Last post on Mar 23, 2008 at 7:43 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town and Country, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Van
#2667 of 7485 decision on dodge or honda
Mar 17, 2004 (8:40 am)
hayneldan - Thank you for the information of the maintenance/recall/tsb site for edmunds. This is what I found.
The 2003 Dodge Caravan has had 3 recalls and 31 TSB.
The 2004 Dodge Caravan has had 2 recalls and 7 TSB's already.
The 2004 Honda Odyssey has zero recalls and zero TSB's.
That is quite an eye opener. We just might strain our finances $5000 dollars to buy that Honda afterall.
Thanks to all for the input.
Mar 17, 2004 (8:55 am)
You stated earlier there was a $9k difference in price, not $5K.
TSB's are not necessarily indications of problems, they are just issued as Technical Service Bulletins, (hence the name) to their dealers on how to deal with certain issues that may not be covered in their standard maintenance manuals.
Also, beware Honda does not release TSB's to the general public, which is unlike all other manufacturers. (Do they have something to hide?)
I would think long and hard about spending that much more money just to get an Odyssey. You can save that money and use it for any maintenance issues that might arise and if they don't arise, you still have the $9K. $9K can go a long ways for repairs, and it looks like the Caravan is covered by an extensive warranty anyway.
Mar 17, 2004 (9:34 am)
I agree with badgerfan that TSBs are not necessarily an indication of a problem. Also, some here would like to believe consumer reports to be the reliability bible, but their statistics can only be used as a rough guidance, because their surveys are not scientific. JD Power is more scientific than CR.
But, if I read your message correctly, you're looking into a short wheelbase caravan and a 2004 Odyssey?. You should also look into a 2004 Sienna CE with package 3 (curtain airbags, stability control etc.) with an invoice of $23.4K/MSRP $25.7K. Since Honda is updating Ody this year, you may lose some of its value fast, but with the Sienna that will not be the case if you can get a good deal up front. If resale doesn't bother you, I would go with the 2004 DGC SXT almost fully loaded available in some places for under $20K new. Odyssey tends to be rougher/ noisier for people moving from Chrysler because Honda doesn't isolate the ride.
Mar 17, 2004 (10:15 am)
I've driven both the DC and Ody extensively. I would disagree that the Ody is rougher or has poorer ride characteristics. It is noiser at highway speeds because of a poor job by Honda on wind noise suppression. Something they never bothered to improve upon, although that might change with the new 2005.
If you plan to keep the van a long time, then you need to take a long hard look at comparative reliability records.
If you plan to own 4 years or less, you need to take a long hard look at resale value retention.
The trade-off may be worth it if the DC van is thousands less.
Mar 17, 2004 (10:49 am)
It would be even more of an eye opener if you actually looked at what the "recalls" were for.
4 of them are for aftermarket replacement fuel filters that happen to be used in the DC vans. Which you wouldn't need for a very long time, long after the recall isssue was resolved
The other one is for a lightbulb in a 3rd party running board
In other words, in things that actually matter, the recall score is REALLY: DC 0, Honda 0.
I'll leave the rest of the cost/benefit analysis up to you, but from where I'm looking, the recall situation is a draw
#2672 of 7485 Rough ride = less isolation
Mar 17, 2004 (11:00 am)
When I say Odyssey rides rough, what I mean is that its ride is not well isolated like the DC/Toyota Vans. My 93 T&C was prone to wind noise at highway speeds, but with the Odyssey it is more of road noise too. This is true of all Honda models not just Odyssey, that Honda wants to give the driver a good road feel. Some like it a lot but if one is used to DC comfort this should definitely be considered. YMMV.
Mar 17, 2004 (12:12 pm)
The NHTSA reports 5 TSBs for the '04 Odyssey. I don't know why our data is different since I think we get it from them. Here's the link but you'll have to drill down to the make/model.
#2674 of 7485 bluetrainstop - 2003 Caravan SXT vs 2004 Ody
Mar 17, 2004 (7:55 pm)
If you are in the market for a short wheel base minivan, I would take a hard look at the Mazda MPV, which gets rave reviews, handles exceptional well, and is considerably less than the Honda - many ads for under $20,000 in Chicago area papers recently and will hold value very well. If you have occupants of any size in the 3rd row, they will be much happier in the Honda/Toyota/Nissan versions than the short wheel base Caravan, the MPV, or even the Ford Freestar. If this is the long wheel base Grand Caravan you are referring to, it seems like a decent deal.
With just 7100 miles on it, you have to wonder why someone parted with it? Was it in an accident? Did you get a CARFAX on it? 2004 Grand Caravan SXT can be had for $20,500 or less, but they are going fast.
If 2003 Caravan SXT is accident free I have to agree that the nine grand in the pocket seems like the way to go. I had the ultimate van lemon - a 1995 Ford Windstar and even with very poor reliability managed just $5000 in non-routine maintenance over 125,000 miles, but repair costs are very low in rural wisconsin and transmissions (Dodge's biggest issue) tend to be expensive.
The $24,000 price tag seems too high for the 2004 Odyssey. I assume you are looking at an LX. Invoice is $22032 + $540 destination. Many posts in the Honda Odyssey prices paid are showing invoice or less for shrewd negotiators. $23,000 is the maximum you should pay. Thus, I think $1000 comes off the Ody price.
Last thought - Honda doesn't have the side curtain protection yet, but do score better in safety versus DC, which I think scored average in crash tests.
Either is probably not a bad buy - go with your heart and never look back.
Mar 19, 2004 (6:25 am)
Thanks for advice. The 2003 Caravan is certified by Dodge and my husband checked it out and got the CARFAX report and all seems to be okay. Still we both lost our guts to buy it and told the man NO yesterday. Can't get by the fact someone would sell a van after only 7100 miles. Anyway, we are hoping for a great deal on 2004 Caravan STX, got a price of 18,590 plus tax and tags. We're hoping to "steal" one out the door for 20,000 with all fees included. Time will tell.
We did check out the MPV, my husband thought the ride was rough, stiff and too narrow inside and did not want it.
We got two prices on the Honda Odyssey one was 24,600 out the door with all taxes and fees included. The other was 22,799 plus taxes and motor vehicle expenses. The atmosphere in the Honda dealerships were not one of desperation to sell the 2004 before the new re-models come out. They do not budge much, then again they don't have too. Quality Product, at a price too high for us. We realized we were selling stock, bonds just to get the Honda, and it you have to do that you simply cannot afford it. We will buy a Dodge 2004, hopefully for a great price.
Thanks to all for your inputs and advice.