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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "On the other hand the DC engines which are old and outdated can't handle those kinds of revs and knowing all the trouble DC has had in the past with there automatics I doubt you will see any HP increases until they spend some money on a new automatic."

    If Chrysler engines and transmissions are so incompetent and outdated, why did edmunds determine the engine performance of the 01 T&C was better than that of the 01 Ody? In fact, the comparison test also determined that the transmission of the Town & Country also tied the performance of the Odyssey's. I would not surmise from the results of the test that the Odyssey outperforms the Town & Country with its fancy, high reving VTEC engine.

    Not only did the Town & Country either beat or tie the Odyssey in engine and transmission performance but it also beat the Odyssey in the categories of suspension and tire performance, steering, and most importantly...the fun to drive factor. :)

    bdaddy, I'd love to race just for kicks. I know the 3.3 in our van would run out of breathe much sooner than your fancy VTEC engine, but prepair to be beaten off the line and probably all the way to 35mph. The good ol' reliable 158hp Chrysler 3.3 V6 makes alot of its power early in the RPM band.

    In closing, here is a little article for you DC bashers out there on Chrysler reliability. According to this article found at Detroit Auto News the Dodge Caravan is rated as the second best reliable minivan in the category. It looks like its getting harder and harder for DC bashers to play the reliability card when bad mouthing Chrysler...

    Heres the link...


  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Then head over to the "Honda Odyssey Problems" message board. There you will find an unusual amount of Honda owners complaining of transmission problems with their relatively new Odyssey vans.

    "Has anyone heard about Differntial Bearings problem in 2001 model. My Odyssey started having transmission problems and started leaking fluid. I took it to a dealer and found the problem in Differential Bearings inside the casing along the axle. The dealer recommended replacing the whole tranny - estimate $5100. I took my odyssey to a local transmission shop and they also said the problem is in Differential Bearings. My mechanic also told me that he just got another Odyssey with the same problem. I wonder if this is a common problem for 2001 odyssey?"
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    "but prepair to be beaten off the line and probably all the way to 35mph." snip

    I doubt this would happen, but even if it would, your lead would last all of 2 maybe three seconds.
    I owned an Acura Integra with a 1.8L DOHC. The engine loved to be revved. Mine saw redline hundreds of times. I sold that car with 150,000 miles on it - original clutch, no major problems. The only thing I ever did to it outside of routine maint. was replace a door handle after an ice storm and an air conditioning relay under warranty. I agree with dmathews, the Chrysler powertrain without significant mods. would blow up at higher horsepower/higher revs. Again 4adodge, you really should drive the vehicles you are comparing so you have a basis for comparison and not merely conjecture and hearsay.

    Transmission problems have yet to be seen on 02 models. If you're comparing 01 models I'd suggest you also look at crash test data. Your D.C and T&C didn't fare so well. Safety is an important factor in minivan purchase rationale.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331

    The Detroit News article you posted refers to initial quality. It's easy to confuse that with reliability, but they are not the same. Most products have a "bathtub curve" of defects. They start high, drop, level off for some time, then steadily increase again. Ideally, you hope to measure the initial rate for new car buyers concerned with defects from assembly and such. You'd also like to know the failure rate when it increases later in life, for those who keep their vehicles a long time. That's where CR and the JD Power Dependability surveys come in to play. If you want to talk reliability, you can find those results at their websites. If you're really interested in determining how common a particular problem is, I suggest you create a scientifically designed survey, and send it to hundreds of randomly selected owners of each of the vehicles you compare. Anecdotal responses from forums or mechanics have little if any statistical value.

    As for acceleration, the 2002 AAA Auto guide posted these numbers for 0-60 times:

    2002 T&C with 3.8L 215 HP V6: 9.8s
    2002 Odyssey with 240 HP 3.5L V6: 8.5s

    For 2001, from CR for 0-30, 0-60, and 1/4 mile:

    2001 GC with 3.3L V6: 3.8, 11.4, 18.5
    2001 Odyssey with 215HP V6: 3.7, 9.9, 17.6

    Motor Trend had these 0-60 and 1/4 mile times:

    2001 GC ES 3.8L V6: 9.7, 17.2
    2001 Odyssey EX 3.5L V6: 9.6, 17.2
    1996 T&C LXi 3.8L V6 auto: 11.0, 18.1
    1995 Odyssey LX 2.2L I4 Auto: 10.3, 18.3

    This topic came around once before, and I ask the same question again. Do you have any data to support your claims from any print or online source, or are you just guessing? Do you have the HP and Torque curves for both models, or just a static point for the peak numbers which are relatively meaningless?

