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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • brihambriham Posts: 33
    Here are a few links that might help a bit. The first is a review of the Odyssey and the second has informaiton on selecting the right tow vehicle. It is general guide on selecting a tow vehicle versus info on the Honda or Chrysler specifically.

    Honda Odyssey Review: - asp?affid=

    Selecting the right tow vehicle: - sp?affid=
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    IF I had known I could buy a NEW 2005 Odyssey EX for $25,409 on November 30, the 2002 Chrysler T&C LX would have not been purchased in August.
         My nephew purchased a NEW 2005 Odyssey EX for $25,409 + $199 Doc Fee + sales tax on November 30. The MSRP of 2005 Ody EX is $28,510 and Edmunds lists the TMV as $28,510.
         I like my 2002 T&C LX that has many nice features but would have purchased the 3 model year newer Odyssey for only $11,259 more than I paid.
  • The 05 Honda Odyssey is rated to tow 3500 lbs with an equalizing hitch and a oil cooler (dealer installed?). The 2005 Dodge/ Chrysler minivans are rated to tow 3800 lbs with a factory installed towing package, which includes, 600 amp maintenance free battery, engine oil cooler, heavy duty transmission oil cooler, load leveling and height control, heavy duty radiator and trailer tow wiring harness.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I would NOT tow a trailer with any minivan even though manufacturers have rated towing capacities of 3500 or 3800 lbs.
         The engine compartments are too crowded in FWD vehicles for sufficient cooling that is provided by the space inside an engine compartment of a full size pickup or SUV. I feel that the smaller V6 engines and transmissions are working too hard while the larger V8 engines and larger, heavier duty transmissions and radiators of the full size pickup and SUV have the necessary strength for towing.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    After months of research and etst drives my wife and I had our hand forced by the imminent demise of her car. So we decided to lease a 2005 Dodge GC SXT. Now there was no doubt the '05 Ody is a far better vehicle dynamically but now that I've had a week with teh DGC I'm not sure that the Ody is a better family vehicle. After all, that's what a minivan is.

    The Honda (and Toyota) vans simply could not be equipped with what we wanted and still remain in our price range. The Dodge came exactly as we wanted and was much less money. So while it's only a lease and I won;t be able to report on reliability long term, I have to say I am impressed with the DGC so far and have not regretted our decision to go domestic.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,651
    Did you already do this? Because of lousy resale values these have a low residual which adds up to HIGH lease payments!
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    Yes. But when Daimler-Chrysler is offering a subsidized lease and giving $3500 off the van, which I got for $700 below invoice anyway, it adds up to a easy payment. My other car is a 2003 Accord so I know all about Honda quality and resale. I think I can live 2 years with a DGC and be happy with it. We priced the Ody and the lease payments were substantially higher.

    Isellhondas, what was really frustrating in the Odyssey & Sienna was that we couldn't get the feature we wanted (power tailgate) on a vehicle with a cloth interior and without all other kinds of doo-dads we don't need. I didn't want to pay $35K for a Ody Touring or $32K for a Sienna XLE. With the Dodge I could get everything I wanted and nothing I didn't want. I am not worried about long-term reliability. The Dodge was an easy winner for us in this situation. However if I were buying instead of leasing I'd be driving an Ody or Sienna.
  • We have the same issue.

    My wife and I have researched and test driven vans for a couple months and we are down to the Ody vs. a 2005 T&C.

    Best we could do off an Ody Ex-L with DVD/Navi is 1300 below MSRP and a discount on accessories. We put down a refundable deposit but the van isn't even scheduled to be built until tomorrow.

    On the high-end T&C Ltd, we could start negotiations at 1% less than invoice because we are part of the affiliates program. From there I got it down to 30500 with some additional free accessories. That's $8K below MSRP. And the van can be swapped within a week. Plus, it comes with power rear liftgate and other features the Ody doesn't. But it doesn't have stability control, which bothers me.

