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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    In fact, the 3.3L has been around since the early days of Chrysler minivans back in the have their automatic transmissions but it sure took them many years to get them up to what you claim to be relieable, but than again only time will tell.

    We have had two Chrysler minivans with the 3.3L engine and have driven over 100k miles combined on both cars and have not had a single problem. Too bad some Odyssey owners can't say the same...There are already a couple here with Odysseys that have that many miles and no problems. If CR is to be believed, they rate the relieablity of the Odyssey a lot better than DC. The 99's had some door problems that were fixed on recall and CR admits that was the basis of the lower rating of the 99's but have since corrected it. The odds of a DC dud are much better than a Honda dud, and for arguements sake lets say you are right at least I can sell mine and get a lot closer to what I paid for it than you ever will. Yours new van willdrop in value more once you leave the dealers than mine will in 2 years.
  • The biggest problem with most Chryslers haven't been its engines but their Transmissions. The only resource out there for us wise shoppers is CR. If we had another source, we would use it. The Odessey my not have the creature comforts other vans have, but when it comes down to an engine and transmission, there isn't a mini out there that can compare. No doubt the Chrsylers appearance is a tad better than the Chrysler, but for quality, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and GM can't compete. Toyota comes close. My 1990 Camry has 178,000+ miles on it. Almost no rust and still runs great. Had it from 7.2miles on the odometer. The biggest expense, replacing the distributor cap about 1997. I would love to buy a Chrysler one day, but fix the transmission. And get a better CR report.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Chrysler's 6-cylinder engines have been relatively trouble free - but the 4-cylinder units are another matter. Every Chrysler-built 4-cylinder engine (2.2L/2.5L from the early 80s, through the Neon's 2.0L and the derivative 2.4L units) has had head gasket problems. It is very true that Chrysler builds better 6-cylinder engines than Ford does, and that they're probably as good as GM's, reliability wise - but Chrysler has never produced a decent 4-cylinder engine.
  • 4aDodger,

    This time you provided a better link, so I could read:

    "Citing the redesigned look of Town & Country, "

    It's a beauty contest, nothing more. Oh wait, they do require at least some dependability:

    "what consumers like and dislike about their new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership"

    They do look nice. I saw a gold T&C with the gold plate trim the other day. It really looked awesome. Even the roof rack had the gold plate look. It was a sunny day and it had obviously been waxed and buffed properly. The van was turning heads. I expected to see Apollo himself driving the way it shone. But does that make it a better choice for the long haul? Should I put my family in it because it looks nice?

    -Andy (plodding along in obscurity, safely and reliably, resting my arm on something that is barely comfortable but more than adequate)
  • ian2ian2 Posts: 168
    I wish there was a fold-down armrest on the outside like the back seats, but the padded door handle does a good job. The 3rd row magic seat is god-sent.

    The T&C is nice but the price is quite a bit higher than an Odyssey EX and there are concerns about the reliability.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Once again I reiterate: The only face off a Chrysler minvan can win is one where the Odyssey (and in this case the Siena are not reviewed).

    I love how a reviewer can review ONLY TWO vehicles out of a market segment that probably has at least a half a dozen strong contenders and some how manages to come to the conclusion that one of the vehicles is the Best MInivan. And conveniently the reviewer decides not to test drive the two vehicles that have won the most acclaim in the last 3 or 4 years.

    4adodge go post this link on the Winstar to Chrysler van comparison board cause it provides nothing meaningful to this board.
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    I would disagree (respectfully) that the only face off a T&C could win would not involve the Odyssey or Siena.
    We ended up with the T&C Limited and enjoy it very much. 423 trouble free miles so far ;}. (The 7y/100k powertrain warranty did play a big part in our purchase)
    The Honda was a strong contender for us but the T&C fit our needs a bit better.
    The final vote for best mini-van comes down to how you vote with your wallet.
    I do think the Odyssey is a great van, but not the be all end all of mini-vans.
    Merry Christmas to all and enjoy the mini-van you thought was best!
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62

    "In the minivan category, the Honda Odyssey LX wins Best in Class, with 30 extra ponies over last year's model as well as top resale value and high safety honors. The Toyota Sienna and the Pontiac Montana are also worth a look, and note that Kia joins the minivan realm this year with the Kia Sedona. About the same size as the Sienna and powered by a 3.5-liter, 195-hp V6, this under-$20,000 entry could prove to be a real bargain. "

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The Toyota Sienna and the Pontiac Montana are also worth a look. How about the DC vans? Don't soft armrests count for anything? How about pretty dashes? Gee, it's a good thing the year is about over, as I can think of 2 guys here that are going to be crying their eyes out, because someone else don't see eye to eye with their one sided views.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    If nothing else, at least they appear to have banished the plastic waistline trim from the 2001-2002 models -- the chintzy looking, wavy plastic worn by too many of the 1996-2000 models.

    Many of those look like they were decked out with plastic recycled from $89 Daewoo television sets.

