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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • mojo66mojo66 Posts: 83
    ......and the word is..... depreciation! I only hope you plan to hold onto it long term and didn't lease it, as many do because of the higher price. It is truly shocking to hear how little a T&C is worth at trade-in. You are impressed with getting 0.9% financing? Do you have any idea what the van is really costing you over a five-year period? Get off the leather and do the math.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    No... but can you guarantee the trade in value of the Ody in 5 years when the production and problems with the van starts to increase?
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    I've noticed a lot of people a very vindictive when it comes to comparing these vans and that's okay I guess, but I find it laughable when someone who they don't even know personally starts telling someone over the Internet that they made a bad decision because they won't be getting back that precious $3000 if they had gone with the Odyssey. Mojo, people value different things. I honestly don't look at a car as an investment that much or seriously because all cars do is depreciate in value. A house an investment? Yes. A car? Hell no. This is just the way I look at it, but I can see where you might want to save that extra money if money is a big issue with you so I guess I see your point.
    The thing though that people don't realize is that no one ever buys a DC minivan for full price. I almost bought a 2000 T&C Limited for $29,400 ($5,500 off list)last year but decided to hold off at wait for the 2001's. Well, the 2000 Limited is now worth $24,000 at trade. God awful if you compare that with the $35,080 list but is it really that bad when taking the discounted price into account? Well, maybe when compared to an Odyssey but other average cars? No. That 2000 T&C taking the discounted price into consideration dropped about 18% in value. Not good but better than the 30% loss someone would have made if they bought it for full MSRP. I owned a 1996 T&C LXi before my 2001 LTD and it's resale went down 50% from the negotiated price of $28,400 5 years ago on the LXi. My 1996 T&C LXi had about 2 % better resale than my then 1996 Toyota Avalon XLS when I went to trade it in on a new 2001 Toyota Avalon XLS. Also, btw, if you check out the depreciation of a 2000 V6 EXL Accord, its depreciation over the past year with 15,000 and in good condition has actually gone down 22% in value while 2000 LTD only went down 18% in value when taking the negotiated price into account.
    And everyone thought Japanese brands ALWAYS had better resale. The truth is yes, in some cases, and the same can be said for American cars, too, but I'll take my leather heated seats with driver's memory setting for my seat, mirrors, and radio, plus my triple zone automatic ac, my overhead consol with trip computer which comes with vehicle reminders, compass, temperature readout, along with the steering wheel radio controls and power liftgate thank you very much. So am I going to call you stupid for not wanting luxury features in your car? Of course not because we all value different things, but I do think it's rather juvenile of you to make an assumption that all of us DC minivan owners are dumb asses because of a less than stellar resale. You value resale, I value luxury
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    So many people compare the theoretical trade in value to the MSRP. You excellently pointed out the real depreciation comparison is price paid to actual price received when trading in later.
    It appears you have discriminating taste for comfort. Do you drive the Avalon XLS to work and your wife drive the T&C LTD? (except on trips where it would seem the T&C would be the choice). Question: Does the Avalon XLS have Dual Zone Temp Control?
    I always drove my 1987 Chevy R-10 pickup to work and the wife had the 1991 Astro CL...but we would take the Astro on family trips. A minivan is very nice for trips and we enjoy the Dual Zone Temp, Trip Computer, Compass/Outside Temp all the time. However, with our Dual Zone the rear passengers get the temperature I as the driver selected for me. That Triple Zone is even nicer than our Dual Zone.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    Yes, the minivan has solely been my wife's vehicle since we bought our first one in 1988, although I still drive it occasionally, but when trips to Grandma's come up, the van is always the vehicle we take. My car is my 2001 Avalon which has about the same amenities as my wife's 2001 T&C. The Avalon has automatic dual zone air, compass, temperature readout, average mpg, trip time, etc. It also has heated leather seats with driver memory seat and mirrors, rear air vents that come out of the rear center consol, and traction control. The one thing though that I like about my Avalon more so than my wife's T&C is the Avalon has a moonroof. So they are both comparably equipped and thanks to these Internet sites, I was able to buy my Avalon for about $4000 less than the $34,000 sticker. Here again, when I trade my car in 3-4 years, I'll calculate it's resale by using my negotiated price that I paid for and not the MSRP.
  • TSchrammTSchramm Posts: 106
    A friend of mine was recently promoted and received a company car as part of his new compensation package. He decided that one of his 2 existing cars, a 2000 Chrysler van or 1999 Accord, had to go. He and his wife chose to sell the van.

