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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    I just posted my thoughts re: Ody vs. Siena in that topic. Just wanted to give my thoughts here, and also solicit responses from Chrysler owners. We recently put deposit down on Ody. It really came down to Ody and Siena, but we did look at T&C. These are the reasons we did not pursue it, but I am happy to hear reasonable rebuttals or correction of my errors by happy T&C owners. I will also list the things I really liked about T&C:
    1. Most important was our personal experiences with Japanese cars (good) vs. American (bad). I admit, though, neither one of us has ever owned a Dodge/Chrysler car.
    2. As best I could find out, both on Dodge website and dealership, it would have been just a little too pricey to get leather, since only the upper trim levels seem to have it as an option. AWD would be great, but also pricey.
    3. We have gotten rave reviews about the magic seat from friends who love and use it every day.
    4. I agree with reviews that 2002 model has addressed some deficiencies that were important to me, such as leather and side airbags.

    Plusses for the T&C, in order of importance:
    1. I am 6'10", and the driver seat in a Limited I sat in was just spectacular. I thought I was in a La-Z-Boy.
    2. I know many people cringe at the suggestion of a minivan being attractive, but the T&C is the looker of the class, to my eye. I love the exterior (something about those lower "gills" that the GC lacks) and the colors I've seen.
    3. Lots of features. For about $35000, you get the minivan version of a Mercedes E class.
    4. After making our decision, I definitely don't consider T&C owners naive about quality. If we were willing to spend a few thousand more, it would have come down to Ody and a nicely equipped T&C (and probably the Acura MDX).
    5. The local dealer has a very nice salesman (Steve Satterwhite at Elkins in Durham, NC) who has helped us with car seats several times. I almost wanted to buy from him just to pay him back.
    6. The comments re: road noise are concerning, we will just have to see if it becomes annoying. My '88 Civic sure is loud inside, but also old and runs great. My solution was to install a high-powered Kenwood stereo and speakers nyuck nyuck.

    I'd love to hear from T&C owners about prices they paid to get leather, either aftermarket or factory. Thanks to all informative posters of Edmunds, this website is GREATER than sliced bread!
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    I called many Honda dealers throughout NC, covering local places and areas we frequently travel. We were told late Jaunary for a Silver EX-L, no nav or DVD. at Greensboro. The salesman told me that Silver was the most in-demand color (reiterated by a few other dealers), but someone had reserved this one and then decided to wait for one with DVD. Silver was one of three acceptable colors to us - GG and white the others.

    Some other larger dealers had some unclaimed EX's coming in the next few weeks. Hickory, NC actually reported SIX unclaimed EX's, one with leather, arriving over the next six weeks. Incredibly, two of these were red, which I have never seen in person despite our city being chock full of Ody's. Two dealers I called, Cary and Sanford, had unclaimed GG EX cloth sitting on lot. Both would add leather, but one quoted a price greater than the difference in MSRP for EX-L, and the other couldn't say how long it would take since their leather installation is contracted to someone in Fayeteville.
  • There's a picture of it at:

    Just go down to tlhe link: "vince's car page"
  • Yes, teenagers can do nice things, but why is he hanging around on these "van" pages? Strange lad. Anyone who really thinks that a Dodge or CRYsler is a better purchase than a Toyota or Honda needs what us GEEZERS call "life experience." I bought a FIAT at 16 (new) and believe me, I defended them until after my third transmission (out of warrenty! ouch!). Japanese engineered cars are GREAT, look at their resale. As an Economist, I know people act "rationally" and this phenomenon is no fluke. People act in there own best interest.

    As a current Previa owner (93), I'm looking for a new mini-van and only Honda and TOyota would get my business. Honda will get the nod due to the size and I'm in no hurry so the wait is not an issue. MSRP isn't a problem when the car should sticker much higher... I've had ONE problem in 9 years! The rear dome light went out, never bothered fixing it cause I never went near a dealer! I can only hope the Ody will be even close!

    Move on youngster and do something productive at 16! You Ody buyers are wise (as if you need this fourm to tell you that), these Odys are nice.

  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    I guess I qualify as having life experience (over 16, job etc, etc), and I would tell you to buy a Dodge or Chrysler. IF, it fit your needs. We have a T&C Limited we truly enjoy. Also, have an Acura in the garage, and I agree Honda makes great products.
    But, for our needs the T&C was what fit our family. So, I really think a Dodge or Chrysler is a better purchase.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Everyone is entitled to express their opinion - there should be no age restrictions, no experience restrictions - and ideally, no off-topic criticism of opinions. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 116.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    One thing I've noticed is that many Odyssey owners get defensive and say the only reason Chrysler is selling so many models is because they have rebates going on them. Well, there may be some sort of incentive to go with the Chrysler versus a Honda on the lower priced models, such as being able to get a DGC Sport for $22,500, but the higher end models, I'd have to differ.

