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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Our 2016 Odyssey EX-L has served us well, but I want to get the wife in something with adaptive cruise control (and the AEB that comes with it) and Apple Car Play. Third row access for three adults is important - with two car seats in the second row. Which rules out ALL 3-row crossovers. They are just a bunch of compromises - minivans with high floors and less-convenient doors, and many only have two seats in the third row. All but the biggest don't have room for our goliath two-kid stroller behind the third row seat, let alone any luggage. I tow a 2000# trailer now and then, and will bring it on long distance family vacations: 4-7 people, their luggage, and a trailer. But mostly the van will do mommy duty - a driver and two kids in big forward-facing car seats.

The Sienna checks the two boxes (ACC, Carplay) but doesn't really bring anything else to the table other than it's a "tried and true" design - meaning it's ancient. MSRP is reasonable especially with their ACC standard on all models. But there are minimal discounts and our local dealer is a bunch of smug crooks. Third row access is similar to our current Odyssey - doable, but not great. Available AWD might be a big deal for many buyers, but my other car is a Subaru and this will be driven by a stay-at-home mom = no need to be out in bad weather. My brother has an AWD Sienna and loves it, but complains of lousy fuel economy and tire life - and only one or two brands make tires for it.

The Sedona was okay but just okay. Third row access with two car seats in the second row isn't great. The second row seat folds flat against the front row - awesome access! IF there's no car seat attached. So a great idea, but doesn't work in our case. Local dealer starts their radio ads by yelling "BAD CREDIT? NO CREDIT?" and the dealer definitely has a "so this is your last resort" vibe to it. They also sell Mitsubishi. Which is still a thing. Rated well by Consumer Reports, otherwise I wouldn't have even bothered to check it out. Pricing was comparable to more established brands with better resale, and the dealer was not willing to deal. Great warranty, though. Towing is not a problem - just bolt a hitch on it.

The Odyssey was nice. Very quiet! I was all prepared to trade ours in on a 2020 EX-L. I know better than to bring kids car shopping so instead I asked for an extended test drive and took the van home to show my wife. Only on that trip did I realize that the ACC cuts out below 20 mph. I use this feature all the time on my Subaru and assumed they all worked about the same. As the car in front of me slowed, so did the Odyssey. Then it stopped slowing and flashed a "BRAKE!" warning at me as I was quickly approaching the almost-stopped car in front of me. That's a big strike against the Odyssey. And a good case for salesmen riding along on a test drive! This particular one (like my 2016) has terrible panel alignment. I don't know what they do in Lincoln Alabama, but getting doors and fenders to match up is not part of it. A Pilot in the showroom had a very visible paint defect on the front fender. I've had Hondas going back to a 1992 Acura Vigor that was spot-on flawless right past 200,000 miles and a cousin ran it up to 300K. That sold me on Honda Quality. But this ain't it! The second row Magic Seats are awesome. Third row access is a peach. (with the center seat removed and laying in the garage) I dealed hard and worked with a couple other dealerships and got a decent discount on the 2020. They also showed me good numbers on my trade. (I thought $20K on a 2016 EXL with 46k miles is more than fair - I'd have to sell it privately for more than KBB Private Party to beat that deal with the tax savings, and used car buyers here just don't have $21,200 cash to buy a used car) Bottom rated by Consumer Reports for reliability. (It did really well on the road test, however) Just bolt a hitch on it, and the 10-speed can tow 3500# they tell me.