    Now, we are not in a hurry so waiting isn't a big deal except the local sales tax rate goes up Jan. 1.

    I have always bough foreign cars (owned a Honda. Toyota and Nissan) and feel comfortable with the reliability and resale. But when the deal is that different for the two vans, what can we do? I am still torn and have to make a decision soon.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    BUY the van you personally like the best and enjoy driving the most. Very few vehicles can be considered a wise investment. When large discounts at purchase are weighed against possible resale value the total cost is not much different.
         I would have purchased a new 2005 Odyssey if I could have purchased one in August with a $3000 discount that my nephew claims he got on November 30. However, my lowly 2002 Chrysler T&C LX has some features I like that are not on the 2005 Odyssey EX even though the Odyssey has more comfortable seats and more cargo space than my T&C.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, if one has an unlimited budget, maybe they should get the one they like best and and enjoy driving, but for most people, money out of pocket is important, otherwise I would have a Corvette convertible just to drive in the summer!

    Remember, money not spent does not depreciate, and it appears we are talking maybe a $7K-$8K price differential favoring the DGC over the ODY.

    So while the Ody may indeed not depreciate as fast, in this denver5357's choice, he still is out this extra $7K-$8K immediately. And, since even the added increase in sales tax is important to denver5357 by waiting for the ODY, this buyer appears interested in keeping his costs down.

    In my opinion, $7k-$8k that is still some serious money. The $8K you don't spend if saved can go a long ways toward your next vehicle purchase, or maybe something more important, like a retirement account!

    The DGC vans in most respects will do anything one could ask for in a family hauler, quietly, smoothly and with decent handling.
  • Thanks for your comments. A clarification: The price difference in the 2005 T&C vs. the 2005 Ody is actually about $3K.

    The T&C is $8K under MSRP, and the Ody is only $1300 under MSRP, but since they are different model vans the actual botton line price difference is T&C Ltd. $30,500 vs. Ody Ex-L $33,500 (when you add dealer fees).

    So it is both a dollar difference question and a value question (features and price vs. reliability). I'd like to think we would keep the van for 10 years, but given the technology improvements every 5 years or so I could see us trading in at 6 or 7 years. We have one child and another on the way, so we are probably looking at a minivan (one or more) for another 10-15 years.

    This decision is just eating at me.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Our children are grown, but my wife's car is still a minivan and we will likely have one until we can't drive any more. We have had a minivan since our children were little, but believe it or not, only two vans in that time and we are still driving the second one. First one was a 1985 Caravan. Kept it 12 years and 80K miles. Wasn't the most reliable van, however what failed over the years was never the engine or transmission, and we were never stranded in it.

    Second one is a 1996 Caravan(bought as a leftover in March 1997), now at 79K miles and running fine. No transmission or engine issues to date except one minor transmission shaft seal leak that was fixed at nominal cost this year. Only costly repair has been the AC, twice. We probably will keep this one another couple years or more.

    So, two Caravans, nearly 20 years of driving them, never stranded! We can't complain much, and will likely buy another one when we replace this one. They are too handy to be without, even though our kids are grown.

    You having a young and expanding family, will have plenty of places to spend your cash, so I would recommend buying inexpensively, keep it a long time, and you will do fine. You could also look at a well equipped (though notloaded) Grand Caravan SE+ or SXT and get you out the door costs into the low $20's as well, so don't overlook that option. It isn't necessary to spend $30K either and still get a very nice DGC van.
  • The Crutchfield item number was 158XVC701S but I don't think they carry them anymore as indicated by the link below. You may want to try Sony. 58XVC701S
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    Honestly, if the lack of a power tailgate is not a deal-breaker for you (as it was for me) and you don't need folding second-row seats then get the Odyssey. It's a much newer design and should last 6-10 years with little fuss. The powertrain is also much more advanced and refined.

