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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    You get what you pay for as is always the case.


    Even the biggest 3.8L V6 engine in the T & C is gutless, unrefined, and noisy compared to the standard and only engines of the Ody and Sienna.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Neither have I.


    These whistling noises are usually due to a crack or opening somewhere that may have been overlooked or some roof rack addition that presents a perfect condition for wind noise.


    All I hear from my Ody is that sweet, melodious sound from a very refined engine!
  • So then I guess you can expect to have replaced your trans. on your 2005 Ody. in lets say two years. Don't forget those power doors too. The Sienna still has engine slug from what I've read here in town hall. So I guess your statement "You get what you pay for as is always the case" I just proved you wrong. Just because you pay more doesn't mean that you get better. But, I will say this though, the more you pay for a vechicle, chances are you will pay more for repairs. (Compared to a vechicle that didn't cost as much.) As far as rentals are concerned, thats not a fare comparison. As it has been mentioned, you were driving a low end GC or T&C. Not to mention that you were probably the 30th driver of each one of those vans. That means 30 different driving habits that one van had to go deal with. Rental car companies do not take very good care of there vechicles. Just this past week me and my wife had to put our 1998 Sunfire in the shop for body repair. We rented a nice 2004 Grand AM. We had it for 6 days and the brake pads were cutting into the rotors and the change oil light was on the whole time we had it. Not to mention I noticed that when starting the car, didn't matter if cold/hot, the rpms went all the way over to read line which was 7 rpm. The vechicle had over 17k on it. So before you start comparing, make sure that you are making a fare comparison. Your info. is very misleading to those that are reading these forums to help them decide on a vechicle.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My son's 2001 Ody EX is not as quiet as my 2002 T&C LX or another son's 2002 GC Sport.

        The engine may be more "high tech" but overall noise inside the Odyssey is louder than either DC minivan. The Odyssey was purchased NEW by him and both DC minivans were purchased as used vehicles.

         The 2001 Ody is slower off the line than either DC minivan with the 3.3L engine and the Ody EX lacks many features contained on both low end DC minivans.

         All 3 minivans have been very reliable with no maintenance needed except for oil and oil filter changes.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Of the 30+ minivans(mostly DGCs) I have rented in the past 18 months, 2 were virgins(i.e. less than 10 miles on the odo and temporary plates), 5 had less than 5k miles, and the others had at most 15K miles. 3 were T & C's loaded with leather seats. So I have had the opportunity of testing all types.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    You have NOT tested all types DC minivans. Rental units are usually the cheapest, stripped down models...cheaper than the Odyssey LX or Sienna CE.

         What year and what was the mileage on the T&C's with leather seats?

         My comparision has been with an Odyssey EX and the GC Sport and T&C LX which had comparable MSRP's when new. Neither DC minivan actually cost as much NEW as did the Odyssey EX.

         Both DC minivans are quieter and smoother riding than the Odyssey EX.
  • Okay. No argument there. Tell us the year, make and model of each if you remember. Between Dodge and Chrysler together, they have so many trim levels to choose from. (Not to mention the most trim levels out of all other brands out there.)
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    It was a 2004 T & C loaded with leather with the 3.8L V6 with less than 10K miles. These are few and far between found at car rentals.
  • jerhotjerhot Posts: 27
    When leasing, the amount you pay for the lease is based on the residual value. The residual value is the amount that the banks say the vehicle will be worth at the end of the lease. Sometimes the manufacturers inflate the value to make a lease more attractive. If they inflate the value, you pay less for the lease because they are saying the car will be worth more at the end of the lease and you are only paying for the depreciation.


    Why would they do this? Well, to sell slow moving cars, or to sell the cars the auto workers have contracts to build, regardless of whether the market wants them. That is why they offer all of the rebates and incentives on the dodge vans, and one reason they make and sell so many of them.


    Who does it hurt? Well, if you decide to buy the van at the end of the lease, and they determined at the beginning of the lease that it would be worth $18K, but the market now says it is only worth $15K, you are getting ripped off. You should not buy the van, but just give it back.


    Doesn't that then shaft Dodge? Actually, all finance companies (including the captive finance companies owned by the manufacturers) have insurance on their leases to cover losses they might experience at the end of a lease, such as in a case like this.


    The moral of the story is, if a manufacturer of the vehicle is offering a subsidized lease, jump on it, but just don't expect to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease. If you do, you will have to pay much more than market value for it.
  • Jerhot - Thanks for that primer. I knew nothing about leases so that's very interesting and something I will remember.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    One more word: BUY the vehicle at the beginning if you want to buy it. It will cost less to buy at the beginning than to wait and buy any vehicle at the end of a lease.
  • You are correct. Monday I leased a 2005 Honda Odyssey. The value to purchase it at the end of the lease was very high. My lease was very low. 349 a month. No money down no money except the 349 a month for three years 45,000 miles.

