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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • enetheneth Posts: 285

    You'll find that most vans have arrived at the same mechanical design - based on a front-drive chassis. The styling you can drape around such a platform will not vary that much.

    Remember that the first Japanese vans in the U.S. were derived from delivery vehicles used commercially in Japan - they weren't specifically designed as passenger carriers.

    And also remember that as the Toyota and Honda, et. al., entries have progressed, they've significantly dented Chrysler Group's market share - by providing things that Chrysler Group doesn't (and also by siphoning off sales of those who would never buy another Chrysler Group van because of bad experiences with current or past ones - - - there are plenty of those folks out there; just look around).
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Unfortunately Edmunds does not allow you to post any single word that is more than 105 characters, so in order to post I had to break up the URL into two sections. If you combine the two or three sections of the link into one URL with no space the link works just fine.

    For example if you combine the following three lines into a single unseperated URL it works just fine: features/2001/october/200110_preview_

    hondaodyssey.xml? keywords=Odyssey

    And 4adodge knows that given how active he is on these boards but he is being his usual [non-permissible content removed] 16 year old self. And regarding your comments any reviewer will have different likes and dislikes about any given van, and them stating that in their review only indicate their true attempt at trying to be as objective as possible. And such comments are valuable since some of those likes and dislikes are likely to very important for certain people.

    However, please do not take one or two such areas where a T&C is preferrred over the Odyssey as final judgment on which is the better van. If you read those articles fully (and I know you did)you will find that in every instance (taking into consideration all of the pluses and minuses of each van) the Odyssey was consistently rated number one. Now if every single automotive authority comes to the same conclusion don't you think that this probably represensts what the majority of people value in a minivan?

    Also, you keep going back to how the Chrysler vans perform better, as someone stated earlier most of the comparisons were doen on 2001 vehicles. For 2002 the Odyssey significantly increased horsepower, torque, suspension and noise. What will be your argument when the 2002 vans begin to be compared and the Odyssey blows away the Chrysler vans in the only area you claim the Chrysler vans are better? Will you then claim that the Chrysler vans are better because the have a softer arm rest? or that it has an automatic lift gate opener? Cause that is all you will have left. Or are you going to keep going back to how Chrysler sells more vans? The only reason that is the case is because they are the first to come out with minivans in the US and they cover every segment of the market. I can assure you that if Honda ever decided to sell minivans in the $16,000 - $24,000 price range that Chrysler's rein there will end as well. And lastly lets not forget that Chrysler has been losing market share in the minivan catagory for the last decade. Guess who is taking it away?

    Once again for all of those comparing the purchase of either of these vans please take whatever you hear and read with a grain of salt, there are many people whoa re posting on these boards with a bias. I suggest do your own research and make your own conclusions as to which van better meets your specific needs.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I can assure you that there are plenty of wiseacres out there well up into their senior years :-)

    Here's a "direct" link to that Car & Driver Odyssey article:

    Car & Driver Odyssey Preview.

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  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "Once again for all of those comparing the purchase of either of these vans please take whatever you hear and read with a grain of salt, there are many people whoa re posting on these boards with a bias. I suggest do your own research and make your own conclusions as to which van better meets your specific needs."

    Yes, indeed, there are many people posting on these boards that are biased. I am one of them. Yourself included. Yes, my family along with millions of others each year do their own research and then make an informed buying decision on which minivan to buy. We choose the Chrysler Town & Country for its style, handling, ride, comfort features, and price. Not everyone chooses the Honda, that is quite clear by looking at the sales charts.

    Just 15 minutes ago I saw a new 2002 Grand Caravan ES AWD roll down the street. Odyssey owners like Akin67 would ask, "how in the world could anyone choose a CHRYSLER minivan over the beloved, perfect, emaculate, awward-winning Honda Odyssey!!???" Then he would put his hand on his forehead and desperately ponder the big question...WHY!!!?!?!??!?!

