popular Equipment Group to the Grand Caravan SE, there is triple zone control with the rear A/C and rear heater.
    However, the short wheel base Caravan SXT with MSRP $ 23,235 has standard equipment the sliders for separately controlled temperature for the driver AND front passenger. A rear A/C and rear heater is NOT available for the short wheel base Caravan SXT.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I stand corrected, I will have to take your word for it. I never sat in a 2006 GC SE without the three zone AC/Heat system, as this feature plus the Stow and Go were what convinced us to move up to the Grand Caravan, though we still kept the price we paid down to under $20K before sales tax, title and license transfer.

    In any event, good luck to anyone trying to find an Odyssey or Sienna at that price that includes three zone heating and air with separately controlled driver and passenger controls. Of course you won't find Sto and Go in the second row of those vans at any price.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Odyssey (and Sienna) have some standard features that are quite costly on the DC minivans such as 6 CD in dash changer with MP3 capability and side curtain airbags that are $ 555 and $ 605 options (total $ 1160) in the GC SXT.
    In effect, I WASTED $1160 for these items that I did NOT want and gave up the comfort of 3 zone AC/Heating system of a DC minivan...and got a noisier minivan as a bonus. The Odyssey (and Sienna) have nice, quiet engines but on the highway the wind noise makes the Ody and Sienna noisier overall than DC minivans. :sick:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    The Odyssey (and Sienna) have some standard features that are quite costly on the DC minivans such as 6 CD in dash changer with MP3 capability

    These are soo 90s!! iPods rule!!!!
  • The Odyssey (and Sienna) have some standard features that are quite costly on the DC minivans such as 6 CD in dash changer with MP3 capability

    These are soo 90s!! iPods rule!!!! "

    Well, yeah, but it has the AV inputs right in the center stack as well.. What I like best about the DCX stereo, which is so nicely integrated with the video screen, is that you can load 6 DVDs (or CD's) right in the center stack. Great for always having a few DVDs loaded, and not having to fuss with changing them out. I beleive this is still exclusive amongst minivans, which shocks me. Most have DVD units seperate for the screens, some of them absurdly located up on the roof AT THE SCREEN LOCATION! Nuts
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Most have DVD units seperate for the screens..."

    Which allows for the rugrats to watch their movie and listen to the sound on their own headphones, and mom/dad to enjoy their own CD through the vehicle's soundsystem.

    Unless your system will play a DVD and a CD at the same time.
  • My DC minivan allows me and my wife to listen to Cd or radio while kids are watching DVD with headsets on.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    That's interesting. Does your DC minivan load the DVD into the same CD changer or is there a separate player for the DVD system?
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