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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • leebealeebea Posts: 25
    Wow!! Not your mother's minivan.
    Lee B.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Oh lets not go down the tax incentive path again.
    What States, and how much per state was given Japanese car builders ?
    BTW Chrysler is now a foreign car CO. Daimler bailed it out a second time.
  • I bought the Honda for two reasons.

    First: Honda's legendary quality. I have not been disapointed. 58,000 miles and still on the original set of front brake pads. Not keeping score, but it seems Ford and Chrysler are constantly recalling vehicles for warranty campaigns.

    Second: Honda's loyalty to it's customers. Huh, you say? Honda does not sell vehicles to Commerical Fleets, Car Rental companies ect. So when I go to trade it in, I will get a substantially higher trade in percentage because the market is not flooded with used Honda vehicles. Everybody and their brother is driving DC's and Windstar's. Just be prepared to be shafted come trade in time. The Blue Book, Black Book prices for these vehicles are inaccurate by a wide margin if you decide to trade when a fleet or rental car company unloads their used vehicles in your market.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    You didn't say what year Honda you had. Maybe you have an 00 or later on which Honda extended the warranty on their transmission to 100K miles. It amounts to an admission that their transmissions are not up to the Honda reputation for reliability. I got 68 K on my 99 Odyssey before the transmission failed catastrophically. I traded in a 96 Grand Caravan with 72 K miles on the 99 Odyssey because the transmission was failing on the DC. The DC at least got me to the Honda dealers and it still had reverse. Not much difference in reliability between the two in my book.
    BTW my 99 had 3 recalls. They also extended the warranty on the throttle body because of many owner experienced problems. Legendary Honda Reliabilty my rosy red.
  • I find this all very interesting - we are currently analyzing if we will keep or sell our 01 Odyessy. I love the van's drive/feel/look, but find the $500/mo payments really hard to swallow and not sure if we are getting $500 a month enjoyment out of it. Thinking we can get a decent used DC, and a warranty, for around $300/month.. Our Ody. has NOT been perfect - one door handle has completely fallen off, the power doors are "phantoms" and grind, particularly when it's cold, the power lock system does NOT assure you that all the doors will lock - or come UNLOCKED and BEST OF ALL - the power door system pinched me and my 16-month old daughter so hard that it scraped skin off my arm and ankle. It was SCARY!
  • By its very nature any automobile is not perfect. Designed and assembled by imperfect humans. Yes Honda extended the warranty on my 01 Odyssey to 100,000 miles. But I go back to the loyalty issue. Crysler would wait until NTSB orders them to recall the vehicles! Your arm isnt long enough to write down all the Crysler recalls in the past 15 years! Proof is in the recall numbers. Also, why is it there are no Crysler products in the top 10 best sellers list????????
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Checking the site reveals the following for 2002 models. consumer compaints Honda Odyssey 53, Chrysler and Dodge combined 21. recalls Honda 1, Chrysler and Dodge combined 2. Sales figures, Damlier Chrysler, Dodge and Chrysler minivans YTD November, No 1 377,477 sold, Honda Odyssey 118,503 sold. Source By the way it's CHRYSLER not crysler.
  • I have driven most every minivan out there now. I am a loyal Honda fan. I own 2 Honda products with 200,000 miles on the odometer. When it came time to get a minivan it was logical that I would go with the Odyssey. I am very pleased with the quality of the Honda products. Before I made my purchase, I rented a GC for about a week and I borrowed my friends Odyssey when I could. The bottom line is that all things being equal the Honda Odyssey is the better van of the two but not by much. The Odyssey has the superior engine and transmission and reputation for reliability and high resale. The DC/TC is more comfortable to ride in and is quiet and smooth. I really didn't consider other minivans because in my opinion because the above two are the ones to beat. The best Japanese design against the best American design. In the end it came down to price. I was put off by the Honda dealers sticker price take it or leave it attitude. Although I could have bought a brand new TC for about 3,000 less than a comparable Odyssey, I decided to buy a used TC which is a tremendous value. I got a one year old TC for almost half of what a brand new Odyssey cost to buy. It is pretty hard for me to imagine that the Odyssey is that much better. If you want the best buy the Honda. If you want the best value pick up a used TC or GC and laugh all the way to the bank.
  • I too purchased a used GC and the savings was substantial. Yes, mine had been a rental in its previous life but it was in great shape and only had 14000 miles. I have had it for 7 months and haven't had any problems (other than that somebody had installed the crossbars on the roof rack incorrectly). It is unfortunate that the number of DC vans sold to fleets drags the resale value down for those that buy new but it sure makes for a great bargain for those of us willing to buy used.
  • I am trying to decide between used versions of the DC Limited and Ody EX-L. I like them both a lot but have concerns about the Limited's long term reliability. I drove a 1999 model with 86K miles on it to see what it is like at this point in its life. I was blown away!!!! This van drove as if it were nearly brand new. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't even considered something with such high miles but with a price of less than $12K, and another $2K for a 3/36 bumper to bumper extended warranty from CarMax, I am seriously considering it.

