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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I have to 2 kids, I'm seriously looking at mini vans. I'm fairly certain that I'll be getting an Ody.

However, I still have 2 items I'd like to see in my minivan.

=== Wishlist ===
1. AWD (4WD) for driving around on the snow. My wife needs to commute even in bad condition, so this rates high in our list.
I know DC/T&C has it, but I won't get either of them for reliablity reason.

2. Head curtain - Not just a side airbag that inflates up to your shoulder, but the one that drops down from the roof (usually) to protect your head from hitting the window.

=== Questions ===
1. Am I the only one wishing for these safety features? Being a Volvo driver, maybe I'm paranoid.
2. How does an Ody handle on a slippery/snowy surface?
3. What is ground clearance of an Ody? I couldn't find it in the specs. Looking at the Odys on the road, they look lower than other cars/minivans?
4. Is it really convenient to be able to walk back to the rear seats w/o getting out of the car? (see below)

=== Comparison to XC90 ===
I thought about getting an V70 XC & XC90 (coming out in the fall '02), but the fact that, in a minivan, I can walk around in the van to change diapers, etc. has got to be convenient. If I could walk around inside XC90, that'd be my dream car. Or, add the wishlist items to an Ody, and that'd be a dream car, too. :)

TIA
 

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1. Probably not, but considering that the '99 - '01 Ody's got a great crash rating (and good dummy kinemtaics), plus the added safety of 4200+ lbs, you'll be in good hands. Also, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
j/k

2. Don't have snow experience, but wet condition handling is pretty good, it's not AWD, but handling in the wet is predictable.

3. Not sure on this one, although I think the manufacturer claims one of the highest ground clearance over similiar minivans.

4. I've found it very convenient to walk through the middle isle to get to the back seat. (very handy when you're parked curb side during rush hour traffic!)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by got2kids:
...=== Questions ===
1. Am I the only one wishing for these safety features? Being a Volvo driver, maybe I'm paranoid.
2. How does an Ody handle on a slippery/snowy surface?
3. What is ground clearance of an Ody? I couldn't find it in the specs. Looking at the Odys on the road, they look lower than other cars/minivans?
4. Is it really convenient to be able to walk back to the rear seats w/o getting out of the car?...
</font>
1. From what I read about government tests, the value of even side air curtains has not been established yet. The Ody does very well in actual crash tests.

2. For previous discussions, threads containing the term "snow," such as the thread "<a href="http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/000015.html">2002 EXL Tank in Snow</a>."

We had only one snow of consequence (18") this year, so I can't say with authority. The Ody did better in our unplowed alley than any other car I've driven there. The Traction Control System (TCS) worked well whenever I've needed it in rain, snow, or on ice.

3. Empty, the minimum ground clearance for the 02 Ody is <a href="http://www.discoveryhonda.com/2002odysseyfs.html#Exterior%20Dimensions%20(mm)">reported to be 6.42 inches</a>. Fully loaded, the minimum ground clearance of the is reported to be 4.61".

By comparison, the Toyota website lists the clearance for the Sienna at 5.9 inches and Consumer Reports lists the DC Town & Country at 5.5", which I would assume is empty, since they don't specify loaded/empty. So, unloaded the Ody is rated with a greater minimum ground clearance than Sienna and T&C.

Note that the Ody's turning radius is 37' versus 41' for the T&C - I really like being able to turn easily.

4. Yes.


------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces<font color="#dedfdf">

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-15-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just testdrove an EX today. Didn't get to 'push' it too much 'cause the salesman came along.

I've read many posts so far, so I knew what to focus on during the testdrive.

What I liked
- acceleration

What I didn't like
- highway noise : I thought one of the door/window was slightly open. It wasn't the plastic thingies dangling, but the noise from other cars.

The radio wasn't hooked up yet, so couldn't test how good the speakers were. The power sliding doors weren't hooked up (?) yet either, so didn't get to see how fast/slowly they open/close.

I still have to get used to sitting so high, but as long as my wife can handle commuting in it, this looks like the winner. I keep thinking about Volvo XC90, but that's much more expensive, and it being the first model year and all, unlikely choice.

Thanks for the responses.
 

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On ours the noise improved during the break-in period. I don't know why. I was disappointed with the noise at first. I thought it was road/tire noise. Maybe I just got used to it, but I think it might be more than that.

------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-15-2002).]
 

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I think it handles and drives very well. Especially considering it is a huge van. It feels tighter than many other "performance vehicles" I've driven. I definately feel safe behind the wheel. I drove a ford ranger before and the van is faster and more stable under all conditions. Ground clearance is good enough for me.

------------------
MikeH
99 OdyEX
"can't believe I bought a forn car"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Forgot to mention :

- I really liked the tight turning radius during the test drive. I guess you folks weren't messing around with facts.
 

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got2kids-

I agree completely. I'd consider trading up on my 2001 LX if 2003 brings side curtain airbags and stability control. The XC90 not only has those, but also dynamic head restraints. Head restraints in most vehicles is generally mediocre at best, and Volvo has a big edge there. While rear enders are not common and not severe typically, even a low speed one is very serious if you have bad head restraints and get whiplash.

