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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • shepherd5shepherd5 Posts: 35
    i kinda figured that was the case, but the wording isn't exactly crystal clear. thanks for clearing up the 5% uncertainty i had hanging on the back of my head.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Your post stated the difference between 5 stars and 4 stars was DOUBLE the chance of injury with only 4 stars. ACTUALLY,5 stars mean 10% or less chance of injury and 4 stars mean 11 to 20% chance of injury.The difference could be as small as 2%(source Motor Trend May 2001 issue, Crash Safety Ratings, Good Science or Misguided Crusading? page 102)
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Ok, I think a Honda Odyssey is better than a flood damaged 4-cylinder 1985 Dodge Caravan with 3 flat tires, but just barely.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The "all" was meant to refer to the Voyager, the Caravan, as well as the Town & Country.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    check out Dodge Durango, I'm not sure you can get a 6 cyl with 4 wheel drive but it does have the folding rear seat and the towing option.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Our 1991 Astro CL was a great vehicle except for the digital instrumentation that had intermittent display of 2 items...but they had the "idiot light" backup. At 7-1/2 years old (Dec 1998) it needed a manifold gasket replacement and also the windshield wiper motor. Overall mileage was 20.7 MPG in the 7 and 1/2 years. Had as much interior room as a T&C, GC, or Odyssey and was over 2 feet shorter in length. We liked the panel doors much more than the liftgate at the rear. The MUCH greater torque of the 4.3L V6 with large 27 gallon fuel tank were superior features to the FWD minivans.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382

    From the above link, you will be able to see the detailed injury and cabin intrusion measures from the IIHS test and compare them to the other minivans. While this doesn't give the entire story, it does give you a good idea of why the IIHS assigned the ratings that it did.

    Obviously as little cabin intrusion is best, and as low as possible injury indexes are the best. HIC is the Head Injury Counter; the IIHS can tell if the person would get a light concussion (Are there any light concussions? Probably not. All concussions are bad.) or a serious brain injury from the accident, if it was a real person instead of a dummy in the driver's seat.

    Doesn't look like Chrysler will be recalling the vans because they think that the fuel leaks from the fuel pump/tank are not severe enough to warranty that.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    it on the tires. It has worked for Ford so far. The next car maker to willing recall will be the first.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And unfortunately the crash tests are NO indicator of how well a vehicle can avoid the accident.
    Apparently DC minivans are good at avoiding accidents as USAA gives me a discount for Low Injury Claim Rate. Much better to avoid the accident.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    The improved handling on the DC minivans applies to the 2001. And I doubt it is enough better than the Honda to make it more likely you can avoid an accident. From what I have read in various magazines, the Honda will go through the slolam faster, it just doens't feel quite as sharp as the Chrysler while doing it. Anyway, neither of these beasts are sports cars.

    A low injury claim rate reflects the way minivan drivers tend to drive. I'd bet the Honda is cheaper to insure than a typical car for the same reason. I think they are in the same boat, so to speak. Or maybe your insurance company gave you a discount because of YOUR low claim rate. I know I get a discount for having no tickets for many years. But I did file claims, once when hit from behind and another when my car was stolen.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    So with that line of thinking, those who drive 3 star vehicles can predict the future and avoid being in an area of an impending accident altogether? Again, the obstacle you hit (or vice versa) does not have to be fixed, just relatively non-deformable and/or massive (i.e. Expedition, MACK truck, bus) compared to your vehicle's frame. As for handling, I'll admit that I do not know how well the DC van handles so comparison will be based on previous generation DC vans. I think with the four wheel independent suspension system, the Ody has an edge in handling (not a whole lot, but probably noticeable). In many situations, people make the mistake of slamming on their brakes and then trying to steer away from the obstacle. As i recall from defensive driving school, you steer first, then brake, right Drew? (I think I recall you going through this type of training too.) Of course, there are situations where you have to come to a complete stop and four discs do help, (not affected by wet conditions as much as drum brakes). Of course, a better suspension also helps with braking too! ;)
  • Your not trying to say that the DC is "much better" in avoiding accidents are you? If the difference in handling was that dramatic(I like the Ody better, but I'm biased of course) then article after article would be written about this great new advancement wouldn't you think. Your reaching on that one my friend...or...I just misunderstood and in the words of that little old lady character Gilda Radner used to play on SNL...."Never Mind".
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    The new van is less to insure than my 6yr old Ford Ranger that is worth about $6000 now. So I think van overall safety and van drivers habits are what insurance reflects. Any insurance agents out there that can give a cost ranking to insure for the various vans?