    That was until they found out that the Chrysler had depreciated at twice the rate of the Honda - it was now worth almost $8,000 less than they paid for it , which was already $3,500 below msrp. And , because there are so many new and used Chrylser vans on the market, there were some dealers they had contacted to find out what they could get that didn't even want to buy it, unless they would take far below wholesale.

    They also found out that the Kelly Blue Book and Edmund sites computed resale values that were in excess of what the market in the Chicago area would actually pay, so view some of that data with a cautious eye.

    I guess the upside here is, if your looking for a really low price on a used minivan, start shopping for a Chysler.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Please keep your comments and references in CONTEXT. Your posting of the Chrysler minivan rear hatch problem is decieving to say the least. Those references are for minivans up to 1996! The 96 thru 2001 vans do not have that rear latch! Do I detect a little Honda bias here? Anyone visiting this site for th first time reading your references without going to the sites and reading what years they apply to could certainly be MISLED!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I was thinking about that late last night myself, because I seem to remember that I received a recall notice for the rear hatch when I owned an '89 Voyager. Your turn, Drew :-)

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  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    I too had a 94 Voyager which was recalled for the latch problem. I brought it in and had the latch replaced. The service deptment put a small purple or light blue stripe on the inside bottom of the hatch right where the latch is to signify it had been modified. A buyer of a 95 or newer used van, could check with a DC dealer and they could check the VIN number against DC's records to insure the recall had been performed on that particular van. If it wasn't it is still eligible to be replaced free I believe.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    TSchramm's example is a valid one for a 2000 Chrysler van, but it may not apply to future resale vales of 2001 Chrysler vans. Keep in mind that the 2001 Chrysler minivans were completely redesigned yet kept the same or lower MSRPs. Also keep in mind that DC way, way, over produced 2000 vans in anticipation of demand that just wasn't there. There is now a $3500 cash incentive for dealers on 2000 Chrysler vans still on the lot (of which there are many). You can buy today a completely new 2000 for far, far less than your friend got it for. So, it's not surprising that the *resale* value of the 2000's has dropped like a rock.

    I had the same thing happen to me with my '94 T&C van. The redesigned '96s came out in early '95 with the same MSRPs and my resale value plummeted.

    For 2001 Chrysler vans I would expect a more sane depreciation schedule.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Wouldn't the glut of 2000 DCs cause all 2000 and pre 2000 models to depreciate faster, rather than just for the year 2000 only?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Honda bias? LOL...FYI, I do drive a '94 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE AWD, which was also recalled for the latch (and most recently for a steering column reinforcement bracket; apparently some vans had their steering wheels/columns cracked and seperate). People who have been reading this topic (Town Hall being conversational styled) probably do know that that we have been discussing the pre-'96 vans recently.

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  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "Wouldn't the glut of 2000 DCs cause all 2000 and pre 2000 models to depreciate faster, rather than just for the year 2000 only? " - mliong

    Yep. My point was that the experience Tschramm cited was valid for pre-2001 vans but the same dramatic depreciation is unlikely to happen to 2001 DC vans.
  • mojo66mojo66 Posts: 83
    Allow me to explain why I responded to bk5001's post-- in comparing the Odyssey and T&C he stated that an advantage to buying the DC van was the dealer offering 0.9% financing. Not seeing the big picture here. It just doesn't make financial sense to consider that an advantage over the Honda when DC resale value is factored in. The only thing to go on here is past history, and the Honda has an advantage here, at least so far. The Odyssey and T&C are very different vans in terms of what they offer, and certainly if luxury items are key, the T&C has them all, at a price of course, but that is to be expected. BK5001 knocking the Odyssey because it doesn't come with all the luxury goodies is not fair because Honda clearly did not intend to build a luxury minivan. Given what the Ody does offer and its price, it is a bargain and those buyers seeking all the bells and whistles will look elsewhere anyway. Given Odyssey's sales figures, I'm sure Honda is in no hurry to offer a luxury model anyway. That's why Acura exists.