We also have a 2000 Subaru Outback, with AWD and a limited slip in the rear axle. The Odyssey LX did well this winter and last. TC activates a lot in deeper snow and ice, but the van does get moving. Slow, but more sure than some other cars on the road. The Outback really is point and go. Not necessary around here, but certainly appreciated. I can see where it would be very nice if you had hills or extreme snow.

For everyday driving even with one kid, I always take the Odyssey. The convenience of loading and unloading can't be beat. On trips, easy access to rear seats from the front is almost a necessity. As DTKWOK said, for safety, 4200 lbs and top crash ratings are very reassuring. If the X90 does as well as the S80, it will be an excellent crash test performer as well. I'd also site Odyssey's high SSF for low rollover risk. On the other hand, the XC90 has [roll] stability control and touts its Rollover Protection System, so it may be fine also.

If we're in the market to trade our Outback in a couple years, the V90 looks like it would be a great alternative on paper. I'm not a big fan of SUVs for safety reasons, but the X90 and a few others (M-Class, X5, 2002 Explorer, RX300) are breaking new ground for SUV safety.


Maugham-

I'm a believer in side curtains so far. If you haven't seen the IIHS report, see:

http://www.iihs.org/news_releases/2000/pr121400.htm


[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 02-15-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The salesman told me that the van had just arrived this morning. He had to open/close manually. I don't know if that is normal or not.

The Ody had all kinds plastic in and out, so I believed him (about it just arriving).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
caviller -

I fully expect that XC90 will be a very safe car. However, I'm not sure is how reliable the car will be. With the new S70/V70, Volvo had numerous minor problems in the first year or so, and the first year used model is cautioned against (on cartalk radio, at least).

I don't expect Ody will be as safe as XC90 in terms of features it offers, but I cannot help wondering what new features Ody is going to get. I really like XC90 from what I read - it's my current dream car. (I gave up on sports cars a long time ago). Being the snob I am, I like the Volvo badge a lot, but the convenience cannot be ignored with two little kids.

Does anyone know where to get info on when the major new Ody model (more than just tweaking) is coming out, etc.?
 

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As for ground clearance, I measured ours.

The 2001 Odyssey has about 6.5" of usable clearance. The exhaust system is the low point.

By comparison, the Outback has about 8" of usable clearance, and again the exhaust system is the low point (even lower than the rear diff).

Both measured unloaded.
 

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I have a 2001 EX and a 98 v70 5sp wagon with 20k on it so I can offer a few comments. First, the Volvo (2wd) with 4 Bridgestone Bizzak snows on rims will go through anything - Second, the Volvo's quieter body is offset by the hi rev of the 5cyl/175 hp (non-turbo)motor and the too firm ride of Volvos esp. on suburb/urban streets. The Honda motor is much smoother and quieter. I would probably not buy a Volvo again, even having been happy with this one and my previous 1990 745 GL wagon. Volvos are compiling fairly miserable ratings in Consument Reports for both reliability and rough ride. Even if the new Volvo model tests well, given the price and the poor ratings inherent in the larger chassis/motor platform (S80), I don't see how it can compare favorably against the new Pilot, the Acura, Lexus or Toyo Highlander, all of which are or will be top rated. Another thing - Volvo seems stuck on small motors with expensive turnbochargers that costs about $4k to replace when they fail (and fail they do) and require premium fuel. I have the normally-aspirated motor which I hope will be more reliable but power is only ok.

The Volvo gets and edge in snow driving, seats, and headrests. The Oddy beats it in every other and 4 years later cost me a few thou less. BTW, the Volvo is Mystic Silver and my Ody is SS; although the Volvo paint looks more "sparkly", the Ody silver has no discerable flaws to me.

If I could have the Pilot for 30k or the Volvo for $40, I'd take the Pilot and the cash.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
...I'm a believer in side curtains so far. If you haven't seen the IIHS report, see:

http://www.iihs.org/news_releases/2000/pr121400.htm...
</font>
Caviller,

Thanks for the link. I tried to find the resources that had given me the opposite impression, but was not successful. I did find lots more info that supports side air bags, so I'll change my opinion. Thanks for educating me!


------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces

<center>
</center>

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-15-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Maugham:
Caviller,

Thanks for the link. I tried to find the resources that had given me the opposite impression, but was not successful. I did find lots more info that supports side air bags, so I'll change my opinion. Thanks for educating me!

</font>
Well, I'm still not completely sold on ALL side airbags:) Curtains are pretty inoffensive. They're high up and tend to inflate with low force. They may also have added benefits at reducing the spread of shattered glass, and some remain inflated for rollovers. I was very skeptical of frontal airbags until the last few years, so I'll remain a bit skeptical on side airbags too, especially standard types that may be in seating positions with children. I still think they're probably a good thing overall, but time is the best judge.
 
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