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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • mudry1mudry1 Posts: 8
    Why would you need adjustible pedals anyway? If the seat has all those adjustments that you rave about, then why would you need adjustible pedals? It seems to me that the Ody I looked at had padded arm rests, maybe I was on drugs and didn't notice, or maybe it wasn't that important. I even believe that there is a power drivers seat with heat and a lumbar support in the Ody, but no memory. Do you need a memory to know where your seat is when you are the only driver? Is it that hard to change the position when you have all those power options? Quad buckets, real cool man!!!!!
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Adjustable pedals are useful for shorter drivers, they help them to reach the pedals without getting too close to the steering wheel. Yes seat memory is useless when there is only one driver but some people do have more than 1 driver for the van. Many features included in both vans are useless for some people but some people do find them very useful. That's why both vans exist.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    quad buckets are really cool but quad buckets with leather and suede are even cooler!
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    even cooler yet when the 2nd row are fully adjustible.
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    My wife and I got our '02 EX-L Odyssey last month. I'm 6'10", and my head rubs against the driver side pillar between front and side door. We obviously preferred the Ody to T&C in the final analysis (esp. since my wife is its primary driver), but I thought T&C had a much roomier driver seat. Just my two cents, we tall guys have to help each other out ;-)

    Yes, EX-L has one padded armrest on inside of each front row. Driver seat is power, no memory. Passenger seat is manual. Driver has lumbar support -- manual, not power. Both front seats are heated. I don't use the arm rest much, but haven't been on highway much on cruise control. My wife also finds the magic seat fairly heavy, but I watched her and she needs to learn the technique. Practice makes perfect.

    Would I like some of the features on upper end DC vans on my Ody? Yes. Would I have bought a T&C Limited if it had the magic seat, better reasale rate, and I had better personal experience with American-made cars? Possibly. I think any honest appraisal of the two vans must acknowledge the superior luxury of higher-end DC models (I've read lots of your posts over the months, I know how much you like those armrests 4aodge LOL), but that the Ody is a great, slightly more affordable (even at MSRP!!) option with a manufacturer with a superior reliability history. And I'm not sure what the fuss is about the 240 hp delivering at higher RPM's. I am quite happy with the Ody around town performance. I think they did design some of that torque to be delivered at on-ramp and highway passing speeds, though.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Out 01 Odyssey when you stomp on it from stand still the traction contol kicks in so you can only go so fast off the line anyway unless you want to burn up your brakes.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    out of the 12 minivans tested in 2001 for head restraints, only three recieved "good" ratings, including the Dodge Grand Caravan.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Headrestraints are nice but does the DC vans have shoulder belts FOR ALL SEATING POSITIONS?
  • tj_610tj_610 Posts: 132
    I suggest turning the traction control system off unless driving conditions are slippery. Owner's manual recommends this for fuel economy also. Maybe the '01 cannot be turned off, our '02 TCS can be disabled.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Leave it up to dmathews to downplay one of the few significant safety features that the Honda Odyssey does not have, head restraints that recieved a "good" or even "average" rating in a simulated crash test. I would say it is more than 'nice' to have good head restraints when your in an accident and they save you from serious neck injuries. Wouldn't you?

    And to answer your question, DC vans do not have shoulder belts for ALL seating positions. Hopefully they will in the near future...
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Only trouble with turning off TC is than you start in 2nd gear, which in itself could be a problem over time.
    Odyssey has great headrests and on ALL seats.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    The IIHS results are here:

    Note that the 2002 Dodge/Chrysler vans receive an "Acceptable" overall rating ONLY if equipped with the optional side airbags.

    Rear center seating positions without a lap/shoulder belt AND a head restraint are not recommended for passengers except for children in carseats or high-back boosters. Improved head restraint designs and proper use of head restraints can reduce whiplash related injuries.

    It would be nice to have the latest head restraint and seatbelt designs in ALL passenger seating positions. Fortunately, a bill that would mandate rear center shoulder belts recently passed the Senate (S980). It also contains provisions for other important child passenger safety issues. With new government crash testing standards being phased in over the next few years, and with renewed interest in rear-impacts (especially for 3rd row seats), perhaps head restraint designs will be improved across the board, too.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Geez, does that mean that Honda which has headrests and shoulder belts AT ALL SEATING positions cares more about our safety than some stupid padded armrest? I guess Honda cares enough about us to put the money where it counts, in our familys lives.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    "I guess Honda cares enough about us to put the money where it counts, in our familys lives."

