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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Summary of all the postings. No owner of a DC will disagree with the statement that Odyssey is THE choice if you want to haul a dozen sheets of sheetrock home from Home Depot each week. On the other hand, people who like convenience and comfort items, will buy the DC minivan.
    And I will re-iterate: At MSRP the Odyssey is the BEST BUY. Most DC buyers do NOT pay MSRP and that changes the whole buying scenario. Yes, hotspur did copy and paste a posting of mine correctly. I love my 99 GC SE and prefer it to a 99 Odyssey LX...but if I were buying now, I would get the Odyssey. DC eliminated the Trip Computer on all but the most expensive.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    In another forum...but maybe he had problems with the Town Hall login as I did in the past when I had to use r-10 before I could determine how to get back to carleton1.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Just read the April 2001 issue (pg 40) wherein a completely false statement was made about the DC 3.3L V6. My GC SE with 3.3L V6 has AVERAGED over 23 MPG for 24,461 miles. Trips of 1400 miles delivered 27.1 MPG and 27.0 MPG under normal driving conditions. When is 27 MPG considered not fuel efficient for a minivan with 6 persons and much luggage?
    As usual, the unreliable, ignorant babblings of Consumer Reports make it NOT RECOMMENDED for purchase.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Did you hear NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday with the guest from CR? I missed it :-(

    Maybe there's a transcript out there (something tells me your call would have been "screened" anyway, lol).

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  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 10
    RE # 130, Carleton1, they are not neccessarily ignorant. Many people in the Odyssey forums have mentioned their low mileage figures; they are not ignorant, despite the fact that many others have mentioned very respectable (and remarkably divergent) mileage figures. Similarly, a fair number of folks have mentioned a problem with premature brake wear, while others have noted high mileage with the original brakes and pads. In neither case are they ignorant.

    The kind of information reported is anecdotal, and is meaningful only in statistically large enough samples. In other words, if you have a 99 GC that has 100K troublefree miles, or one that puked it's tranny in 5K miles, it's not statistically meaningful. When a large number of people report on the same criteria, it becomes meaningful, but not predictive on an individual purchase basis.

    Dave Kelsen.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Best responses on the subject that I have read.

    I think people who report low mileage on the Odyssey need to re-evaluate their driving habits...and CR should be more objective in their testing. BTW, I love our 99 GC SE but would now wait for the excellent Odyssey LX if I were to buy a new minivan as it is the BEST BUY at MSRP. I saw a 2000 GC LE advertised in today's newspaper by a DC dealer for $17,450 by the same owner's dealership "Discount Outlet" that had a 1999 Sienna LE for $22,??? just 2 or 3 weeks ago.
    DC's policy of discounts, rebates, incentives (although I got $4900 off MSRP in March 1999) is destructive to resale value just as is the abuse the many DC minivans get while in service as rentals, fleet, and/or government usage during the first year of a model year.
    Another reason for me to look to Odyssey or Sienna next time IF our DC ever gives us problems.
    However, I have been warned in another forum that my praise of our most excellent DC could bring bad luck!

    Auf Wiedersehen and Pax Vobiscum.
  • garcia2kogarcia2ko Posts: 16
    I agree, MPG is a matter of driving habits and, to some extent, the vehicle. I was a bit dismayed to discover that our Odyssey was getting something like 13 MPG in the city...a wake up call to be careful with the heavy foot. Haven't checked city MPG lately, though. Only have about 8K on it, so it might get better.

    However, was happy to discover that highway MPG was pretty consistant with other posters. Something like 24.5.
  • Greetings to all...

    I'm new here and thought I'd throw in my $0.02 on the debate.

    For starters, I'd like to say that we swore we would NEVER buy a minivan. We currently drive an Explorer, but after the second kid was born, we accepted the inevitable conclusion that the van was the sensible solution. We started looking about 6 months ago, and considered the GC, T&C, Odyssey, Sienna, Villager, and Windstar. We decided that our important criteria were as follows:
    Cargo space for travel, seating flexibility, reliability, appearance, remote keyless entry, power sliding doors, purchase price, and resale value. We quickly eliminated the Windstar (overpriced, ugly, and lousy reputation), Villager (pricey and small) and the Sienna (pricey and too small as well) and narrowed the field down to Odyssey EX, T&C LXi or EX, and Gr. Caravan ES or EX. Drove and liked all 3 makes, so from that standpoint, I felt I was not going to make a bad decision. The Dodge guy kept bugging me even though I told him I was still in the comparison phase, so I eliminated the Dodge. I also noted that the resale on the Dodge was terrible compared to both the T&C and the Odyssey. Finally decided on the Odyssey EX over the T&C for the following reasons:
    1. Reliability - Honda's historical track record is better than Chrysler. Even though I feel DC is working on that issue, I had concerns about this being the first year of production for the T&C vs. third year for the Odyssey.
    2. Interior space utilization - Honda was easier to reconfigure the seats for our travels and liked the third seat stowage capability. This is important for our vacation travels. After we unload, we can pop up the last row and carry people again.
    3. Initial price - I was surprised by this and expected that the Honda would cost a lot more since we were paying closer to MSRP, but the T&C with the options was actually several hundred $$ more expensive. We're getting the Odyssey for $750 below MSRP.
    4. Resale value - no argument here. If we decide to trade it in after 5 years, it's worth a lot more towards the next vehicle.
    6. Relative numbers - The fact that there are fewer Odysseys on the road means you aren't passing yourself all the time or getting confused in the parking lots. Granted, this may be "snob appeal," but since we drive an Explorer and a Camry, having something a little different is a welcome change.