    Dave210 -- I did not refer to T&C owners as "dumb asses", please don't assume that is what I meant by my comments.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Are rather irrelevant to me. I try to keep a vehicle until the cost to maintain it approaches the cost of a new vehicle. I generally don't do well at trade in. As for DC vans, their value is diluted by the availability of rental vans and Government owned vans as used. I have frequently rented vans on business trips. They have all been DC vans.
    While resale / trade in value may be important to some, is it really an important consideration in buying a new van ? I know it isn't with me.
    I drive an Odyssey EX. I paid MSRP for it.
    I also paid what I thought were high prices for dealer installed options. I had mud flaps,roof rack cross rails, fog lights, and a towing option (for the transmission oil cooler)installed by the dealer. I had them installed by the dealer so they would be covered under warranty.
    With 5% sales tax, tags and title it came to a little under $30K. The cost of fuel alone that I will use in it, will over shadow the differences in depreciation.
  • shepherd5shepherd5 Posts: 35
    Bought a Civic as my daily car due to the reputation of high resale value. MSRP $16.8k -- bought 6/99 but 1998 model. Highest offer so far -- $10.5k. OUCH! I better keep the TC for a long long time.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    And the winner is...

    Technology: Tie

    Safety: DC

    Cabin Volume: Tie

    Trunk Volume: Tie

    Quality/Fit/Finish: Tie

    Cockpit: DC

    Performance: Tie

    Handling: Ody

    Steering: Tie

    Braking: DC

    Tires: Tie

    Lights: Ody

    Windshield Wipers: DC

    Defroster: DC

    Radio: DC

    Seats: DC

    Suspension: DC

    Noise: DC

    Conveniences: Ody

    Climate Control: Tie

    Price/Budget: DC

    Insurance: DC

    Satisfaction: Ody

    Fuel Economy: DC

    Depreciation: Ody

    Dodge Caravan

    Honda Odyssey


  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    Good job. I think that insurance may be more dependent on the driver, company and coverage.
    Also why is safety not ODY. If its because the DC has better brakes OK but the ODY has a 5 star crash rating. If you argue that avoiding the accident in the first place is better, I am not going to dispute that.
    I disagree with the review on the DC brakes. I never noticed them being "problematic". That's just BS. I have rented both 2000 and 2001 DC's I owned a 96. I never had any thing but praise for their brakes.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Chrysler looks to pad lead.

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  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Gives the consumer another choice. Personally we would prefer a GC SE with 3.8L, Overhead Console with compass/outside temperature/Trip Computer and the manually adjustable Triple Zone Temperature Control instead of the power sliding door (or doors), power liftgate, 4 wheel disc brakes, and powered-moveable center console. DC should be able to produce it for less cost than the EX which has these features I do not want.
    We prefer the Odyssey LX over the Odyssey EX as we desire neither power sliding doors and automatically controlled temperature and would save a couple of thousand $$ at the same time.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    The EX comes standard ONLY with manual triple zone air conditioning and no minivan other than the GM triplet vans and the GC ES, T&C LXi, and T&C LTD have a trip computer. I can understand where you might not want the power operated things, but why not the disc brakes? Aren't better brakes a better thing in case of an accident or something?
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Interesting to compare data. Ody EX has some features we do not have whereas we have some the Ody does not have.
    ..........Exclusive Features................
    Odyssey EX............. Grand Caravan SE
    Alarm System............Heated Power Mirrors
    Auto Dim Mirror.........Lighted Entry System
    Auto Climate Control..Compass/Outside Temp
    Garage Door Opener...Trip Computer
    Keyless Entry............Dual Zone Temp Control
    Power Driver Seat.......Built in Child Seat
    Power Sliding Doors ...Infinity Sound System
    Str Wh Radio Controls..Speed Activated Door locks
    TractionControl............Heating Coils Windshield Base
    Price Paid....$29,970.........$22,590
    Avg TradeIn...$21,967.........$15,402
    ****For Avg Trade In, I used the average of Edmunds TMV and 2 other internet pricing guides with each having 27,200 miles for my zip code with each in outstanding condition.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And the Odyssey seats are MUCH more comfortable for me than are the seats in our 1999 GC SE. At MSRP, their Odyssey at $26,840 is a much better buy than our GC SE would have been at MSRP $27,490. However, we paid $22,590 after discount and incentives and thus the 2 minivans become comparable bargains.
    As I wrote above, the Odyssey EX and Grand Caravan SE have many nice features in common and each has unique features that are very nice. I would love the seats of the Odyssey with the clever adaptable 2nd row and Magic Seat in rear of the Odyssey in my GC but retain the Dual Zone Temperature Control, Overhead Console with Compass/outside temperature and Trip Computer,and built in child safety seat.
    Since DC took off the Trip Computer on all but most expensive GC ES and T&C LXi, TC...I would buy the Odyssey if I were buying a new minivan at this time. However, knowing all I know after 2 years, I would still have purchased the 1999 GC SE instead of the 1999 GG Odyssey LX-C we ordered March 16, 1999.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    Looks like a "features" war!

