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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    As for wheather or not the dash in the picture of the 1999 Town & Country that burned up is "prettier" than the dash found in the Honda Odyssey, I don't really know. Thats a tough one...

  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    The sad part about the minivans is that DaimlerChrysler already recalled almost a million first-generation LH cars to fix a similar problem. I know of at least one person who had an Intrepid catch fire because of a fuel-rail leak - fortunately, no one got hurt (though the car was a total loss).
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    This isn't a new problem that started with the '96 model year. The leak on my '91 Grand Voyager fuel rail was EXACTLY as shown in the illustration in the article. At the time (Feb of 99), Chrysler had already recalled the LH cars for this problem, so I called them about getting mine fixed on their dime. I had 87K miles on it. They flatly refused. I had an independent shop fix it to the tune of $890.

    Now I see they STILL had the SAME problem at least up into the 2000 model year. That is NINE YEARS! What in the world does it take to get this company to fix defects! Transmissions bad starting in '89 all the way up to '98 at least; fuel rail leaks for nine years; paint peeling on '89 thru '96 at least; rear tailgate strut mounts breaking off and allowing the heavy tailgate to fall; tailgate latches that could not take a hit and stay latched. And these are just the things I see as I look through all my repair reciepts. Other items that happened to my van: piston rings siezed to pistons, causing huge oil consumption and requiring overhaul at 58k; starter failed around 80K; water pump failed at 58K; A/C compressor went at 98K (that one cost me $1200). There's more, of course, but it would be a boring read. I can't believe, now that I have reviewed my van's repair history, that I really seriously considered buying another DC van. Man, they drive good and look good. In my opinion, though, it's a siren's song.

    Anybody else with Fuel Rail leaks on any year 3.3L or 3.8L DC van? Let us know if DC paid for the repair or not. I think this thing is much bigger than it might first appear.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I guess the answer to which van is the best is both are nice vans but the problem is they both have had problems in the past and only one seems to fix the problems. Thats Honda. DC has had trans problems for over 10 years before they sound like they finally fixed the problem. Fuel fires for just about as long, and the 01 still had a fuel leak. Is it now fixed. Only time will tell. DC had a tailgate problem that took what about 4 years before they started fixing them on recall and big pressure from Uncle Sam. I'm not saying Honda don't have problems, but their track record on repairs is 100% better than DC's. You can have the pretty dash, I'll take the quality.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62

    And regarding 4adodge's comments as to the burned up T&C's dash beingpretier than the Odyssey, I think it is a clear demonstration of his complete bias towards the T&C van. Those reading his posts should take his opinions with that knowledge.
  • I agree that DC has been way too reluctant to take care of some of its quality issues. I am glad that they have some pressure from competition to motivate them to improve. I hope that their new leadership will have a better understanding of the importance of customer satisfaction even when it is on small items.

    dkrab - Sorry to hear of all of the problems with your '91. If it is any consolation the starter on my '92 Toyota Tercel also failed at 80K.

    gglen1 - I figured it was a typo. I was just giving you a hard time.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Quality issues are one thing; safety is another (more important) issue. You can argue over whether one van is likely to be more reliable than another from either side and probably be correct - there will always be sample variations that skew one way or another.

    Safety is one place where DaimlerChrysler/Chrysler vans have fallen demonstrably short, whether that's the faulty tailgate latches that went on for years, the faulty antilock brakes Chrysler fought (and lost) over recalling, or the fire-prone engine fuel systems that it's taken so long to sort out.

    It seems pretty clear that a lot of those record profits recorded over the years came not only from cut-rate engineering in the transmissions, but from neglected safety engineering as well - and as usual, it's not going to be cheap to fix after the fact.