    Something else interesting happened today as well. After driving the Limited, I saw a 2001 Ody EX with leather on the lot. I sat in it and it seemed downright spartan when compared to the Limited. I must like the white gages, the wood grain dash and the suede accents more than I thought. I had heard others talking about that but had never experienced it. I never put much stock in those statements until today.

    Am I crazy??? Will a TC Limited fall apart at 120K miles? What kind of miles have some of you seen put on yours?
  • I have a Chrysler Town and Country LX with more than 132,000 miles. It does still ride like the day I bought for the fact that I currently have Bridgestone Blizzaks on it for winter. It is a 1997 and I bought it new. I was considering a Honda Odyssey, but have decided to keep what I have, it's worth more to me than what I'd get on trade in. As for things that have gone wrong: front brakes have been replaced (twice, I believe) some heater switch up front that runs the wiper blades as well went out about a year ago, and other than that - I just had the EGR value replaced because I failed the Wisconsin emissions test.

    All in all, I've been very happy with the vehicle...hope this helps.
  • I was able to purchase a 99 T&C LXi with 95,400 miles last month for around $9000, which included a $540 3yr/45K powertrain warranty from Penn Warranty off of eBay. (they offered to extend the warranty to 6 years and unlimited miles for another $545). It's been flawless in the month that I've had it. There's a 99 LXi on there right now with 94,700 miles for $8999. I also test drove a 2000 Limited with 120K, local Chrysler dealer is selling it for $9900 on They originally wanted $12400 for it but I offered them $9000 and they wouldn't take it. That also rode like it was brand new on the test drive. I was also able to contact the former owner of my T&C and he took meticulous care of it - he was going to drive it to 150K but his favorite dealer gave him a deal he couldn't refuse on a 2003 T&C. The engine runs incredibly well, suspension is very smooth, and it feels like it has 30,000 miles on it. Just be sure to put new platinum plugs in it and a K&N air filter. That's all I've had to do to mine so far except for oil changes and washing and waxing. I'm expecting it to go to at least 200,000.
  • When our '00 Ody had about 4K miles on it, I noticed a loud squealing noise when I started it up one morning. I immediately shut off the engine and checked under the hood, where I found that part of the alternator bracket had apparently snapped off, leaving the alternator hanging at a precarious angle. I was able to gently nurse the Ody to the dealer, where the van stayed for the next five days while a new alternator bracket assembly was ordered from Canada (at least they gave me a loaner car). We also had several problems with the power sliding doors that required three separate trips to the dealer (not including the recall), and the power driver's seat also kept blowing fuses untill the dealer discovered a short in the wiring, and... the climate control system developed a glitch that caused the A/C to cut out mysteriously, for no apparent reason, on 90+ degree days the first summer we owned the van (this problem corrected itself when the Ody was about a year old -- go figure that one out).

    BTW, all this stuff occured during the first year of ownership. During the second year, the rear window wiper quit (burned out motor), and the CD player stopped working (the radio head unit was replaced, under warranty of course).

    In spite of these problems, I still enjoyed driving the Ody and the dealer was very understanding and sympathetic, always offering me a loaner car while the Ody was in for repair. If you recall my previous post, I was considering buying another Ody when ours was totaled last April. My neighbor has had her '02 for about a year and she has only had two minor problems (sliding door and battery replacement).

