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Honda Odyssey vs Dodge/Chrysler minivans



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I cant imagine someone with kids who complain that the "built-in DVD player screen is too small". That would be one spoiled kid! We have a portable one that sits in your lap or hangs between the front seats, has a 5 inch screen, and keeps whoever watching perfectly happy!

    By the way, I think the heated seats are too hot, the stereo quality is rather mediocre, and the mirrors are much too shiny. (LOL ;) )
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    and the mirrors are much too shiny.

    I was like No Way!! But I went out and your right the mirrors are too shiny(damn you Honda)

    Oh here's a link to a new article they call the Odyssey get this(The Maybach of Minivans) Now thats the first time I've heard that.

    link title
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Oh here's a link to a new article they call the Odyssey get this(The Maybach of Minivans) Now thats the first time I've heard that.

    OMG.....a "Sex in the City" marathon for his daughter's trip to camp? Don't get me wrong...I'm a fan of SITC but the contents aren't suitable for many many children. If his daughter is going to camp - I'm thinking she's 10 - 13??? I can't even type the topics they talk about on most episodes!

    Not to ever disagree with socalawd, but when I read this, I see more of a comparison to a Cadillac, not Maybach (except for 2nd row seating, which is "short of" Maybach).

    IMO....Sienna has the best interior of any minivan, almost Lexus like in quality of mat'l, seams, quietness.

    But nice fluff piece.

    The rental clerk demonstrates the power sliding door and assures the skeptical Mr. Palmer, "It's the Cadillac of minivans."

    Ten years on, it is Honda's third-generation Odyssey that can credibly claim that mantle. The paragon of its class, it is a van with features and passenger comfort comparable to what you'll find on all but the highest-end luxury cars.

    The Odyssey, particularly in top-of-the-line Touring trim, rivals many luxury sedans in fit and finish; in entertainment options; in its interior quiet; and in long-distance comfort. The middle-row captain's chairs, which adjust fore and aft and side to side and offer a clear view of the nine-inch video screen, are as pleasant a place to spend a day on the road as almost anywhere short of, say, the back seat of a Maybach.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I am going to award that title to myself. Since 1983 I have owned:

    1983 VW 9-passenger (very rare) Vanagon
    1987 Nissan Van
    1990 Pontiac Trans Sport
    1994 Dodge Grand Caravan
    1997 Ford Windstar
    2003 Olds Silhouette
    2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L

    In between there were a some sedans, all Detroit iron.

    My experience with the vans was that the VW was far and away the most roomy and comfortable but the worst piece of junk. If you remember, the entire production of 1987 Nissan Vans were bought back by Nissan under the terms of a safety recall because of engine fires, etc. You sat over the engine in that model. I had already traded mine before the recall. As I remember, I got a $1,000 certificate from Nissan good for the purchase of any other Nissan model. I sold the certificate online for $500. The Pontiac and Ford minis were very reliable. At the time, the Pontiac had the 34 lb. individually removable seats which made configuring a snap. We took a trip one time and removed the some seats. It was a great highway cruiser. I just traded my Silhouette for the Honda. The Olds had wonderful features but just didn't exude build quality. I had it for 51,000 trouble free miles but I did get tired of its squeaks and rattles. My family called the leather seats "Pleather" because they were so cheap feeling. I bought that van because it was a great buy and got 0% from GM. Never mind that it had the worst front crash test results per IIHS. The Honda is everything all the others are/were not: roomy, quiet, solid and peppy. It is just a well made mini and I can see why it has become the gold standard.

    No, I did not forget my Grand Caravan. I got that van as the settlement of a customer arbitration award with Chrysler because the 1993 Dodge Intrepid I bought was a lemon. The GC turned out to be a bigger lemon. Two transmissions, a/c compressors, switches you name it, it had it. That turned me off on Chrysler for a good long time to come.

    I travel a bunch with my job and frequently rent DCX minivans. While they are nice riding they are no where near the Odyssey. Anyone who makes the claim that a DCX van can compare with the Honda needs to be tested for substance abuse. Anyone who makes the claim that the DCX minis are a better buy needs to take Economics 101. In five years the $31,000 DCX will be worth $7,000 - $8,000 while the Honda with be around $13,000 -$15,000. I bought into that logic when I got the Olds. I bought a van with a $33,315 MSRP in October, 2002 and traded, almost three years to the day, for $10,200. A similar Odyssey would have brought about $16,000. Yes, I know, Olds went away but look at the Chevy and Pontiac models, they depreciated the same.

