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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    Best use of floor vent was to circulate fresh air when cabin was full of smoke and temps. were too cold to roll down windows. (you Allieskans can appreciate that, no?;-)
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Re post #1741 LOL!
  • We had our heart set on an Ody. But have become frustrated by the attitude and inflexibility of the sales staff, who continue to imply that they are doing us some kind of grand favor by not charging $2000 -$3000 over MSRP. On guy laughed, and the other lied. So, last night we threw in the towel and started shopping again. We checked out the Sienna and decided it was not for us. Good, that was easy, We then looked at the T&C again, and really liked it, and we really liked the salesman, but I realize we are not going to live with him.

    Here are our issues:

    The T&L eX was offered at 28,900 has leather, DVD, alloy whells, dual power sliding doors, and power lift gate. The Lxi is about $1300 more, and has heated seats, and auto climate control. This was first price, we have not yet gone to another dealer. We have this price in writing. We figure that we can get the eX for about $28,000 and the Lxi for about 29,000. It seems like much more car for the money. It is more comfortable, looks more stylish, and has a better warranty (I've read all the debates for and against this, but the fact is, it is covered longer) It also promised to be a more pleasant buying experience.

    The Ody has better crash testing, the T&C did not fail, but the Ody won. We like the magic seat, but could live without it. We are definitely going to get leather, if we get the Ody, because my husband went on a road trip in a friends EX yesterday and found it uncomfortable. So we figure that the cost of the Ody EX-L (no DVD) will come in at around 28,000 ( with the slight discounts we have been able to scrounge up) this is not far off the final price for the T&C eX, which seems to be more bang for the buck.

    We do not want to make the wrong decision because we are frustrated with Honda. We also don't want to be made to beg a honda dealer to sell us a car. We are looking for input from others who have shopped for both, and those who have made this decision.
  • saverisaveri Posts: 19
    I am in the market for a minivan and have decided on selecting either the Honda Odyssey or Town & Country. I prefer the drive and overall presentation (interior and exterior) of the Town & Country but am hesitating because of it's reputation for lack of reliability. Would appreciate any information/personal experiences on what the reliability of the Town & Country is post the MY2001 redesign. I plan on buying rather than leasing so the reliability factor is very important.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    After shopping the Ody and the DC for some time, I decided on a large sedan. Both vans have reliability issues and due to concern about third seat safety they are effectively 4 passenger vehicles IMO. Impala LS seats 5 with three point belts and handling is superior to either minivan. The clincher for me was that DC still will not admit that Gen 3 seatbelt buckles are an unnecessary hazard. With GM rebates the price of the sedan is so much lower than the minivan... and without the stigma of driving one of those boxes..............not to mention the pompous Honda salespeople...........
  • saverisaveri Posts: 19
    Do 2003MY T&C still have Gen 3 seatbelts? I see no sense in spending $30K on a minivan with a potential saftey issue if this is still the case.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I visited a Chrysler dealer twice in the past couple of months and checked several 03 minivans. All had Gen 3 seat belt buckles. Interestingly, the Sebring convertible and some other DC vehicles had Gen 4 buckles. Figure that out.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Yes, the Center for Auto Safety claims that 14 million vehicles should be recalled:

  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You can ask but the buckles are integral with the belts.
  • does anyone have any information about this group? I can find nothing about them other than the website listed by pluto5. Any additional information would be appreciated. I find no mention of this seatbelt concern on the NHSTA web site.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    The Center for Auto Safety is headed by Clarence Ditlow who I belive is a former NHTSA director.

    Here's another link that might interest:

  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    An important point about the pricing issue isnt just what you pay for the van, but what its worth when you sell it. Take a look at Edmunds Total Cost To Own and I bet you'll see far better resale for the Odyssey than for Chrysler minivans. And there's a reason for that. At the end of four years or so, an Odyssey will generally be in better shape all else being equal (maintenance, mileage,...)
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You are correct. My DC van is supposed to be worth $4K in a private sale but I would probably be lucky to get $3K. I will keep it for a work van. Also, if you have teenage drivers you can drop the collision and put them on it with your insurance co. to save premium.

    If you are buying for resale this is a no-brainer. But if you keep cars for 10 years or so it doesn't really matter cause depreciation is a non-cash expense. Ever get a bill for depreciation?
  • Im not a fan of either the Honda or the unreliable town and country. The Olds Silhouette is the Cadillac of minivans. Quiet, comfy, handsome looks and you can get one hell of a deal on one of these things right now.
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    You're right, if you keep a vehicle 10 years or so, depreciation becomes pretty irrelevant. But in terms of "ever get a bill for depreciation?" I would beg to disagree. Since most people dont keep their cars for 10 years, they get a bill for depreciation each time they make their lease payment!! Or, if they're borrowing on a car loan, and then trading in a few years, they are of course paying for depreciation.
  • "Cadillac of minivans" ?
    Isn't that a line from Get Shorty?
    Also, wasn't the crash test dummy's foot snapped off in the IIHS 40mph crash test of a late model GM minivan?
    A friend has a lease on a T&C and at three years.. it's starting to get annoying minor problems.
    Another friend has a 3 year old Odyessey with no problems. The Honda is not as stylish or luxurious, but I would bet that in the long run, it will cost less to own. I've owned enough Chryslers to know that they start wearing out well before 100K. They aren't terrible cars... they just aren't made as durable as some other cars.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Wasn't that the minivan that had a horrid crash test rating in the IIHS offset crash test?

