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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans

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  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    1999 GC Sport with 29N

    30K summary

    Miles Covered: 29,913
    Running Cost : $2,767.49
    Running Cost per mile: 9.25 cents

    Gas consumed: 1,460 Gallons
    Cost of Gas: $2,030.57
    Average Economy: 20.5 MPG
    Best: 28.1 MPG
    Worst: 13.4 MPG

    Maintenance Cost: $736.92
    Maintenance Cost per mile: 2.1 cents

    Gas Cost: $2030.57
    Gas Cost per mile: 6.8 cents

    Miscellaneous costs: 0.35 cents per mile

    (Still working on Total Cost of Ownership with depreciation and insurance)
  • sweingastsweingast Posts: 28
    Spent way to much time looking at these two vehicles. I also looked and the others but they were in a different class as to size and/or sophistication.

    I was trying to figure what I liked and disliked about these vehicles in terms non-minivan owners might understand. BMW fun to drive with all the toys, expensive and may need the attention of a good mechanic. Volvo nice, equipped with the things you need, always a little safer.

    Town&Country "The ultimate driver's minivan" Sounds kinda funny about a minivan, but this vehicle is almost fun to drive. It is only one that could put a grin on your face pulling out from a stop or going around a turn.

    Honda "Built like a rock and looks like one too" or to quote a Dudly Moore movie "Vovlo we maybe boxy, but we are safe" This vehicle is as plain and utiltarian as they come. But then again, ITS A MINIVAN ... what do you expect. Why does one need all that luxury stuff is a kid mobile?

    Both BMW's and Volvo's are great cars. They appeal to different types of buyers.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interesting analysis.

    My wife and I drive a BMW 328i (to become a 530i in a couple of weeks) and a Dodge Caravan (soon to become a T&C).

    For our needs, wants, desires and tastes, we would not even consider a competitive Volvo, nor would we consider the Odyssey, and for almost exactly the reasons that you list above.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • For our family it came down to peace and comfort, that is peace of mind.

    We have owned a 1989 Accord (196k)for 13 years and a 94 Plmouth Voyager (140k)for 7 years, before buying and ODY last September.

    All service for the Accord has been done by the local Honda dealership. They have a far more convenient service department, better hours, free cab ride to work,(not one van for everybody to ride in like the Plymouth shop) and more responsive staff.

    After 190K miles the alternator went out on the Accord on a Saturday morning, the Honda dealership replaced it that day by 3p.m. even though he thought they couldn't get to it till Monday. They patch tires for free, install light bulbs for free.

    Also as far as peace of mind, the Honda didn't have the transmission go out at 60k like the Voyager, a warranted repair, but still, no free loaner during the 4 day repair; along with several other annoying $200 service bills, during one stretch is one every five months.

    One more note about the Honda, we love the hidden third seat and overall comfort. We just completed a trip south last week and everyone was safe and comfortable.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    Have you graduated high school yet?

    I can't believe that the same people are posting the same things nearly a year later. This may be the most acrimony laden board around outside of a Toyota full sized pickup owner trying to have a constructive post on the pickup boards.

    Subaru boards are the best. I don't think I've seen a single flame there.

    Thank you new posters for actual comparisons of pros and cons of these two vans.

    Still enjoying the Odyssey.
  • sweingastsweingast Posts: 28
    I am trying to get true comparisons, not a flame war. On the Minivan Shopping thread I found the following post:

    #51 of 54 by pat84 Apr 05, 2002 (06:09 am)
    I owned a 96 Grand Caravan, drive a 99 Odyssey, and have rented several Standard length DC's and 1 Windstar. The Windstar had 7 miles on it when I drove it off the rental lot. Each van has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you want the maximum in creature comforts and good tight handling more like a sports car, buy a DC product. If you want the most room for a tall driver get the Windstar. Unfortunately it has the sloppiest handling of the three. If you want handling and a ride that is more like a smooth riding car, get the Odyssey. Compared to the DC vans the Odyssey is a little boring. I have had no problems with my Odyssey in 55 K miles.
    I have never driven the MPV, or Quest, Sienna or Sedona.
    Anyone interested in buying a minivan should first decide on the
    size. If one can live with the shorter versions, there are more selections. I would recommend that potential buyer test drive any vans that seem to meet the requirements. Do not expect to find an Odyssey to test drive.
    One last piece of advice. If you only looked at the problems sections at Edmund's you would never drive anything. There are dissatisfied customers for every van out there.

    I purposely waited a week to start this line. Pat 84 gave a fair assessment of the Grand Caravan while owning a Honda. Starting a post "Have you graduated high school yet?" does not help in the creation of "constructive" posts.

