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Ody review in USA Today

3744 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  1ODY2NV
Anyone read the 2002 Ody review in the Test Drive section in today's issue of the USA Today? You can read it online at:

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Healey (the reviewer) does a comparison of the Ody and the Chrysler Town & Country and, IMHO, he doesn't present the Odyssey in as favorable a light as it deserves. He didn't even mention how much better a value the Ody is compared to the T&C.

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This was my favorite part:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If Test Drive were giving advice, it'd be the Honda for powerhouse engine, smooth ride and good reputation. Face it, if a guy gets a stinker of a Honda, he's going to figure it's just him. If he gets a lousy Chrysler, he's going to wonder why he took a chance in the first place and go looking for the genius who suggested it.
No kidding, pal, no kidding. That's EXACTLY what happens in real life and is why I'm getting an Ody.
Let's look at Mr. Healey's Report Card:

Engine: Honda (I can live with that.)

Transmission: Chyrsler (I assume he means when it's working!)

Seating: Chrysler (Guess he doesn't understand what "Magic" means.)

Features: Chrysler (I can live with that.)

Refinement: Chrysler (His own comments don't appear to support this choice? Lot's of nice things to say about the Honda but picks the Chrysler on very vanilla comments?

Safety: Honda

Styling: Chrysler (Who cares their both ugly!)

Seven Categories: Chrysler 5 Ody 2

Well that should slow the traffic down at your local Honda dealer, I guess it's time to go make a new deal!
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Oh, yeah... I heard that Odyssey is awful. Terrible. I wonder if I could do some dealer a big favor and take one off his hands for, say, $200 over invoice?
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Styling: Chrysler (Who cares their both ugly!)</font>
I have to disagree. Chrysler is making the most beautiful cars nowadays, including the minivans.

But beauty is only skin deep. There are two kinds of girls: those you date, and those you marry. Test Drive was dating these girls, but failed to review them in the context of a long-term marriage.

The Chrysler will be worth $5K less the moment he hands you the keys. It gets worse from there. Then, if the transmission works past the warranty period, you might even avoid the electrical problems that Chrysler is so famous for. But in no way will you have that thing 10 or more years. You'd be lucky to get 5 out of it, and then you'd sell it for $3000.

Can you say, "Total Cost of Ownership"?

Beauty is only skin deep. If you're looking to date the minivan and keep playing the field every year or two, I'm sure the Chrysler would be happy to fill in. If you're looking for the woman to marry, you get the Odyssey. Without question.
Originally posted by adam1991:
I have to disagree. Chrysler is making the most beautiful cars nowadays, including the minivans.

You make some terrific points, most of which I am in violent agreement with. However, no mini-van could possibly move me to say now "that's a beautiful car." Even if I water down the adjective, I'm not even comfortable with now "that's a nice looking" car.

For me this is a classic case of function over form and I'm fine with that but I'm not taking either one of those girls to the prom!
Ahmen bluesramsrock. It's just something about the proportions. "Beautiful" is still a long way from my minivan vernacular. At least until mine arrives...

- Darell

"Some people say you can't take it with you. I'm taking it with me." - Steve Marin
Future: 2002 EXL-NAV, TW (with RES wanted!)
Current: 2001 Civic EX, silver
Leaving: 2001 Volvo V70 T5, white/graphite
I guess it is all in context. How about, "For a minivan, the Chrysler is very eye appealing. But it's still no Prowler or PT Cruiser."

In the larger context, you're right. The Chrysler is good-looking, but it's still a minivan. Overall, the Odyssey isn't bad looking at all--and when you factor in the function issue, plus the fact that it's a Honda, its raving beauty rises to the top like cream on milk.

I keep hearing stories on this board about transmissions being replaced and bad paint jobs where Honda replaces the whole car.

Care to take a guess as to what happens with these types of issues when it's a Chrysler? I've been there, done that with family and friends. To me, it's like the Holocaust: never again, never again.

Chrysler's attitude after the sale: "$(#* you. It's yours--the car, the problems with your car and dealer, the whole thing. Go away. Quit bothering us." And they stonewall. They have no honor.

Honda's attitude: so sorry, we'll take the honorable route and make it right and make you whole.

In 1987, they did this for my 79 Civic that had 120K miles on the clock and for which I was certainly not the original owner. The front beam rusted to pieces. Honda knew all about it. I took it to the dealer to find out what was wrong; they wouldn't let me take the car. "It'll be fixed tomorrow. No charge." And indeed, there it was.

120,000 miles and they fixed what they knew was their problem. What's more, it took less than 24 hours to get the car back to me.

Honda means business when it comes to overall caring for the customer. I'll dance with the wallflower Odyssey every time, and let everyone else hang around the prom queen Chrysler and hope they get something out of it. I don't need to follow the crowd just for the sake of following the crowd. I have a life to live, and things to do. If the sheep-people (sheeple) look at me aghast because I didn't take the "safe" (emotionally safe, that is) route and follow the Chrysler crowd--well, that's their problem, not mine.

Same with everything else I do, as a matter of fact.
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I Think the perfect marriage would be Chrysler and Toyota.
Chrysler can bring the style and the terrific colours, and Toyota can engineer them to work!
Toyota's are simply ugly these days - they need some inspiration.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
I guess it is all in context. How about, "For a minivan, the Chrysler is very eye appealing. But it's still no Prowler or PT Cruiser."