    Why? Could it be because they liked the tri zone automatic climate control? Could it be because they liked the convience of having a power rear liftgate? Could it be because they wanted the reasurance of having all wheel drive traction? Could it be because they wanted an auto-leveling rear suspension? Could it be because they wanted a center powered console? Could it be because they like music and wanted a quality Infinity sound system? Or maybe it was the price? Or I think it could have been the sleek exterior design? Or maybe because they wanted the split rear bench seat? Or maybe because they wanted an AutoStick transmission? Or perhaps because they have had good experienes with Chrysler vans?

    Take your pick, Akin67.

    Oh and lets not forget, it could also have been because the Chrysler vans actually have basics like PADDED ARMRESTS. No wonder the Chrysler vans are more comfortable! It took Honda three years to have leather as an option on their beautiful and perfect Odyssey!

    As for the power increase in the Odyssey for the 2002 model year, more horsepower doesn't mean the Odyssey will be a better performer than the Chrysler vans. Especially with an engine that has to rev to 5k+ RPMs just to get it's max horsepower. As says about it's 2001 long-term road test Grand Caravan SE, the 3.8L V6 engine has a large and impressive range of torque and hp. I don't think the same can be said about the Odyssey, especially in the pre 2002 models but we will let future comparisons settle this debate...

    As for Chrysler sales, Honda isn't the only one taking sales away from Chrysler as Ford and Toyota are doing their part as well. Five or six years ago Chrysler had no real competition and enjoyed that for many years. The same cannot be said for today. I may be 16 but my common sense tells me that the more competitors there are in any given market, regardless of the quality of products they make, they will take sales away from "the sales leader." Does this suprise you, akin67? Because it does not suprise me.

    As for whats next, I think I'll pick on the Odyssey's weak rear suspension and how it doesn't handle turns as nicely as vans like the Chrysler Town & Country do.

    And for your information, there are alot of other wiseasses besides myself out there surfing these boards. And guess what kind of vans they drive?

    BTW, your link still doesn't work...too bad.

  • I thought I would pass this along. It is interesting when you
    think of what we mean to the world and what we get in return.

    CNN Headline News did a short news listing regarding Ford and
    GM`s contributions to the relief and recovery efforts in New York and Washington. The findings are as follows.....

    1. Ford- $1 million to American Red Cross matching employee
    contributions of the same number plus 10 Excursions to NY Fire Dept. The company also offered ER response team services and office space to displaced government employees.

    2. GM- $1 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number and a fleet of vans, SUV`s, and trucks.

    3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of the children and victims of the Sept. 11 attack.

    4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and 30 new motorcycles to the New York Police Dept.

    5. Volkswagen- Employees and management created a Sept. 11 Foundation, funded initial with $2 million, for the assistance of the children and victims of the WTC.

    6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the American Red Cross.

    7. Audi- Nothing.

    8. BMW- Nothing.

    9. Daewoo- Nothing.

    10. Fiat- Nothing.

    11. Honda- Nothing despite boasting of second best sales month ever in August 2001

    12. Isuzu- Nothing.

    13. Mitsubishi- Nothing.

    14. Nissan- Nothing.

    15. Porsche- Nothing. Press release with condolences via the
    Porsche website.

    16. Subaru- Nothing.

    17. Suzuki- Nothing.

    18. Toyota- Nothing despite claims of high sales in July and
    August 2001. Condolences posted on the website.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    For all of the Honda owners out there who brag about how the Odyssey wins every comparison test and is the love of the entire automotive industry, I have a nice little article for you to read on sound system quality. It would appear that more Town & Country owners are happy with their vehicles sound and entertainment systems than than owners of the Odyssey are.

    Thats not all. The Chrysler Town & Country also ranked higher in a previous JD Powers & Associates survey of the most satisfied new car owners as it was ranked highest out of all other minivans. While I don't have a link to a site to back this up, I remember reading it a few months ago on I encourage you skeptics out there to find the report I'm talking about if you don't believe me.

    Click here to see the report on a survey taken on car audio systems...

    -Adam (16/M/CA)

    00 T&C LX with a VERY LOUD Infinity Acustic 10 system w/200 watts

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Your story sounds like pure horse pinocchio to me, and I bet you can't find a link or reputable source for it (I'll eat some fruitcake if I'm wrong!)