    By the way, I graduated high school 17 years ago, have a '97 Subaru Legacy Outback and have been trying to find out if I could add an aftermarket sunroof with the Outback's curved roof.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    4adodge is a younger Town Hall member who likes vans, but I haven't seen him post in the last week or two. I think odd1 was just asking after him, not trying to irritate you.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I did many, many years ago, but I sure wish I could go back to those years of yesterdays without any worries, and know what I know now.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I'm currently a junior in high school and just turned seventeen on the 29th of March. I've been on vacation for the last week and a half which is mainly why I haven't been posting more. My family has always used either minivans or station wagons as our mode of transportation so I can appreciate their large cargo space and comfort.

    Our Town & Country is quite fun to drive, especially for a minivan. The reviewers at edmunds.com seem to agree and I think the driving experience is one reason DC minivans sell so well. It's not like driving an appliance or just a big box as in the case of other minivans. Our van currently has 40k trouble-free miles.

    I was glad edmunds finally had something good to say about their long-term Grand Caravan ES which is proving to be a fairly reliable machine. A long-term road test of the Grand Caravan ES in MotorTrend magazine also gives the van good marks, especially for comfort and convienence features.

    Afterall, it says something about a Town & Country when a seventeen year old and his friends don't mind being seen in it...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    Happy Birthday! Here's a link to celebrate (it's that long term road test for March).

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    Hmmmm, 4adodge, I wish my kids had your attitude truly. My son will only take the van out at night or really early in the morning to gas it up in fear of being seen in the "shiny wheeled loaf of bread."

    Since my wife doesn't really need the T&C anymore (I know it's still fairly new) and I want a navigation system AND luxury, the new Acura MDX is looking more tempting.

    That would mean no more potential Chrysler worries that I hear abut from friends, the news, Dateline, etc. I'm sorry but potential fuel leaks, potential failed seat belts, and who knows what next is finally starting to bug me. In my first van, it was the opening rear hatch. If I still had my second van, it would be the fuel rail leak and weak seat belts. In my present van, it's the potential fuel leak in a crash and the weak rear seat belts.

    I may like Chrysler, which I still do, (I've had 3) but I'm finally getting a LITTLE tired of Chrysler that after nearly 20 years in the business, their vans are still popping up with little problems, not to mention all the potentially deadly problems that have and still are surfacing. Who knows what next will be found potentially deadly or wrong on the Chryslers? It seems there is always something newly found wrong with them when talked about in the news and such.

    The point is, while yes I've praised my last two vans for their reliability (for my family), luxury, and utility, there are still the blaring facts that Chrysler does not put out the safest minivan it could be and after 20 years, you'd think they'd be able to come up with at least a van that could hold their passengers in a crash. (Yes, I know, there aren't any hard facts right now about that, but when was the last time a Toyota or Honda was accused of somehting as deadly as that) Call it media hype, whatever, it's starting to get to me.

    The Acura MDX has all the space we need, a navigation system, Honda reliability/safety, comparable luxury (I can live without the power liftgate), and it actually holds its value. It would get my last kid to college well, and I think my wife and I realize that the kids aren't 3 and 8 anymore, and we really don't need another van.

    Considering my youngest is 17 with his own car, and we've been driving Chrysler minivans for nearly 15 years, both my wife and me feel it's time for a change...plus my son would actaully drive the new car :-) We'll see...
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I, too, hope to "graduate" from a minivan soon, into a Crown Victoria or anything that's not a truck.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    You forgot to mention one of the best features of the MDX: It has the same 66.1" track as Odyssey, and has the lowest rollover risk of any SUV by quite a bit. The similar Honda Pilot goes on sale this summer, too.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    Yes, the Acura MDX may be "one of those damn SUV's," but it drives better than my van (I test drove a Touring w/Navigation), amazingly gets a 4 star tip over rating vs. my 3 star van rating, and manages to get the same mileage even with a stronger engine.

    I like the Honda Pilot, too, for it has a very attractive price and you do get a lot of content. Plus, it is a little larger than the MDX.

    Yet after having two fairly loaded T&C's, I've become accustomed to the trip computer, memory, heated seats, etc., that my last two vans have had. I know, it's a big price to pay for those things, but that was the very reason why I never could justify getting the Odyssey. It was too spartan for me :-)

    Anyway, I do have to say the MDX has a lot more style flair IMHO than the sorta boxy Honda Pilot. I'll just have to check out this summer and compare the two, becaue I'm pretty sure it will come down to a Honda Pilot or MDX for next year when our lease is up on the T&C.

    BTW, leases on new Chryslers I've noticed are NOT attractive at all anymore. I'm probably going to buy my next car, though. Renting a car for 2-3 years is sorta nice, but I want to go back to being able to say I OWN my car.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    I know that 4aododge is a high school student who has many remarkable qualities beyond his tenacity. I was just curious if he'd graduated yet.

    Yes, I used to contribute here regularly. Not necessarily in a positive way at times.
  • sweingastsweingast Posts: 28
    Maybe I was being pre-emptive too quickly. I didn't want to start a flame war.

    To add to this conversation I would like to mention one area both vehicles lack, the spare tire. The best would be a full size internal tire like most sedans.

    The T&C has a full size that is kept under the rear. Pain to lower and replace.