    I will need to buy a new minivan soon to replace my 91 Grand Voyager with 127K miles on the clock. While features like power liftgates and triple zone climate controls are neat, it's the basic fundamental vehicle onto which these gadgets are mounted that really matters. I will narrow the field first based on that, then consider the gadgets if I need a tie-breaker.

    I prefer to keep a vehicle 10 years or so in order to minimize the depreciation hit. So how well it holds up in the first 10K miles means very little to me. I want to know what the thing will be like at 70 or 80K. This is where the Chrysler has disappointed me.

    The first 57K for my GV were fairly uneventful. There were a few minor problems, but no show-stoppers. But, from that point on it hasn't been pretty. Transmission munched itself, then shortly after Chrysler replaced it and it's control computer, the engine (3.3) started smoking upon acceleration and using a lot of oil. Ring job was done on Chrysler's nickel. I was very fortunate to have the 7/70 powertrain warranty. Next up was the peeling paint. This van was garaged, not driven every day, and waxed regularly. Chrysler paid to paint only those panels that peeled. At first it was only the roof, then the hood, then the top of the tailgate. Now it's slightly multi-colored. I wanted them to do it all at once, but they refused. At least they recongized the van had been well maintained and paid for the "affected" panels.

    Fuel rail started spraying fuel on top of the engine. Fortunately I noticed it before something bad happened (fire!), but since it was out of warranty, Chrysler would not pay. Never mind that they had recalls on the fuel rail on the 3.3 in the Intrepid. They say it's a different part. I had my favorite garage fix it.

    A/C compressor went out next. Turns out it is a special "variable displacement" compressor that never cycles, and it cost a bunch of money. Rebuilt units are simply not available, and only Chrysler sells the new replacment unit. I paid for that one. Now welds are breaking along the leading edges of one front door and the trailing edge of the hood. The sliding door can't be adjusted to open and close easily and fit flush. Somehow air is getting into the brake system, even though the brake fluid level is always fine and currently no brake fluid leaks (had to change a rear cylinder, but that's nothing out of the ordinary). The engine is beginning to knock (it's a rod). And at 127K, I am beginning to be concerned with the transmission again, even though right now it functions perfectly. In case anyone is wondering, I changed the oil every 4K and trans fluid religiously, using only MOPAR trans fluid. I never added any sort of additive to the trans fluid or oil. Used Valvoline and always changed the filter when changing the oil.

    Now, should I consider another DC van? Actually, I am considering it. I am not closed minded. But it is difficult for me to trust DC. When I bought my van in November of 91, I specifically asked if the problems with the '89 "Ultradrive" transmission had been resolved. Of course they said yes, and now the updated transmission was called the A604. I though, well, they have had two years to correct the problems, and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. It was their most important vehicle, after all. Silly me. I now want to give them some credit for attempting to fix the transmission, but I note that the 2001 DC vans still use the A604 transmission. So I asked a few reputable independent garages what they have experienced and was told that they are still getting these vans in with transmission failures at 60-80K, typically '95 and '96 models and Chrysler is not fixing them under warranty. Same goes for the Dodge Dynasty and others that use the same transmission. So I see that at least 6 years after the problems with this transmission surfaced, DC has yet to correct it, except to eliminate the extended factory warranty. Now you pay extra for that, and they know you will because of the transmission's reputation. I was fortunate enough to get to speak with a Chrysler drivetrain engineer back in '96 at a Chrysler marketing event in our city. I asked him how many A604 transmissions they end up replacing or repairing under warranty. 40%. Wow. Maybe he was wrong, but it told me they recognized they have a problem. There was no doubt this fellow was a Chrysler engineer, not a marketing guy. How many marketing people do you know that would give an answer like that to a customer?

