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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • My 99 GC SE has overhead console with Trip Computer and Compass/Outside Temperature. The sheet I printed on 2001 GC EX from Dodge web site states the EX has only an Overhead console plus compass and temperature...The Trip computer is NOT listed...My Dodge 2001 brochure shows ONLY the EX has Trip Computer and GC Sport has compass and temperature. The EX does have the more desirable 3.8 L V6.
    MY 99 GC SE has speed actuated power door locks, power windows, Infinity 10 speaker 200 Watt stereo with cassette and CD player, Cast Aluminum wheels, lighting group, etc. The only option I can think of that I do not have that 99's SE's could have was the security and remote key fob. The 2000 GC SE did NOT have a Trip Computer as an option while my 99 Trip Computer/compass/outside temperature came with the Dual Zone/ Rear Heating Rear A/C option. I would have preferred the Sport option over the regular SE but the dealer did not have a GC Sport when I bought. My 99 GC SE had MSRP of $27,490 and after discount my price was $22,590. The 2001 EX is NOT eligible for incentives.
  • Our 99 GC SE with the 3.3L has also met or exceeded my expectations once I got used to some features that did not measure up to my 91 Astro CL with the 4.3L V6.
    I preferred the larger 4.3L with MUCH more torque, the more comfortable seats, the 27 gal fuel tank, the rear panel doors and the higher seating position of the Astro.
    Twenty-three months later, I like the GC better as the heating and air conditioning of GC is far superior to the Astro. The front passenger seat is much more comfortable in the GC. The GC has had zero problems whereas the Astro had that damnable digital dash instrumentation which started working intermittently (coolant temperature and oil pressure)a year or so after purchase. The trim on sliding door came loose and would not permit the door to be opened from the outside. (I think the door had been dented before I purchased the Astro as the "alleged" first owner and in the repair, the Chevy dealership was too damn cheap to also replace the cheap plastic items that held the trim to the door).
    The less powerful 3.3L in GC gets about 3 MPG better gas mileage on highway trips than did the Astro and about 1 MPG better mileage overall than did the Astro. Result: I prefer an engine larger than the 3.3L and wish we had bought a 99 GC Sport with 3.8L and the nicer quality seats than our SE.
    I think DC could design a more comfortable place for driver to rest left foot while driving than is the situation with the 96 and later DC minivans. Our daughter's 1988 Voyager had a better place to rest the driver's left foot and also had more comfortable front seats than does our 1999 GC SE.
  • Thanks a lot Dodge for the EX. Only you don't allow the trailer tow option that would make owning the 3.8L worth it. Since this is clearly an aim at the Odyssey (who has a better MSRP, and the dealers are getting it!), a strong 3.5L (similar specs to the Dodge 3.8) it falls a bit short! Add to this the lack of any incentives that you have on the other models, and it's a loser in my book. The marketing / pricing genius who thought this 'package' up must not have many DC stock options -- DC is sinking fast.

    It's back to looking at the ES... with the options needed to tow 3000lbs, you're pushing 30K while Honda is still around 26K. Hmm, let me think on this...

    My last three vehicles were Chrysler products, but the pricing of the 3.8L with trailer tow options has made me consider my first Japanese nameplate (though it's built in the same northern climes as the Caravan!). I sat with my local Dodge dealer last fall, and he couldn't offer any thing except consolation, as the hoards went down the block to the Honda dealer (to wait in line to pony up MSRP).

    Get with it folks!
  • The ES is by far the better buy. It rides better,looks better, is quietist of the two and has more features. With the tow package is has a Edmund's TMV of 28,167. With the $1,500. rebate it comes to $26,667. Throw in the 0.9 or 1.9% financing and one would be dumb to buy the Honda.
  • "The Honda rides better..."

    And Automobile Magazine says, in naming the Ody an All-Star and best minivan (February 2001): "The Odyssey distinguishes itself, simply enough, by being more comfortable, more reliable, and more fuss-free than the rest."

    And then there's resale. A five-year-old, little, four-cylinder, prior-generation Ody is now worth more in trade than a five-year-old Town & Country.

    Both are fine vehicles. You pays your money and takes your choice.
  • If the Ody rides anything like my 2000 Accord EX (same base frame) then Motor Trend is way off. The uncomfortable ride is very noticeable on a 2-3+ hour trip. I also drive a '99 DC LE AWD that has a very nice ride (drove it 12 hours straight last summer) that the Honda ride cannot compare to.
  • My neighbor the Chrysler dealer had a 1999 T&C and the ride was, quite simply,not very good--uncontrolled, lumpy, etc., IMHO. Attempting to compare the Ody with an Accord--at 1,000 pounds less, shorter wheelbase, etc.--is uninformed at best, misleading at worst.

    The 2001 DC minivans supposedly ride better, but according to Motor Trend--and others--are still not up to Ody standards.