    A quick search on for "Auto Firms Mobilize Attack Relief Efforts" shows counterpoint stories about Honda and Porsche's contributions, among others (check the cached stories for 9-26-01 for a good example).

    Bah humbug!

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  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Everything is very subjective. The reason why we've had three Chrysler vans is because in 1988 and 1996, what other competition was there other than the Ford vans, and like now, they put all the luxuries in their vans back then that we liked.

    You don't know how amazing I thought our '88 Grand Voyager was with it's digital compass and temperature readout and of course the power seat. Back in 1988, stuff like the overhead consol, power seat, and all the nooks and crannies were pretty darn cool.

    So Why did I choose the 2001? Because I wanted the new luxuries and other than rattles and phantom wipers, my 1996 T&C was flawless. I figured why mess with success.

    But I do understand why some of these people are pro-Honda. I had a Chevy Vega, rated Motor Trend's Car of the Year twice in a row, thinking it was reliable transportation. That was before it rusted out and backfired after two years, which caught the car on fire, almost killing my dog who was riding in the back seat. Did GM do anything about it? No. It took them a long while to change what they did.

    So when my son needed a car, we looked around. Should we go with the 2001 Pontiac Grand Am with CD changer, leather, alloys, and power seat for $14,000, or should we go with the 2001 Honda Civic EX with sunroof, height adjustable seat, CD player, and air conditioning for a negotiated price of $16,800?

    Needless to say, we went with the Honda. It may not have had the luxuries the GM cars have on them, but I felt better knowingly giving him reliable transportation from a company with a VERY good reputation and a 5 star frontal crash rating and "Best Pick" offset crash rating. I'm sorry, but when we're dealing with a 16 year-old driver, I'd like to make sure his car is as safe as possible.

    If we were new parents now, would we go with the Honda van? Maybe, who knows? The point is, I was burned by GM, and won't ever get another GM car. Some people here were burned by Chrysler. I don't care how often someone can tell me GM is more reliable now than it was in 1972, the point is I'll never buy another one again as my little protest, regardless of the fact that they give you more bang for your buck.

    So 4adodge, you should understand that while the Chrysler may have more luxury, style (subjective), and better handling, someone buying an Odyssey is NOT making a bad choice. They may have minor problems on them, but the Odyssey doesn't have 17 years of a bad reputation haunting it like Chrysler. I've been lucky to have such reliable Chrysler vans minus the electrical problems of the 1988 van, and who knows where Honda will be 17 years down the line in terms of reliability? But I'm guessing they'll learn from Chrysler's faux pas and keep the Odyssey as reliable as can be. Everyone has a choice and shouldn't be berated for not choosing the latter.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    dave210 says to 4adodge: They may have minor problems on them, but the Odyssey doesn't have 17 years of a bad reputation haunting it like Chrysler. It also didn't take Honda 10 or 12 years to fix their so called problem transmission like it did Chrysler. Actully only about a 1 1/2 tops, and the jury is still out on DC's trans.
  • Your Google search revealed nothing. Could be my search error. What was Honda's contribution????
    From I offer the following;

    DaimlerChrysler is committing $10 million, through the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, to support the children of victims of the terrorist attacks. Additional donations from members of the DaimlerChrysler family around the globe, including employees, dealers and suppliers will be established through the Fund, said DaimlerChrysler AG Chairman Jurgen E. Schrempp.

    "In these difficult hours, for the civilized world and especially for the American people, we want to send a signal of humanity and solidarity," said Schrempp. "The attacks have deeply affected the lives and futures of many children who have lost a mother or father. While this can never replace the void in these childrens lives, it can help give them renewed hope."

    In addition, DaimlerChrysler employees, dealers and suppliers around the world have expressed a desire to help in this effort. As a result, DaimlerChrysler will open an account so that contributions can be made from the DaimlerChrysler family around the globe.

    The money will be used for various kinds of support, including educational needs.

    In the United States, contributions can be made to the "œDaimlerChrysler Help the Children Fund" by sending checks to the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, PO Box 218006, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA 48321-9955 (CIMS 485-02-46).
    In Germany, contributions can be made through Deutsche Bank, Stuttgart, BLZ: 600 700 70, Kontonummer: 100 000.