    In my situation with a 24 month lease (no worries about 100K mile reliability) it made sense to go with the Dodge but you won't feel 3K over 60 months and you'll have a van worth something down the road.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    DON'T get a GC SE+ or a T&C LX. Both are a rip off compared to the GC SXT.
         For an additional $100 or so, the GC SXT has the 3.8L V6, power sliding doors both sides, cast wheels, and other less significant extras.
         The T&C Touring is a more expensive clone of the GC SXT at about $800 more.
         I have a nice 2002 T&C LX purchased as a used vehicle for about half the MSRP of a new T&C LX or GC + with almost same features. I don't have Stow-N-Go but they don't have the heating coils at base of windshield and a trip computer that also has "instant economy" reading.
         I had planned to sell it when pricing of 2005 Odyssey is discounted but the accounts of wind noise and poor radio are scary.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    Totally agree hansienna! The GC SXT is the way to go. Lots of van for the money. The one I got is a GC SXT with the add for the power tailgate.
    Going for a drive.....bye!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Recently drove my son's 2001 Odyssey EX. It is NOT as quiet nor as smooth riding as my low end 2002 Chrysler T&C LX.

         The Odyssey has the most comfortable seats, most cargo space and the "Magic Seat" provides better and more easily accessible extra cargo space than the 50/50 fold and tumble 3rd row of my T&C.

         However, the T&C with 3.3L is quicker off the line, quieter, smoother ride, and has many more nice features like triple zone temperature (driver, front passenger, and rear passengers can have separate temperatures), complete overhead console with compass/outside temperature and accurate trip computer, lighted controls on doors, heating coils at base of windshield, more convenient spare tire location and gets better gas mileage than the Odyssey EX.

         When I compare a new 2005 Odyssey EX with a new Grand Caravan SXT now, the choice very close but I would probably buy a 2005 GC SXT instead of a 2005 Odyssey EX.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,651
    Dismal resale values.
  • I've posted a few times here as we narrowed our search to the 2005 Ody and T&C. In the end, we lean Ody. The T&C is nice, is less expensive by a few grand and even has more features, but over a five-year period Edmunds "True Cost to Own" shows a $7,000 difference in resale value between the Honda and Chrysler. That alone wipes out the cost savings. Now add reliability as a comparison factor and Honda wins. Like I said, I like T&C. It just doesn't seem to be the best deal over a 5-year-plus period.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAPosts: 202
    How about IT'S - A - LEASE?




  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,651
    Yeah, they've done it again. In order to move product another dumb, subsidized lease that's going to bite them later on down the road.


    Worry about tomorrow later for today's would THINK they would have learned by now?
  • I've never leased a car, so not sure how that works in the T&C case. I wouldn't think that, at the end of the lease, Chrysler would pay you an artificially high resale value for the car you leased. But maybe I am wrong.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Good choice. Enjoy your new Odyssey.

         Based on reading owner comments here in Town Hall about all minivans, reliability of Chrysler is as good as Odyssey, Sienna, or any other minivan.

         I planned on getting a new Sienna based on initial statistics, but after sitting in many, the actual 2004 Sienna did not measure up to my expectations.

         The 2005 Odyssey has measured up to the expectations until my nephew sent me an e-mail stating his new 2005 Odyssey has a "whistling noise" at speeds of 35 MPH or higher.

         My 2002 T&C LX is quieter and smoother riding than my son's 2001 Ody EX and I paid half the amount he did...but my 2002 T&C LX had almost 27,000 miles but still has more warranty remaining than the 2001 Ody EX had when new.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    How are the HUGE discounts now on 2005 Odysseys going to affect the resale of the Odyssey?

         My nephew purchased a new 2005 Odyssey EX (cloth - MSRP $28,510) for $25,409 which is a $3101 discount.

         Who now will buy a used 2004 Odyssey when a new 2005 costs less?

         My son paid MSRP for his 2001 Odyssey EX. His 2001 depreciated another $3000 as soon as the discounts started on the new 2005 models.

