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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • And would still select the 99 GC SE if the choice were made today after reading in the Town Hall, CR, MT, C&D, etc. I enjoy all the nice comfort and convenience items of the GC SE but if I were to buy a 2001 minivan, it would be the Odyssey LX as it has all the items we feel are an absolute necessity: Front and Rear A/C and Heater, deep tinted sunscreen glass, seating for 7. Just as the Trip Computer, quality stereo with cassette and CD are nice but not essential, so is the Magic Seat.
    The Odyssey is available at an honest MSRP with no rebate, incentive, etc. games to play and wonder if a better deal could be had if one waited a week or 2.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    For those that dont use AOL, you can also try:

    (Honda top rated by consumers and the "CHOICE award winner")

    (2000 Odyssey rated #1 by consumers, not enough data yet for 2001 models)

    I think the point is every consumer is different. Ride is subjective. Some like a ride that absorbs everything, but leaving the vehicle wallowy in turns with no road feel. Others like the ride to be very tight to improve road feel and handling at the expense of feeling every little pothole. An extended test drive should help you decide which you like better, unless you know your preferences match those of a particular reviewer or magazine.

  • While I look forward to *trading* in the Honda,
    which I drive daily :( we have decided that our Caravan is a "keeper" and plan to extend our warranty another 5 years for our '99 DC LE AWD 3.8L which has every conceivable option except leather seats. You cannot compare your ody to this vehicle. :)

    You are wrong about the Honda trade-in my friend, it has dropped value by over $3,000 in just 18 mos of ownership. Hopefully the resale value won't drop so much over the next year and I will trade it in for a new Lexus.

    Get a grip and face it, you settled for less with your ody just read what other posters are saying...
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Re: #34 Caviller,

    If interested, here are some more useless consumer opinions that actually compare the current year 2001 model minivans.

    2001 Dodge Caravan


    2001 Honda Odyssey


    2001 Town and Country

    . target=_blank

  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    I agree that anecdotal consumer opinions are not too useful. I provided them in response to a previous post you apparently missed, since you didn't comment on it. You must not think they're too useless, as you continued to provide some yourself. I did state why I didn't include the 2001 numbers, and therefore provided links to the general minivan sections of those opinion sites. Please reread my posts if necessary. It is not the first time you've completely missed the intent of my posts ;-) In this case, the point was that consumers should take extended test drives to evaluate subjective issues, and not solely depend on the opinions of other owners or magazine reviews. The variance of these reviews seems to be reflected in the differences of opinions among magazines, and the consumer opinion sites mentioned.
  • There is nothing in your response that is worth repling to. :)

    You, my friend, are suffering from Hondaitus. Don't worry though, over a period of time you will realize that Honda's are not perfect. I did. My wife refuses to even ride in the Accord, never mind drive it. Talk about edgy
  • For the very best buy at MSRP, the Odyssey LX is THE choice. For a 7 passenger minivan with necessary comfort items, a plain Caravan is the best choice at a far lower MSRP...but with no rear air conditioning and rear heater.
    For the main options my wife and I prefer, the Odyssey LX is an excellent buy with front and rear air conditioning and front and rear heater, dark sunscreen windows, powerful standard engine, and very useful, flexible seating arrangements.
    We love our 99 GC SE with many additional features not offered on the Odyssey LX. However, if we had never had these features we would be just as happy with a 99 Odyssey LX...with the 2nd and 3rd row seating possibilities of Odyssey plus easily accessed additional cargo space by folding the Magic Seat into the floor.
  • Does your GC have a full sized spare tire? The Ody cannot accodomodate the full spare or AWD due to the location of the "magic seat".
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    Hi Carl how have you been? I was just wondering if your GC has a full sized spare tire? Because if it doe's you won't be able to have a fold down magic seat like my ody. But I know you made your choices out of your needs just as I made mine out of my needs. Since I did not need a full sized spare (choice) and did not need AWD (choice) and did need fold down magic seat I purchased the ody out of my needs. Conclusion: Choices are a good thing. ;)
  • Has Honda started offering load levelers for the Ody. Seems that would correct the rear-end squatting when under load. This is great feature offered by DC.
  • This should end this discussion once and for all. D.C. has inferior products that are highly discounted and have extremely poor resale values.
    Good luck and wise buying to all!
  • ody4ever? Helloooo??? This is just a car/minivan!! Do you have a personalized "ody4ever" license plate for your minivan too? I am sure Honda will send you a thank you letter if you do. Since when a discounted product equal to bad product? Anyway, I don't think the points you stated in your message can end this discussion, in fact, I don't think anybody can make a statement to end this topic. This is a matter of needs and taste. If you like your Odyssey that much, fine, keep it forever or buy a new one every 3 or 4 years. We don't drive or ride with you so we really don't car what you want to buy or drive.
  • Just a LITTLE bit prejudiced now, aren't we?

    Why should a minivan buyer look to an SUV topic for advice?