    I know that high-level Chrysler executives read this board, just look at the reply made to the recent Edmund's review of the 2001 Caravan. To DaimlerChrysler: I have clearly defined for you why many of your customers are not going straight back to you for their next vehicle. You have insulted many of your customers by continuing to produce the same product while professing to have corrected the problems. Will you continue to insult my intelligence by only offering more rebates and gadgets, or will a real effort to address the fundamental problems be made? You can win me back, but you have to TRY. Fancy features and rebates won't cut it. The ball is in your court. How will you respond?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    DaimlerChrysler's Response to Our Dodge Grand Caravan Long-Term Introduction

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  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    dkrab - My experience is similar. I had a '94 T&C. Various problems from day 1. Nevertheless, we recently purchased an '01 T&C Limited. Why? Here's some food for thought:

    First of all, there apparently has been dramatic improvement in the reliability of DC Minivans. Consumer Reports, for example, used to include the long-wheelbase DC minivans on their "worst reliabiliy" short list. Now they are recommended based on "average" reliability (since '98), which for minivans is actually above average. Other sources confirm this. Scanning the Edmunds and Usenet groups over several months for problem reports finds NO reported early transmission failures for the '01 DC minivans, and in general very few reports of lemons. A similar scan of Usenet for the first year of the '96 model (last redesign) found many, many critical problems including failed trannies.

    Second, the new Chryslers offer a heckuva lot for the money when you consider that you should be able to get these babies for well under invoice in addition to the rebates.

    OTOH, there are a couple of areas where I have reservations. First is the lack of crash test results ... the '96-'00 models scored weakly in this area. I'm betting that DC recognizes that this cost them many sales and has addressed this problem in the '01 redesign. Second, I must admit that I'm impressed that all the Honda owners who report serious problems also report that Honda corp. is incredibly responsive in fixing those problems. I still think Chrysler has a long way to go in this area.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "First is the lack of crash test results"

    Anyone know what is going on with the NHTSA results for the DC vans? They were due in March, but were mysteriously moved back to May. Almost every other vehicle scheduled for testing this year is completed. Makes you wonder if they had to repeat the tests for some reason?

    In a press release, DC mentioned some structural improvements. Sounds like these may be to improve the offset crash results. I suspect the 2001 models will be improved all around from the previous version. I also think the NHTSA and IIHS really failed by not having these tests available. This vehicle is the most popular in a segment where safety tends to be more important to buyers.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    I wonder if it has something to do with a problem in the crash test? On, under consumer complaints, there is this intriguing little item for the Grand Caravan:


    Now, who do you suppose was doing this frontal offset test, other than IIHS? I wonder if Chrysler was given the opportunity to correct this flaw and then "do-over" the crash test?
  • baryfotobaryfoto Posts: 1
    I respect the design and really enjoy the aesthetics of my 97 Grand Caravan EL. Superb audio system (ad/tape/infinity speakers), darn nice ride, gas mileage is a plus (I average 23 mpg - according to the trip computer). BUT.....
    When I got to 60k miles.... so many things, first small then bigger and bigger.
    AC compressor replaced ($675)
    AC evaporator replaced ($932)
    DC mechanism kaput and the amplifier is going.. or the speakers are going .. because the sound gets intermittently muffled on the left side of the van.
    Belt pensioner snapped off
    which led to the need for new water pump. Paint "rubbed" off on door handles. Still, it drives smooth, relatively quiet, a squeak here or there, but I'm sticking with it!
    "till I get my Odyssey.... just wish Honda's style would WOW me a bit more....
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    The Odyssey styling gives more headroom in the 3rd seat, more flexibility with 2nd row seating, more cargo space behind 3rd seat, and easier to get MUCH more cargo space. Odyssey seats are more comfortable than my GC seats. That being said, I would not trade my Dual Zone Temperature Control, Overhead Console with compass/outside temp/Trip Computer for the nice features of the Odyssey...unless I had to pay MSRP for either.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Today I noticed the NHTSA no longer says May, instead it is now "To be Tested."
  • ml42305ml42305 Posts: 4
    The sound system is better.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Overall, a very good showing for the Chrysler vans.