    Honda has the middle market bar none. There may be the DGC EX and T&C EX with it's power trunk lid, but for the same price, you get the magic seat and dual zone automatic temperature control on the Odyssey EX. So if I was looking for a minivan with just the middle basics, I'd go for an Odyssey, no doubt about it, even if it meant sacrificing the nifty trip computer (because the auto temp control is the deal breaker IMO)

    Yet, until Honda ups the luxury content or adds an Acura van, I'll stick with my T&C Limited. It has dual power seats, tri-zone automatic temperature control, BOTH heated front seats, memory driver's seat, mirrors, and radio presets, not to mention the great stereo, automatic dimming driver's outside and inside rear view mirror, trip computer with compass and temperature readout included, 4 disc CD changer and power trunk.

    For the people who want space and luxury, the higher end T&C's beat out the Odyssey, and usually cost more or close to a totally loaded Odyssey, with or without the rebates.

    Chrysler can load on all the rebates they want, but on the higher end models, people still choose Chrysler even when an Odyssey would be cheaper and a better short term investment.

    They may have $1,500 rebates, but that still only brings the price down to $32,300 on a Limited at invoice. So it can't just be the rebates selling the cars, because people are obviously justifying the higher price and possibly (if they know about it) lower resale. The rebates are more so bringing the attention of the consumer to the Chrysler dealers, but once the consumer is at the lot and looking at $37,000 T&C Limited's, I'm sure they still realize that the rebates aren't going to substantially affect the price to make it lower than an Odyssey EX-L.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I was thinking the same thing myself yesterday when I was sitting in a new 2002 Town & Country Limited at our local dealership while I was waiting for the regular matinence to be finished on our 2001 PT Cruiser. In terms of luxury, comfort, and convienence there is nothing currently on the market that can compare to a Town & Country. You can dress an Odyssey up real nice with leather and DVD system, but it still doesn't touch the luxury of a Town & Country.

    The model I sat in yesterday was a Candy Apple Red (200+ dolar extra cost option) 2002 Limited All Wheel Drive with the 4 disc cd changer, towing package, DVD system, power everying, heated seats, load leveling suspension, auto climate controls, and head phones for the rear passengers. The quality of these new DC minvians is very impressive. The suede accents mounted on the seat back and door trims really add a nice look. Also, the door slam is exceptional which, in my opinion, says something about how solid these cars are made. My cousins 1999 Odyssey LX with 30k miles sounds like a bunch of pots and pans rolling down the steps when you shut their doors. However, I'm sure the new 2002 Odysseys have a much better fit and finish that the first ones to roll of the production lines.

    Anyway, dave210 is correct about the Town & Country being in a class of it's own. As Chrysler has said, "we have created a segment within a segment with the Town & Country." I encourage anyone who is a non-believer or who hasn't sat inside a Town & Country Limited of any model year to take a visit to your local Chrysler dealership so you can see for youself. BTW, the dealer's asking price for the 2002 van I sat in was just over 41k dolars. That's hard to justify for a minivan, but you won't find the kind of luxury, comfort, and convienience features on any other minivan currently on the market, including the Odyssey.

    Also, one safety feature the Town & Country has that others should borrow is their sliding doors. The DC minivans with power sliding doors will reverse if something obstructs their closing process instead of smashing whatever is in the way. This was another feature I was very impressed with.

  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    As a soon-to-be Odyssey owner, I agree with the last few posts (see my message above #764). Again, if I was willing to spend more, the T&C decked out would be tough to pass up.

    So let me ask more bluntly. Can anyone tell me if they got a T&C with leather - any trim level - for under $29,000? I'm not being cocky, see my post above, I fully acknowledge that the T&C is better equipped than the Ody EX-L. I seriously just want to know if it's possible to get in the ball park, since leather was important to us.

    As for you, 4aodge, you whipper-snapper, as a former 16 y.o. who's now 35, I only have one thing to say......rock on, brotha! I've seen plenty of professed "grown ups" make less sense, have far worse spelling/grammar/typing skills, and behave like horse's backsides here and other websites.

    Hey, dave210, both the front seats in the EX-L are heated! And the 6-CD in-dash changer is an option. As for all the other things you mentioned,*connection interrupted*
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Thank you for the nice comments, tj 610. You are a credit to the many Odyssey owners who have and continue to post here in the Troll Hall at It's very nice to have an Odyssey owner around here that doesn't freak out or go into Troll mode when someone points out the many comfort, convinience, and luxury features that can only be found on other vans, such as the Chrysler Town & Country.

    As for your question regarding leather, it is a tricky one. My family and I have a 2000 Town & Country LX that has a "premium cloth" interior that we are very pleased with. However, when we bought our car back in September 2000 there was another LX model in the lot that had the very nice gray leather instead of the cloth, despite the fact that the LX model is not supposed to be equiped with the leather interior, at least for the 2000-2002 model years. That particular LX model with the leather interior probably had an MSRP of about 29k but would be very hard to come across today as Chrysler has "wattered down" the Town & Country LX model of the years, especially in 2002.