    Personally, acceleration numbers don't impress me when I'm making a purchase much at all, unless it's really pathetic, which doesn't appear to be the case for either model. My pride won't be injured when you find a source that shows the 2002 T&C besting the Odyssey by 0.3s in 0-30 or 0-60 times....
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Excellent post. But don't expect 4aodge to respond as he has again been showed up. Maybe he can take out the padding in the armrests to save some weight and go faster.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    You are missing the point. You can throw out all the numbers you can find that give the Odyssey the edge in acceleration. But when you sit behind the wheel of a GC 3.8 and a Ody 3.5, you PROBABLY won't be able to tell much difference between the two. The GC would probably be more torquey at lower speeds but the Ody would have more passing power on the freeway. Anyway, 240 horses sounds really nice, but the 3.5 V6 probably does not blow the Chrysler 3.8 away, just as the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times you posted suggest. And yes, my small 3.3 V6 would probably beat a 240hp Ody off the line. If you don't believe me, I'll see you on the track!

    Many here try to belittle my comments by saying I haven't driven an Odyssey which gives me no credibility. However, I would be willing to bet many of the DC bashers here haven't driven a new DC van with the 3.8 engine either. It goes both ways.

    dmathews3, I'll keep those padded armrest inside the vehicle for now. I know they must seem expendable to an Ody owner like you who is not familiar with the simple luxuries and amenities offered on Chrysler vans.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331 I said, a few tenths of a second faster or slower doesn't make any difference to me.

    As for racing, bdaddy already offered. I'll pass, in the name of safety... You're welcome to have bragging rights as to how the vehicles "feel". Until you accept bdaddy's offer of the race, I prefer to go by the book numbers for sake of any arguement.

    My post was not meant to belittle you at all. I haven't driven any 2002 Chrysler product, and really don't much care one way or the other. But if you're going to debate the point, the published numbers do a lot more than guesswork. In a similar regard, I'll stick with published crashworthiness figures over hearsay, too. Others prefer to justify their choices by claiming their vehicle is better than crash tests indicate because they've seen real-life tested ones in junkyards or whatever. To each their own.

  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    "But when you sit behind the wheel of a GC 3.8 and a Ody 3.5, you PROBABLY won't be able to tell much difference between the two. The GC would probably be more torquey at lower speeds but the Ody would have more passing power on the freeway. Anyway, 240 horses sounds really nice, but the 3.5 V6 probably does not blow the Chrysler 3.8 away, just as the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times you posted suggest. And yes, my small 3.3 V6 would probably beat a 240hp Ody off the line. If you don't believe me, I'll see you on the track!"

    You're missing the point 4adodge. 4 "probablys" in one paragraph. Now that's conjecture. That's as bad as a post I saw on the Kia Sedona vs. Odyssey board where the poster said 'the Odyssey might Be faster, but the Kia just FEELS faster.' Wow! I'm not going to get into the merits of a faster vehicle anymore either, unless you show up at my door with pink slip in hand. I didn't buy my van for it's speed or lack there of. I just wish people would post facts and not feelings when making comparisons. Just remember, the best vehicle is not necessarily the one your dad owns. Live with a few vehicles for a while and you'll have a better basis fo comparison. BTW - I did drive an 02 DGC with the 3.8. It was a nice van, but I made my decision based on a lot of factors and in the end, could not rationalize the purchase of the Dodge.
  • jasonrupjasonrup Posts: 13
    Uhh, you're completely off the mark there pal, we ONLY build long wheelbase models here in Canada (Chrysler T&C and Grand Caravan as well as rebadged Dodge Grand Caravans called Dodge Voyagers for some foreign markets). The Windsor facility is able to produce short wheelbase models but for the time being ALL short wheelbase vans are built in St. Louis as are all Chrysler Voyagers and any lowline van with the contrasting plastic lower fascias - Windsor only builds models with colour coded fascias. Production consists of Grand Caravan Sport, ES, SE, eL, eX, Chrysler Town&Country Lx, Lxi, Limited. Windsor only builds vans with the 3.3LV6 and 3.8LV6. I may have missed a designation or two but considering the number of models it's expected. Windsor will also be building the new (and gorgeous) Chrysler Pacifica Sport Tourer with the 250HP 3.5LV6 out of the Chrysler 300M alongside the minivans.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Edmunds shows lwb vans made in MO, too. BTW, saw a GC at dealer recently with "Hecho in Mexico" on 3.3 engine.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Our 2000 Town & Country IS faster but our 2001 PT Cruiser FEELS faster. There is a difference, although it is hard to explain. I'm not a speed freak and I'm not obsessed with numbers. After all, I do drive a van just like you.