The Pacifica - ACC that works right down to zero, and resumes when the car ahead moves - check! Around-view camera - she likes that too! It even parks itself. Probably a parlor trick, but maybe she'll use it. Unlike everyone else, I really don't care about the Stow-N-Go. We have car seats in the second row 100% of the time, and with current laws requiring children to be in car seats until they are 26 or something, they'll never come out. For that same reason, second row seat comfort isn't a concern. And even if they are uncomfortable - anyone sitting there didn't pay for the van. But the storage holes for the Stow-N-Go seats will be useful for the little pink plastic potty, and ten million Elsa and Anna dolls that live in our van. CR rated this van great for reliability. (not Chrysler as a whole, but I'm not buying their entire model lineup) Drawbacks - some come with an optional spare tire, the one we're looking at just has the flat repair kit. I've only destroyed a tire once during a stupid high school boy off-road excursion in a Carter-era Buick. The other few tire problems I've had were all nails that I plugged days/weeks later in my garage. But for $300 I can get a spare tire that fits in one of the Stow-n-go wells, or (for $400) I can order the van with one that replaces the storage cubbies in the wall of the cargo area. Trailer towing is a point of contention. WIthout the factory-only tow package, a Pacifica is rated at 1500#. Tow package includes a heavy duty radiator, and trailer sway control software. Factory tow packages are good for 3600# but are hard to come by, and that's really narrowed my search. There are 13 vans within 150 miles, and most of them are $50,000 Limited models with features I don't need (a vacuum cleaner, really?) I'd consider bolting my own hitch on and taking my chances, but the cars are out there and the factory install is tucked up flush and the wiring is already done. Sway control isn't a big deal with a boat (axle is far back on the trailer) but I got into a "tank slapper" with a popup once and it wasn't fun. Something I don't like about the Pacifica - lots of controls are buried in the big touch screen. I think I can put the frequently-used ones on the "homepage" but I'd prefer to hit a button than dig through menus at 70mph.

Chrysler is also willing to throw lots of money at the deal. I'm sure resale value won't be there, but if they're putting the money on the front end, it won't be too bad. I'm hoping to keep this one a decade so anything will be nearly worthless in 2030 when all cars are electric and powered by the solar shingles on our roofs. Resale value DOES matter if some texting idiot runs a light and totals it, however. It's hard to beat the total out-the-door cost of the Pacifica, and I think ownership costs of any purchased new car is a crap shoot, with all this technology. I'm going tomorrow to work a deal on a low-spec Pacifica that meets all my requirements, and has a heated steering wheel - a "want" but not a need.

Of the 70+ cars I've owned, only one was a Chrysler, and it was a $100 Dodge Aspen that I drove across the country in 4 days. My wife came with a Plymouth Breeze - her first car. An ex-GSA auction car. It got some problems around 90K and we traded it on a new Accord DX. I'm not a fan of anecdotal evidence, but a branch of our family has driven nothing but Chryslers and since the 80's it's mostly been minivans, and they've had a good run with them, including a Pacifica. The minivans get passed down through two generations and then through a few siblings. They've all lasted to 200K+ or are still accumulating miles.

Not really a question, just typing my thoughts out, and maybe they'll save someone some time van shopping. Your thoughts on these vans?
 

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Some folks might consider long term maintenance costs. For example the Sienna has a timing chain so you won't get screwed on an over priced timing belt change in the future. I am probably going to wait to see what the 2021 Sienna has to offer vs 2021 Ody refresh.
 

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Sienna is outdated. I love the SE look and stiffer suspension though, also rear lounge seats. And tons of aftermarket support
Sedona is ok. Feels smaller than other minivans, but love rear lounge seats as well and the face some trims have 2nd row heated seats.
Pacifica looks good. Chrysler will do whatever to get new customers.

Odyssey is the only minivan (as far as I know) that uses rear sway bar, which means better handling. I never use adaptive cruise control, I just hate the feeling when you use it, cars becomes jerky and not stable. Odyssey also has storage inside, which is taken by the spare tire, if you remove it you are going to have a pretty big opening, that is what I did, but never had a chance to use the compartment, older Odysseys had those, they used to call them Lazy Susan :)

Also think about long term, overall reliability and resale value.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Some folks might consider long term maintenance costs. For example the Sienna has a timing chain so you won't get screwed on an over priced timing belt change in the future. I am probably going to wait to see what the 2021 Sienna has to offer vs 2021 Ody refresh.
Toyota salesman told me the new Sienna will be an AWD hybrid with electric only driving the rear wheels so no axle going to the back. But they won’t be cheap, and maybe won’t be rated to tow so I’m not holding my breath.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sienna is outdated. I love the SE look and stiffer suspension though, also rear lounge seats. And tons of aftermarket support
Sedona is ok. Feels smaller than other minivans, but love rear lounge seats as well and the face some trims have 2nd row heated seats.
Pacifica looks good. Chrysler will do whatever to get new customers.