    Getting back to the Ody or DC question, I seem to notice that many DC owners have to have their trannys changed out at the 40K mile mark. All four friends of mine with DCs have had that problem - though it is not a statistically representative sample by any means, it still paints a bad picture in my mind.

    Although the Odysseys now have a known history for potential tranny problems, I beleive that the figure is still way below industry averages, and certainly below the DC's track record.

    When choosing between minivans, I always recommend shopping around. Nobody should have to pay thousands over MSRP - especially for an Odyssey! Didn't like a particular car dealership? Shop another!

    Test drive both cars, and sit in them for a long time with the kids to see if it is the good fit for you.

    As an Ody owner, I can certainly say, this minivan can stand to improve upon their reliability. I've had three minor issues with the sliding doors to date, and that's a bit much for a two year old minivan.

    Would I trade it for a DC if I had to do it all over again? No. I'd take my chances with the 2% tranny failure rate over DC's track record. The third seat is a life-saver for my family, and the fit and finish is far superior to that of DC - IMHO.

    No matter what you get, JUST DON'T GET THE SILHOUETTE/VENTURE minivans! The potential safety issues are just too big to ignore, IMHO.
  • xafxaf Posts: 37
    "As an Ody owner, I can certainly say, this minivan can stand to improve upon their reliability. I've had three minor issues with the sliding doors to date, and that's a bit much for a two year old minivan."

    WOW and you still stick with the Oddy. With all the improvements the DC has been doing, one can only wonder at your attitude. So you paid extra to get a van with unreliable doors, a potential transmission problem. I bet you hope to recover some of the overpayment when you sell the Oddy.

    Good luck

    PS I saw in the CR magazine that the reliability figure on the Oddy is now 2% to 5%, not the 2% that you quoted. I guess the Oddy is just turning into another mediocre minivan.
  • I disagree with most of your comments. There are no wide spread reliability issues with the Odyssey (regardless of the noise some people here try to make, the tranny issue is only thought to effect less than 2% of the vehicles from 1999-2001 and Honda is addressing this by extending warranties for most of the vehicles that may be impacted). Doubt the Impala will prove to have stellar reliability. I haven't seen anything indicating poor 3rd row seat safety on the Odyssey. Only reports I have seen are for those vehicles (mostly SUVs) that have the third seat headrest a few inches from the rear gate. The Odyssey is one of the safest vehicles made, in any class. If you wouldn't use the third seat (since you bought a sedan) why does it even matter? Don't know about the seat belts so I can't comment. Regarding "stigma", I agree minivans are not the "coolest" cars out there but I don't think they are giving anything up to an Impala.

    A sedan is not an option for the vast majority of minivan buyers. A sedan does not provide seating for seven (or more), has a fraction of the cargo room, does not allow one to pass between rows while inside the vehicle, sedans lack sliding doors making getting kids in/out of car seats more difficult and finally they are not as safe as the safest minivans. This is a minivan discussion, not a why a sedan meets my needs better discussion.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    You may want to check your servers. It seems that a virus crept into this newsgroup! :O
  • I think it is fair to say that the Odyssey is not as reliable as the Accord or Civic. However, that does not mean it has widespread reliability problems. Conversations on internet forums are not the same as statistical studies.

    If you were so concerned with reliability why did you get a GM? (sorry couldn't help myself)
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Sorry, that was just too good to pass up.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    GM's actually did pretty good in the most recent CR list of recommended vehicles - mostly SUVs though. Lost my link - I think I posted it in the Yukon discussion.

    Steve, Host
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I don't recall them making anything other than Trucks or SUVs...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I can't keep that straight. To me GM means the parent company, so GM makes Chevy which makes Ventures. Ditto the Montana & Silhouette. GMC will always mean trucks to me because my mom drove one. And I tend to lump SUVs in with trucks instead of crossovers or glorified MVs or wagons.

    Whatever floats your boat works for me ;-)

    Steve, Host
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    "A Chevrolet Celebrity would be cooler than any minivan, IMO" - pluto

    Cool was when I cared. I had some pretty cool cars in my day. I can't tell you how many hours were spent washing, waxing, tuning, repairing and modifying. Then I got married. No need to be cool anymore - need to be practical and have comfort and convenience features.

    Chevy Impala cooler than a minivan? Maybe, if it's a '68 Impala SS convert. with a 396 or 427 tri-power. If not, don't waste my time.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    "A Chevy Celebrity is cooler than a minivan." In a DC vs. Odyssey topic. Nice to see some trolls' posts are OK.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You're right; Ody is no competition for any sport sedan.
This discussion has been closed.