    BTW, I was a major factor in us getting a Chrysler van in the first place. I've been a MOPAR fan since I can remember and have always valued the flexibility and cargo capacity of vans. You can ask my parents and they will tell you I was the main reason why they ended up with TWO Chrysler vans as opposed to vans from Ford, Honda, or whoever else.

    No, my dad does not work for DaimlerChrysler.
  • tony1034tony1034 Posts: 23
    I recently purchased a 02' EXL RES Odyssey. I paid MSRP $30,190. I looked at the Grand Caravan Sport. The GC was stickered at @ $28,200 w/o leather or DVD. My Odyssey w/o leather or DVD stickers for $27,190. I think 3K was a bit high for leather and DVD system, but I wanted evrything from the factory under the factory warranty and I never owned leather before. The Dodge dealer offered the GC to us for INVOICE. They also had another 3K in rebates. That brought the GC down to @ $23,500. I compared everything on both vehicles from the magic seat to the 8 vs 7 passenger seating, power, comfort, reliability, etc...etc... After 3 years the residual value on the GC was a mere 31%. While the Odyssey was 62%. I couldn't believe how much the GC depreciated. I thought the Odyssey beat the GC in all the important areas to me (safety, 4 wheel disc brakes, side air bags, power, driving characteristics, convenience and looks). I want to note that I used to own a 98 Caravan and drove it for 18 months. I think this Odyssey beats my old DC hands down in every category. We traded the DC for a 2000 Maxima, which I still drive. It was hit last week and I ended up renting a 02' Dodge GC Sport (The exact same van we were looking at a few months ago). Driving the GC and Odyssey back to back really made me feel the differences between the two. The GC drives like a truck. It's sloppy and the tires suck for traction. The power is weak compared to the Odyssey. I think the Honda will roast the GC 0-30, 0-60 and 1/4 mile. The 5spd Honda is nicer than the 4spd GC and the braking on the Honda is better. The Honda drives more like my Maxima than a minivan. I also don't like the layout on the GC. As for the magic seat issue, I've been using the GC rental as my personal pickup truck hitting Home Stinko. Lugging that heavy rear bench is no fun, so i just left it in and crammed everything on top of it (what do i care, it's a rental). The headlights are not as good driving at night as the Honda's. The Honda's leather interior is firmer and some may feel it is a bit uncomfortable compared to the GC, but I like them better. My wife likes the cuishy GC seats, but she's 5'2" and under 100 lbs. This is only my opinion, so please no bashing, but I think my experience owning a Caravan and renting this one, has made me very happy in my decision to buy the Odyssey. I would have no problem buying a Dodge/American car, but I just can't see spending over twenty or thirty thousand dollars on a car that I'm not happy with or can't drive into the Earth for 7-10 years.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I doubt the rental car you got was the Grand Caravan. USUALLY, rental companies only carry those short wheel base vans. Also, I think the Grand Caravan has the split bench and a bigger (smoother?) engine. Anyway, I am glad you like the Ody.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I don't think so. You are comparing a top of the line Odyssey to two DC minivans that are not nearly as well equipped. I don't know about your 1998 Caravan, but comparing it to a 2002 Ody EX is hardly a fair comparison. Same goes for the rental car you drive, which all have the smaller 3.3 engine instead of the larger 3.8 available on the EX and ES models. Not even the Grand Caravan Sport you came close to buying can compare with the 2002 Ody EXL.

    As for tires, edmunds seems to think the traction of the Michellin tires (not used on rental cars) on the 2001 and 2002 Town & Country is much better than what is offered on the Odyssey. Also, notice edmunds described the 3.8 engine in the T&C has "refined" and said it performed just as well and sometimes even better than the more advanced engines offered in some of the competition.

    What I'm trying to say is that I don't think your comparison is very fair nor accurate. Would it be fair to compare a 2002 Town & Country Limited AWD to a 2001 or 1998 Odyssey LX? I don't think so. But I too am glad you are happy with your new van.