    I wonder just how much of these problems surfaced in Daimler-Benz's due diligence before the merger - and presuming many did not, how news of them might have affected the enthusiasm for the takeover?
  • Well we know both of you own Hondas so you could not at all be biased! Lets get some facts straight. DC reinvented the minivan (VW actually was first) It was built as a TRUCK and is still classified as a TRUCK! Remember all the panel versions running around. The rear hatch latches were built to the government standards that existed at the time they were built. They sold millions of them before the hatch issue came up. I could be wrong but I seem to remember that the last lawsuit for a hatch opening was thrown out because the passenger was not wearing a seat belt. DC was NOT obligated to fix the hatches but did it on a voluntary recall, which cost big bucks. Honda benefited from all the development work DC did and even used the outline of a 96 Grand Caravan in their 99 ads. You have to credit Honda they wait until the see a market opportunity and try to copy (and improve) the best selling US entry. The Acura SUV is another good example of this strategy. Not a bad one I admit, but hardly a pioneering one. As far as fires go you guys never responded to the Honda Odyssey fire article, but are quick to post any negative DC articles. You might not remember but when Honda first introduced the Accord, they had the magic dissapearing front fenders (RUST) that took a few years to admit to. Oh and in regard to the last comparasion. It is the combined opionion of 2 (TWO) newspaper writers, who still preferred the ride and handling of the DC minivan. You should buy what turns you on, as you are the one making the payments.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    So they reinvented the minivan. Does that give them the right to build unsafe vehicles? Honda and their rusty fenders, how about all the original reinvented DC vans with the rusted out rear liftgates. Maybe you don't live where it snows but here in Michigan there are tons of the rusted out vans on the street. Rust is one thing, but fire is another. As far as the fire in the Honda goes, that was just ONE van, hardly the thousands that DC puts on the street year in and year out. If the late made 01's and 02's prove to be a quality built van 5 years down the road, it will be a first. Maybe they can get an OsCar (pun intended) or something for a first.
  • According to you the DC designers sit up nights thinking up ways to make the minivans unsafe. GET REAL!
  • There were a lot of small vans, not just the VW, manufactured prior to the Chrysler "invention". Most of them just weren't imported. Even today, there are a large number that don't come to the US. Chrysler did coin the term "minivan", but that is pretty much the full extent of their ingenuity.
  • As the TRUE story stated, the designer of the first DC minivan used to work for FORD and he proposed the concept there. They refused and said it would never sell. He came to DC and they needed help, all they had were "K" cars and he spun one off the FWD "K" platform. 8 Million plus later its still either 1st or 2nd depending on your point of view.
  • And it took Toyota and Nissan many attempts before they got it right. Chrysler minivans were widely accepted at the very beginning. The first Honda Odyssey was a flop until they copied Chrysler. Yes, the Japanese companies are very good at copying some else's ideas. Sometimes, the Japanese companies even improve on the copied item. Poor Volkswagen has still NOT got it right even though they had a good idea but poor Volkswagen engineering and atrocious reliability.
    But the question remains? Why doesn't Honda offer a simple comfort item like padded armrests on the front doors? Why don't all companies offer separately controlled temperature for driver and front passengers? These 2 items are found on ALL quality luxury sedans.
    We placed a $500 non-refundable deposit on the purchase order for a 1999 Granite Green Odyssey LX-C on March 16, 1999. We were very impressed by the "Magic Seat" and very comfortable seats of the Odyssey after a test drive WITHOUT the salesman going along.
    However, we walked away from our $500 deposit and got a GC SE with MANY more comfort features. We had Zero problems until it got a coolant leak at 35,002 miles. The leak was fixed the next day at no charge under warranty by replacing both head gaskets. I have read of far more serious problems with the 99 Ody here in the Town Hall.
    Each minivan has advantages as pat84 so eloquently describes.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Thank you hayneldan and carelton, for giving the other side of the story. The way eneth talks so negatively about Chrysler you would think Lee Iacoca (spelling?) had an affair with his mom when he was a teenager.

    As I type this, millions of Chrysler minivans are being driven and started without any problems whatsoever. They aren't blowing up when the ignition is turned. Their passengers aren't being thrown out when they are hit from the side or back. Their transmission aren't blowing up. Their engines aren't dropping out of the cars on the freeway wile going 80mph. And they aren't exploding from gas leaks.

    The bottom line...THEY ARE SAFE VEHICLES!

    No one here has said Chrysler has had a perfect reliability history and has never had any problems. No one has said that. But when you make Chrysler sound like a company that builds cars to only kill their owners you are simply incorrect.

    Chrysler made the minivan, and the auto industry for that matter, what it is today. All you Odyssey owners out there who love you vans so much should smile whenever you see a Chrysler minivan on the road. Why? Because whether you like it or not, if it wasnt for DC minivans your perfect Odysseys would not be around. Period. End of story.

  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    No matter what brand of minivan you own or intend to own, the bottom line is when you hit an 18 wheeler head on going 55mph, you are going to DIE.You can take your 4 or 5 star rating to the bank on that. My uncle was living proof of that.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    I'm sorry about your uncle. You bring up a very excellent point.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The bottom line is you DC guys/gals are reaching out into left field finding anything at all to get the Odyssey folks goat. But since there is still right and center field we will return the favor by taking any tidbit of infor that goes against the DC group to get your goat. So if you can stand the pressure get out of the fire (pun intended). So as long as we are throwing out things do we say if it wasn't for GM using some of the first automatic transmissions DC wouldn't even have cars, or Henry Ford for the assembly line, we wouldn't have DC products. Like it was said above, DC didn't invent the minivan, they just lucked out and brought out a product at the right time, same as the Mustang, Corvette, S trucks, and a hundred others. I hope the new DC vans do have better quality than before as I would add them to the list of my next vehicle in a few years since I took them off my list after two bad DC cars.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    The Favorite Cars of Comparison Shoppers: November 2001
    December 17, 2001 8:05 AM EST


    Business Wire

    PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 2001--InvoiceDealers, a pioneer in automotive Internet marketing, released the favorite cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans of online comparison shoppers in November 2001.