    I can attest I drive much more defensively in the van with the kids than in the BTW or Ford truck when I'm driving alone.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Just read Edmund's own test for Driving and Riding for their opinion. Apparently the independent suspension, etc. of the Odyssey does not perform as well to people who get to drive all minivans as what Odyssey lovers feel.
  • scoyle1scoyle1 Posts: 14
    Here is the letter that I sent to Daimler Chrysler regarding the fuel leakage problem. Please feel free to use my words if you wish. Just email D/C and your local papers. Thanks!!

    I just learned of the Insurance Institute's recent crash test study and retest where they indicated that the 2001 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan's had the potential for fuel leakage upon a crash. I also learned that you have corrected this problem on all 2002 models but will not be recalling or repairing 2001 vehicles. As the recent purchaser of a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country Lxi AWD, I hereby request that you recall all 2001 Dodge Caravans and 2001 Chrysler Town & Country vehicles and repair this potential problem at your expense. Since this potential problem is now public knowledge, DaimlerChrysler will be fully liable should a crash and a subsequent fuel leakage occur that results in serious injury or, god forbid, death. I bought a Chrysler Town & Country because of your promise of safety. To not repair a potentially deadly error such as this is negligent and short sighted on your behalf. Please recall my vehicle and all of the other affected DaimlerChrysler products as soon as possible, or you will forever lose this customer and tens of thousands of other potential customers. Please do not repeat the mistakes of your predecessors. As one should realize from the recent Ford/Firestone controversy, courts will take a very unfavorable view of automobile manufacturers who fail to correct mistakes that they have been made aware of.

    Please contact me at your very earliest convenience, as I fear for the safety of my wife and our 21 month old child.

    Thank You!
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    Some folks like the Honda's ride better, some the Chrysler. Each has to decide for themselves and then weigh that into their overall decision. They are close enough for me so that it would not influence my decision.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    For the last 16 years DC minivans have been known for their excellent handling and ride, especially the 96-00 models and now the redesigned vans. I have had two of these vans and have to say they drive like a charm and even do better than some smaller cars. Therefore, it is no suprise to me that in just a bout every comparison the reviewers almost always give the best ride and handleing category to the DC minivans. Also, DC vans have other compontents and features that make them not only easier to drive than other minivans but also safter and more fun. Such as 4 wheel abs disk breaks (some models), a touring package, 17 inch chrome wheels, michillin MX4 tires, and excellent suspension and steering. These features come together with a sporty body-design to make one quick and manuverable minivan.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Hmmm...Edmunds writes the Chrysler is the best riding and driving but then rates another minivan tops because of the Magic Seat?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    4 wheel anti-lock disc breaks, automatic locking doors, power door and liftgate obstance detection system, optional all wheel drive, traction control, michillin mx4 tires, optional built in child seats, side airbags for front passengers, adjustable seat belts, heated mirrors and windows, automatic rear-view mirror, break-park interlock, headlamp-off time delay, and is said to be the best riding and handling minivan on the market by several online reviewers. not too shabby.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    DC minivans have outstanding driving and riding characteristics in addition to being the most attractive, comfortable minivans. People who buy DC minivans have made the decision to use Defensive Driving and Common Sense while driving. DC owners recognize that driver intelligence is of greater importance than the silly crash test results.
    If you are a person who plans to drive irresponsibly in an accident prone manner, buy a 5 Star vehicle. Do NOT buy a DC minivan unless you want comfort.
  • dkrabdkrab Posts: 77
    Fixed barrier crash tests do serve a useful purpose in that they allow a direct comparison between vehicles of the same type. But unless the vehicle fails in a significant way, I would not use it to make my final decision.

    The fuel leak is a concern, of course, but I doubt Chrysler will let that stand as is. But beyond fixing it on new vans, they should recall those already sold. Not only would it be the ethical thing to do, they could get quite a bit of positive spin on the issue.