  • tony1034tony1034 Posts: 23
    Hi Tom, Adam,

    Thanks for your comments. The rental is indeed the longer Grand Caravan. It has all the power options, but does have the smaller 3.3 liter engine. My 98' had the 3.3 as well. I agree with Adam that the 3.8 liter in Dodge/Chryslers is a more competitive engine than the 3.3. I also don't know if the T&C is better than a GC. Isn't it just a more luxurious van than the Dodge, but has the same engines, drive trains and suspension? Also the body parts are the same except the grill, tail lights etc? I also don't know what they exactly changed on the 02' from the 98' Caravans, but it appeared to me as just cosmetic. I got rid of the 98' back in 6/99 for the Maxima, so it's been a long time since I had it. I just wasn't really that impressed with it. The Maxima impresses me as does this Odyssey. Also, I'd like to mention that an EX Odyssey lists for 27,190. Most GC's that list for this or less aren't fully equipped w/ power doors, bigger 3.8 engines (most have the 3.3), etc. Actually the Honda only comes as an LX or EX. You can get the EX w/ leather, leather and DVD, or leather and NAV. All the little options like power windows/seats/doors, side air bags, 4 whl anti-lock brakes, the seating, etc are all EX standards. The Dodge definitely offers more options to those shopping for what they want(I had no choice on the power doors, or any of the options). Also, If you just want a van for the cargo space, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, the Honda is not the answer. The LX is @25k. You can get a Voyager for what? under 18k. My comparison is really the rental vs my Honda. I just mentioned the 98' DC to point out that I've owned and driven a DC for 18 months. As for the tires, the rental has Good Years on it. Is this the standard tire on DC and T&C? My manager has a new Chrysler and he too said the tires have bad traction and is going to replace them even though they are brand new. The Honda has Michelins, but I am a huge fan of Dunlops.
  • tony1034tony1034 Posts: 23
    The GC I looked at for $28,200 was an EX Sport. It too had the 3.3 liter engine, but had the better seating (buckets in the middle w/ split bench in the rear), removable console (nice option, one of my disappointments w/ the Honda is the cheapy snack tray. It seams out of place in an interior bathed in leather), power lift gate (not offered on the Honda), driving lights (an expensive Honda accessory), and I can't remember the rest.

    That's what you gotta love about this country. The FREEDOM to choose. God forbid everybody had to drive the same car. And can you imagine what Honda, Ford, Dodge, etc would charge for their vehicles if they had no competition? When I first went to Enterprise for the rental, they offered me a Chevy (GEO) metro. I would rather walk than drive in that death trap. But people buy these cars, love them and would buy them again. There is a car/van/truck out there for everyone. They make their choice for their OWN reasons, not b/c someone told them.

    P.S. Don't always believe what you read either. For enough money, a magazine will print and say anything. I'm sure everyone on this board can find an article that says the Honda is better, the Dodge is better, the Ford is better, ...You get the picture.

  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    If you really like reading that the Dodge/Chrysler vans are better than the Odyssey, check out Heraud's reviews at MSN Carpoint. I find his reviews laughable and biased with no basis for comparison (totally subjective with no benchmark data). You'll probably enjoy them.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I like your comments made about freedom of choice in this country. I totally agree. But getting back to the topic at hand, DC uses Michellin tires on the more expensive models such as the Town & Country LXi and Limited, Grand Caravan EX and ES. The Grand Caravan Sport and SE, which you owned and rent, use the cheaper Good Year Conquest tires which does not offer the traction and performance of the more expensive Michellin s.

    Bdaddy, I've read Heraud's review of both the Odyssey and DC minivans. He rated the DC minivans 72 percent and the Ody 68 percent. That's pretty close. In his defense, the winner of these comparisons and reviews depends on the criteria that was used in rating them. Heraud seems to be more interested in performance and drive more than anything else. That is why I think the DC minivans got a slight edge over the Odyssey. Even edmunds (who I think always shows bias in every van review they publish) described the Town & Country as "a driver's minivan." They rated its engine, transmission, handling, braking, tires, ect the same or higher than the 2001 Odyssey.

    My point is, each reviewer looks for different things when evaluating a vehicle. That's why carpoint offers several reviews of any particular car by different people who all have different expectations for the car they are evaluating.

    Edmunds slammed the Town & Country repeatedly saying it was over priced and too expensive when it was covered in leather (an option Honda didn't have until just this year) and many other features not found on the competition. If price was an issue, they shouldn't have compared a 35k dollar luxury van with all the bells and whistles to a spartan box like the 2001 Ody was, in comparison.

  • ody01ody01 Posts: 100
    Most reviewers prefer Odyssey because of Magic Seat, most power, most luggage space. Low price main consideration prefer Kia Sedona. Most feature chose Chrysler. Ugliest van prefer Previa and now Sienna.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    After we have selected and purchased our minivans, who cares what any reviewer writes ?
    BTW if I had to pick one minivan that has been called "boring, boxy and dull" in TH forums, it is the Odyssey.
    In keeping within this topic, since I owned a 96 DC and now drive a 99 Odyssey, I have to say that I still miss the Infinity Stereo most of all the features. The Honda stereo is severely lacking in comparison.
    The DC had the windshield wiper heaters, a true delay feature on the rear window wiper, and better roof rack. With the exception of the Infinity sound system, I do not consider these extra features, just better executed on the DC than on the Honda.
    I firmly belive that competition between all the manufacturers improves the product.
    BTW space on TH is free. You might want to consider that and use some articles, adjectives, adverbs and complete sentences. Just my $.02
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