    I hope some of you can take something away from my 23 years of owning minivans.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    Your math seems a bit off in your past paragraph, or you got scammed. Olds was selling that van for $12k off MSRP, so comparing depreciation based on MSRP is misleading.

    Despite all your van experience, you fail to understand how automakers change. Mercedes, once tops in quality, is now bottom. Nissan low in the 80's is now very good. Very few managers and engineers work on the same product for more than 5 years, so I would not discount any manufacturer for very long.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    A good informative post arty....up until the point where you started calling anyone that does not agree with your opinion an ignorant crackhead.

    It's great you think so highly of your mini...but many non ody mini owners think just as highly of theirs.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I called no one a name. I do not sink to that level in my posts. I believe I have the qualifications to make an informed opinion based on owning 7 minivans over the past 22 years.

    As for being scammed, as was said in a previous post, I paid $27,800 for the Olds in October, 2002. Who was selling new Silhouettes at "$12,000 of MSRP"?

    My research is usually very good when I buy except for failing to see the wisdom in buying a 2003 GM Triplet. I have no axe to grind. If I can give one person a bit of insight into buying smartly then I feel good.

    Personally, I have yet to meet a satisfied DCX minivan owner. Granted I have not met too many, but all those I have met would never buy another, me included.

    Until you have owned both DCX and Honda do even think about make a value judgment.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    This is not 1985, or even 2000. Owning a Nissan 20 years ago does not mean the Quest sucks. First gen Siennas and Odys were not very good either. Your experience with a 1994 DGC has no influence on what 2006 model van I would buy. Now, if you had a 2005 DGC and replaced it with a 2006 Ody, I'd give your experiences more value.

    Who was selling GM vans at $10k off? Every one in Detroit in Summer/fall 2003. Ford just had $10k off 2005 vans this summer, and some people have gotten $10k off 2005 DCX vans in Dec 2005. if average Joe can wait until the next model year vehicles arrive and pays $5k less than one early in the model year, the early buyer takes a larger depreciation.

    BTW, Hi! I'm Aaron. You've now met a satisfied Town & Country owner. However, I only have 8.5k miles on my van. In my 12 years or so of car ownership, I've had at least one vehicle from the of the following brands ranging rfrom 1978 to 2005 model years: Chevy, Honda, Pontiac, Mazda, Ford, Lexus, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. I would not discount any of the brands in a future buying decision.

    Anyway, welcome to Edmunds Town Hall! Everyone should share their experiences and let the readers place their own value them.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Or the Yugo of Minivans? :P
    Based on reading the noise problems with the Ody VCM and windshield noise, many readers would crown the Ody the "Yugo of Minivans". ;)
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483

    Thanks for the welcome but I am not new as I have been posting on Edmunds for years. Most of the time I am a reader not a poster.

    Past experience is a valuable tool. From what I read here on various boards things have not much changed. The Nissan Van of 1987 and the Quest of 2005 had loads of problems. Same goes for the others. My sister-in-law had an early '70s Civic that was trouble free. Honda quality remains high in 2005. I had a 1970 Corolla and did shop the Sienna before buying the Odyssey. I shy away from GM not so much for reliability but because of fit and finish issues. I stayed away from Japanese models for years figuring Detroit was a better deal but I am so over that sentiment.

    These boards are a valuable tool but there is no substitute for personal experience.

    I am happy for you and your DCX product. To each his own. Personally, DCX has seen the last of me.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    We bought a Dodge Caravan new in 1985 and kept it 12 years. Sold it private sale and bought a 1996 Caravan SE Sport in early 1997. We still are driving that one.

    The 1985 did have some AC problems that were costly, and a few other niggling issues toward the last year of our ownership, but we were never stranded once due to mechanical failure. Sold it at about 79K miles.

    The 1996 has done much much better than the 1985, even though it was a brand new redesign that model year. Again, the only thing expensive has been a couple of AC repairs. This one is now at 85K miles and still runs and handles like the day it we drove it home from the dealer.

    So ,we bought 2 vans in the past 21 years and were relatively happy with the first one, and are still driving and very happy with the second.