    It's not hard to see why Chrysler Group's margins were squeezed with the introduction of the new models - one look close up shows well that they've addressed most of the cheesy trim from the older versions. Upgraded trim and quality doesn't come for free - as the departed management of Chrysler Group can tell you.
  • Yes. A simple little amenity like a padded armrest on the front doors. The bottom of the line Honda Accord LX has padded armrests on the front doors so why is Honda too cheap to add the same little comfort item on the Odyssey?

         Luxury sedans have separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger. Why is Honda too cheap to include this item on the Odyssey?

         We had ordered a Granite Green 1999 Honda Odyssey LX-C on March 16, 1999 and would have enjoyed the Magic Seat and very nice, flexible 2nd row seating (on all 99 Odysseys except the base Odyssey LX-B that had a 2 passenger bench seat for middle row).

         As a previous poster stated "people vote with their wallet". Here are the FACTS on how people voted with their wallets:

  • Carleton1,

    Nearly every available Odessey sold, most at or above MSRP.

    Did every available Caravan, Windstar, T&C and Econoline sell? No. Most that did sold below MSRP, and the year end deals are really good bargains.

    I bet WalMart sells more china than most high end department or specialty stores. Is that where you recommend buying china?

    Guess what? Most people who buy china at WalMart will be happy with it. Most people who bought a Caravan, Windstar, T&C or Econoline will be happy with it. Some buyers are a little more discerning and are willing to pay a little more, wait a little longer and possibly even "endure" an armrest that isn't as comfy as the living room couch because they value the slightest margin in safety and reliability more than others.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Lets look at those numbers another way shall we? Lets also look at how much the sales figures have changed relative to last years year to date numbers.

    Dodge Caravan 306,501 down 11%
    Ford Winstar 165,167 down 19%
    Chrysler T&C 130,97 up 43%
    Honda Odyssey + Acura MDX 155,509 + 26%

    The only reason I included the Acura MDX numbers is because Honda opted to produce the MDX on the Odyssey plant despite severe Odyssey shortage. Hopefully 2002 with the new plant in Alabama Honda can try and catch up to demand.

    Also keep another thing in mind. Honda sells both vehicles at full MSRP and almost throughout every region in the nation there is a waiting list that is at least weeks long. No incentives, no rebates, no 0% financing. Can you imagine how many more people would have opted for the Odyssey if they didnt have to wait months for it? Peope are speaking with their wallets some people just aren't listening.
  • Oh yeah, one other comment about the Econoline numbers. Those are largely used as work vans, with industrial racks on top for hauling ladders, PVC pipe or whatever or people haulers in shuttle situations. Their sales are completely irrelevant in a discussion about Honda vs DC minivans, but I suspect you know that. Sales figures that are not compared to supply also lack some relevance. Relevant facts tend to favor the Honda.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Lets back that up a little, why are DC people so happy lifting out that heavy rear seat to carry something. Yea, I know they say that they don't do it often enough to warrant a magic seat. If my seat weighed that much I wouldn't do it either. Like I said before the armrests don't mean anything to me as at my height they are to far forward. I have had 3 caddys before wife got Odyssey and all had dual-zone control of air/heat and in the nine years we had them they all stayed on the same temp.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Right on. As long as we are reaching out into left field in order to get our point accross, why not say that Ford trucks outsell DC vans too, so must be a better vehicle than the DC van. Just think if Honda had the plants to build and sell all the Odysseys they wanted to and sold them all at 0% and huge rebates what would happen to DC vans. They would go out of business.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    If total sales are really an indicator of which van is "better," then the Windstar must be great! If you compare only similar vans, you can't count the Caravan numbers because it is short wheel base. Only the TC and Grand Caravan should count. This counting of total sales is just plain silly. It assumes all things being equal, which they are not. Supply is not equal, incentives aren't equal. I think the only way the Windstar did so well is because Ford has heavily discounted them. It isn't better than the DC long vans, and all reviews of the vans bear that out. So, that's proof the discounts and 0% etc. work to move the iron. Why should be not assume it has helped inflate the DC sales as well?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Who muddyied the water first. Who through in the Ford Vans. Who makes such a big deal out of a worth soft armrest instead of a worth something magic seat.
  • Yes, but safety and reliability came first. Both the T&C and Ody would hold our triple stroller with the back seat up.

    I don't know why you keep ignoring the biggest glaring counterpoint - People can't "vote with their money" when demand is greater than supply. I think the percentage of available vans that sold at or above MSRP would be a better indicator.

    Immediate availability is a requirement of many buyers. The Ody does fail to meet that requirement.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    How many DC vans are short? It's relevant, because they are sold to a different niche in the market that Honda does not cater to. What's the breakdown on the GM vans? I can agree to lump all the rebadged ones, but weed out the Astro and whatever else is in there. They are different vehicles to serve a different niche. Ford, too. How many of those are Windstars? If you have to lump them together to "prove" a point, it seems to me you have just demonstrated that you are willing to manipulate the data to reinforce your point rather than changing your view based on the data. Honda has never gone after every niche in the market the way the Big 3 have. They find a niche and do very well filling it. If they wanted to really make the numbers look good for themselves, they would come out with a shorter van for less bucks. But they seem content with the niche they defined and filled. I can't see any fault in that.
This discussion has been closed.