    As much as I am suspicious of Chrysler, I must take issue with the "everybody's gonna die!" tone of some of the posts about crashworthiness. It ain't that bad, folks.
  • and what is the final cost of all those things you mentioned? You sound as if they are standard equipment.

    A rundown on the list.

    4-wheel disc- All 2002 Ody's will have it.

    Automatic locking doors- To me(of course, being subjective here) I wouldn't want it. The kiddies should be strapped in before the van starts moving anyways and lightning will strike before a car-jacking will take place. Would rather operate myself, but of course...subjective.

    Power door and lift gate-Ody has power doors(EX), lift gate only available on high trim models(EX equivilant and up, and DC is not giving incentives on the thier EX packaged copy.)

    Traction control-All trim lines of Ody's has this. Do DC's?

    Michellins-All Odys now have these. Do DC's?

    Built in child seats-Not as safe as a regular one and you cannot shop to find the right fit for your needs. How about after they are too big for them, then your stuck with them.

    Side airbags? Yeah, that really helped the safety ratings eh? Odyssey still has DC beat hands down in that catagory.

    Adjustable seat belts-Ody's have them.

    Heated mirrors and windows-upper trim only(DC).
    Auto rear-view mirror- ditto

    Break-park interlock-sorry, don't know what that is, my ignorance, but I bet its not on the low trim model.

    Headlamp-off time delay-nice feature, wish I had it. Does it come in the low trim model? Doubt it.

    Some of the stuff you mentioned you have to pay premium dollars to get. Some of it the Ody has. Some of it is really, in my opinion(subjective of course), is not necessary.

    For the money but allowing for features as well, the 2001+ Ody LX is hard to beat. Traction control, Michelins, 2002 with 4 disc brakes, middle row captains that slide to bench, fold down rear seat of course, same engine(love the engine, its smoooooth) as upper trim model(find that on the lower trim DC's). The stereo still sucks though, oh well, they can't all be gems.

    If you got the cash and want to spend it on goodies than DC has what your looking for. Honda doesn't offer as much for that buying segment, no arguement there. However, all that stuff you mentioned is not standard equipment. DC's lower trim lines, even in the price range of the Ody LX model, do not include a good amount of that stuff you listed. Want a bare bones deal with maybe a little substance? MPV DX with a power package or wait for the new KIA's, they give you 10 years to work out the kinks on those.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "People who buy DC minivans have made the decision to use Defensive Driving and Common Sense while driving. DC owners recognize that driver intelligence is of greater importance than the silly crash test results."

    Then it stands to reason that people who buy an Odyssey/Windstar/Sienna can also use defensive driving and common sense, and still have a vehicle that gets top crash test ratings to protect themselves in an unavoidable accident.

    "If you are a person who plans to drive irresponsibly in an accident prone manner, buy a 5 Star vehicle. Do NOT buy a DC minivan unless you want comfort."

    It's no secret. Odyssey falls short of other vans in terms of luxury features. Good advice about safety, though. While the 2002 DC extended wheelbase vans are safe overall, they don't quite matchup with the best in class. If you are concerned about a crash, perhaps it is better to buy one that got 5-star NHTSA or "Good" IIHS ratings.
  • wellphytwellphyt Posts: 28
    I own a 99 Odyssey EX with 35,000 miles on it. I recently test drove a 2001 Dodge GC this week. They weren't available when I bought my Odyssey. The Dodge is definitely more quiet and has a smoother ride. I think this is probably the one advantage the Dodges have over the Odyssey. The difference is noticeable. If I were buying a new minivan today I would have a hard time deciding between the Odyssey and the Dodge GC. The problem is if Honda gives the Odyssey a better ride it will probably be called and Acura and have a much higher price. And if GC had a "magic seat" and better reliablity they would probably be in such high demand the dealers would mark them up. Maybe Toyota will get it right with the new Sienna in 2003. GC/Odyssey size, quiet and smooth ride, and "magic seat". The other thing to consider with the GC is the split rear seat. It turns a seven passenger into a six passanger. And apparently you can't get a rear solid bench seat with the 3.8 engine. I don't know why Dodge dosen't offer the EX model with a solid rear bench seat. Not all of us haul stuff in our minivans. Some of us have old pick-ups we keep around the house for those weekend hardware store runs.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    It was difficult for us to decide between the Ody LX and Grand Caravan SE in March 1999. Each has distinct advantages.
  • scoyle1scoyle1 Posts: 14

    My wife called Chrysler today, and here is a transcript of the telephone call.