Odyssey is the only minivan (as far as I know) that uses rear sway bar, which means better handling. I never use adaptive cruise control, I just hate the feeling when you use it, cars becomes jerky and not stable. Odyssey also has storage inside, which is taken by the spare tire, if you remove it you are going to have a pretty big opening, that is what I did, but never had a chance to use the compartment, older Odysseys had those, they used to call them Lazy Susan :)

Also think about long term, overall reliability and resale value.

Never thought about using the Odyssey spare tire well as storage. Gotta move the front seats all the way forward and remove that giant floor mat to get it open though.
 

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Here's my advice: Rent a Pacifica from Hertz (or Enterprise or whomever).
Get the loaded model.
Try it in the cold (with the metal band around the steering wheel).
Drive it around. Take a road trip (we had to drive from Orlando > Atlanta after a cancelled flight three years ago, and rented a minivan for the purpose).
 

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Lindros, man, you're like hyper focused on such a trivial matter. Luxury European cars have the same metal trim on steering wheels, so its definitely a luxury, ahem, touch.

One of my other cars has full adaptive cruise and its really handy in stop and go traffic. It'll stop the car and start it up if the traffic start moving again in a few seconds, if not you either tap the gas or hit the resume button on the steering wheel. I usually just push the button. Its a feature they have on other Honda models so its definitely a cost cutting item to exclude in on the Ody.
 

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Hi - first post. Just went through this exact exercise, so I thought I'd share my thoughts in case it helps anybody.

1. Pacifica. Stow N' Go seats would theoretically be a boon for me. I have three kids, but also move a lot of stuff and I don't have a garage to store removed seats. I pictured the kids using the storage compartments when we go on trips and the seats will be in use. Problem - those compartments can't be accessed unless you move the corresponding front seat out of the way. So it's not like they could reach down in there, during the drive, and retrieve something. I had numerous other problems with the Pacifica. It drove well but everything about it felt cheap to me, in a very subjective, hard-to-define way. It was nearly impossible to find an example optioned the way I wanted (Touring L, Advanced Safety, Premium Audio) without a bunch of junk I didn't want or need, for thousands more. Every dealer offered different discounts, and the rebates change seemingly week-to-week. The whole shopping process was super annoying. And even though I had two problem-free Chrysler products for the last 5 years, the potential lack of reliability still scared me. I agree that the down-to-zero ACC would have been nice, but not enough to offset my other gripes. I couldn't shake the image of a future 5-year-old Pac at 75,000 miles where NONE of the electronic doo-dads worked anymore.

2. Sienna XLE. Great local dealer, with a much larger discount than expected, really made this tempting. Huge trunk. Noticeably bigger than the competition. 3rd row legroom is weird - there's plastic under the 2nd row right where your feet would like to be. I LOVE the fact that the 8th seat has a stowing location built into the side of the trunk. You can remove that seat, stow it, and lose basically zero cargo room. It also means the seat is probably the most uncomfortable thing in the world - it's so small, and so thin. Hate the lack of remote start - it's 14 degrees here as I type this. It drove well but the cabin felt very van/bus-like probably owing to the very upright, old-school dashboard. The inside is ugly as sin. It would bug me every time I got behind the wheel. I would like the AWD model where we live, but the lack of a spare and the thought of replacing many run-flat tires made that a no-go. The prospect of great long-term reliability, the healthy discount, and the 2 years free scheduled maintenance kept this one in the running right until the end, but it felt like a compromise.

