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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • vanman94vanman94 Posts: 4
    I have hardly ever heard anyone say that they hate their minivan. I imagine that it doesn't matter what you buy, you will learn to use that vehicle's strengths to your advantage.

    I make my decisions based on statistics, like the ones hayneldan just cited. I like reliable automobiles, and I have seen too many friends and family struggle with unreliable autos. I don't want to do it myself.

    The problem with hayneldan's stats: it accounts for only one model year. The Ody was in its second year, while the Chrysler products were in at least their fifth years. They had ironed out the bugs in those models. I have personally known three DC owners (total of four minivans). They all loved their vans, but they all had MAJOR, non-warranty problems withe their vehicles. My dad bought a DC brand new, and put TWO transmissions in it in just 5 years.

    Me, I managed to buy the only Honda-manufactured product that was rated "Do Not Buy" by Consumer Reports: '99 Ody. Honda made some un-Honda-like mistakes. I have had no problems with mine, but I am discouraged by the data.

    That being said, Honda's reliablity has been much better than the Chrysler offerings historically, and I have every reason to believe that it will get that way on the Ody, probably with the 2001. I don't blame anyone for liking the T&C, I hear they are very nice. We love the Ody, with the "magic seat", big engine, great cargo room, great fit and finish, and, yes, road noise.
  • vanman94vanman94 Posts: 4
    AMCI gets paid to help their clients market their vehicles. I have no problem with that. I still don't care how much someone else likes a vehicle, I am not buying it for them. AMCI rates vehicles based on their industry-proven standard tests, which do NOT include my wife having to mess with "easy-out" roller seats. They also do not take into account MY peace of mind.

    I doubt very few people will buy a Chrysler just because someone else said it was the best. Nor will anyone buy an Odyssey just because I love mine. Our van fits our lifestyle perfecly. We could not have afforded to give up any cargo room behind the third seat on some of our trips. So, I have really enjoyed the Ody.

    Rockbiter, I hope you won't let someone else's attitude affect your opinion about what they drive. If hotspur ruins your vehicle-search experience then you have given him what he wants.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "Please do us a favor and enjoy your Ody in peace, and leave the rest of us "fools and idiots" alone."

    This IS an Odyssey vs. Chrysler forum. Hotspur has provided some valid points, and others have countered them. No one is forcing you to agree with or even read his posts, but I think a debate can be continued without the personal attacks, or the need to chase off anyone with an opposing viewpoint.

    Incidentally, our Odyssey is relatively quiet on asphalt. It can be noisy on some types of concrete, and most all the noise is from the front tires, and rear tires to a lesser extent. Couldn't say if it would be quieter without the magic seat or not... If anyone I know buys a 2001 DC van, I'll break out my sound pressure level meter and post the results.

  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    The Goodyear "Conquest" tires on our 99 GC SE are quiet on asphalt but rather noisy on concrete.
    Our 91 Astro CL with UniRoyal Tiger Paw Plus AWP was quieter on concrete when we traded it off in March 1999 than was the new 99 GC SE...BUT the GC SE is much quieter on asphalt than was the Astro.
    Would be interesting to read vehicle test comparisons where each vehicle was equipped with the identical type tire. For example, if Odyssey had Firestone Symmetry and the Chrysler had Michelin ??, compare each van with Firestone Symmetry and then with Michelin ??
    I think the Magic Seat well is getting a bum rap as a source of road noise. The extra cargo space and convenience of folding into the floor for even more space would be a welcome change to my 99 GC SE Quad Seating. I would also appreciate the larger fuel tank of Chevy Venture or Astro.
  • Funny, isn't that what I just said? Well, I must admit, you said it in a nicer way. Yes, I DO realize that this is an Ody Vs. DC forum. That's why I read it. My point, though, is yours -- we can do without the attacks, or the need to chase off an opposing viewpoint. I just wanted to send that point to Hotspur. If he loves his Ody, fine. I'm glad that he's very happy with it. I just think that we can do without his forcing his opinion on everyone. Just give us the facts, not the belittling attitude.
    By the way, thanks for giving me your opinion on the whole mess. I also appreciate your following it up with your honest opinion on the Ody's noise level. THAT is what I am looking for -- stuff like that helps me out in my quest for a new van.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    You can debate attitude if you like. I wanted to point out that I didn't recall Hotspur making any personal attacks, or asking anyone else to leave or withhold their opinions. Yet, he has been the recipient of a number of such posts.