         Why didn't Honda learn from Chrysler's past experience with discounts and rebates?
  • My town and country died last week. 103,000 miles. 6.5 years old. We are now looking to lease because I only need a van for another 2-3 years. Mostly do to my sons sports. My kids are older 18, 15 and 13. 18 is in college with her own car.

    I was shocked at the 2005 town & country. What a cheap made van. My 98 is much nicer. I could get a great lease deal but it is too cheaply made. I looked at the Honda Odyssey and the Quest basic models. No frills or bells as I want to lease and toys break. The honda lx was 349 per month 36 months 15,000 miles per year. No money down and it included all taxes etc. Is that a good price? I live in the Boston Ma area. Donot know if that matters.

    I did not check into the Dodge. How does it compare to the Honda Ody lx. My biggest concern are the second row middle seats. The Honda was the only van that had real seats. How is the ride and comfort.


        Sorry this is so long ,but I sm nervous to lease a car and not sure which one.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,651
    I'll try to pick muy words carefully here....


    I think you may want to "review" what your nephew paid for that Odyssey. No HUGE discounts that I've seen and...WHY?


    Granted, the cloth EX's aren't in the same demand as the EXL's and above buta dealer sure shouldn't have to dump one for below invoice.


    Honda doesn't play the short thinking rebate games and I hope they never start.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    I fly at least every two weeks on business and rented current DGC, T & C and Windstar/Freestar regularly for transportation in those cities. Having driven these vehicles so frequently, I can say that they are not in the same league/class of the Ody or Sienna. I have an Ody that is just a spirited pleasure to drive.


    I have seen ads for new 2005 DGC for about $15K - which may be tempting but you get what you usually pay for. These include sloppy handling,very noisy, sub-standard quality, inferior/weaker engine, poor overall performance and dependability. If you can live with those and is only prepared to spend $15K, then the choice is clear by default. But I believe that many would prefer better refinement and reliability.


    You cannot go wrong with the Ody or even the Sienna. If you want good handling and an engaging driving experience, go for the Ody. If you want a passive, quiet driving experience, go for the Sienna.
  • We're deciding between a 2005 GC SXT and the 2005 Odyssey LX. Took a test drive with the GC SXT today, and as we were on the autobahn (I'm US military stationed in Germany) a drumming in our ears started at about 65-70 mph. It was much like the drumming in your ears you get in the driver/front passenger seat when someone opens only a back window in a sedan, just more subdued. I checked that all windows were closed, but that wasn't the problem. Is this possibly a problem with the roof rack cross-bar, or the exhaust? It doesn't seem to be possible that it was the engine. Has anyone else experienced this?

    We drive a 96 Merc Villager, which was great for 9 years, but has recently had an expensive transmission repair and other annoying problems (air conditioning that can’t hold a charge, etc.), and we also would like something a bit bigger. My wife’s overall impression was that the 2005 GC SXT was cheaply built in comparison to our Villager, the GC engine was rougher and felt weak, and the Villager drove like a car while the GC SXT drove like a boat. We liked the Stow-n-Go, but the show-stopper for us was the resonance/ear drumming at our normal autobahn cruising speed from 70-80 mph. Does the SXT we drove have a quirk, or is this normal?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Rental units are always THE CHEAPEST models made. Of course a rental GC, T&C, Windstar, Freestar will not be as nice as the Odyssey or Sienna since a cheap Ody LX or Sienna CE are very rare.

         I have driven one son's 2001 Ody EX, another son's 2002 GC Sport and now my 2002 T&C LX. The Odyssey EX is NOT as quiet and smooth riding as either the GC or T&C. My nephew recently sent me an e-mail telling of the "whistling noise" in his new 2005 Odyssey EX at speeds 35 MPH and above.

         Buy the Odyssey or Sienna if you want to pay more than for a comparable GC or T&C.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,651
    But we continue to talk about this like it's a major problem on the few Odysseys that may be affected.


    So far, I haven't heard it.
This discussion has been closed.