    Both are fine minivans, but it certainly cannot be "dumb" to buy the first choice of Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Automobile, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, etc., etc.
  • Motor Week, a weekly TV show over 20 years old, stated today that the Diamler/Chrysler minivans are the vans to buy for 2001. Winners of the SUV category were the new Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute twins. Honda motor company only made the winners list with the luxury priced SUV Accura MDX. Diamler/Chrysler also won the mid-size sedan. Best of show was the little combo car/van from Diamler/Chrysler. Best of small sedans is the Nissan Sentra. Best luxury sedan is the Lincoln LS. BMW M-5 led the HOT sports sedan class. All in all a good show. :-)
  • hotspur,
    I guess you could say the ride is "very subjective" if you just happen to own a Honda Ody and you think it is a great vehicle. My comparison is also subjective. Honda makes a so-so car that isn't a great anything car. I consider it a beefed-up version of basic transportation. I don't need to compare weight etc of the Accord to the Ody, nor do I need a magazine article to tell me what is better. I happen to know that the way my 2000 Accord EX rides is "cheap" just like the Ody that I test drove. Also, now at 18,000 miles my automatic transmission is slipping, so I now have to question Honda's reliability factor. I would be trading it right now if wasn't for the fact that it is just a year old. Unfortunately, due to resale conditions, I will be driving this Honda for another 2 years.
  • Motor Trend was one of the few if only magazines that said the Odyssey rides better than the Chrysler mini vans including Consumer Reports. Most of the people who has actually driven both vans and have posted their opinions in town hall have preferred the ride of the Chrysler vans. Those of you who use AOL should check out Members Choice under Autos where owners rate their cars. The 2001 Chrysler vans get an overall satisfaction rating of 80% where the Odyssey EX gets a rating of only a 56%.
  • And would still select the 99 GC SE if the choice were made today after reading in the Town Hall, CR, MT, C&D, etc. I enjoy all the nice comfort and convenience items of the GC SE but if I were to buy a 2001 minivan, it would be the Odyssey LX as it has all the items we feel are an absolute necessity: Front and Rear A/C and Heater, deep tinted sunscreen glass, seating for 7. Just as the Trip Computer, quality stereo with cassette and CD are nice but not essential, so is the Magic Seat.
    The Odyssey is available at an honest MSRP with no rebate, incentive, etc. games to play and wonder if a better deal could be had if one waited a week or 2.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    For those that dont use AOL, you can also try:

    (Honda top rated by consumers and the "CHOICE award winner")

    (2000 Odyssey rated #1 by consumers, not enough data yet for 2001 models)

    I think the point is every consumer is different. Ride is subjective. Some like a ride that absorbs everything, but leaving the vehicle wallowy in turns with no road feel. Others like the ride to be very tight to improve road feel and handling at the expense of feeling every little pothole. An extended test drive should help you decide which you like better, unless you know your preferences match those of a particular reviewer or magazine.

  • While I look forward to *trading* in the Honda,
    which I drive daily :( we have decided that our Caravan is a "keeper" and plan to extend our warranty another 5 years for our '99 DC LE AWD 3.8L which has every conceivable option except leather seats. You cannot compare your ody to this vehicle. :)

    You are wrong about the Honda trade-in my friend, it has dropped value by over $3,000 in just 18 mos of ownership. Hopefully the resale value won't drop so much over the next year and I will trade it in for a new Lexus.

    Get a grip and face it, you settled for less with your ody just read what other posters are saying...
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Re: #34 Caviller,

    If interested, here are some more useless consumer opinions that actually compare the current year 2001 model minivans.

    2001 Dodge Caravan


    2001 Honda Odyssey


    2001 Town and Country

    . target=_blank

  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    I agree that anecdotal consumer opinions are not too useful. I provided them in response to a previous post you apparently missed, since you didn't comment on it. You must not think they're too useless, as you continued to provide some yourself. I did state why I didn't include the 2001 numbers, and therefore provided links to the general minivan sections of those opinion sites. Please reread my posts if necessary. It is not the first time you've completely missed the intent of my posts ;-) In this case, the point was that consumers should take extended test drives to evaluate subjective issues, and not solely depend on the opinions of other owners or magazine reviews. The variance of these reviews seems to be reflected in the differences of opinions among magazines, and the consumer opinion sites mentioned.
  • There is nothing in your response that is worth repling to. :)

    You, my friend, are suffering from Hondaitus. Don't worry though, over a period of time you will realize that Honda's are not perfect. I did. My wife refuses to even ride in the Accord, never mind drive it. Talk about edgy
  • For the very best buy at MSRP, the Odyssey LX is THE choice. For a 7 passenger minivan with necessary comfort items, a plain Caravan is the best choice at a far lower MSRP...but with no rear air conditioning and rear heater.
    For the main options my wife and I prefer, the Odyssey LX is an excellent buy with front and rear air conditioning and front and rear heater, dark sunscreen windows, powerful standard engine, and very useful, flexible seating arrangements.
    We love our 99 GC SE with many additional features not offered on the Odyssey LX. However, if we had never had these features we would be just as happy with a 99 Odyssey LX...with the 2nd and 3rd row seating possibilities of Odyssey plus easily accessed additional cargo space by folding the Magic Seat into the floor.
  • Does your GC have a full sized spare tire? The Ody cannot accodomodate the full spare or AWD due to the location of the "magic seat".
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    Hi Carl how have you been? I was just wondering if your GC has a full sized spare tire? Because if it doe's you won't be able to have a fold down magic seat like my ody. But I know you made your choices out of your needs just as I made mine out of my needs. Since I did not need a full sized spare (choice) and did not need AWD (choice) and did need fold down magic seat I purchased the ody out of my needs. Conclusion: Choices are a good thing. ;)
  • Has Honda started offering load levelers for the Ody. Seems that would correct the rear-end squatting when under load. This is great feature offered by DC.
This discussion has been closed.