    As I scrolled back, I did find a number of pieces of useful information and comparisons he posted. Since I have an Odyssey, I guess I didn't notice the attitude.

    Another comment- The magic seat is great for the few times we've needed it in the 4 months we've had it. Still, we don't use it nearly as much as I thought we would. Do the Chrysler split rear seats tumble forward like the ones in the Sienna? Removing seats and storing them is a big hassle to me, but the arrangement in the Sienna is a good compromise for when you need extra room. You can remove one, remove both, or tumble them forward without removing them. Unfortunately, the Sienna rear seat was too small for our parents, and too difficult for them to get into.
  • I recently received my 2001 Oddyssey EX in Feb.1st (took 2 mths to order)for $27,800 -tax & Tag.So far,I haven't found any problems with it,except the cross bar cause some irritating wind noise at high speed. After I removed it, the noise is gone. Beside that,We just love it . About how relidable it is, Only time will tell and I am willingly taking my chance on it.
    I used to own 1993 Dogde Grand Caravan LE with 4 transmissions repaired. 1st rebuilt at 65k, 2nd rebuilt at 80k. 3rd tranny was replaced by Dealer for $1,800 at 104k miles.9 mths later,the fourth tranny was replaced free of charge, because it was still under 12 mths this moment, my DGC is still parking in my driveway with a grand new tranny on it.Has Anyone interested in it for $2500, email me at
    I used to be a loyalty DGC owner.I like the Styling of new DGC, so lovely and so efficent.Somehow, they(Chrysler) have to do something about their power train design in order to keep GC sells from plunging down from 300,000+ to below 180,000. I will check back with them in 10 yrs, see if they still look down on their customer.
    On other hand,Oddyssey is going from 60,000 to 120,000 and still keep customer on 2 mths waiting list and still have to pay $1000 above MSRP. Well! Supply and Demand, Honda dealers love this drive so much!! Honda try to increase their Oddyssey production to 240,000 by late 2001 to cope with the demand.I just hope ,this will come true.
    By that time, perhaps,Chrysler will learn something about what Quality Control is.
    Let us be a smart consumer, not a faithful consumer to any manufacture. It's your money after all :).
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And that was a very big factor in our decision to get the 99 GC SE instead of the 99 Ody LX-C we had ordered on March 16,1999.
    And so far in 24,800 miles and over 24 months we have had zero problems. Hope your new Ody EX gives you the excellent service we received from our GC SE.
    It seems that there are horror stories about all brands while others have zero problems with the same brand.
  • been a while since i have been on here...looks like i havnt missed a thing.. I have a 93 voyager and a 99 GCS with 120k and 23k miles. couldnt be happier...the 93 had the starter replaced at about 90k and the 99 has not been in for anything except routine maintenance. I am sure the Ody is a lovely vehicle. I cannot speak to it. All I know is that when we looked, drove and priced.. the GCS won in 99. that was for us at that time. I just know that I am not sorry about our decision..but would never ever presume to tell someone else what to buy. I just got real tired of listening to people slam the chrysler vans when I knew what my experience and many many others I knew had been. If I were a rich person, I would trade right now for the 2001 model from what I see. If you have and Ody and happy with it..then great..i am happy for you.. I have absolutely nothing negative to way about them...
    all I know is that my 99 GCS is a real pleasure to drive and I enjoy it immensely..
    I also dont understand the slams regarding the fact that chrylser churns these things out and we get them for a better price. I guess we should get chrysler to cut back production and raise the price????
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    This game of post and delete is alot of fun and very challanging but I have to get back to my life and I hope you got my point? No harm intended. ;))
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    As you asked me in one of many posts you deleted I checked your profile( like I have before and it has not changed since I entered Edmonds) and I'm possitive Edmonds has verified it is correct is that right? I think not. what you are asking me is to believe who you say you are? am I not correct? You and I or anyone for that matter would be a fool to believe anyone on the internet. There for I judge you by your actions which is delete,delete, delete.And yes carl I deleted to only that my posts would not seem out of context. ;)) Which was not to run and hide because I was scarred someone might see. Which is apparently what you are doing.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    #1. We put $500 deposit on Ody LX-C on 3/16/99.
    #2. We bought NEW GC SE 3/20/99.
    #3. 1999 GC has had ZERO problems. Compare these zero problems with the many problems reported in Odyssey XXX forum by an owner of a 1999 Odyssey.
    #4. I happen to like the "Magic Seat" and would prefer it to my GC SE 3rd seat.
    #5. I also like Odyssey 2nd row seating flexibility.
    #6. I also like Dual Zone Temp and Trip Computer in 99 GC SE that is not available in an Ody.
    #7. I prefer panel doors, larger 27 gal fuel tank, 4.3L V6, GM 4 speed Automatic of Astro to comparable item on either GC or Odyssey.
    #8. In my opinion, each minivan has distinct advantages...makes it difficult to make final selection.
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    I think not. BTW #8 not by some of your comments. :)))
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    Ody lx 2000 for 19k brand new who says I didn't. All you got to do is paint a story. It's the internet come on people get real. IF WE CAN. ;))
  • I used to enjoy reading the messages here but lately it's getting hard. Comparing noise levels, magic seats,trip computers and pre 2001 vehicles seem trivial to me. I have 50k on a 98 G/C sport,
    the dealer replacing the battery in 1998 has been the only problem, it rides quiet and is comfortable. If there is an option I missed on this vehicle I will get it on the next one I buy. It is only a piece of machinery, fill it with gas,insert the key and go.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    But Mrbizness, this is a comparison topic not really limited to sspecific model years, so compare away! It's not trivial at all.