    4 stars in the frontal crash tests, and 4-5 stars in the side impact tests, with the short wheelbase models getting the 4-star rating. 3 stars in the rollover rating. See:

    Anyone heard when the offset crash results will be posted?

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The sound system is better. See how well it sounds when the doors fall off. They should have used a little of their radio reseach money on door hinges.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    What do you mean, "See how the radio sounds when the doors fall off?" If I understand correctly, when the vehicles doors fall off in the frontal crash in the models without remote keyless entry, the radio will sound the same as it did before the doors flew off, or in a 2nd worse situation, the radio and all the whole end will be smashed up in addition to the doors flying off, so in retrospect whether the radio works or not in the crash, it still isn't at all related to little Timmy flying out of his seat in back when the doors fly off. But if in the case the radio does still in fact works, I'm sure it will sound great and better than the Honda's sound system regardless of the back doors flying off. I know if I had a Dodge Caravan with the manually locked doors and I got in a crash, I'd be damn glad I had that great sound system in a crash even if I had to sacrifice some sound when the crash happened and all the sound left out the doors when they would fall off.

    If you didn't catch on, (which I'm sure you did), I was being sarcastic. BTW, while I may have a 01 T&C LTD, the Odyssey would still be my pick for an overall reliable van. I always cross my fingers with each DC van I buy (I'm on my third) and I'm glad to say after 3 of them, I'm still not part of those failed transmission statistics or encountered any other major problems, but by also owning a Honda product, I know if I went to an Odyssey, I wouldn't have to cross my fingers any longer. But oh well, the luxury of the Chryslers are great, and until Honda even offers factory leather, I'll keep on crossing my fingers at Chrysler.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    What I met is that I read daily from some chrysler person how much greater they THINK theirs is than the Honda, (both are good) it justs gives me a little satifaction to give back a little bit of their sarcasm.
  • being offered on the '02 Odyssey. Stereo will still suck I imagine though. Can't have it all(don't tell the MPV'ers that).
  • TSchrammTSchramm Posts: 106
    "The Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG (NYSE:DCX - news) said Thursday it will recall 136,500 new minivans to replace locks on sliding side doors that flew open during federal crash tests.

    The 2001 models of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan still earned five stars -- the highest grade -- for protecting passengers in side impact crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Two other models, the Chrysler Voyager and Dodge Caravan, earned slightly worse marks.

    Even though the minivans passed the tests, the opening doors concerned NHTSA officials. In all three tests of side impact, the minivans' doors unlatched, and came wide open in one test. The doors stayed latched in a fourth test done after Chrysler agreed to changes in the door design.

    Chrysler said the key mechanism in the doors was responsible for the problem, which had never come up in Chrysler's own testing. The automaker said it will replace part of the lock on minivans with sliding doors that lock with keys, which account for about one-third of 2001 model year minivans. The other minivans are equipped with keyless systems.

    Chrysler will offer the repair for free, and the action is not considered a safety recall.


    All the minivan models earned four stars in frontal crash tests; the Voyager and Caravan earned four stars for front passenger protection in side crash tests and five stars for rear passenger safety in side tests.

    The crash ratings for Chrysler's minivans, a key to its profits, are consistent with other minivans but slightly behind the results for Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE:F - news) Windstar and Honda Motor Co. Ltd's Odyssey, which each received five stars in all tests.

    A five-star rating in frontal crash tests means a passenger wearing a seat belt will have a 10 percent or less chance of serious injury in a crash; in the side impact test, a five-star rating means the chance of serious injury is 5 percent or less. A four-star rating means those chances double.

    Ford and Honda have made much of their five-star ratings in marketing pitches to the families that buy most minivans, and the Odyssey has proven wildly popular, stealing market share from Chrysler.

    Chrysler officials have said they may have misjudged how important the crash tests have become and should have designed the minivans to garner five stars. Chrysler engineers said conflicting crash standards from Europe and the U.S made the task tougher.