    And as for resale: anyone should buy a car for hinself, not for what a stranger will pay him many years down the road. Do that, and the DC owner knows he made the right decision!
  • "read jeep grand cherokee messages "

    Typical remark to expect from an ody owner. I suspect that you're also one of those ody owners that compare their ody to the Acura MDX too! ha!ha! Keep Dreamin'
  • I came to this section of the site to hopefully gain some good viewpoints about various mini vans. What I seemed to have found was kids in high school arguing over what car they think is best. So maybe this message will give some future reader some help.
    We've been looking at mini vans, and this is what we have found....
    Honda oddessy(LX): good van at a good price. Didn't necessarily care for the softness in corners. Cool stowaway third seat. Good practical vehicle. Honda's are known for longevity so that's a plus, sort of limited color options. No from the factory leather when we test drove one.

    Toyota Sienna (XLE): Not too shabby, nice fit an finish on the interior and some cool color options for paint (A black mini van... all you need is aftermarket wheels and Mr. T and you can do an A-Team remake). Also had option for moon roof from the factory, that's cool. Had some noticeable Torque-Steer under hard acceleration/shifting, but was a quick accel.

    Ford Windstar: Not real impressed. Interior looked cheap, and somewhat poor finish. Some items looked like afterthoughts. However, also had cool color options for exterior. The salesman seemed like he came right off of a used car lot, so we didn't even take it out for a test drive (he hit the side of the doors with his fist to show us how dent resistant it was... whatever.). But we pretty much nixed it based on the interior (we own a 95 Taurus currently)

    Dodge Grand Caravan ES/Chrysler Town and Country: Tons of creature comforts, and a well thought out interior. Definitley go with the 3.8, the performance difference is worth the $300. Pretty decent exterior color options.

    Didn't look at Chevy/GMs, the she part didn't have any interest in them.

    Things that we were looking for :
    Her: Creature Comforts, comfortable driving environment (instrument layout, seat comfort, safety) ability to seperate bickering siblings- and they all do, easy to keep clean, easy entry and exit with three kids in tow (one in infant seat).
    Him: Able to get out of it's own way (read: go power), fairly stiff suspension so no rolling in the turns. Clean looking fit and finish inside and out.
    Both: LEATHER, because it's easier to clean (by the time you get the kids in the house and get back out to clean an oops, it will wipe off leather esaier than coming out of cloth). Something that we can both be comfortable in and feel relatively safe in. Good finance rates.

    Our Automotive background: Own: 95 Tarus SE, 92 Toyota 4x4 xtra cab, 71 Plymouth Duster (V8), 67 Dodge Polara (V8), 83 Toyota Pickup, considering a 1970 Opel Manta.
    Have also owned 87 Nissan Maxima.

    We have settled on the Dodge GC ES or Town and Country Limited or LXi. Here's why...
    Finance rates .9% is like free money
    Interior: Only van that you could easily get to the third seat while carrying a car seat with a child in it (fold the back of the second row bucket and then tilt the seat forward). Creature comforts: Lets face it, if your going to buy a vehicle that is the size of a small house, it should have the comfort level to match. The little things like a removeable center console, split rear bench that can be taken out in halves and the nifty little plastic grocery bag holders and power outlets everywhere are nice. Most comfortable seats out of all the ones we checked out. One thing we wish we could get is the seperate media choices for rear passengers (Venture has this option), but a couple of inexpensive portable CD players should do the trick for the time being.

    Exterior: Decent range of colors, although I still think the black offered by Toyota was cool.

    Drivetrain: Decent size engine per horse power. I come from the old school of "want more horsepower, you need more cubes (or liters)". Still not comfortable with wringing every last ounce out of an engine, I'll leave that to race cars. The traction control option (and even AWD) are some nice to have options, but I don't know what that may cost in repair down the road. I do hope that they have resolved the transmission problems that some of the earlier Caravans had. That's my only drivetrain concern, and the extended warranty should help alleviate that.

    This is the type of stuff I was hoping to find here (not a virtual shouting match), so I hope this will help someone else out who may be looking around.
  • I guess most of the posters here are past the point of comparing and have purchased their choice vehicle. Now you see the next step, vehicle ownership. Read a little further into the messages and you may learn more differences between the vehicles (what is being defended) than things you may not have thought of before i.e. magic seat means no full size spare tire etc.
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    Full size spare means no magic seat etc.(choices) ;)