    Wife - "I am calling because I recently saw numerous reports on the potential for a fuel leak in the Town & Country minivan, and we recently purchased a Town & Country minivan. I want to know what you are going to do about this problem."

    Mathew Long from the DaimlerChrysler Recall Center - "this test wasn't done by Chrysler. It was done by an insurance company."

    Wife - "Not an insurance company, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety."

    Mathew Long from DaimlerChrysler - "Chrysler has tested the car 50 times and was unable to replicate the results. There is no problem, and there is no action to be taken."

    Wife - "Well if there is no problem, why did you redesign the 2002 model?"

    Mathew Long from from DaimlerChrysler - "For safety's sake."

    Wife - "That is exactly right, for safety's sake."

    Mathew Long from from DaimlerChrysler - "Well we are always redesigning cars for safety's sake. We are always making them safer."

    Wife - "I have had the car for 3 weeks. I refuse to drive it. I am not going to explode in an impact. I can not get my daughter out of the car seat quickly enough. I want to know what Chrysler is going to do."

    Mathew Long from from DaimlerChrysler - "Nothing."

    Wife - "So you are saying that for safety's sake it was redesigned, but you are going to do nothing."

    Mathew Long from DaimlerChrysler - "I am sorry, but it is our position."

    The DaimlerChrysler recall center then gave my wife the number 1-800-992-1997 for customer service in Detroit. I have called the dealer to return the car. Luckily, the dealer had a 30 day/1,000 mile return policy. Needless to say. They are very unhappy with me and said that the report was media induced, yada, yada, yada.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Some 2001 Odysseys do NOT have Michelin. All 5 of the Odyssey at a local dealership (7/19/2001)waiting delivery had Firestone tires. The EX's had a higher grade Firestone than did the LX's.
    Brake/Park Interlock: EVERY 2001 DC minivan has it starting with the lowest priced Caravan SE. For me Brake/Park interlock is about as valuable as automatic locking doors as we always set the brake when we park and release it after applying the foot brake before driving the vehicle.

    Odysseys are priced competitively. DC uses the American method of selling with the use of discounts, incentives, etc. Although I prefer the Honda pricing method, a DC minivan gives just as much value for the price actually paid. Each buyer decides which features are most important. Compare the features and pricing of the EX model of each.
    Our 99 GC SE has had zero problems in 28 months and 30,450 miles. We have enjoyed the great comfort of separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger. I have enjoyed the compass/outside temperature/Trip Computer and my wife really likes the built in child seat for taking grandchildren places. My sister really likes the power sliding doors and larger cargo space of her 2001 Odyssey EX.
  • The brake thing is pretty nifty I got to admit. I had to train myself to use the parking brake when we got the van since I never used it when driving the 'ole compact Spectrum(great car by the way, beat to death up to 150k, rear engine seal was the only major problem it had...$600).
    Honda stopped Firestones about 2, maybe 3 months back I think it was said.
    I wonder if they have done so on other models as well and if its in relation to Firestones rep. going to squat with the general public?
    Now that were off topic does the new design of the Eurovan mean that the new VW bus design will be scrapped for awhile? I thought it looked pretty cool on the Edmunds write-up.

    Easy day at work today folks...TGIF.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    I find it funny how people who are pro Odyssey can never seem to form their "own" opinion on ride and handling. How can a person comment on ride and handling when they haven't test driven the vehicle? It's apparent that some Odyssey owners in here have never been behind the wheel of the new DC minivans.

    I don't buy vehicles sight unseen without a test drive, so that I can form my own opinions and won't have to rely solely on reviews.
  • Scanner - Be careful about throwing out generalities. I am pro Odyssey and did form my own opinions after test driving.
    I went into the process of buying a van reluctantly. We were the people who swore up and down that we would never be caught dead owning a minivan. I was driving an Explorer, a Camry, and an Integra, and decided that we needed a van to accomodate our needs. This vehicle would replace the Explorer (lease expired) and the Integra (not practical after the second child).

