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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    "Sounds like before you start making all these comments(2)you would find out where Odyssey puts it spare.(inside the van in a compartment in front of the 2nd row of seats, only room for a mini spare) Also when you put all that gear and passengers in the DC van I'm sure its full(But the dirty wet flat is still outside securely fastened to the underside ) but in the Odyssey there is still plenty of room."(For the full sized wet dirty flat in a plastic bag inside with the wet luggage) Got facts? I got mine.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    "Well according to JD Power's director of product research Brian Walters, "While many manufacturers focus on initial quality—or quality in the first one to two years of ownership—a real economic impact is felt by both owners and manufacturers in long-term durability, which is after four to five years of ownership,"
    So he says they initial quality study reflects the first 1 or 2 years of ownership, while the durability study is for 4 or 5 years.
    I know that they only survey for the first 3 months of ownership on the initial quality study, but according to the studies designers this reflects the first 1-2 years of ownership.

    I notice that in that quote he doesn't specifically say the JDP survey tracks the manufacturer's focus of the first 1-2 years. If that quote is what you base it on it is a bit of a stretch unless there is more you omitted.

    If it is correct, I don't suppose it's equally reasonable to extrapolate that since the CR reliability data on the current gen Odyssey dates back over 3 years, that that should reflect the first 12-24 years of ownership?
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    bdaddy, if you want real driving impressions go look at the 2001 Edmunds minivan comparison. Chrysler won just about every category involving performance, ride, and drive. As Edmunds put it best when they said the Chrysler is "a driver's minivan." As I've said before, the T&C beat the Odyssey in engine performance.

    Edmunds found the Chrysler also delivered superior braking performance than the Odyssey stopping from 60-0 8 feet shorter. That could be the difference between life and death. The 2002 Ody has 4-wheel disc breaks (finally) but from what I've heard from owner's hear in the club, there isn't a significant difference in braking feel with the new discs. However, numbers could prove otherwise.

    You speak of four wheel independent suspension, how nice. It really must be great. That's why whenever you see an Odyssey with more than 4 people in it, it looks like the back is about to hit the ground. At least Chrysler offers load-leveling suspension on their vans for people who tow or carry heavy loads in their vans. In fact, Edmunds gave Chrysler the nod in suspension performance over the Odyssey in it's comparison test.

    And lets not forget the torquey Chrysler 3.8 215hp engine. I'll stop there.

    bdaddy, if you want real driving impressions you can find them right here at Edmunds, which is what I base alot of my comments on. You can argue safety cargo capacity fairly easily with the Odyssey but it becomes much harder when you talk about performance and driving characteristics.

    As Edmund's says, the Town & Country is a driver's minivan and they don't call it that for nothing.

    -Adam (16/M/CA)
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    The quote is all that was on the JD Powers website. It was actualy in an article explaining the durability study. Maybe the Director of Porduct Reasearch doesn't know how his own tests are run, I don't know.
    My Grand Caravan does have 4 wheel disk brakes, and the load leveling suspension. Even fully loaded for vacation, towing a camper trailer we sit perfectly level. I always wondered how that load leveling works because I have never been able to catch it in action. It definately works though, the van is a campers dream.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    We have a trouble-free 2000 Town & Country LX FWD. What kind of Grand Caravan do you have? I'm sure you've probably posted what model you have before, but I have forgotten over the many messages I've posted here at Edmunds. Thanks.

    -Adam (17/M/CA)
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    bdaddy, if you want real driving impressions go look at the 2001 Edmunds minivan comparison. Chrysler won just about every category involving performance, ride, and drive.
    If the DC van was so good, did it take first place? Besides, thats old news, the 02 Odyssey will run circles around the DC van which means not only was it in first place last year but is way out a head this year and this is against a van that was just redesigned. Seems like a new redesigned van should be number 1!
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    Thanks for setting me straight. I'll go right now and trade for that extra 3lbs of torque in that under-powered engine. I mean that extra 1.2% of torque must feel just awesome!!!
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    "if you want real driving impressions you can find them right here at Edmunds, which is what I base alot of my comments on." - 4adodge

    Bingo! My point exactly. You base a lot of your comments on what you read and what you want to believe. As I previously stated, I've driven every minivan out there (with the exception of the VW Eurovan). All I've been trying to say is that before you make all of your comments about torquey this and torquey that, you really should drive the vehicle you're putting down. As far as reviews go, I take them with a grain of salt. (Do you really think reviews don't have biases?) As I've said before, the Odyssey, or any van for that matter, may not be everyone's cup of tea. If it were, they wouldn't need so many different makes and models. Everyone has their own set of determinents for things like seat comfort, ride quality and other subjective measures. As far as the objective measures though,(0-60, braking distance, turning radius, crash test data, H.P. and yes, torque) the numbers speak for themselves. (make sure you use current, 02 data please)
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    From Edmunds, long term test, 2001:
    "Base prices start at $16,500 and will probably return there once production is ramped up and the car-buying public calms down. How much can you expect from a car springing from the Dodge Neon platform?"