3. Winner - Odyssey EX-L. Great shopping experience, 2nd to Toyota. Pinged two local dealers and got OTD quotes within a few dollars of each other, so I just went with the closest of the two and worked a good deal from there. The EX-L had nearly all the features I wanted, and none that I didn't, without playing Options Jenga like I was trying to with Chrysler. It was simple - Nav? No Nav? (No for me.) Pick a color, done. The car itself is my favorite to drive of the three by a large margin, and my wife's favorite passenger seat of the three, by a smaller margin. I think it has a great chance of striking the best balance between long-term reliability and present-day comfort/features of all three. Was essentially the same price as the Sienna XLE and a good bit less than the option-creeping Pacificas I was looking at. For what it's worth (not much), it's my favorite-looking, both inside and out. The low-end limit on the ACC is a bummer but I would mostly use that on long highway stretches anyway, so I will live with it. The flipside of the ACC, is that a lot of people have reported that the Honda's lane keep assist is better than Chrysler's. I will probably remove the 8th seat and stow it in a closet. I was bummed that the middle row didn't recline very far - turns out it was due to the seats hitting the outer walls. If you remove the 8th seat, and magic-slide the captain's chairs inward to the first notch, bingo, they recline like dentist chairs. The availability of an affordable extended factory warranty is great - I'll probably be extending to 96/120k, mainly for the aforementioned electronic doo-dads. Crash test ratings were a consideration. I'll have two teenage drivers in this thing within the next 2.5 years.

I'm only a few days in, but I love the cohesive cockpit with lots of dedicated hard buttons - no need to scroll through the infotainment to heat the seats, for example. I love the remote start, though I wish you could set the run time to more than 10 minutes (Did I mention it's 14 degrees?) The drive is fantastic. Coming from a Ram 1500, it just feels like I'm driving a nicely-optioned Accord, until I look behind me. The kids love the seats. I put a USB adapter in the 3rd row 12V, so kids have USB in every seat. With no 3rd row sunshades, I will probably eventually tint the 3rd row darker, and tint the front row to match the second. When I complained about how long a dealer trade was taking, they threw in a set of all-weather floor mats and a few free oil changes. Those, plus free state inspections for the life of the car, pretty much made up for Toyota's free 2 years of scheduled maintenance. I'm glad to not have to deal with run-flat tires. Where I live, road hazards are real and I've plugged two tires in the last couple of years. Plugging a tire in 10 minutes, in my driveway, for 5 bucks, beats the hell out of replacing one. What don't I like? More storage cubbies would be nice. The center console kind of sucks - there's nowhere for the USB cable to come out of the interior to the phone tray. You just can't close the console lid - dumb. And it feels like they could have made the forward drawer much larger. My list of complaints is overall very small and I'm not left wondering about the reliability of the Pac or feeling like I settled for the Sienna.

-Mike
 

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I'm waiting on the MMC Ody. So let's get that out of the way. But I've been cross shopping ever since this gen Ody came out. I was on my scheduled upgrade path until I saw how down graded the current gen was. The lack of rear a/c and no roof vent? The smaller rear entertainment screen? The sliding center seats was the new great feature? My first and second gen Ody had those. Cheap fake stitching on the dash, reminded me of my dad's 70's Oldsmobile. Made me look at what others had to offer, and the Pacifica makes the Odyssey look like a cheap econobox in comparison. Rubber lined cubbies, real stitching on the dash, thick European luxury steering wheel, with a leather cover where the column meets the instrument panel. Thicker clear coat paint. Power third row seats and a panoramic sunroof. I hope Honda takes note and bring some much needed upgrades.
 

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I'm waiting on the MMC Ody. So let's get that out of the way.
I think anyone expecting or anticipating sweeping changes on a mid-cycle refresh is going to be disappointed. They aren't magically going to graft in an additional A/C circuit, which would require substantial changes to the engine bay, chassis, and interior. You'll see aesthetic changes, and maybe some software/technology additions.