    I do not intend to purchase it at the end of the lease as in three years I will no longer need a mini van.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Great choice!


    A car with a high residual value(the Ody is the minivan higest) is the best candidate for a lease provided you have no intentions of buying it at the end of the lease at the high residual market price.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,602
    Nothing wrong with buying it at the end of the lease! It'll have a high residual because it's WORTH that much or more!


    The residual is carefully calculated to approximate a car's WHOLESALE value when the lease ends. Honda wants to get that much or more if it go's to auction.


    If the person leasing the car wants to keep it, the residual is a price he can't beat!
  • I just voted with my money and bought the Odyssey. I test drove the 2005 Odyssey and a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, and both my wife and I found the choice rather easy. I posted earlier about the ear pressure buffeting at 70 mph we experienced, which may have been peculiar just to that vehicle. But the SXT, even though it is high end for the Dodge model line, just didn't seem as well put together as the Honda. The Honda's engine and drive train were quieter, smoother, and stronger -- 80 mph in the Odyssey with less noise than the SXT and no ear buffeting. I bought the LX Odyssey, which has everything I wanted, and includes all the safety stuff (side curtain airbags, traction control, etc.) that you have to pay extra for in the Dodge (I know, the SXT comes standard with traction control... but the GC SE doesn't). Both vehicles are built in the USA (or is the caravan put together in Canada, like the Odyssey was until this year?). I live in Germany, and to be honest, I'd just as well give my money to the Japanese owners of an American company (Honda) instead of the German owners of an American company (Daimler Benz). I do think both companies are at the top of the minivan heap. I think Ford and GMC have pretty much given up. I could have been happy with either Dodge or Honda, but the Honda parks easier (tighter turning circle, important in Germany), and it impresses me as the higher quality product. So I bought it.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Congratulations on your new purchase. An Ody LX has an MSRP of $25,510 and the GC SXT is priced at MSRP $27,105 (in the USA). My nephew bought a new 2005 Ody EX for $25,409 which is the best price I had ever heard of for a new Odyssey.

         The Ody LX has the side curtain air bags that are not standard on the GC SXT while the GC SXT has separately controlled temperature for the driver and front passenger, power sliding doors on each side, cast wheels, overhead console with compass/outside temperature and trip computer.

         The Odyssey LX has more power and a 5 AT instead of the GC 4 AT. It will also have better resale value for many years.

         The GC SXT is assembled in Canada (as are all DC minivans with Stow-N-Go Seating).
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Great choice! You could not have made a better one! You have seen the light from many testing sources and your own efforts to appreciate the class-leading characteristics that make the Ody so much fun to drive and own. I have surprised many other drivers who were expecting my Ody to be a "lame duck" like the others.


    The quality of assembly and the superior "sporty" handling/performance is a benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.


    Being a "car guy" person and also very practical-minded, I am seriously considering replacing my 10 yr old car with another Ody when the timing is right. The Ody just drives so well that makes it very compelling!


    It would make it easier(cheaper?) for me to maintain spare parts in my garage to do my own preventive maintenance if I had two Odys instead of different makes. I have been repairing my vehicles for the past 30 yrs. At any time, I have several cases of oil and filters bought on sales(and rebates) for oil changes. It would also simplify things by having the same brake pads, fuel and air filters, etc for my supply chain.


  • I'm a recovering 2-minivan owner. I had a Mercury Villager and a Plymouth Grand Voyager as my 2 cars for about a year. I liked the Grand Voyager (3.3L motor and base model trim, crank windows, etc.), it was pretty much trouble-free. I'm hoping my Odyssey will be Honda reliable, without the transmission problems plagueing the earlier models.

    Macakava, you sure you aren't a Honda salesman? You're a little too excited about that Odyssey, I think you may need professional help.

    Remember, it's just transportation. Don't make it a lifestyle! I have a lifestyle that requires minivans (3 kids and one on the way), but the minivans are a means to an end, not the final goal.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775


    Nope I am not a car saleman.


    But I do like to make driving enjoyable and engaging instead of just transportation. That is the difference that is difficult for our "Aunt Mildred" to comprehend. With the latter, any vehicle but the best will do.


    The Ody transmission issue is history after the Dec 2004 build date. All Ody vehicles, 2004 and 2005 beyond that, have the new tranny with the fixes in place - so that problem is history. Besides that past transmission issue, the Ody has provide one of the most reliable transportation that is reflected its highest class residual value.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My nephew will be happier when the source of the"whistling noise" problem has been diagnosed and eliminated on his new 2005 Odyssey EX.

         I would be sick if I sold my 2002 Chrysler T&C LX and got a new 2005 Honda Odyssey and found it was not as quiet and smooth riding as my 3 year old Chrysler.