    Am I missing something?
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    how Adam quotes where Edmunds likes the T&C and then calls them biased where they don't like T&C.
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    "My reliable, comfortable, sporty, AWD Dodge on the other hand will given us such great service, for so long, it will have proven more valuable, even if it's worth a couple thousand less then the Honda."

    Hersbird, glad your DC is holding up well - I expect the same from my Odyssey. Experiences with other Honda products tells me I have an excellent chance of achieving it. I'm not looking to capitalize on my van's excellent resale value by selling it all the time. Why would I, or anyone for that matter, get rid of a perfectly good vehicle. If that were my intent I would have leased. I can take comfort though, in the fact that when it is time to move on and sell my Odyssey, I'll be obtaining a substantially higher resale or trade in than had I gone with a DC product. (Depending on when I sell it the difference could be $5,000 or more*.)
    *Based on estimated residual value after 4 years and a purchase price of $30,000.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    You are missing the fact that Edmunds is incorrect in that regard, they're not alone as Car and driver repeated the same claim. The Pronto, which served as the concept car that the PT Cruiser is based on, was developed off the Neon chassis. In moving from concept to production model, DC discovered that in order to provide a flat load floor, a drastic redesign with an all new rear suspension was required. The PT Cruiser does share some common parts with the Neon, as it does with other Chrysler products, primarily switch gear.

    If you follow the long term reports for the Cruiser to the more recent ones, you will also see that the construction quality is very high, much higher than the Neon. The PT Cruiser also compared very favorably with Car and Drivers recent Tall Cars test and according to the Edmunds Long term report for April, will be comparing very favorably in their upcoming comparison test.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Why would I, or anyone for that matter, get rid of a perfectly good vehicle.
    Thank goodness everyone doesn't have that attitude or there wouldn't be very many vehicles to choose from as most companies would be out of business, most people unemployed, and the few left working would be looking for work as the rest of the car companies would be out of business.
  • bdaddybdaddy Posts: 171
    I know everyone doesn't prescribe to the attitude of keeping perfectly good vehicles. I'm just suggesting that I don't feel I'll have the need to trade my odyssey every 2 or three years (although some do). I'm banking on the reliability record Honda has built for itself and the fact that I usually keep vehicles for 8 or more years. But even if I do get the itch to look at a new Sienna or '04 Odyssey, I'm relieved to know that I won't get hammered on the resale value of this vehicle. BTW - the new economic period we're in will have may frequent car buyers scaling back on their purchases. People will have to start separating their wants from their needs and there certainly will be repercussions in the auto industry and beyond (IMHO). Based on other economic models, there are way too many manufacturers in the current auto industry. Look for mergers and consolidation (rule of 3) in the future. (That's why I don't put much stock in Kia's 10 year warranty. It may not happen, but a 10 year warranty won't do you much good if the company is out of business.)
  • ody01ody01 Posts: 100
    Odyssey high resale drop with Sedona lowest MSRP V6 power minivan. Same size 3.5L V6 as Odyssey. New Sedona sale price $18,550 much lower than Odyssey LX $24,690. ($6,140). Chrysler low price like Kia but only 4 cylinder engine. Probably bought Kia Sedona instead of Honda Odyssey last year for much less money.
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Your 2001 AWD DC minivan won't be worth as much as a similar 2001 Honda Odyssey. Neither will my 2000 Town & Country. In my opinion (although I didn't pay a penny for the car) just driving a "attractive, sporty, reliable, comfortable" DC minivan over the Honda is worth it. However, I realize why others here might disagree.

    And while the rest of us (including me) are uncontrollably sliding around the road in bad weather conditions, an AWD DC minivan will remain controlled and responsive. I'd say that security (above and beyond traction control, ABS) is worth the potential loss of a few thousand dollars (if even that much), depending on the area you live in. After all, isn't that why so many Odyssey owners got their van in the first place? Because of safety?

    -Adam (17/M/Bay Area CA)
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    We own an Odyssey. With traction control, both front wheels must slip to lose traction. Unless someone knows otherwise, I would assume the Chrysler minivans have only a slip limiting differential in the center. That means one front and one rear wheel must slip for the vehicle to lose traction. I'll take a limited slip over traction control any day, but it's not as big of an advantage as a vehicle that has a system requiring all four wheels to slip before it loses traction. We also own a 2000 Subaru Outback with AWD, including a LSD on the rear axle (One front and both rear wheels must lose traction to get stuck).