    Posted: 09/13/2001
    Source: DC/
  • Checking Honda cares reveals 1.5 million total from Honda USA and all dealers and employees.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Click the link bellow and then find the award for the most appealing compact minivan, which is the 2001 Chrysler Town & Country. No thats right, it isn't the Honda Odyssey.

    I hope you like fruitcake, steve!


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Steve is actually mostly correct. Hayneldan posted the same message over on the Sedans board. I responded there, but I'll share with you folks what I found.

    The list is somewhat accurate and somewhat of an urban legend according to They found that Audi, BMW, Honda, Mitusubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota did indeed contribute to the relief efforts.

    Check it out:

    Pardon the intrusion, but we hosts - and more importantly, we fruitcake haters - gotsta stick together! ;->

    Sedans Message Board
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, the link to the cached article will have to be cut & pasted to get it working: highway1/20010926/t000076993.html+Auto+Firms+Mobilize+Attack+Relief+Efforts+&hl=en

    That's just one article and it mentions various contributions by Honda, Isuzu, Porsche, etc. So I still don't think I have to eat any fruitcake unless I want to (I do crave a little every few years).

    dmathews3, I can't tell you about my housekeeping around here if you don't fix your email in your profile (or should I guess attbi?). Thanks.

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  • Your link just lead to the front page, so I clicked on automobiles and then picked 2001 ODy & T&C (neither appeared under 2002 yet). I then clicked the button to compare them. They both scored well; exactly the same except in one category the Ody was higher. Does that count as a victory for DC on your planet?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Arbarnhart, yes it does count as a "victory" for DC minivans on my planet. Or at least this does...

    Read and weep...


  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Maybe they aren't needed. Like me, I'm 6'4" and with the seat all the way back I'm past the point where I can use padded or even unpadded armrests. What is really needed is both sides of the front captains chairs have the drop down armrests like my 94 GM pickup had and all rear captains chairs have.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Then perhaps Honda will offer padded armrests at the same time DaimlerChrysler sees fit to design and install head gaskets that don't fail prematurely - my first experience with that was a 1981 Omni, which had similar problems (though the first failure happened at 18,000 miles, not 35,000).

    If your experience parallels mine with the Omni, you'll find that your first head gasket replacement won't be your last, assuming you keep the van a while longer.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Your igonorance for DC mininvans is shinning through, once again. The Chrysler 3.3L V6 is an extremely reliable engine, whether you like it or not. It is vary rare to have to have to replace the head gaskets at the time that Carelton had to on his 99 Grand Caravan SE.

    In fact, the 3.3L has been around since the early days of Chrysler minivans back in the 1980s and is known for being more reliable than Chrysler's more powerful 3.8L engine.

    We have had two Chrysler minivans with the 3.3L engine and have driven over 100k miles combined on both cars and have not had a single problem. Too bad some Odyssey owners can't say the same...

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    In fact, the 3.3L has been around since the early days of Chrysler minivans back in the have their automatic transmissions but it sure took them many years to get them up to what you claim to be relieable, but than again only time will tell.

    We have had two Chrysler minivans with the 3.3L engine and have driven over 100k miles combined on both cars and have not had a single problem. Too bad some Odyssey owners can't say the same...There are already a couple here with Odysseys that have that many miles and no problems. If CR is to be believed, they rate the relieablity of the Odyssey a lot better than DC. The 99's had some door problems that were fixed on recall and CR admits that was the basis of the lower rating of the 99's but have since corrected it. The odds of a DC dud are much better than a Honda dud, and for arguements sake lets say you are right at least I can sell mine and get a lot closer to what I paid for it than you ever will. Yours new van willdrop in value more once you leave the dealers than mine will in 2 years.
  • The biggest problem with most Chryslers haven't been its engines but their Transmissions. The only resource out there for us wise shoppers is CR. If we had another source, we would use it. The Odessey my not have the creature comforts other vans have, but when it comes down to an engine and transmission, there isn't a mini out there that can compare. No doubt the Chrsylers appearance is a tad better than the Chrysler, but for quality, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and GM can't compete. Toyota comes close. My 1990 Camry has 178,000+ miles on it. Almost no rust and still runs great. Had it from 7.2miles on the odometer. The biggest expense, replacing the distributor cap about 1997. I would love to buy a Chrysler one day, but fix the transmission. And get a better CR report.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Chrysler's 6-cylinder engines have been relatively trouble free - but the 4-cylinder units are another matter. Every Chrysler-built 4-cylinder engine (2.2L/2.5L from the early 80s, through the Neon's 2.0L and the derivative 2.4L units) has had head gasket problems. It is very true that Chrysler builds better 6-cylinder engines than Ford does, and that they're probably as good as GM's, reliability wise - but Chrysler has never produced a decent 4-cylinder engine.
  • 4aDodger,