         My plans to do that have now been placed on an indefinite "hold" until the whistling noise problem has been diagnosed and eliminated by the Honda engineers.
  • Macakava,

    Did you mean Dec 2003, or Dec 2004? I know Honda put a jet of fluid onto the 2nd gear as a retro-fix, but I thought that was last Spring (2004). Did they do something different this month (Dec 2004) at the factory? My VIN is 6000 something, so the vehicle was probably built in late summer or early fall, and if so, I guess I'm still at the transmission roulette wheel (hopefully with a lucky number).

    I'm just hassling you about your excitement for the Odyssey. I was ready to buy it before the test drive was through. The responsiveness of the vehicle (for a van) is awesome. I would call it a "driving enthusiasts van". Does that work for a "car guy"?
  • LOL. Thanks for the holiday laugh.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Dec 2003 was the Ody build cut-off date for the tranny with the fix. Don't about that problem as it was confined to Odys built to Dec 2003 as I was told.


    "Driving enthusiast van" would be another correct interpretation for "car guy" as far as I am concerned. Even my wife, who is not into car stuff, likes the handling and the "lightness" feel of the Ody(for a 4300lb car) compared to the Windstar we had before or the other minivans we test drove.
  • "You're a little too excited about that Odyssey, I think you may need professional help."

    That's the best post I've read in a long time, LOL

    (post 2760)
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Santa Claus did come through for you as promised!


    Enjoy it while it lasts.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I, too was ready to sell my 2002 T&C LX when my nephew told me he got a new 2005 Ody EX for $25,409 until he later sent me an e-mail describing the "whistling noise" at speeds 35 MPH and above.

         I can now see no reason to get a new Odyssey if it is not as quiet as my 3 year old Chrysler. Time to sit back and wait until Honda finds the reason for the "whistling noise" and makes the necessary changes.
  • I had a 98 T&C lx. Just donated it to charity and last Thursday picked up my new 2005 lx Honda. Drove my son to hockey that night 84 miles round trip. About 70 miles is highway. I drove alot faster then 35. NO I repeat no whistling noise.

    I think the necessary changes have been made.
  • My 2005 Odyssey was in the first 7,000 made, and I think the whistling noise (warped windshield cowl)is a dead issue for anything built in the past month. I don't know who is to blame for the initial poor quality control, but Honda seems to have fixed it quick.

    To keep this in perspective, this is something that won't strand me on the side of the road, it won't cost anything to fix (except my time), and it will not harm the resale value of the vehicle. It is only a piece of plastic that was poorly engineered/manufactured/installed (one or more of the above).

    I still say the Honda's engine and transmission are far above what I experienced with my ‘98 Plymouth Grand Voyager (owned one year) or the 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan I test drove. The Honda motor is more powerful, but smoother and quieter than the Dodge. The transmission in the Honda is almost unnoticeable as it shifts – IMO smoother than the Plymouth or Dodge.

    But what I like most about the Honda is that it is well engineered (despite the whistling problem). Honda isn’t afraid to incorporate technology to make their van stable and safe (standard side curtain airbags, standard 4 wheel ABS disc brakes, standard traction control, standard stability assist, and crash test results that Chrysler is still trying to emulate. The Odyssey is also rated better in real-world injury results according to the Insurance Institute).


    The whistling noise is a small thing. Separately adjustable climate controls for driver and passenger are a small thing. Fold-in-the-floor seats are a small thing. Even turning circle is a small thing (although here in Europe, or in any big city in the US it can be almost a big thing).


    Safety is Huge.


    My hat is off to Chrysler for safety improvements on their 2005 vans (see the ALLPAR website), but I think Honda still has them beat for the reasons listed above. I’ve got 4 reasons besides myself to think safety is a big thing, and I wish Chrysler would try to make their safety improvements standard, and not options or top-model standards. If you don’t have a family, your values may be different, but I think this is one area where Chrysler needs to improve, and they can thank Honda for the competition that will force them to be better.
  • macakavamacakava Posts: 775
    Well said, Burla!


    When one can buy a new DGC for under $16K USD and a new T & C for under $20K, compared to over $22K for a Sienna CE and over $24K for an Ody LX, we get a strong message. That the buying public thinks that the DGC, T & C, Sienna, and Ody are only worth that much.


    The manufacturers know this too well. So Chrysler will only use or offer those parts/technology that will allow them to still make a profit at those discount prices. Toyota and Honda can use better(and more expensive) parts and technology because of the premium prices thay can command relative to Chrysler.


    "You get what you pay for" still rules.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    My 2002 Chrysler T&C LX and one son's 2002 GC Sport are both quieter and smoother riding than another son's 2001 Odyssey EX.

         The Odyssey was purchased new by my son and the other son and I each purchased our DC minivans used.

         Neither of our minivans will depreciate as much as the 2001 Odyssey EX. He likes his Odyssey just as much as we like our DC minivans. Comfort is more important to me than having a high tech engine.

         Again, the value when sold subtracted from the actual price paid is depreciation...NOT some fictious number subtracted from initial MSRP.
This discussion has been closed.