    The Subaru is better in slippery conditions, no question. Even so, I've never once had a situation where I've been even close to being stuck in the Odyssey. Nor have I been in the situation where AWD has saved me from any hazard in the Outback. It's a nice feature, and I'd consider it on a future vehicle, but I wouldn't put it above crashworthiness as far as safety goes. We may have purchased the Outback without AWD if that was an option to save money and increase fuel economy.

    Of course, the slick SUV marketing schemes have ingrained upon us all how necessary AWD is. Ironically, when the first snow hits, I always see far more trucks and SUVs on the side of the road than cars.

    Most of us urbanites and suburbanites have done very well with our FWD (and even RWD) cars for years. Sliding uncontrollably is pretty rare if you're used to driving in snow. On the other hand, the minority in extremely rural or hilly areas most certainly have a need for AWD.

    Incidentally, that few thousand dollars would easily pay for a number of sets of top quality snow tires. They may not help you accelerate as fast as a vehicle with a quality AWD system, but they will help you STOP faster- and in my opinion that's a lot more important as far as safety goes. Even so, I've never had the need for a set in the Chicago area. Your mileage may differ.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    Well we have a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport AWD (the longest van title ever I think!). Funny but that's the exact listing for the VIN and how it's listed on Edmunds. I guess the Sport AWD is it's own specific model in 2000. We have owned a lot of trouble free chrysler products in my 17 years of owning and driving cars (maybe not as much as others here but enough to cover cars from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's). We have not owned any Honda since 1975 (which it was a peice of junk) so maybe I don't know what I've been missing. Having many completely trouble free chryslers (including this our 4th Grand Caravan) I have never seen any reason to pay more for a Honda. Resale is a trcky thing to compaer. Most times it is computed off of MSRP which is fine if you have a Honda, but very few Chryslers (none I have ever bought) are sold for MSRP. Usually they are a good $4000 under MSRP. If you use actual selling price as a starting point then the resale as a percentage is similar for both the Honda and Chrysler. Even if the Honda is a little better, if you include the amount you spent on intrest financing a larger initial purchase, then that advantage is lost. Luckily the competition between the Dodge and the Honda has driven and kept both their prices reasonable, but comparing my 98 neon to a 98 Civic and I don't understand why anybody would buy the civic. My neon was loaded compared to the civic, handled better, accelerated faster, cost much less, only lost $3000 over 3 years and 38,000 miles, had more room, and got better gas mileage. It had zero problems so it would have been impossible to have been bettered in reliability. So we have bought 4 Grand Caravans, 2 Dakotas, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a Neon. The worst problem (pretty much the only problem ) was a blown head gasket on one of the Grand Caravans at 145,000 miles. About 1/2 of these cars were bought new the other half used, one was leased. About 200,000 personal miles total on all of these cars combined (many more put on buy others with the used ones). So personally I have never been given a reason to pay more for a Honda. Especailly considering I feel you get less for your dollar if you throw out resale and reliability, which I believe is a myth in Honda's case.

    As far as a 2001 compared to a 2001. I could have bought a 2001 GC Sport AWD new for $23,500. It would be worth $18,289 according to Edmunds trade in. So what would a similar 2001 Honda be worth (oh right, they don't have an AWD)? Well say an LX then is worth $20,975 trade in. But it would have cost at least $1500 more (only dealer within 300 miles gets full MSRP no haggling). So you get $1000 better difference with the Honda and the 1st year would probably be the peak. Factor out the extra interest you pay on the more expensive Honda, and higher taxes and you are probably talking a $800 advantage. IMO the AWD is worth $800 more. (actually given my location, and my wifes job, I'd say AWD is worth $5000 more).
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    We actually do the best of both worlds and put studded snows on all 4 tires for the winter. The Grand Caravan AWD is actually very similar to the normal Subie setup (not the VDC, or auto wrx). Where the Grand Caravan beats out the Subies is in it's greater weight. The grand caravan does not get a limited slip, but I beleive most Subies (besides the WRX) don't either unless you opt for it. The 3 previous vans were FWD with studded snows in the winter and I used to think that was fine also, but now that I've seen the advantage of AWD I will never go back.
  • cavillercaviller Posts: 331
    Off topic, but I believe all Outbacks now have a standard rear LSD. It was indeed optional on our 2000, but it was included with the cold weather package which was the only way to get heated seats. The heated seats, along with a heated steering wheel are two luxury features I wouldn't mind having in our Odyssey:-) I could take or leave the AWD. Yes, it's nice, but I don't consider it essential and I consider it a very minor safety advantage, at least in our area.