    The T&C had a lot going for it as well, including better color choices, but we decided that the extra bells and whistles on the T&C did not outweigh the benefits of the Odyssey. In the end, I like knowing that either van could have been the right choice. Things in the market are a lot better now than they were 10 or 15 years ago.
  • hotspurhotspur Posts: 34
    There is absolutely no factual evidence that the presence of the magic seat increases road noise in the Ody. This is a marketing "apple" put forth by DaimlerChrysler in an attempt to justify to potential buyers their not putting a similar seat in the new DC minivans. The real reason is that they could not figure a way to have AWD and a disappearing third seat--a legitimate reason which required no embellishment.

    If the magic seat is so noisy, then why is the Ody quieter (according to instrumented tests) than the pre-2001 DC minivans which had no magic seat? It's disappointing to see this old wive's tale propagated by someone who should know better.
  • is a navigation system available on the T&C? i can't find any mention of one.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    AFAIK, during the development phase, Chrysler experimented with the foldaway seat and found that it allowed for more noise penetration vs. w/o that sort of seat.

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  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    A fair comparison based on what he/she really needs not what the professionals/ experts/ any of us (Ody/DC owners) said is always welcome in here. Hotspur, do you really know why we bought the DC vans instead of the Odyssey? Or you think we are just stupid and have extra money to spend?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    There is a navigation system available for the 2001 DC minivans. Page 37 of the Caravan brochure. Quote "The principles of navigation. This sophisticated, simple-to-use Navigation System guides you to your precise destination through Global Positioning System (GPS) sattelite technology and an onboard computer. The system calculates the most efficient route to your destination, provides a visual map display, and uses voice-command technology to literaly talk you through every turn." (No mention of factory or dealer installed.)
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Come on folks, have all of you forgotten what you learned in Economics? One of the reasons the Oddy is commanding a higher resale value is availability! the old supply and demand theory,(Not that it is not an good value) Look what happened to the Taurus when the market was flooded with off lease company and rental units. A dealer isn't going to give you a high trade for a car he has a bunch of sitting on his lot. Right now the supply is low and demand is high. If Honda keeps the production where it is, the trade in value will remain high. But if they get to selling more and more the availability of used ones will be higher and the value will drop! How much is hard to say, but it definately will be lower.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    I just looked at my 2001 Caravan Brochure and there it is on page 37. The options pages 33 and 34 do not list it and as they say in the Army "RTFP" (Read The Fine Print).
    Chrysler was not asleep at the wheel as some of us are prone to think. DC minivans still offer the most of the desirable options.
    And theoretical resale and trade in values are meaningless. Many people I know that own or owned Hondas NEVER were able to get the
    "alleged" high trade-in value of their Honda even at a Honda dealership!
    I like Odyssey, DC minivans, and Toyota Sienna. All have some
    "Best" features. Even GM have a "Best Feature": 8 passenger seating
    that can NOT be had on Ody, DC, Sienna. I happen to think GM FWD minivans feel crude and unrefined compared to DC, Sienna, Ody.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Why are some paragraphs split with some one word sentences and not like we type them in before we post them? I try to edit when I see short sentences but am usually unsuccessful as in posting above.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Motoring 2001 (a Canadian auto televsion show) covered the '01 Chrylser minivans when they first came out. The engineers that were interviewed were asked why a hideaway 3rd row, like the one in the Odyssey, was not available. They said what I've mentioned before. Because the 3rd row seat well would've made packaging the AWD difficult (don't forget that there is an extra differential and other components to power the rear wheels in the AWD models), and that it would've allowed for more interior noise. If you just stop and think of it, it make sense since the 3rd row well is lower/closer to the road than the floor of the van. I'm not sure how an "unbiased 3rd party" could provide the above information. The engineers do work for Chrysler afterall.