    Who cares about depreciation when you keep it 10+ years. None of them are going to be worth more than $2-$3k at that point, so initial out of pocket cost has much more impact to those of us who drive them a long time. Anyone who changes vehicles every 50K miles is throwing away a lot of depreciation cost.

    Suppose I save say $3K in initial cost by buying the less expensive DGC minivan vs the Odyssey, and let that money compound at say 5% for 12 years. I have a nice $5,387.57 saved for my next vehicle.

    Now you know of at least two owners who are happy with their DGC minivans.
    With DGC's annual sales, I would say there are just a few more than two satisfied owners as well.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Who cares about depreciation when you keep it 10+ years. None of them are going to be worth more than $2-$3k at that point

    1996 Odyssey EX in Good condition : $6,310 private party value

    1996 Caravan ES in Good condition : $4,180 private party value

    Both cars from listed with 100,000 miles, and top trim levels.

    Both actually bring more than $2-3k, but the Odyssey brings approx $2,200 more after ten years. Keep in mind that this is the "wagon style" Odyssey with the 140hp 4-cyl compared to a V-6 Caravan. How will the more comparable vans (1999 and up) fare when ten years hits?

    1999 Ody EX : $12,035
    1999 GR Cara ES : $7,960

    Both in Excellent Condition with 70,000 miles. If you keep the car 7 years, you have increased that spread to double the ten year spread.
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    Or the Yugo of Minivans?

    Nope I already Had a 2001 Caravan. Thank you very much!!

    Based on reading the noise problems with the Ody VCM and windshield noise, many readers would crown the Ody the "Yugo of Minivans".

    Oh ya real good data there. You forgot there's some break noise too. As far as I know the people having a windshield noise problem are getting it fixed. As for the VCM noise I have no idea what they're talking about. I have VCM and so far no issues. It is a new design but if there is a issue I'm sure Honda will fix it.

    Here's your post from July 20th yeah right before you were gonna buy a GC/Ody/Seinna combo LOL.

    Another reason I prefer the 2005 Ody EX (cloth) over the EX-L or Touring.
    The first 2005 Ody (demonstrator) was a loaded EX-L with VCM. The VCM worked well and hard to tell when it activated or deactivated. Since they had sold the demonstrator (once the mandatory period set by Honda had expired), my recent test drive was in an Ody EX (cloth).
    Living where winters are cold and summers are hot, we feel that cloth seats are more comfortable.

    No mention of noise just it worked well!! I know you like to stir it up, with alot of unfounded information. Like 2005 Honda's all have tranny problems, just cause one person on the forum says they do. I have seen 2005 GC with tranny issues too. Does it mean they're all bad. Heck no these forums are so hit and miss you never know what your gonna get. The internet is great for fringe information. That why its a good place to sell obscure things. You can find the couple people in the world that think lime green gremlins are a work of art!! LOL
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Suggest you read in the Honda Odyssey 2005 + forum to find out about VCM and noise problems the Odyssey owners are worried about. :sick:
    Noise problem is reported in posts # 4452, 4454, and 4463. The VCM problem is discussed in # 4457, 4458, and 4460.
    You have quoted correctly. I did not notice VCM noise nor any change when VCM went on and off in the test drive. I would not dare buy an Odyssey after reading about all the owner reported problems here in more than one "Odyssey only" forum. :mad: The Odyssey has more problems reported by owners in the past 6 years than any other minivan.
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    Suggest you read in the Honda Odyssey 2005 + forum to find out about VCM and noise problems the Odyssey owners are worried about.

    I have not worried, and have none of these problems. I am worried about bird flu, mad cow disease, and global warming!! LOL

    Noise problem is reported in posts # 4452, 4454, and 4463. The VCM problem is discussed in # 4457, 4458, and 4460.

    Ok 4457 is a guy saying he thinks he hears something around 1500-2000 rpm 4458 and 4460 are people responding to him wondering what it sounded like. Wow sounds really bad. Of course your transmission noise of 2002 T&C LX sounds worse than that. Well, go figure I had that too on my Caravan!

    The Odyssey has more problems reported by owners in the past 6 years than any other minivan.

    Yes Honda owners do post more!! So of course more information would be there. As for reliability CR say that it is the most reliable minivan the last 6 years. I believe them over your look at the forums, the sky is falling senerio!
  • Where'd you find that statistic? Certainly not according to consumer reports reliability data. :confuse:
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Maybe you didn't call anybody any names directly, but your comment was implicit and highly arrogant.