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  • johng14johng14 Posts: 31
    If you think noise level is trivial, why do you "rides quiet" in your post?
  • i've worked in public relations and "turning a negative into a positive" and "planting niggling seeds of doubt about the competition" is basic training (the latter of which requires no proof). of course, going into it, chrysler engineers knew they were going to catch flak for not incorporating a disappearing 3rd-row seat (they OWN the AWD minivan market so who can blame them?) so why not turn that criticism around and make it into a selling point, all-the-while taking a swipe at the minivan many point to as the the class-leader? i can almost guarantee you D-C engineers were instructed to bring this up before they went out to meet the media.

    instead of comparing just the ody to the T&C for noise, wouldn't it be helpful to also throw the mazda MPV into the mix since that also has the "noisy" disappearing 3rd-row seat?
  • that's good marketing on D-C's part! look how many it has convinced that the odyssey is noisy...kind of like a reverse placebo-effect. regarding the AMCI stuff, i think they could have pulled that off a little better. i mean, "the best minivans EVER"! is like saying, "the most super-duper-est minivans ever invented by mankind!"...a little too heavy-handed, imho, especially when they hide what "AMCI" stands for and don't disclose what the basis for scores under each of the criteria were.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And offer discounts, rebates, incentives, etc?Why don't the others lower their prices since they save all that money Chrysler spends on advertising, disounts, rebates, and incentives?
    Is Chrysler generous or is it a case of other makers being greedy?
  • jbrinda2jbrinda2 Posts: 12
    We finally took the plunge last night (gulp!) after hemming and hawing and doing extensive research on pricing, options, etc, as well as test driving Toyota, Honda and Chrysler. We purchased a 2001 Chrysler LXi with 3.8 Litre engine, Power Liftgate, U Package, Traction Control, Side Air bags, Heated Front Seats, & CD/Equalizer. MSRP was $33,845. We purchased for $31,645 + TTL. They also agreed to sell me the roof rack (which it did not have) at dealer cost. Dealer invoice was about $31,275 which included $475 in advertising association fees. We also traded in our '94 Subaru Legacy L AWD Wagon for $3,200 which was less than the $4,000 I wanted but it was worth not having to try and sell it on my own and deal with all the hassles that go with that. We got to the dealer at 8:30 and started negotiating at 9:30 (half hour after close). They accepted my first offer so I basically decided what I would pay. I suppose I should have tried for a few hundred less but when the financing is 1.9% over 4 years, I think it would have saved me a buck or two a month....not worth the effort.