    This time you provided a better link, so I could read:

    "Citing the redesigned look of Town & Country, "

    It's a beauty contest, nothing more. Oh wait, they do require at least some dependability:

    "what consumers like and dislike about their new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership"

    They do look nice. I saw a gold T&C with the gold plate trim the other day. It really looked awesome. Even the roof rack had the gold plate look. It was a sunny day and it had obviously been waxed and buffed properly. The van was turning heads. I expected to see Apollo himself driving the way it shone. But does that make it a better choice for the long haul? Should I put my family in it because it looks nice?

    -Andy (plodding along in obscurity, safely and reliably, resting my arm on something that is barely comfortable but more than adequate)
  • ian2ian2 Posts: 168
    I wish there was a fold-down armrest on the outside like the back seats, but the padded door handle does a good job. The 3rd row magic seat is god-sent.

    The T&C is nice but the price is quite a bit higher than an Odyssey EX and there are concerns about the reliability.
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62
    Once again I reiterate: The only face off a Chrysler minvan can win is one where the Odyssey (and in this case the Siena are not reviewed).

    I love how a reviewer can review ONLY TWO vehicles out of a market segment that probably has at least a half a dozen strong contenders and some how manages to come to the conclusion that one of the vehicles is the Best MInivan. And conveniently the reviewer decides not to test drive the two vehicles that have won the most acclaim in the last 3 or 4 years.

    4adodge go post this link on the Winstar to Chrysler van comparison board cause it provides nothing meaningful to this board.
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    I would disagree (respectfully) that the only face off a T&C could win would not involve the Odyssey or Siena.
    We ended up with the T&C Limited and enjoy it very much. 423 trouble free miles so far ;}. (The 7y/100k powertrain warranty did play a big part in our purchase)
    The Honda was a strong contender for us but the T&C fit our needs a bit better.
    The final vote for best mini-van comes down to how you vote with your wallet.
    I do think the Odyssey is a great van, but not the be all end all of mini-vans.
    Merry Christmas to all and enjoy the mini-van you thought was best!
  • akin67akin67 Posts: 62

    "In the minivan category, the Honda Odyssey LX wins Best in Class, with 30 extra ponies over last year's model as well as top resale value and high safety honors. The Toyota Sienna and the Pontiac Montana are also worth a look, and note that Kia joins the minivan realm this year with the Kia Sedona. About the same size as the Sienna and powered by a 3.5-liter, 195-hp V6, this under-$20,000 entry could prove to be a real bargain. "

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The Toyota Sienna and the Pontiac Montana are also worth a look. How about the DC vans? Don't soft armrests count for anything? How about pretty dashes? Gee, it's a good thing the year is about over, as I can think of 2 guys here that are going to be crying their eyes out, because someone else don't see eye to eye with their one sided views.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    If nothing else, at least they appear to have banished the plastic waistline trim from the 2001-2002 models -- the chintzy looking, wavy plastic worn by too many of the 1996-2000 models.

    Many of those look like they were decked out with plastic recycled from $89 Daewoo television sets.

    It's not hard to see why Chrysler Group's margins were squeezed with the introduction of the new models - one look close up shows well that they've addressed most of the cheesy trim from the older versions. Upgraded trim and quality doesn't come for free - as the departed management of Chrysler Group can tell you.
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