    As for me I've known many satisfied owners of Chrysler mini-vans, and quite a few are on either their second or third. And as a past manager of a large fleet of Dodge & Plymouth minivans, I have a fairly high regard for them. Have they been perfect. No. Niether has the Honda.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think we can all agree that derogatory comments about people who make alternate choices regarding cars should be left out of posts. I wouldnt buy a DCX, but someone who does isn't crazy. They just have different tastes or priorities. Nothing wrong with that. My own grandfather's sister (my great aunt) drives GCaravans (4 in 8 years now). She is a really sweet person whom I love very much. Not a crackhead. She wouldnt dare pay $30,000 for a van when she can get one for $23,000. Different priorities, different people, different vehicles to suit needs. Crackheads need not apply, whether you drive a Honda or Chrysler.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    How many hundreds of thousands of Odysseys with VCM are on the road? So your theory is that six or eight posts constitute a model wide lemon?

    How's this for silly logic: How come the Toyota dealers have a lot of 2005 left over Siennas and the DCX guys still have a bunch of '05 minis both after generous rebate programs? Can you find a left over '05 Odyssey? Any Odyssey rebates? I started shopping for a new van in June. I first test drove a Sienna XLE that the dealer had since March. Guess what? That particular Sienna is still there along with another from February. I am not knocking the Sienna or DCX vans, just pointing out some flawed logic.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Probably far less than one hundred thousand since VCM was introduced in the 2005 model :sick:
    Remember that LX and EX (cloth) do NOT have VCM. :P
    Just read in the Odyssey forums to learn of all the problems that are being reported by Odyssey owners and make your own decision. The many Odyssey owners reporting problems caused me to more seriously look at the Sienna or another DC minivan when I buy a new one.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    This is the last I will say because I do not normally like to engage in debates: Take a look at the 2005 and 2006 Odyssey EX-L and Touring production numbers and you will have a accurate total of the VCM engines thus far produced. Say it is 90,000 (I expect it is a lot higher) and 50 people here complained, that would be .05%, hardly an epidemic.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Our host has mentioned the faulty logic used here, before, as far as counting posts to determine a car's problem per vehicle ratio. If it were mandatory for every owner to post (dis)satisfaction with their cars, the number of posts would be a relevant number. Unfortunately, you cannot judge how well the VCM is holding up by how many people talk about it in one place. Stick with controlled surveys like Consumer Reports or Consumer Guide to give you an accurate ratio of problems per vehicle. :sick: Counting posts is an inaccurate judge because:

    1.) You aren't going to get a fair sample of owners :surprise:
    2.) You don't know the validity of the claims :mad:
    3.) There are more posts responding to problems than actual problems listed :confuse:

    I know that you, hansienna didn't really refer to counting posts, it was just the last post that I read, and related to it. Thank you for not falling victim of this fuzzy logic. I agree with your post when you say Just read in the Odyssey forums to and make your own decision. Customers should use this forum as a supplement to expert opinion, word of mouth, and personal taste. I doubt anyone in here would base a purchase entirely on one DCX doomsdayers opinion, or a Honda-hater with a love for Chryslers. Nearly everyone in here that is a regular poster does so with a bias. Nothing wrong with that. I'm just saying that customers looking for advice should look here, as well as elsewhere to get a fair assessment of each vehicle. True?
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I could not agree more. This board is a forum for people to state their actually experience. We have no way of knowing who might be a representative for a particular manufacturer or dealership so it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Basically I think the people who post are honest and like to relate stories both good and bad. I personally scoured these boards when shopping for my latest purchase. This is something I have done since I first had an online service in February, 1986 (Quantumlink).

    I drove a 2005 Sienna XLE. I thought the Sienna was quiet, comfortable and very well made. My wife thought it had a choppy ride. After driving the Odyssey we were sold and bought shortly thereafter. The Toyota is quieter inside but the Honda handles and accelerates better.

    We had a rental Grand Caravan this summer for four days. During that time we put on about 850 miles. The van was acceptable but not nearly as nice as the Sienna or Odyssey.

    Yes, it all comes down to personal choice. I know if I come on here and make a negative remark about the brand you just spend $30,000 on you might get ticked. Such is life.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "I'm just saying that customers looking for advice should look here, as well as elsewhere to get a fair assessment of each vehicle. True?"