    The Odyssey stores its Mickey Mouse spare just behind the front seats and under the floor. With the prop shaft in the AWD models running to the rear axle, this is not possible. That's why you won't see an AWD Odyssey anytime soon. The traditional place for the spare tire, which is just behind the rear wheels, ahead of the rear bumper, would be taken up by the 3rd row seat well, if so equipped. Again, as you can see, the hideaway 3rd row caused a number of design problems, hence the reason why Chrysler has abandoned the idea...for now.

    I hope this clears things up.

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  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Not only does Chrysler offer a dealer installed navigation system, they're also available aftermarket from any Tom Dick & Harry's auto electronics store. Heck, you can buy a laptop computer with nav software for less than the Odyssey system, and the kids will be able to do their homework on it when its not in use.

    Here's a question, why doesn't Odyssey offer things like side airbags, leather, or at least a decent radio before offering a navigation system?
  • egrandegrand Posts: 14
    Hotsturd and what is your great expertise in commenting on this subject? I test drove the Odyssey. The road noise was incredible compared to my 1994 minivan. My family ( 4kids ) were brought along for test rides on the many minivans I tested. The kids hated the Odyssey. My 6 and 8 years olds who sat in the back seat said it was "loud back there" and that they couldn't hear the radio. The 2001 T&C van we tested and purchased is silent and wonderful.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Why are you so persistant in making sure we know DC is an "awful biased company that builds crappy minivans." The Odyssey is a wonderful van, although I'm sure you already know that... Anyway, is it a crime that DC didn't put in a folding seat? No, and I praise Honda for doing so, but for whatever reasons DC didn't. Too bad for them I guess, but I deal with my bench just fine since it folds and slides forward for more room. At least I can let the dog have the back bench but still have more cargo on trips. Yes, the Odyssey has a good reputation (I have an Accord), a nice amount of standard features, a foldaway seat, and decent power. I commend them for that, but that does not mean the DC minivans are piles of you know what. You may think DC is biased but if Honda started making accusations that the Odyssey was the best or more quiet van, I doubt you'd be here disagreeing with them. Obviously you have a deep hatred against Chrysler minivans and I think you're going to have to stop and remember these are only minivans. You like your Honda? GREAT! And I like my new T&C LTD. They all have different things going for them, but I've already gone over this. But really, lets try to keep this discussion civil and not just constant smart [non-permissible content removed] remarks. That may be hard for you, but I'm not the only one who is getting sick of your posts. This is not meant as a flame but just an informative post regarding your immature actions. I'm hoping you can take this seriously and not just shoot out more slander reagrding what I and other people have just said, but I'm hoping you'll get your act together.
  • wevkwevk Posts: 179
    Since you don't believe the DC engineers explanation regarding the exclusion of the fold away seat. perhaps you can share with us your "hypothesis" regarding this matter.

    Also in what ways do you consider the AMCI comparison "bogus"?
  • johng14johng14 Posts: 31
    Can someone specially if you own a DC explain to me what too much road noise is, do you have any DB levels to prove this to me. I have not experienced more road noise on my 2001 Ody EX than on any car that I have owned. I must point out that the van is extremely quiet around city driving, at times I feel that the engine is not even turned on.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Quite honestly, I haven't noticed that big of a difference between by old '96 T&C LXi compared to my new '01 T&C LTD. I had a 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE and I was quite excited about the new '96, because everything I read had said the new '96 was the most quiet van yet. I was kind of saddened when I drove my new van home only to find it about the same. Flash forward to today, and the same thing happened. Chrysler said, "We really focussed on the sound deadening blah blah blah." Once again, I don't notice a difference. They have all been great vans, but to make a vehicle with such a great amount of glass dead quiet is almost impossible. I imagine the Honda and Chrysler vans are comparable in noise level. Maybe each Chrysler van has gotten more quiet for around town speeds which I'm sure it has, but at highway speeds (where I notice the noise) the new van sounds a lot like my old '88. Maybe I'm spoiled though I just test drove the new Lexus LS430, which has got to be the most quiet car ever made at any speed in my opinion.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    I guess you either flunked economics or haven't taken it yet. The Lesson you missed or never took is: The law of supply and demand is where there is a high demand and a small supply the price goes up. Like when you had to wait 3 to six months for a Odyssey when it first came out.the demand was high and supply was low. Hence dealers had you and were willing and able to charge whatever they thought they could get. The same thing is going on now with the PT Crusier. High demand not enough supply. Now if you try to equate that to the LHS and Civic, you have missed the point by a mile, as there was never a high demand for the LHS. Most high priced (Luxury cars) take High deperciation in the first few years. Cadillac Lincoln, Etc. How much over list did you pay for your Odyssey? It seems that all you contribute to this board is your dislike for DC vans, how about something positive about your experience with yours?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Perhaps if you care to explain to me what you would consider an unbiased source regarding why Chrysler decided not to engineer the hideaway 3rd row seat? Incidentally, have you looked at the rear axle/rear differential of an AWD 2001 Chrysler minvan? If you do, you'll see that there is not much space underneath/back there as it is. Common sense will probably tell you that a 3rd row seat well won't be easy to fit back there with all of the AWD components.