I guess what I'm saying is, I can't understand why anyone would be crossing their fingers and waiting that an mild update to the Odyssey will fill voids that exist currently. Your better off hoping that the all-new Sienna offers what is lacking in the Odyssey, rather than hoping to see it added to the Odyssey.
 

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Yeah....
Definitely referring to wait till 2021 models of Toyota and Honda. And it is not far away.
I remember 2018 Ody was announced on May 2017.
 

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Before I got the Oddy, I was looking at used Pacifica hybrids, but ALL of them were lemon law buy backs. Didn't check the non hybrids though.
The Pacifica Hybrid definitely had a ton of growing pains when it first came out. Once FCA figured things out the newer vans are reliable. My uncle has a 2019 with almost 60k miles on it no problem
 

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I think anyone expecting or anticipating sweeping changes on a mid-cycle refresh is going to be disappointed. They aren't magically going to graft in an additional A/C circuit, which would require substantial changes to the engine bay, chassis, and interior. You'll see aesthetic changes, and maybe some software/technology additions.

I guess what I'm saying is, I can't understand why anyone would be crossing their fingers and waiting that an mild update to the Odyssey will fill voids that exist currently. Your better off hoping that the all-new Sienna offers what is lacking in the Odyssey, rather than hoping to see it added to the Odyssey.
Maybe maybe not, but look, Honda at least got rid of the 9 speed in one model year. So there is hope. Anyway, I've always found the MMC to be a good upgrade.
 

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Maybe maybe not, but look, Honda at least got rid of the 9 speed in one model year. So there is hope. Anyway, I've always found the MMC to be a good upgrade.
Interesting, OdyDudy. I would think that anyone who has an ongoing nightmare with the 9-speed where Honda has agreed to replace it, could easily ask for a 10-speed replacement. In fact, Honda would likely do that since they're not using the 9-speeds anymore. Possible? Then again, how many reports have we seen where the 9-speed was replaced :(?
 

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The Pacifica Hybrid definitely had a ton of growing pains when it first came out. Once FCA figured things out the newer vans are reliable. My uncle has a 2019 with almost 60k miles on it no problem
Doesn't the Pacifica have the ZF 9-speed? If so, I wonder how Chrysler has managed to smooth it out for the long haul?
 

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Doesn't the Pacifica have the ZF 9-speed? If so, I wonder how Chrysler has managed to smooth it out for the long haul?
Yes, it does.

Chrysler's CEO (Lee Iococca?) took off the gloves and bluntly told the engineers to fix it (if they wanted to remain employed). They reworked the software which solved the rough shifting problems. Apparently software tuning is extremely difficult with this transmission.

(Sorry, I searched but could not find the article on which my recollection is based.)
 

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Yes, it does.

Chrysler's CEO (Lee Iococca?) took off the gloves and bluntly told the engineers to fix it (if they wanted to remain employed). They reworked the software which solved the rough shifting problems. Apparently software tuning is extremely difficult with this transmission.

(Sorry, I searched but could not find the article on which my recollection is based.)
Lee Iacocca has been out of Chrysler since the 90's, he died last year, Sergio Marchionne may of been who you were thinking of? (deceased as well).

FCA has a license to build the ZF transmission in their own transmission plant located in Kokomo, IN while Honda just sources them directly from ZF. Chrysler's license is less restrictive than Honda in that they can make running changes quicker while Honda has to work through ZF to incorporate their changes.

From what I understood there were some internal changes, however, the biggest one was to start in 2nd gear from stops instead of 1st (just from what I read). There were also other software changes to try to not cross the dog clutch shift point as much as possible. I have also read that servicing the ZF 9spd transmission is basically out of reach of a DIY (if that matters) since it requires a vehicle lift and dealer only software tools and that it can cost upwards of $500+.

I think with the ZF9spd it basically comes down to this: if you drive frequently in hilly terrain, then you may not like it, if you live in flat land or do a lot of highway speed cruising then you probably won't notice the shifts.
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Chrysler??? Don't you mean Fiat!
 
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