    November 2001 Results:

    The Ford F-Series extended its three-month streak as the Overall Most Requested Vehicle and two-year dominance in Trucks. Its recent overall popularity may have been buffeted by Ford's 0% interest financing campaign.

    The Honda Accord edged out the Honda Civic as the favorite in Cars for the second consecutive month. The Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Corolla returned to Cars after a one-month absence.

    The Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe are establishing their dominance in the most volatile category, Sport Utility Vehicles. The two SUVs maintained first and second place respectively for the fourth consecutive month.

    The Honda Odyssey ran away as the clear winner in Minivans for the fourth straight month. The Chrysler Town & Country finished second, its highest ranking ever.

    Rank Vehicle Type Previous Rank November Score


    1 Honda Accord 1 10.00
    2 Honda Civic 2 8.17
    3 Nissan Altima 4 7.80
    4 Toyota Camry 3 6.71
    5 Ford Mustang 5 4.15
    6 Volkswagen Jetta 6 3.90
    7 Volkswagen Passat 8 3.78
    8 Toyota Corolla +10 2.69
    9 Chrysler PT Cruiser +10 2.63
    10 Nissan Maxima 9 2.42


    1 Ford F-Series 1 10.00
    2 Chevrolet Silverado 2 6.31
    3 Dodge Ram Pickup 3 4.91
    4 GMC Sierra 4 2.81
    5 Dodge Dakota 5 2.39
    6 Toyota Tundra 10 1.89
    7 Ford Frontier 6 1.85
    8 Toyota Tacoma 9 1.69
    9 Ford Ranger 7 1.58
    10 Chevrolet S-10 8 1.15

    Sport Utility Vehicles

    1 Ford Explorer 1 10.00
    2 Chevrolet Tahoe 2 8.88
    3 Ford Expedition 5 5.57
    4 Jeep Liberty 8 5.43
    5 Chevrolet Suburban 4 5.32
    6 Ford Escape 3 5.07
    7 Nissan Xterra 9 4.79
    8 Dodge Durango 10 4.23
    9 Chevrolet Trailblazer 6 4.06
    10 Jeep Grand Cherokee +10 3.92


    1 Honda Odyssey 1 10.00
    2 Chrysler Town & Country 4 4.30
    3 Dodge Caravan 3 3.62
    4 Toyota Sienna 6 3.24
    5 Dodge Grand Caravan 5 3.07
    6 Ford Windstar 2 2.56
    7 Chevrolet Venture 7 1.77
    8 Chevrolet Astro 8 1.37
    9 Nissan Quest 10 0.99
    10 Mercury Villager +10 0.68
    The list of Overall Most Requested Vehicles will be posted online ( in the Company Info Press Release section.

    All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    About the Study

    The InvoiceDealers Popularity Index(SM) calculates each vehicle's popularity based on data derived from online shoppers who select cars on

    About InvoiceDealers and Dealix Corporation

    Dealix Corporation is a data services provider focused on the automotive industry. Its principal unit, InvoiceDealers, provides the Gold Standard(TM) buyer referral product to automotive retailers, dealer groups, retail networks, and auto manufacturers nationwide. Founded in 1998, the company is privately held.

    CONTACT: InvoiceDealers
    Eli Kuo, 800/903-1965 ext. 154
    [email protected]
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Guess we should compare that to our Most Researched on Odyssey is the most researched van here too it appears.

    Thanks for the link akin67 (hopefully the copyright owner won't mind the post).

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "Like it was said above, DC didn't invent the minivan, they just lucked out and brought out a product at the right time"

    you wish...
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "So if you can stand the pressure get out of the fire (pun intended)"

    I wonder what the families of all of the people who have died in car fires (including ones involving Honda Odysseys) would say to that? I doub't they would think thats cute and funny...