    Midwesterner, thank you for your post we need more like it.
  • So...where do you keep your mini spare tire? Not very comforting on long trips. Is it. Does Honda provide Road Side Assistance for the Ody? I know they don't offer it for my Accord, but my DC has it, as well as, a full spare tire.
  • it's nice to see someone in here who cares about the facts. my wife and I own a 98 caravan e. we are looking to upgrade to a cc or odyssey or maybe even a montana. not sure yet what to get. we have only test driven the montanna. very nice solid comfortable ride. we would like to test drive a 2001 odyssey but there are none around us to test drive. have read alot of mixed reviews about all the vans we're interested in. I think no matter what vehicle you buy you can get a lemon. 2 years ago I bought a 99 s-10 and traded it in 7k later for 97 Dakota which I have been extremely happy with so who knows. we do think the dodge cc has the most to offer for the money. but we haven't made a firm decision on any model yet. hopefully people can take this area more seriosly in the future. any input would be greatly appreciated thank you
  • Thanks Midwesterner for your very unbiased opinions on these mini vans. However, I am still on the fence between the 2001's T&C EX (or maybe the LXi AWD- read on) and Ody EX. Now here is where I need some advice. We live in an area with a lot of snowfall. I mean a LOT of snow. I am debating on the merits of an AWD van vs. one with traction control. Of course the very big difference in MSRP for the AWD may decide for me. I wonder if the traction control would be sufficient for our road conditions (most people drive SUVs around here), and if so,is there a difference in the traction control between the Ody and T&C. Also, as I've only bought Hondas, any clues on how much off (besides the incentives) the MSRP I can expect to get on the T&C with some haggling.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Our 2001 Odyssey LX (with traction control) was fine this winter (Chicago). No problems on cleared or uncleared roads, though the traction control does engage a lot. The Odyssey is good for a front wheel drive vehicle. Unless you drive a lot on unplowed roads, a front wheel drive car with good all-season tires should be fine. One with snow tires and traction control may well be as good or better than one with AWD/4WD with OEM off-road tires.

    That said, our Odyssey it is not as good in snow/ice as our 2000 Outback Automatic (AWD with limited slip in rear and automatic clutch-actuated center differential). The Outback is noticeably better in poor conditions than any front wheel drive car we've had.

    Of course, AWD/4WD systems vary a lot. Some are no better than a front wheel drive car if all the differentials are open. I see a lot of SUVs stuck when cars get by just fine. I suspect its a combination of over-aggressive driving, poor handling, not knowing how to lock their differentials, having mediocre tires or having obsolete 4WD systems. An AWD vehicle with a viscous center differential and open Front/rear differentials is not going to be anywhere near as good as something like a Jeep with the optional Quadra-drive or an Audi with a Torsen combined with 4-wheel traction control.
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    I'm glad you got your full size spare (choice), and I got my fold down magic seat(choice). I won't argue with you about how much you like your van more than any other, but I CHOOSE my ody for many reasons and the main one was the extra room I can gain quickly and easily with the magic seat. It was not because DC is a terrible van (because it is not) I considered many vans and purchased the one that suited my families needs. Happy Trails ;)
  • I have the '99 DC AWD and it is great in snow. It engages automatically and came in very handy this year with one trip to the Berkshires in a snow storm (very steep snow laden driveway leading to Inn where FWD could not go) and then a ski trip to Vermont through very icy road conditions. AWD feels very secure.

    When you look at the price you will notice that it costs more for AWD, but you get alot of extra options with the AWD package i.e. load levelers, 4 wheel disk brakes, 3.8L engine...go see for yourself
  • I hope you don't have to ride in the "magic seat", it's very uncomfortable due to the slender design and need to fold it into the floor. Takes about 2 seconds to push the DC seat forward. Not so bad!

    h20 wrote:
    "Happy Trails ;) "

    Thanks, I Guess I won't see you there my friend...
  • Just to be curious, how much room do you gain by pushing the seat forward in a record time of 2 seconds? and how long does it take to to remove the seats all together?
  • johng14, I believe the 3rd bench seat in my 2001 Grand Caravan Sport moves in 3-inch intervals. There are 3 positions so the full range of back-to-front covers 6 inches (back=0, middle=3, front=6).
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    It's awfully quiet in here. Happy Trails ;)
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
        Geoduck or some other poster mentioned the seating problem with three kids and having enough storage for trips. While the Honda and Mazda Magic seat allows a quick change from 7 to 4 passenger seating, the storage space is limited to the area behind the third seat or in front of the third seat passengers with the center row removed, since the third row seat is not removable. The DC vans on the other hand allow for 5 passenger seating by removing the center buckets or 2 passenger seat, and moving the three passenger bench up to the second row, allowing all the storage behind the passengers and maybe enough room for a dog. This is in my opionion easier to load kids in the DC van, without crawling all the way back to the third row to buckle them in (over the stored items) in the Honda and Mazda. You pay your money and make your choice.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you have a flat tire in a Odyssey, where does the full size flat go???? Answer, in the plastic bag supplied by Honda, inside the car, or on the roof rack, as it will NOT fit in the hole the donut came out of!!! You pay your money and make your choice!!!
  • h20guyh20guy Posts: 64
    your entire van purchase decision was not based on what type of spare tire you would have? There are lots of other choices to be made before you put your money down. Most of all it boils down to what your needs are and needs vary from family to family. I hope you never need to use your spare tire. happy trails. :)
This discussion has been closed.