    Incidentally, some snowbirds opt to buy narrow snow tires. It's the weight divided by the surface area of the contact patch that's really important, especially if studs aren't allowed in your state:-)
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    Excellent comments in your posts. I never took the MSRP factor into consideration when comparing the resale value between the DC minivans and the Honda Odyssey. I know sevreal people who have owned many Chrysler vehicles over the years (most of which are minivans) that have also been trouble-free. We are on our second now and I'm positive we will be comming back to Chrysler again if we need another van after our current Town & Country gets out of warrantly in another 25k miles.

    AWD is an excellent feature that DC offers on it's minivans. Without AWD Chrysler vans, alot of people who live and travel to to areas with really bad weather would be left out. There aren't that many other viable minivan alternatives out there that offer AWD traction.

  • steelengsteeleng Posts: 71
    It is nice to see someone do a logical comparison of resale value. I understand why Edmunds or any of the magazines would use MSRP in their calculations due to market fluctuations but those market fluctuations must be taken into account by someone purchasing a vehicle. For instance, I am purchasing a used 2001 Grand Caravan Sport for just over $17000 which sounds like massive depreciation on a $27000 van but in reality the van was probably originally purchased for around $22000. Also, I am getting this van through my brother who is a dealer so I am getting a good deal.

    I did look at Oddysseys but the used ones are still selling for the price of a new Grand Caravan in my area so they are not much of a value used. Eventually someone is going to have to pay the depreciation on these Oddysseys (cars do not last forever - not even Hondas) and I would not like to be the owner when that depreciation kicks in.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It's my understanding the the TCO tool is based on True Market Value, not MSRP. Detailed questions should be asked in the New Tool: TCO discussion ("llaumann" is answering TCO questions there for edmunds).

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  • steelengsteeleng Posts: 71
    I was not referring to TCO when I mentioned Edmunds in my previous post. Some previous articles have used MSRP. The TCO tool seems to be much more useful in looking at actual depreciation.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Sorry, got lost in the threads around here. You'd think our editors would talk more about TMV in their reviews.

    On a related note, someone suggested putting MSRP and TMV purchase numbers in the Used cars section and that would be real handy in comparing current selling prices against the original cost. May be too much of a data intensive project to justify though.

    Oh well, at least I got a plug for TCO in :-)

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  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    Why do we keep mentioning snow traction as the raison d'ete of AWD. I ahave had three FWD cars with traction control. All did fine in snow. However, in rainy weather or on roads with loose sand, the wheels still would spin.

    I bought my new AWD T&C for those situations, not snow. And does it deliver. I have not been able to spin the wheels even while turning on rain slicked roads. It is worth the money in my book.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    But even the Edmunds TMV does not take into account rebates, which have been present on the Chrysler vans as long as I can remember. Maybe when the 2001 redesign first came out they switched to 0% 60 month financing (which is equal to about a $3500 rebate!) Look at the 2002 AWD Sport Grand Caravan. Edmunds lists the TMV at $28,499 but invoice is $28,148 and there are least $2500 in rebates and up to $4400 (if you are a farm member, recent college grad, and returning lease customer, OK unlikely but possible). Dave Smith routinely sells this model for under $26,000 (as were low as $23,500 on the 2001 model). Basically, Edmunds TMV does not take into count rebates so any resale values they try to compute will be off as well.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I hear that the 2003 Dodge will have the 3.8 optional on pretty much every trim line, not just the EX, ES, or AWD. And they will have the overhead DVD available (supposedly it was available this year but I haven't ever seen anybody with one), as well as a first for Dodge, sunroof. Also there will be a 20th anniversary model as the first Caravan came out in 1983. Supposedly they are dropping the Neon name altogether but they still make the car, who knows what they will call it but it looks a little different.

    Speaking of all this horsepower talk, they were going to use the 250 HP Chrysler 300M in the top Grand Caravans, and Town & Country but as it turned out they offered little performance gain over the 3.8. SO what was the point in engineering that motor to work in limited availablity only to be used as a marketing tool, not an actual performance increase. Torque is so important in a heavy van, the 300M does make a little more then the 3.8 but not enough. Same for the 3.8 -vs- the Honda 3.5, I wouldn't go so far as to say the extra 3 ft-lbs is any advantage over the Honda. Maybe the gearing is different on the vans though, that can have huge effect as they basically multiply the torque. Anybody know what the ratios are?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Well here at Edmunds 80,000 people voted and of course, the most wanted van was the Odyssey. If Honda could only build enough, DC would be number 2 in the selling wars.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    TMV values factor in the current manufacturer-to-dealer incentives that may be in effect. TMV new vehicle prices do not take into account the following items:

    Manufacturer-to-consumer incentives or rebates - these are different from manufacturer-to-dealer incentives and don't affect the actual transaction price; the consumer generally has the choice to apply these funds against the sales price as a down payment, or to accept a check for the amount of the rebate or incentive.
    Destination charge

    Tax or Title

    License/Registration Fees

    TMV link

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