    We took an inventory of what our family and friends were driving and got their experiences. My parents ('99 T&C LX) and my in-laws ('98 Quest) seemed to like theirs the best. We assessed what was important to us (interior space, performance, reliability, price, looks, features, in that order) and narrowed the list down to the DC extended vans, Toyota Sienna, and the Odyssey. I thought going into the process that we would probably get the T&C or a GC. My wife was leaning to the Sienna.

    We drove the Toyota first. We liked the luxury features and the quiet ride, but were concerned about the price and interior space. Next we drove the Odyssey. A dealer had an EX-Navi on the lot after a buyer cancelled. We drove it and liked the extra power, the interior space, the seating flexibility (especially the second row bench/captains chair flexibility), and the solid road feel and handling. The interior noise was a louder than the Sienna, but we didn't find it to be that much of a negative. We thought the Navi system was neat, but I wasn't willing to spend $2000 for it. Third, I drove a GC Sport. It was right off the truck and the climate control and stereo was not working (apparently, they don't install the fuses for those until they reach the dealer). This skewed my opinion, and the dealer wouldn't stop bugging me. I decided to try out a T&C. I enjoyed the comfort, features, the handling and the interior space, but I hated the dark blue interior and almost threw my back out trying to remove the back seat. This van had the 3.3 V6, which I felt was underpowered compared to the Odyssey. I wasn't willing to go up to the Limited to get the 3.8 (this dealer did not have any LXi w/3.8, didn't seem willing to look, and the EX wasn't out yet).

    We went home and spent a day weighing the pros and cons of each vehicle. We decided to go with the Odyssey EX (no Navi) for the following reasons:
    1. More usable interior space and easier to configure, with convertible second row and stowable third row.
    2. Interior environment felt more open and airy.
    3. More power and better EPA mileage.
    4. Better road feel. Felt more connected to the pavement.
    5. Better reputation of reliability.
    6. Lower initial cost and better record of resale value.
    7. Relative scarcity. After driving a camry and Explorer, it's nice to have something a little different from the rest of the crowd.

    I can say now after dring my Odyssey for 3 months and 6500 miles, that I do not regret my decision a single bit. It has met all of my needs. I have taken 3 family trips, hauled about 1000 pounds of lumber, and a refrigerator. In the big hauling jobs, the folding third row has been a benefit. I could have done the jobs with a DC van, but I would hate to have to remove that third row very often. I usually leave the third row up to take advantage of the deep well for carrying groceries.

    It is not my intention to convert you scanner, but the tone in your messages seems to imply that there is no possible way any person could evaluate these vans and then decide on the Odyssey. I just wanted to let you know that I did my homework and chose the van that was best for my needs. Don't take it personally that I didn't select your favorite, or imply that Odyssey owners are a bunch of mindless drones.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Good comments. Obviously, everyone has their own priorities, and that is why people choose different minivans.

    I recently made a post on another forum with the exact content scanner described. I used Consumer Reports as a basis for a handling comparison. Granted, it was not because I can't make my own, instead it was because I was replying to a thread of posts which had also referenced Consumer Reports but left out some relevant information.

    The problem with individual comparisons on ride and handling is that they are very subjective. In most cases, you'll simply find that Odyssey owners preferred the ride and handling of the Odyssey, while DC owners preferred that of their minivan. At least magazine reviews sometimes include more objective measurements in a slalom or emergency avoidance maneuver.