    BTW, my '02 T&C just turned 12K miles (9 months old) and I have not had A SINGLE PROBLEM with it. It might be that my Ody was a particularly bad one and that I've just been lucky so far with the DC van, but so be it (I think I'll quit now so I don't jinx the Chrysler).
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    One consideration should be the trade off in safety for lower purchase price. Check the crash test records of a used MV you might be contemplating and determine if the $$ savings are worth the less than 5 star safety rating.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    The latter is more fun to drive IMO.
  • saverisaveri Posts: 19
    I would like to know why the public and automotive journalists have such a love affair with the Odyssey ? Just gathering opinions with no intention of starting a war of which is better than which.

    The TC as far as my opinion goes has a much nicer ride than the Odyssey The engine is smooth (3.8L)and the transmission responsive under the conditions a minivan would be used under. The TC has lower wind and road noise. The interior is fairly well designed with nice materials being used in most places. The build quality could be better as margins are not always uniform.

    The downfall of the TC is the lack of a "magic" 3rd row seat and long term reliability. The second factor being of major importance to most consumers. DCX claims to have have made improvements in this area.

    Most reviews by major magazines indicate that the Odyssey is the clear winner though in my opinion besides the trick 3rd row seat the TC is actually a nicer vehicle to drive on a daily basis.

    Chime in with your opinions.

    BTW I have owned Honda cars all my life. I have a 1998 Accord with the 3.0L VTEC. It is a smooth engine but lacks torque off the line. I believe that this same engine has been re-sized for application in the Odyssey.
  • I think you've pretty much hit it on the head. The third row seat is pretty much magical. However, it's not magical enough for me to switch from a TC with 132,000 miles that has been pretty much trouble free and part with $29,000 for a comparable equipped vehicle.

    There is no doubt that the Honda has a stiffer ride, and the TC is just a more cushy ride. I'm sure for some people it will just come down to what ride they prefer for thousands of miles, but of course people are also counting on the reliability of a Honda vehicle. I'm personally hoping to get 200K out of my vehicle, but I've been forewarned by my mechanic (independent) that the Chrysler/Dodge minivans oftentimes experience failed transmissions around 125K. I've also heard from some that around 125K the vehicle starts nickel and diming you to death. I do like the looks of the Honda. I too have previously owned a Honda (1989 Honda accord coupe) and was very happy with it. I've also had a Mercury Villager, but needed a larger minivan. I guess I've pretty much decided to wait and see what Toyota brings out in August.
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    I looked at DC and Honda before purchasing the Ody. For me it was the fact that my wife (the primary driver) liked the Honda better. She was happier with the layout of the van - the spaciousness and driving position. I too preferred the driving position in the Honda. I'm 6'4" and the roof pillar was right against my temple in the DC. The ride in the Honda is tighter, but not so to offend. I'm used to it - it rides like a Honda. I can see how others would find it not to their liking. The engine is great - very strong throughout the powerband but impressive when the VTEC kicks in at about 3,200 rpm. The van is large, but it turns very tight and is pretty easy to maneuver.

    At the time of my purchase, a Dodge Grand Caravan EX went for about the same as the Honda - dealers were not moving from MSRP on either vehicle. Resale value was the final determinant.
  • My sister-in-law's '94 T&C's tranny went out in a rather spectacular way, right around 70K miles. Apparently, a seal in the torque converter blew out while they were driving on the freeway, causing a huge, dense cloud of smoke as ATF spewed onto the hot exhaust manifold. I was surprised the van didn't catch on fire!

    I realize that there is another forum for this topic, but I am curious as to the mileage interval at which DC owners are performing the transmission service. I think every 30K seems about right, but the owner's manual recommends 48K for "severe use" and no service at all for "normal use".

    Also, how about the service available from the dealer that claims to suck every drop of old fluid out of the trans., as opposed to simply performing a drain/refil/filter change?

    Any comments /feedback would be most welcome.
  • deepandeepan Posts: 342
    Heard from a fairly reliable friend i met over the holidays.
This discussion has been closed.