    After reading that, I could shead a tear. And I guess the millions of irresponsible unloving parents and family members on the road with DC minivans are putting their passengers in grave danger every time they turn on the ignition. Maybe in the world of Snobyssey owners like dmathews, but not in reality.

    According to the link provided by caviller, the Toyota Sienna was ranked as the 'best pic' for safety, not the Honda Odyssey. And depending on the seat configuration, the DC minivans scored better in the head restraint test than the Odyssey, as I've already said.
  • calgcalg Posts: 53
    I SINCERELY hope all the Gen3 seat belts in the back seats of Chrysler vans hold your children in safely... ABC's report was pretty scary. I hope you are all demanding a recall.. especially you, 4aodge since you would be sitting back there IF your parents ever get a chance to drive their van :)
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    I wasn't going to mention the story, since it seems like a pretty rare type of 'failure' to me. In any case, here are the details for anyone interested.

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Must be one of the many reasons according to my morning paper that the Odyssey is STILL rated #1 with CR in their upcoming issue. I guess padded armrests down mean much with them either.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    If you look at the overall ratings, Odyssey barely nosed Sienna for the best minivan rating, and T&C/GC were just a hair behind Sienna. All received "excellent" overall ratings. Since all had average or better reliability, they (along with MPV) were also given "Recommended" ratings.

    As for safety, as expected, Odyssey, Sienna and Windstar finished 1-2-3 but were very close overall with "excellent" ratings. MPV, T&C and GC had a "very good" overall safety rating.

    Sienna and MPV led the predicted reliability charts, with both around 30% above average. Odyssey was about 10% above average. T&C and GC were about 10% below average. Note that anything between 20% below and 20% above average results in an "Average" projection. Given that average is only 0.21 problems per vehicle for the first 12 months, these projections seem pretty meaningless.

    As I said in earlier posts based on their online information, no Odyssey remains on their "Used Car to Avoid" list. '99 and '00 Odyssey rated average, all other years above average. In fact, Odyssey made the "Good Bets" list for reliable used vehicles.

    '94-'97 2WD GC/T&C were on the Used cars to avoid list with below average ratings, and also made the 'Reliability Risks' list. '98-'01 had average reliability. All years of the AWD models except '98 were on the avoid list with below average reliability.

    As I said, I think CR makes too big a deal over reliability when the differences actually seem small given their average problem rate. Based on the overall ratings, safety ratings and reliability projections, Odyssey, T&C and GC should all be good choices depending on your needs.

    Even if you don't like CR, the April 2002 issue is worth buying if only for the excellent article on safety from pages 10-17.

  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I don't know when the Padded Armrests became an issue. I remember it was just something nice to have when whoever bought this issue up and it got snowball after that. Since my driving habit is to steer with my left hand and right hand on the shift (in the van my right hand will be resting on the outer armrest and no I don't drive with both hands) I hardly use the armrest on the door, however, I notice all my front passengers do rest their arms on both armrests. So I guess the padded armrests on the door are useful for some people just like other features on both vans.
  • jmnygaardjmnygaard Posts: 48
    This is how the padded armrests became a big deal:

    There is a certain individual who posts on several boards who is highly critical of the Odyssey and it's owners. He repeatedly misstates "facts" about the Odyssey, even when corrected. One of his assertions was that the Odyssey doesn't have padded arm rests. Of course, those of us who have actually been in an Odyssey know that this is not true. So, I corrected him again, and, as you noted, it snowballed from there. I'm just glad I didn't mention the grocery bag hooks!
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You're right it's rare but catastrophic. If DC wasn't worried about the Gen 3 seatbelt buckles it wouldn't have changed to Gen 4 buckles for the front seats in 02 models.
  • garcia2kogarcia2ko Posts: 16
    But rented one last month and it just doesn't come close to our Odyssey. Little things like the annoyingly loud turn signal seem less refined. It reminded me of the Dodge Sundance we rented years ago--lots of noisy parts, like the ratchety seats.

    My suggestion to buyers: touch and move everything, then consider if it feels like it will hold up for more than a couple years.