    I will make one personal observation. My brother-in-law owns a T&C LTD AWD. Very nice minivan. As a child passenger safety technician, I'm always interested to see new implementations of integrated child seats. Many implementations are poor or mediocre. The one in the 2001 T&C is good, provided it is used for a child within the recommended limits. I'd have no problem using one for my kids if a suitable separate carseat was unavailable. It is a very nice convenience.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    one comment on the Odyssey. The 01 EX have the auto off headlights, can't comment on LX or the 99-00 models.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    ...and all that are from a magazine that loves Honda and BMW. I am glad they like your Odyssey that much. I am "quite sure" everyone of those professional writers own a Odyssey too.
  • I have been a subscriber to Car and Driver for over 15 years and until '99, the DC vans were by far their favorite. They lavished so much praise on the original '84 Caravan that you would have thought they drooling over a Ferrari. They tore up the original Odyssey ('95-'98) as being too small and too far behind the DC vans to be consider a competitor. Their editorial change of heart came about with the release of the '99 redesign of the Odyssey.
    I'll agree that they tend to favor Hondas and BMWs for the most part (I cannot understand their love affair with the outdated Prelude, for example), but they seem to place a premium on build quality and the "fun to drive" factor, which seems identical to the BMW mission. Honda's track record of quality seems to give it an automatic advantage in any comparison they do, but when all is said and done, I consider the opinions of Car and Driver more than I consider the opinions of Consumer Reports. At least you know they (C/D) drive the cars in the real world.
  • macmg3macmg3 Posts: 3
    I wrote Chrysler shortly after hearing the news of the minor fuel leak in the 01 Grand Caravan Sport asking them to recall some of the 400,000 mini vans out there now that could be potentially affected by this "problem". I was rather pleased with their response, which I have posted below.

    Dear Adam:

    Thank you for your mail concerning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 40% offset crash test results for the 2001 Dodge Caravan.

    We are pleased with the "Acceptable" rating that the Chrysler Mini vans achieved on the most recent IIHS crash test, although we caution that there is no single measure of a vehicle's overall safety. Our focus is on total, real world safety. We made significant changes beginning with the all-new 2001 mini van, adding 47 pounds of structural enhancements to improve performance in offset type crashes. The IIHS offset test results reflect the mini van's strong safety cage performance.

    However, we are disappointed that the IIHS chose to also issue a "Poor" rating for 2001 model year minivans because of a hairline fracture in the fuel pump mounting flange that occurred after the actual impact of the crash-test. This resulted in a minor fuel leak, approximately two tablespoons per minute, a result that occurred in only one test and has never been replicated in extensive testing.

    In fact, in approximately 50 high-speed, severe frontal impact tests, neither the Chrysler Group nor the government have ever experienced this test result. In similar testing, the Chrysler Group was unable to replicate this leak, as was the IIHS. Based on this testing, we feel that it would be extremely unlikely for this leak to occur in a "real-world" crash. We stand behind the safety and structural integrity of Chrysler Group minivans. They are among the safest vehicles on the road, period.

    Thank you for your inquiry, we understand your concerns, and trust this information provides greater understanding of the issue.

    With that said, hotspur I think your the one who just doesn't get it. You claim to think the DC minivans are "fine" vehicles but I have not herd you say one possitive thing about them. Therefore, I'll take the liberty of listing some of the totally-usable features that the 01 DC minivans have over the Ody.

    optional leather/suede interior, full time awd, 17 inch chrome titan wheel covers, 4 disk in dash cd changer, tri zone digital climate control, mini trip computer, power driver and passenger seats, center removable console, heated mirros and windshield, rear scuff pad, 4 wheel disc breaks, fog lamps, headlamp off time delay, rear 50/50 bench seating, grochery bad hooks, power sliding doors and rear hatch with obstacle detection system, adjustable cup holders, optional dvd video system, garage door opener, automatic locking doors, 10 speaker infinity sound system, optional autostick manumatic transmission.

    Rather impressive!

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
  • macmg3macmg3 Posts: 3
    The Ody isn't a bad minivan. Let me get that out of the way. I don't want to seem unfair or unreasonably baised towards the DC minivans. Carelton is right when he says both products have their unique features that attract them to consumers. However, I tend to like the more innovative and origional of products, and in this case its the DC minivans. As I've said before, without the DC vans your heavenly Ody would never have even existed. And as hotspur likes to say, "THATS A FACT, DEAL WITH IT."