    If "nearly" everyone posting in here does so with a bias, what value are the opinions to anyone? So, no, I disagree.

    The problems you point out regarding the validity of the posts I agree with. But if it's fuzzy logic to assume that the quantity of posts mean anything, then why are the opinions of those posting any more valid?

    The problem with assuming the quality or reliability...or for that matter, the more subjective opinions regarding ride, handing, comfort, that the posts in Edmunds are unsolicited. Unsolicited surveys, like the opinions they're based on, are notoriously inaccurate and unreliable. They are used because they're cheap!

    This criticism also applies to Consumers' Reports.

    What I have done in the past that has proved to be more accurate is walk-up questioning. This is an unsolicited survey in it's basic form, but it has proved to match my actual experience with our fleet cars and pretty much been on target with my personal experience.

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,443
    Perhaps Consumer Reports should buy you a truck load of sneakers and hire you to do a walk-up questioning survey for them? ;)

    I think most people are biased to some degree in the vehicle they bought...and that is reflected in their posts...even yours dustyk....and yes, even on occasion the jipsters. :blush: But, I think by reading posts and looking for certain themes or patterns one can gain a good understanding of quality and reliability. Look at the posts on the Kia Sedona board...those are usually quite serious in nature, compared to wind noise and other minor issues of other boards. One or two people complaining about a faulty engine would not raise much of a concern with me, but 3, 4 or 5 posts from different individuals and that may be statistically significant.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    One or two people complaining about a faulty engine would not raise much of a concern with me, but 3, 4 or 5 posts from different individuals and that may be statistically significant.

    Very true, and good counterpoint to mine. I should have clarified the types of posts I meant when I said biased. Someone reporting a problem is different from saying that "my can has shinier mirrors than yours, your van is less of a van than mine! Ohh you got served!!!". Sorry for the foggy post.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    "One or two people complaining about a faulty engine would not raise much of a concern with me, but 3, 4 or 5 posts from different individuals and that may be statistically significant."


    Five posts out of 100,000 vehicles manufactured is significant? Ridiculous.

    Maybe I ought to trade you my truckload of sneakers for a couple of courses in statistics.

  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Consumer Reports challenges the belief that Japanese cars are generally made better than domestic vehicles in its annual reliability survey released Wednesday.

    Vehicles that Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. makes at its new plant in Mississippi -- the Quest minivan, Armada SUV, Titan truck and Infiniti QX56 SUV -- are among the 48 least-reliable cars and trucks sold. Toyota Motor Corp.'s redesigned Avalon was rated with average reliability, lower than any of Toyota's other cars. The Acura RL, made by Honda Motor Corp., and the Honda Odyssey were also rated average.

    "One time you would consider buying a Japanese car because you'd get excellent reliability, but now you're starting to see some nicks in the armor," says David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' auto test center.
  • socalawdsocalawd Posts: 542
    One or two people complaining about a faulty engine would not raise much of a concern with me, but 3, 4 or 5 posts from different individuals and that may be statistically significant

    Yes you still have no idea whats going on. Heck on here the same guy could have written all 5. It would be great if we could walk up to enough people that have boght the same car and asked them what they had done. That just won't happen. So, I would hope that you would get the same kind of bais from people thats what makes CR more valid then these forums which people stumble onto and are totally annyomous. at least with CR the person probably owns that car and is giving close to the real information. Also the survey is pretty indepth. Now I wish that would give out more info like how about this(amiount of cars of the model for a year. And what type things went wrong, for example in the integrity. I could see huge amounts of people screaming about the glovebox gap. Also with Dodge the front brake pads seemed to wear pretty fast. Big deal 32K is fine with me on a big van with rear drums. Until dusty comes up with a walk up service that gets say 10% of the cars I'm going with CR. But if your able to do this Dusty I'll pay ya 15.00 a year for the service cause it sounds great!!
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    I'm trying to allow a little latitude regarding the discussion about the value of these posts to potential buyers -- opinions are, by their nature, biased. Everyone's entitled to form his/her own opinion -- positive or negative -- and express it here.

    But negative personal remarks only beget more of the same; they're off-base and drive the discussion off-topic. So let's tone things down and stick with the topic at hand, please.


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