    All I'm saying is that Chrysler's engineers found that a 3rd row seat well would cause more road noise for their designs (again factoring in AWD).

    I like the Odyssey, BTW, and have recommended it to several people without hesitation. I do wish that it did have side impact airbags, and AWD though (that's not possible with its current design). Its interior noise level is acceptable, but by no means as low as the Sienna.

    Godd luck! Keep it civil everyone!

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  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And inflammatory postings against the Odyssey have NEVER been tolerated in the many Odyssey forums. DC, Ford, etc. are bad mouthed all the time in Odyssey forums by Odyssey owners who feel the Odyssey is superior. Sienna owners likewise write of Sienna virtues in Sienna forums and post negative info on Odyssey, DC, etc. And, DC owners likewise post negative info on Odyssey in DC forums.
    Since this post is Honda Odyssey vs Chrysler minivans, dissenting opinions on either is the name of the game...altho I do agree with you that people should not use derogatory names in reference to another Town Hall participant.
  • wevkwevk Posts: 179
    Road noise by grand.
    Best thing to do is test drive 2001 DC van and compare. As Buddy Hackett once said " I didn't know how bad heart burn was until one day I didn't have it." Same for noise

    Hot spur
    That DC commisioned the AMCI comparison might make the results suspect but not necessarily bogus. As to noise, wife and I drove to Honda dealership in a 1996 I&C. When we got on the same highway in the Honda we turned towards one another at the same time and said "noisy". Perhaps the Honda measures quieter then the pre-2001 DC but all noise is not created equal. Compare 90 db of your favorite music to 90 db of baby crying. I read somewhere that Honda might use Active Noise Control (ANC) in the Odyssey.

    Frankly I expected more of the Honda since I had owned a 1990 Accord. The Accord had a very nice interior fashioned from high quality materials. The Odyssey clearly is not up to that standard.

    For me, Honda needs to fix the interior, the road noise and upgrade the sound system to be competetive.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    This may just be me, but since when were we comparing the noise in an Odyssey to the the pre-2001 minivans. So the Odyssey is more quiet than a pre-2001 van...ummm your point? Obviously Honda has more sound deadening even with the well than the old DC vans. And so what if DC paid AMCI to say it was the best minivans. Does that make you mad and do you lose sleep over it? I don't think many people care whether the Odyssey or T&C were named best van because people should buy vans based on their own needs and opinions, and not some "third party source." Those sources may be used as aids in buying a car. Please, lets all try to keep it civil and stop bashing Drew, because I think he's doing a fine job...I found NOTHING wrong with his choises. Keep it civil
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    In the 2000 J.D Power survey of OWNERS problems per 1000 vehicles. remember this is NOT Honda as a mfgr but by model, Voyager 45th out of 191, Caravan 74th out of 191, Odyssey 80th out of 191, T&C 87 out of 191. Draw your own conclusions. Also re read Jean Jennings April 2001 column in Automobile magazine, as her reference to Quality was for 1974, 27 years ago!
  • Hotspur, I found this message board, and was hoping to get some honest-to-goodness information on the Ody Vs. DGC from the people who count the most -- the consumers. I am, after all, looking for a minivan that will haul my soon-to-be-expanded family. I've read many opinions on member choices, most of which are honest and forthright, not to mention positive, while being complimentary toward the other van. Civility is always nice.
    Then I started reading your attacks, er, uh -- postings. They just kept on coming and coming, ad nauseam. I can't help but think of the kid at every school who gets angry with others if they don't play his way. Why do you insist on attacking those who don't agree with you? Everybody has an opinion -- you're entitled to yours. But please, don't try to ram your opinion down my throat. You've gotten your point across. Now please just SHUT UP!
    I imagine should Honda execs ever read this board, they'll probably cringe, knowing that your rabid attacks will probably make those on the fence go toward the competition, as I believe I may have. I'm not saying that I've completely made up my mind to buy a DGC -- but your rantings have made it a bit more attractive to me, while somewhat turning me off to the Ody. Please do us a favor and enjoy your Ody in peace, and leave the rest of us "fools and idiots" alone.
    Oh, and if you're going to compare apples and oranges, please use the same model years. I really don't care that an Ody is quieter than a "pre-2001 DC." But then -- that's just my opinion.
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