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Chrysler tackles car quality gap

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Many Ody owners as well as many of the car websites and magazines that hotspur points out have given the Ody its "highest marks" seem to think that having a good reliablity history and magic seat are the trademarks of a great minivan. I disagree. It makes me laugh when I think that most people with Odys have very low milage on their cars but still boast about its excellent reliablity. Ody owners are breaking 30k miles with no problems while thousands of DC minivan owners dating back to the 80s have gone 100k miles and above in their vans with minor problems, IF ANY. It is very convienent for Honda owners to say "don't buy a DC minivan because they will break down on you as soon as it's in your garage." However, to millions of DC minivan owners around the world who have had great experiences with their vans, including me...the same old terrible chrysler reliablity stories just don't cut it.

    As for the magic seat, we had one in an old Mitsubishi van we got rid of 5 years ago. It was a good piece of engineering, but I would harly call it a necessity, at least for us. The 3rd row seat is truly something that depends on the user and his or her needs. For some the magic seat better meets their needs and for other the 50/50 split seat is a better choice. Also, I would be willing to bet that if you sat inside a 01 T&C or GC with leather you would find the seat much more plush and comfortable than the seat of an Ody EX.

    Crappy breaks? Yea right. Our experience with these breaks are just the opposite. It's funny you mention breaks when your Ody doest even have 4 wheel anti-lock disc breaks, while many models of the T&C and DGC do. As I said before, these breaks have gotten me out of many bad positions and I feel very confident in my breaking abilities.

    More room for passengers in ALL possitions? Hardly. Look at the measurments given by both manufacturers for passengers in all seating locations. Even in the positions where the Ody has more room, it beats the DC minivans out by such small margins that in real life you wouldnt even notice the difference. It's not even worth boasting.

    Well hotspur, when DC minivans continue to outsell your immaculate Ody with its magic seat year, after year, after year maybe you will learn that there is something more to DC minivans than just facy features like tri zone climate control and power liftgates. Just a question, have you ever driven a DC minivan? Perhaps that's why there has been so much negativity comming from you and your post over the last year.

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Reliability report on Page 79 for Grand Caravan and page 82 for Odyssey.
    99 Grand Caravan.... AVERAGE reliability.
    99 Odyssey............. BELOW average reliability.
    Compare the circles for 00 of each:
    00 GC: All full red but 3 half red.
    00 Ody: All full red but 1 half red and 2 blank
    ...indicating more reported trouble with 00 Ody than 00 GC as reported by CR subscribers.
    Grand Caravan had FEWER reported problems for 1999 and 2000 than did the Honda Odyssey.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    I am curious too,hotspur...haven't you ever driven the 2001 DC vans? Or you are afraid we would take a picture of you in one :-) I just want your honest answer if you have driven one. What do you truely think of the van regardless of the history or the MSRP?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Well hotspur, it would appear as though your information on poor DC minivan reliability is becomming dated. I say this as I read a new article on on Strategic Visions Total Quality Winners. They gave the best quality in the minivan category to the 2001 Chrysler Town & Country. Contrary to the post many pro-Ody owners have posted, including would appear that the Ody doesn't win ALL of the awards.

  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Although many good points have been brought up over the last few years from both pro-Ody and pro-DC minivan owners, I think there are some variables that have been over-looked. At least on the pro-DC minivan side. Here are some of my new points that I feel have been over-looked...

    Models, trim, options. I think one of the reasons why DC minivans will continue to outsell the competition, including the Ody is because there are simply more models and options to choose from. For example, with Ody there are only two models and one wheel-base size. On the other hand, DC minivans have numerous models and trim lines, as well as two wheel base sizes. Also, the Ody only has one standard engine to choose from, whereas the DC minivans have three engine choices for people to consider (including the 3.8L V6, with a higher torque rating than the Ody's 3.5L V6).

    Now lets move onto interior appointments. The Ody's boaring and plain (yes, i do not have a problem with saying this as I've been on a few rides in my Cousin's 99 Ody LX) interior does not compare to the interiors of even the lowest model DC minivans (ie Voyager and Caravan SE). DC offers about three differently appointed interior in the Caravans and T&Cs, including the sude/leather option in the T&C Limited.

    This "one size fits all" attitude that Honda seems to have adopted is not very attractive to many consumers, especially those on a tight budget. In addition, I've just seen a new review by one of the reviewers at that has tested the 01 Caravan and the 01 Ody, and has given the DC van a slightly higher overall score. The 2001 Dodge Caravan: 72% vs the 2001 Honda Odyssey: 68%. Honda owners, could this be possible!? A DC minivan getting a higher mark than the almight Ody!? I guess so...