    The Ody has a internal minispare but no place to keep the old tire.

    Couldn't DC make the spare internal? Couldn't Honda increase the area for a full size spare. These vehicles cost between $25,000 - $30,000 and are the largest minivans.

    Which of these two are better?
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Do you have a two years lease on your T&C? I thought you have the van around this time last year. Oh well, I think you are right about not needing a minivan with kids all grownup. For me, I still have a long way to go and I probably will get another van before switching back to a sedan. Hopefully in 6 or 7 years, all car makers will have a nice looking and reliable minivans for me to pick from instead of Honda vs. DC again.
  • I think something that most parents overlook when their kids go to college is moving. These kids will be moving form dorm to dorm, and fraternity to fraternity. That's why we're getting a minivan in PREPARATION for college because being able to throw everyhting in a minivan is quite useful instead of having to rent a UHALL all the time.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    Yes, my lease was only a two year one, because I figured I get a new car quicker, and I get a monthly car allowance from my company that more than covers it. I still though don't like the feeling of not owning your car, regardless of who's paying for the rental fee.

    Yes, the minivan is nice for getting kids to college, having already taken one with it, but the Acura MDX is more than suitable. Not only does it have the versatile fold flat seats in both rows, with its the third seat down, it only has 6 cu. ft. less of cargo when the third seat is taken out in the van.

    I think I'll do all right. Trust me, my wife and me, while still having good luck, want a change. 15 years with Chrysler minivans has been great, but it'll soon be time for something a little different.
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    Haven't checked in for a while. 4aodge, good to see you back. I hate to say it, but I think of you when I see the new Caravan commercial when the guy shows up for his prom date. Hilarious. I, too, graduated high school long ago, and "wish I knew then what I know now", including the joys of van ownership LOL.

    odd1, you are right on about the pickup truck boards. I'm shopping for a truck, and gave up trying to have fun on the Pickups Town Hall. Uptight and defensive, especially when Tundra is brought up.

    dave210, you are right on about the MDX. I test drove one when shopping for our Odyssey. If you don't need the extra room, and can spend a few thousand more, I highly recommend it. FWIW, the driver seat is more comfortable than our Ody.
  • A 93 that is fast approaching its 10th birthday.. and a 99 GCS. I can only give my experience.. the 93 owes us nothing.. it has been a great vehicle.. it now has to sit outside and endure the elements, but we still drive it daily.. we both drive it to work..and make many other trips in it..it has been very very reliable.. we had to replace the starter at about 92k... the experience we were having with the 93 was the determining factor in buying the 99...so far it has been every bit as reliable..it has more "stuff" on it and we use it for longer trips..
    we drove several before we bought and we went back to DC. please note..I am not saying anything negative about any other brand.. I just know my experience and it has been very very positive with DC vans..
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    DC have better stereo, easier use roof rack. Had 96 grand caravan, not much slower Odyssey. had better low end torque.. Competition help all get better van next time.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Odyssey and DC both bigger than PT Cruiser. PT Cruiser have classic styling and flexible interior. Why me talking this way?
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    After over a year of reading Carlton's posts I don't think ody01 writes like him in any way. Besides Carlton is a fairly avowed, yet reasonable, D/C man.

    I have been concerned over people mixing ody01 and me, odd1, up due to the similar screen names. But, I decided not to change my screen name since I've been using it over a year now.
  • I have a '96 T&C purchased new. Only 51,000 miles because we don't trust it on the road. One alternator, one water pump, two serpentine belts, warped rotors, misaligned front door, one bad sliding door, one bad middle seat that wouldn't stay down, and three recalls are not my idea of a pleasant experience. This doesn't include the various little things like broken plastic latches and peeling paint on handles and luggage rack. I have a Suburban now and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am looking at Honda to replace the Chrysler and will probably make the switch. Toyota is a touch too small.
  • bdickerbdicker Posts: 1
    Has anyone seen the T&C XL touring addition. Trying to compare that with the Ody LX with leather and dvd. $2000 dollar difference for the Ody. Any thoughts??????
  • stacystacy Posts: 91
    Read the posts on safety. Crash tests. Seat belt failure. Many articles, news reports. Enough said.
    PS Thats the EX w/ leather that you will want and if you value your family's life, its worth every penny of that 2 grand more.
    BTW - for all you T & C fans - Just my 2 cents.
  • lsclsc Posts: 210
    That just sucks. You figure that after repair number zillion that nothing else will go wrong but once it breaks, it just keeps on breakin'.

    I'd get the Odyssey too if I were you, good move. Sienna is a bit small and you don't want to deal w/ Toyota sales/service either. They are awful.
  • steelengsteeleng Posts: 71
    Am I the only one that is confused by the IIHS safety ratings. The DC vans for 2001 & 2002 get poor ratings for the right leg/foot and the Odyssey for 1999-2002 gets good ratings. However if you look at a comparison of the occupant compartment intrusion measures they are almost identical across the board.
This discussion has been closed.