    As far as comparison to the Odyssey, I noticed several things. Everyone knows T&C wins the luxury battle (although you do get nickel and dimed for every option - no standard CD? come on!). However, I think the real surprise was seating. I am 6'2" and actually had room to spare on the driver's seat. I was able to sit comfortably with plenty of leg room in the 2nd row and third row seats, something I did not expect, given how Honda brags about space. The glove box in the Honda majorly imposed on my leg room in the passenger's front seat, even when I was in the fully extended position. Tons of passenger leg room in the LXi front passenger's seat though. The tilt wheel in the LXi is much more user friendly and has more flexibility than the Honda's stiff lever arm. Let's not forget about that hideous, and I mean 'fun house' terrifying fabric in the Honda is no comparison to the rich leather upholstery in the LXi. That's an option I am willing to pay for and will be much easier to keep clean. The Infinity speaker system in the LXi is amazing and the stereo beats the weak Honda hands down. Finally the ease of mobility and flexibility of the 2nd and 3rd row seats in the LXi really sold us. We thought of 3 different configurations we would use regularly, depending on where we were going and with who. I suppose I could come back here crying in 8 months that I have contracted one of those dreaded Chrysler tranny problems but I have confidence. CR expected reliability to be considerably improved in the redesigned T&C and from all the reviews I read, it seems to be a great car. I certainly hope so, since it is way more than I've ever spent on a car before. However, since the financing was so great, I was able to get everything I wanted in a much nicer van for a difference of about $60 a month over the Honda. A premium I will gladly pay. Time may prove me the wrong but I think the LXi is a winner.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And an ad in today's paper for a Honda dealership stated 11 Odyssey to choose from. Colors, 5 granite green, 3 silver, 2 white, 1 beige.
    A different dealership told my sister there would be a wait of slightly over 1 month for their Taffeta White 2001 Odyssey EX which is due in later this month.
  • carleton: the previous 4 weekends, i have been seeing local ads (northern california) of one or two chyrsler or dodge dealers advertising all 2001 town & countrys and grand caravans in stock for $5500 under MSRP (that includes the $1500 cash back)...i've checked and they say they have dozens in stock to choose from. that puts the price thousands UNDER can that be possible? anyway, i was wondering how much they're going for where you are since the ody's are so, ody's are still msrp+ or you still have to wait a couple of months.
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    FYI I was at our local mall this morning and a Chrystler dealer had a town and country lx out front on desplay. What a beautiful machine it was silver with a dark leather interior I'm sure it had all the bells and whistles that could be provided. Anyway asking price was $34,210 but if you knock off that $ 5,000 + you were talking about thats not a bad deal. P.S. this is in northern California.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And it is between $100 and $200. Just sufficient so they can say "Odyssey below MSRP". Not in the same ballpark as DC at about $4500 below MSRP but does put the actual selling price of the two in about the same ball park with comparable equipment.
    I am tempted to drive to the Ody dealership to find out what the "small print" is since they have 11 Odyssey in stock. I have never seen any Odyssey that was not one that had been ordered by a customer at any of the 4 dealerships in this area except for one demonstrator at Ken Garff Honda.
  • dz6tdz6t Posts: 18
    If you throw in the MPV, it just proved the DC's point. The MPV is VERY noisey. The main reason I passes on the MPV is its noisey FORD (can you believe it?) engine.
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
  • by my estimates, that is thousands below invoice...there must be some serious factory to dealer kickbacks and other incentives! anyway, i too love that silver/navy leather combo...absolutely striking.

    DZ6T: the oft-quoted popular mechanics minivan comparo has the MPV quieter than both the chrysler and honda minivans. JFYI
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    I took a look at my saterday morning paper all I could find was $5,000 off MSRP after factory rebate or 3.9 finance 60 mo. but only one van with this discount which is a Grand Caravan ES. There was nothing accross the board for all vans or a particular model.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Minivans face off

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