    -Adam (16/M/CA)

    Hotspur, I strongly believe that simply driving a DC minivan helps to sell the car more than negotiating with a salesman over the MSRP or rebates (especially a Grand Caravan ES or T&C LTD). I recommend you drive one to experience the full driving effect these vans have on the driver and passengers.
  • wellphytwellphyt Posts: 28
    I may be wrong but I don't believe Honda is manufacturing enough vans yet to outsell the DC vans. My understanding is Honda is selling every van it can make.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Many customers prefer having a choice of vehicles at the dealership ready for purchase and being able to drive one. DC produces sufficient numbers for dealers to do this.
    With the Honda Odyssey, a prospective buyer does not have this option at most dealerships.
    When DC starts giving away minivans, let me know so I can get in line for the nice gift.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    4aodoge says: Crappy breaks? Yea right. Our experience with these breaks are just the opposite. It's funny you mention breaks when your Ody doest even have 4 wheel anti-lock disc breaks
    You know what I think, that deep down inside you know that your DC Van is going to "BREAK" or you wouldn't keep saying so. No I don't have 4 wheel disc breaks, nor do I even have 4 wheel disc brakes. But I do have a van that doesn't BREAK. And as far as Odyssey having a below rating in CR they even admitted that Odyssey was brought down by the early troubles with the power sliders, but since they have recalled them and fixed them, no more problems. Maybe with a little luck DC will also do the honorable thing and recall theirs to fix the firebomb van. And again maybe not until the government spends millions of my hard earned money in court to force them to do what's right.
  • hotspurhotspur Posts: 34
    So DC gets the IIHS to suppress its "poor" rating for four months in order to "correct" the fire hazard. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of buyers purchase these firetraps (I'm sure scanner can tell us the precise number) without being warned of this terrible problem. Then DC "corrects" the problem in all vans built after July 2 or 6 or some such date, but does nothing for the poor dupes who bought between March and July.

    Is this cynical or what? Why would anyone buy from this company? The ejection rear hatch mentality all over again.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Interesting to see you post Consumer Reports reliability ratings. Do you think their conspiracy is over? Did you find sample sizes with those figures? Just curious.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Honda has always been poor on model choices and options selection. In fact, that was the major reason we bought a Saturn over a Civic some years ago. It was also a lesser reason why we bought a Cirrus over some of it's competition when it first hit the market.

    Just as you said, the same is true for the Odyssey. Obviously, it isn't a competitive disadvantage, since the demand is so high. Clearly, if Honda's 2 models and dealer installed options don't suit someone's tastes, another make will.

    For us, Honda had it right. The base LX model had a nice 3.5L V6, standard traction control, good passenger room in the 3rd row, good crash and rollover ratings, lap/shoulder seatbelts and headrests in all seating positions and switchable locking seatbelt retractors which make carseat installation relatively easy. While I've not needed the magic seat once, my wife finds it extremely convenient quite frequently. The LX also didn't stick us with frills we didn't want, like leather or power doors/hatches. Sure it would have been nice to have some things Odyssey didn't have, like side curtain airbags, stability control and run flat tires. Unfortunately, no competitor had all those for 2001, either.

    I don't expect anyone else to have the same priorities that we had, but Honda's one-size-fits-all apparently fits as many people as Honda can make vans.

    Now had the crash tests been completed when we purchased, and had the 3.8L engine you tout been available on a model without the other frills at a cost comparable to the Odyssey LX, then a GC/T&C would have been a strong possibility for us. Funny how Chrysler's many sizes didn't happen to fit all, either. To each their own.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Excellent writting hotspur, but I bet scanner scanned right on by or maybe his common sense got a crack in it and is leaking 2 tablespoons a minute. What the DC people need to do is carry a couple of 5 gal. cans of gas behind the 3rd seat and only put in about 4 tablespoons of gas in the tank at a time. Then if they get hit from behind and DC by chance didn't fix the rear latch than the gas cans would be ejected and that way no fire.
This discussion has been closed.