    NHTSA also said it gave the Chrysler minivans three stars in rollover ratings, meaning the vehicles have a 20 percent to 30 percent risk of rolling in a single vehicle crash. The results are one star less than the Windstar and Odyssey received. "
  • howie99mnhowie99mn Posts: 20
    I had to hit my brakes hard on my Chrysler Town & country since a car in front of me stopped. I went from 65MPH down to nothing in one hurry thanks to the four wheel disc brakes.

    I don't think that the Odyessey with Accord Brakes (which performed worse in CR results) would have stopped me quick enough since I had only 1 feet to spare from a $4000 repair job.
  • a2za2z Posts: 2
    We are selling our 1992 Grand Caravan LE. This was a very good van for us. Never had the Tranny problems everyone eludes to. But I have to say I am very diligent in the area of maintenance. I service my own vehicles even though I can afford for others to work on them. I don't trust the work people do today.

    My wife wanted a new van so we got another Grand Caravan in the Sport model. We got it with the following options: inferno red, side air bags, power right door, and the customer package 25H. This baby drives beautifully. Alot smoother than the 92.

    I got a great deal on it also. I shopped around quite a bit and used the Internet for my research. I went to Douglas County Dodge in Georgia. They advertised the AC sport in the paper with the 25H package for $20999, includes the $2000 rebate. This price applied to all their sports. If there was a sport with additional options on the lot, they just added the invoice pricing of the option to that price. They also had the ES for 27,999, includes the $2000 rebate.

    They only catch was they had a $399 documentation fee. I ended up paying $1400 under invoice without the $2000 rebate. We took the 3.9% financing. The total vehicle cost $23836 plus Tax, tag, and title.

    We shopped around quite a bit. Honda's are suppose to be more reliable but the exterior/ interior colors are blah. The interior "plushness" reminds me of a cheap 4 cyl car. There was significantly more wind and engine noise.

    We almost got the Winstar, but became spooked by their problems with the 2.8L head gaskets. It also had significantly more wind and engine noise.

    The Sienna and Quest appeared to be much smaller and did not drive as nice.

    The Gm vans had lousy crash test results.

    So here we are back in a Dodge. Here's to another 10 years of smooth sailing. fingers crossed, knock on wood. But to tell you the truth, if you read these boards all Manufacturer's Minivans have writeups about poor maintenance. Most people who are happy with their vehicles, don't post. So you end up with are the few people who had a problem with their car. All cars are susceptable to failure, they are mechanical.
  • shepherd5shepherd5 Posts: 35
    i am a bit confused. these flying doors affect only those models with keys -- not with keyless entry. i assume this means the power sliding doors are not affected -- am i correct?
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    You are right, only vans sold without remote unlocking are being recalled. You must have remote unlocking to have power door opening, therefore only SE base Dodge Caravans or base Chrysler Voyagers without the optional power door locks are affected. All others come with power door locks. If you van has a key opening in the rear side door handle it will be recalled.
  • tlf4flftlf4flf Posts: 3
    Our 1996 GC LE has 243,000 miles. We are just now having some problems. We replaced the fuel pump in January, the alternator in March, and now the computer control module. That's not too bad when you consider that the van covers over 4,000 miles a month! The fit and finish is better than our 90 GC LE, which we drove 257,000 miles. I sold it because of transmission concerns, but the engine was still sound. I'm looking to upgrade to a TC in 2002.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    tlf4flf reports experiences with Grand Caravans which are about the same as that of many friends of ours who drive Chrysler and now Daimler/Chrysler minivans.
    I am glad my sister and brother-in-law got a new 2001 Odyssey EX so we have one where we can readily make side-by-side comparisons. Each has very nice features. For them, the power sliding side doors and Magic Seat was important plus the "no-haggle" pricing of Odyssey.
    For us,the availability of a GC, the Dual Zone Temperature Control, Overhead Console with Compass/Outside Temp/Trip Computer and a discounted price where our loaded GC SE was $1025 less than an Odyssey LX caused us to get the 1999 Grand Caravan SE.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Reaching 243,000 miles is pretty impressive, but mileage alone does not give the whole story. If you're going to cover 4000 miles/ month it seems like most of those have to be highway trips, try getting that type of reliability driving mostly city (i.e. taxi cabs), or in stop-and-go traffic. Also, you have to consider how old the car is, factors such as exposure of the hoses and other parts of the car to the elements must be considered.
    As for others experiencing such great reliability, congratulations! I do not know of anyone personally, who have not had their DC van transmission or engine worked on prior to 100K miles. Can the Odyssey be much better? Definitely. Someone mentioned that the Odyssey's reliability is about the same as a DC van and vice versa. I think that's pretty darn good for a 3 year old model (how much more experience does Chrysler have???? ;) ).
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    DTKWOK...How many people have a computer at home 10 years ago? Technology really helps companies to build better cars for the past few years.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Obviously the Odyssey track record is NOT as good as DC minivans for 1999. There were far more problems reported by Odyssey owners for 1999 than were for DC minivans even though DC outsold Odyssey by many times. Can the Odyssey do better? I certainly hope so as I recommended an Odyssey to my sister and brother-in-law.
    I do know of one DC minivan owner who had to have engine work done. It was a 1986 Caravan my sister-in-law inherited from her dad and he got it from a "Fly-By-Night" used car lot. She was the 3rd owner if not 4th or 5th.
    Meanwhile, one of my sisters had a 1986 Caravan got used and hers had 170,000 miles with NO problems. John P., a co-worker of mine got a USED Grand Voyager that had 110,000 miles on it when I retired in 1996. Since he moved, I do not know how many more it accumulated with NO problems. He did NOT even have a tune-up and only maintenance he had performed was an oil and oil filter change.
    Kurt J. had owned 2 DC minivans he got used and had zero problems. That is why he bought a NEW 2000 Grand Caravan LE. And I could go on and on listing the many friends who love DC minivans and are repeat customers.
    Based on the unreliability of 4 Honda Accords owned by people I know (of a total of 7 in 1999), Honda reliability is much less satisfactory than the DC minivan reliability.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131