  • Here's an interesting Automotive site opinion.
  • I tested a 2002 Honda Odyssey EX-L recently and noticed that there is a sloshing noise coming from somewhere towards the middle or back of the van beneath the floor. I only hear this noise when all of the windows are rolled up and I am coming to a very slow stop or backing up slowing. The noise is heard when I finally come to a stop. It also sounds like a thumnbing noise. The dealer tells me that this noise is caused by the gasoline fuel within the tank since the tank is located towards the middle of the car under the floor. They said Honda is aware of this noise, but there is no fix and it has been identified since 1999 thru 2002 Odysseys. Can anyone confirm that this noise is consistent with all new Odysseys?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Thats what it is. Honda uses a long shallow tank which leads to the noise you hear. I heard it for the first few days but it went away. Not really, but you get used to it and don't hear it anymore.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    That is a road test of the Chrysler Minivan where they declare it the drivers choice minivan for 2001. Wow that would be a first by an automotive authority since the introduction of the Odyssey in 1999.

    I read their Road Test of the Chrysler, not bad. Then I searched their site to see what they had to say about the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Siena and the Ford Windstar. And you know what I discovered? That they did not road test the Odyssey or the Siena and the last time they Road tested the Windstar was back in 1995.

    That is about the only type of test that Chrysler minivans can win, one where the other competitors aren't tested.

    But I am glad you guys respect what the automotive authorities are saying. Here are a few others that you will appreciate: features/2001/october/200110_preview_

    hondaodyssey.xml? keywords=Odyssey




  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Akin67, I would have liked to read the reviews on the Odyssey but since none of you links work i guess I will have to wait another time.

    One thing is for sure, the Odyssey is the new status quo as far as minivans go. They get good reviews. Have a good price at MSRP. Have some clever features like the magic seat and plenty of cargo room. They have a good resale value and crash test scores. And they are hard to get.

    What a perfect automobile.

    If a magazine liked Motor Trend were to compare the Odyssey to the Town & Country based upon "what a minivan does best", as says, the Odyssey would probably win. However, if they were to test those two vans based upon performance and comfort features, I think it's safe to say the Town & Country would win.

    According to the Town & Country is a "driver's minivan." It has a engine and transmission that work together better than that of the Odyssey, it has much better breaking, handling, drivers position, ect. Just read their minivan comparison test. The Chrysler beat the Odyssey in almost all of the various categories.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Just remember that was 2001 vans, with the new higher output engine and 5 sp. in the 02 Odyssey, things could flip back the other way again.
  • Both nice minivans and pat84 is THE BEST source of comparative data since he has owned both. We get to make excellent comparisons since my sister lives just 3 houses east of us. I have driven her 2001 Odyssey EX and it is very nice and is better for their needs to haul alot of luggage and golf clubs to and from the airport frequently.
    .....Our GC SE is better for us with the built in child safety seat to take grandchildren and the comfort of separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger.
    .....We have a much better quality sound system with the Infinity 200 Watt 10 speaker with Cassette AND CD but road noise on cement interstate highways on each minivan negate that additional quality of ours. The Odyssey automatic temperature HVAC works flawlessly and the front fan has many speeds whereas our DC has only 5 speed fan and we must control temperature manually. Both have cast wheels and both are white.
  • How can you argue with success? Other automakers don't when it comes to the Caravan, which is why the most recent minivans to come to market--the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey--look like near clones of Chrysler Corporation's bestsellers. And rightly so, because the Chrysler Town & Country, the Plymouth Voyager, and the Dodge Caravan do the job nearly perfectly, although we still argue that one person rather than two should easily be able to remove the bench seats inside. (Automobile
  • carleton1 queries:
    "How long will the anemic, unpopular original Honda Odyssey rebadged as an Isuzu Oasis sit on lots before they are all sold?"

    I recently bought a used old style Ody as our second car (first is a 00 Ody). They don't sit on used lots long and they have not depreciated as much as I would have liked. For those who want that style vehicle, there aren't any real choices in the US (there are overseas). Anyway, my understanding is that the trickle of sales of the Oasis is because some of the dealers who had new ones when the supply dried up did not panic and fire sale them but held out for premium prices. While it is not very powerful, it has been proven quite reliable (as some say, it is pretty much a tall Accord). JD Power recently rated it the best 5 year old used van to buy now. I bought mine at a Honda dealer for a couple of reasons - I got a HondaCare extended warranty in place before I ever left the lot and the previous owners traded it to buy another Honda (so it probably treated him/her well).

    I am not sure why US consumers don't like the tall wagon - small van concept. I do understand why some want the option of a bigger engine, though the "little" Accord engine in the old Ody pushes it along just fine unless you load it heavily. Then it is a bit sluggish but is always up to speed in plenty of time to merge onto the freeway.
This discussion has been closed.