    As for finding a 2001 or 2002 DC minivan with leather for under 29k, that's even more tricky. However, I have read other post here about some buyers getting a Town & Country Limited for under 30k when all is said and done. If those stories are true, you cannot beat a deal like that. Not only would the Limited have leather but it would also come with the suede accents and other nice features as well. Also, you could try equiping a Town & Country LXi with leather and see if you could squeeze that into the 29k dolar price range. I do not think you can get a leather interior or on the Dodge Caravan unless you go with the ES which will cost at or above 30k.

    I hope this helps, tj 610. Thanks once again for the encouraging comments. Please tell us about your nice new 2002 Odyssey when it arrives.

  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    That is the lowest price I have seen, but for a new 2001.
    2002 and you are at about $32,000.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    For some reason, I was under the impression that only the driver's seat was heated.

    I remember seeing a post where someone asked if the Odyssey had two heated seats and someone responded in saying it only had two 'settings' (high/low) for the one heated driver's seat.

    I suppose I should have researched my facts before quoting someone on the net :-) Thanks for the correction.

    Oh by the way, at Car Max, you can get brand new 2002 T&C Limited's for around $31,600 including the $1,500 rebate. And the 2001's are around $28-$29,000. But they are already almost 1 1/2 years old.
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    I appreciate all these posts. The price gap is not as great as I expected then. I agree with carleton1 that weather can make leather a bit less comfortable in a car than in your den. I do wish minivans would follow the lead of luxury vehicles - even SUV's like Lincoln Navigator - and have heated AND cooled leather seats. Something tells me the 2003 T&C will have it first.....Anyway, we got leather not only for the feel and a bit of a splurge (I previously never considered leather for anything but something like a Mercedes or BMW), but also for ease of cleanups. Our 13 month old is beginning to insist on controlling his own food and drink!
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    Hey, I just read your user profile, carleton1. I had no idea the Vatican had such unpredictable weather! LOL
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    Using Edmunds New Vehicle Pricing calculator, I just equipped a T&C LXi FWD 3.3L to be similar to the Odyssey EX-L. I added the CD/cassette with rear audio, electronics convienence group, leather, removable center console (Ody console slides), roof rack, security alarm, side airbags, steering wheel mounted stereo controls, and traction control. I even skipped options I would definitely get, like full-sized spare, because Ody doesn't have it. Also, the Ody has a 3.5L engine. I went with 3.3 instead of 3.8 to get as close as possible in price. There may be mismatched features that only Ody or T&C have, but this is as close a guesstimate as I could get without poring over brochures side-by-side. Here's the numbers:
    Invoice: $30,078
    Retail: $32,815
    TMV: $30,381
    So, if the $1500 rebate would apply to this model, it may be possible to get in the ballpark of the Ody EX-L MSRP of $28,690 (inc. destination).

    I apologize for three straight posts. I work in central NC, and the ice/snow are still creating very slow work days.
  • Hi Guys-

    I am looking at purchasing a T&C or an Ody EX-L as soon as possible. I donated my car to charity (Cancer Research) and the charity needs to pick it up next week. I was looking at the Olds. My wife liked the features and I liked the price, but after the crash testing stats, no amount of money can let me risk my family.

    So I am pricing an EX-L at $28,700 (MSRP) to the least expensive T&C LXI with leather I can find which is about $33,100 (invoice) but prior to any rebates. I want to add the best 7/100 warranty. The EX-L is $900 with a $50 deductible. The T&C was $1,200 with a $100 deductible. I am told the T&C price goes upto $1600 if the powertrain special is not extended.

    Now the EX-L is very well equiped, but the T&C comes with that electric convenance package and the rear audio. I would not have added those items for the $600 cost but I will use them. The magic seat is nice, but the auto hatchdoor and the cargo tray is an even swap.

    I don't know about the '01 Ody, but the '02 Ody with its new engine and trany at 240 hp feels as good (not better or worst) than the T&C with the bigger engine (215 hp?).

    So the question is price, availability and quality. Is there a reason the Chyrsler warranty is more? Is because of added profit or the amount of times it will be used. I don't want to wait three weeks for the EX-L if two of those weeks will be in a rental.

    If Chysler does not reup the incentives, the cost difference is $5,000. This is not realistic, but I think the new incentives are going to be less not more. If so, does anyone know where I can but an EX-L at MSRP without waiting 3 three weeks within 200 miles of Washington DC?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Don't know about the DC warranty but you can pick up the Honda 7/100K/0 deduct for about 895 here on the edmunds site. There are a number of dealers here who go that price. Don't know if DC does that here or not.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 237
    This is just my opinion, but I don't think the rebates will get smaller. If anything, they'll get bigger. It's not like the T&C is selling any better than it did before. In the past, I can't recall Chrysler downsizing the rebates. The reason they're there is to move the vans off the lot. Lowering them would be stupid on Chrysler's part. On the 2001 models, they carried a $1,500 rebates, THEN a $2,000, and now a $3,000. I'm guessing they'll either stay the same or get larger.
  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    Chrysler offers 7 year 100000 mile warranty free of charge on all their 2002 products.
This discussion has been closed.