    Actually i do still have a computer from about 10 years ago, a 286 and a 386, they do make excellent paper weights. =) Yes technology does help make things better, but only if you apply correctly (circular reasoning, I know).


    You must think me a Honda fanatic or something. Believe me, I'm not, we had/have Fords, Nissan's, Toyota's, as well as Honda's. I don't work for any car companies nor I do know of any that does so either, so I buy whatever I think is a good buy. As for Tayalan's 1999 Odyssey lemon, what can I say? To me it's only hearsay, I can neither deny nor prove it's validity. EVERYONE makes lemons, some more than others, I don't look at it as a percentage thing but rather as how many actual defective units there are. Percentages mean nothing to those stuck with a lemon. Well also, 99 was a first year model, thus problems (more so) are expected, everyone should know that. To be fair, if you're going to compare a '99 Ody, you should do it to a '01 DC van, right? BTW, the '01 DC van seems to be reporting more troubles as we speak. Again is that expected? Yes, but not because it's a DC, but because it's the first year of a totally new design.
  • alettealette Posts: 1
    I need AWD - ranch property. BUT, I want a minivan that we can sleep in on the road AND I need enough power to pull a fishing boat. I like the way the gear shift is mounted on the steering column of the Grand Caravans/TownCountry, you can a towing package, you can have an engine heater, a roof rack, etc. I WISH these models had an option for a moon roof and a stowable back seat. I don't care what the company says - it is HARD work removing the back seat! SO, is there a minivan out there that has AWD, V6, tow package with a stowable back seat and moonroof? I would also like to have the minivan have a little more ground clearance! BUT, I don't want a 4x4 because of gas mileage! So, HELP!
  • geoduckgeoduck Posts: 52
    If you are purely looking for "AWD, V6, tow package with a stowable back seat and moonroof" then prepare to be disappointed and check out big SUVs instead. The gas mileage isn't that much worse than a minivan AWD. The higher clearance will get you more places.

    Only new AWD minivans out there are Chrysler/Dodge and GM/Chevy. The former doesn't have a stowable back seat and the tow power is 3800 lbs, but it is a great vehicle (I own one);
    GM/Chevys are favored by folks who tow bigger stuff, but the vehicle is an old-style RWD truck design and not all that reliable and doesn't offer a stowable back seat.

    Removing the split bench Chrysler seat is quick and not difficult; my wife does it when needed.
    Have you looked at an MDX?
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