    My two cents.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    From your post, you seem like an Odyssey owner had already made up his mind about about DC minivans before you even got behind the wheel. Anoying loud turn signal? Besides it being something that hardly registers as a complaint, how is this necessarily a bad thing? I have seen plently of people on the road who keep their singal on forever simply because they aren't aware it is still activated. If the turning singal in the 2001+ MY DC minivans are the same is in our 2000, which they probably are, I have never thought about it being "annoyingly loud".

    Also, keep in rented a rental car. Which was probably not even near the middle of the Chrysler minivan line in terms of equipment and luxury. Most rental companies have the Grand Caravan Sport model with the base package which do not come with many of the luxuries and features found in the Honda Odyssey EX and Grand Caravan EX, ES and Town & Country models. I encourage you to goto your local Chrysler dealership and sit inside a new Town & Country LXi or Limited and then tell me what you think about the quality and refinement of the interior and exterior compared to your Odyssey.

    As for longevity, im sure the Honda interior, while spartan compared to that of the Town & Country, would hold up better over the course of 5 or more years.

    But your right about one thing, DC minivans do look really nice on the outside...
  • lss1lss1 Posts: 21
    recently purchased ody. first "foreign" car. can't go wrong with either one. virtually every review gives slight edge to ody. does that make DC bad--please. everybody grow up. as far as quality there is no question that american cars have improved greatly and that perception lags behind reality. obviously there are a lot of happy dc owners--not everyone has a tranny blow at 30,000, and the vast majority don't. but, taken as a whole, for long term quality there is simpy no question that in general honda, toyota, and nissan have set a world standard that both the americans and europeans lag behind. the bar keeps getting raised.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    finally, a reasonable Honda owner that I agree with...
  • ody01ody01 Posts: 100
    Odyssey most power and magic seat. Chyrsler most attractive and many nice feature. Kia Sedona too small, burn too much fuel, not as much power as Odyssey or Chrysler. Read Sienna now have sludge problem.
  • garcia2kogarcia2ko Posts: 16
    OK, I'll concede that we probably like what we're used to--in other words, I'll bet there are DC owners who would be annoyed driving an Odyssey with a turn signal that isn't more noticable. The fact that I'm so used to my vehicle affects my opinions of different ones.

    (Just sitting in and driving my parents Sienna, I like very little about that vehicle...somehow, I didn't dislike it _that much_ when I was shopping around.)

    I'll bet that the levels above rental quality are better, yes. But I can't believe that the middle and rear seats that seemed so difficult to move forward and backward are improved. For me, that is!
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    garcia2ko, I'm glad you at leat made an attempt too see where I was comming from with the "annoying" turn signals on DC minivans. I too will admit that I would probably be less than impressed if I were to drive a Honda Odyssey after driving more than 30k miles in two Chrysler vans over two years. The seats being hard to move back and forth seems like a much more legitimate complaint than annoying turn signals.

    Just today I visited a local Dodge dealership and sat inside a new 2002 Grand Caravan ES among other cars and I would love to have one of those. I can honestly say it is an attractive minivan (oxymoron? I guess not!). The cab-forward design, honey comb grille, and 17 inch chome wheels really make it look sporty and almost sleek. Too bad the one I looked at with power everything and the 3.8 engine cost 37k dolars... :(

    Lastly, I agree with what you said about liking very little about the Sienna. Besides it's horrid looks and small size, the interior is not nearly as ergonomically sound as that of the DC and Honda vans. An example is that the radio and air controls are practically on the floor of the van!
  • ody01ody01 Posts: 100
    Odyssey and Chrysler nicest minivans. Odyssey LX has same engine, same ride, same room for passenger and luggage, as Odyssey EX-Nav-RES for $6000 less. Chrysler EL same room passenger and luggage, same ride as Chrysler Limited for $8000 less. Why Chrysler put smaller engine in lower cost minivan? Large engine get same economy, probably last longer and cost not much more than smaller engine.
    Don't think extra gadgets worth thousands of dollars more.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    The sticker may be $37,000, but in my area, they are readily available for $30,900 ($36,820 T&C Limited) Then the gap between the Honda and Chrysler is much less. Anyone who pays sticker for a Chrysler is nuts.
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