In the larger context, you're right. The Chrysler is good-looking, but it's still a minivan. Overall, the Odyssey isn't bad looking at all--
I guess I just don't understand you guys much. Okay, I'm in agreement that a minivan ain't the most gorgeous thing on the road--we agree there.

But of all the minivans on the road, there was *one* that made me take a second look at it-and eventually grew on me--and that was the Ody. Finally, a minivan that *didn't* look like an egg crate on wheels.

Contrary to apparently the rest of you, as minivans go, I think the Ody is the best-looking one out there. And for that matter, I think the Chryslers are the ugliest--butt-ugly with a capital "Ug!" That new front grill looks like a genetically defective Mack Truck gave birth to a stillborn. YUCK!

Prior to the Ody, I thought the Ford Windstar was okay, but piece of art.

Anyway, I never even *thought* about a Minivan until I saw an Ody, and then as of yesterday...probably about 2 or 3 years after I first noticed them...I went and bought one.

I thought my Acura Legend was a pretty handsome sedan in its day (keep in mind that the first Legend predates all the other import luxury sedans like Lexus), but after many, many years of driving it, I grew to overcome my ego. It no longer matters what I "look" like when I'm driving--just that I have the function & features that I want & need. My needs gave rise to more space (I had taken to permanently mounting a cargo box on top of my Acura), hence a minivan.

But if I *had* to get a minivan, I have to say I'm pretty happy that one was available that had the kind of features I wanted--and that was the Ody. Drives very car-like, handles well, lots of space, no need to stash the rear seat somewhere for using the space, strong engine. I like! And I'm tickled pink that with rare exception, I don't *feel* like I'm driving a big monster.
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I sent old boy a little letter
had to 'school' him in the ways of the Ody

and yes, Daimler makes some 'ok' looking stuff, but THAT van does NOT compare to the Ody! not even close! the last style looked nicer than the new ones by far! and the Ody is one "bad" looking van! tough looking, yet refined. everyone I talk to, whether they like imports or not, say the looks of the Ody sells it for them...and "I" as well

1991 Civic Si, Intercooled turbo DOHC ZC visit @: <A HREF="
2000" TARGET=_blank>
2000</A> Odyssey LX, working on lots of mods visit @: <A HREF="
1991" TARGET=_blank>
1991</A> Civic Hatch (basemodel) winter car, bolt on mods. visit @: http:/

Any questions related to honda and your ODY? just email me! [email protected]
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Here's a reply I posted about the same topic in the "minivan comparison" section, which nobody seems to click anymore these days.

Originally posted by 02ODDYSEA:
Was disgusted when reading that article. I think that he forgot the most crucial test of them all, "How many times will the vehicle be in the shop for repairs?" Once again the vote goes to Chrysler. Another first place finish. It is amazing to me to find how biased people can be. It was so obvious from the first paragraph who he was picking as a winner. Oh well. Just my $.02


Hmmm, not picking on you but judging from that line, you seem to be quite biased yourself.

Like them or not, Chrysler had been doing the minivan thing for almost 20 years, and IMO they do the small little details (larger opening rear vents, more logical button placements, etc) much better than Honda did in the Ody.
Further more, don't forget that there are millions of ChryCo minis out there, so the chances of somebody hearing/experiencing problems are that much more probable. Nothing is perfect, the Ody included. With the number of Ody having problems, it would be very interesting as to how people would think of the Ody if Chrysler made it.
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My company owns 3 Dodge GC's(a '96, '98 and a '00). As a company vehicle we have beaten the s**t out of these vans. I doubt any of you folks could thrash these vehicles like our staff. The guys who use these vans are the macho kind that accelerate hard, and brake hard. I go through tires every 25K miles due to the abuse. On top of this, these vans are the ES fully loaded with every electro-lux gadget, and still no electro-mechanical failures. We have had the serpentine belt tensioners go bad twice on each van. And one of the vans has had a sliding door that didn't track correctly. However quick fix.

Even though I like the Chrysler vans, I will still consider the Odyssey when looking for a van for my family. The top three reasons I would choose the Honda is the quality reputation, safety rating, and resale. The Chrysler's top three, more comfortable (quiet/seats), more robust (for towing and just hard use), better OVERALL dynamic performance (my opinion). I know the last one will cause me to get flamed, but I think the Chrysler vans feel more solid while braking, and in extreme agility. By extreme I mean very hard accident avoidance (some serious drifting involved). The older and newer Dodge's seem better dampened and stocked with a better sized wheel/tire combo for this type of maneuvering than the pre 2002 Odyssey’s (not driven 2002).

I really think it is more of a draw then a win for one vehicle over another. Some thing as simple as Honda's Magic seat (for my wife) or the need to tow my racecar (Dodge) will probably nail the decision. We both do think the Dodge vans look better however. But again these are minivans, not sports cars.

Drive Safe

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i absolutely love the back of the ody. i like it much better than the egg shape of the crysler.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I guess it is all in context. How about, "For a minivan, the Chrysler is very eye appealing. But it's still no Prowler or PT Cruiser."
In the larger context, you're right. The Chrysler is good-looking, but it's still a minivan.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think the Prowler and PT Cruiser are butt ugly. And what's up with the big nose on the Chrysler minivans. To my eyes, it's ugly. I like the more angular look of the Honda.

When I compare the looks of the Honda and Chrysler minivans, the Honda has a more solid built look to it. This is probably due to its more angular design.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">i absolutely love the back of the ody.</font>
I also like the looks of the back of the Odyssey. It looks like someone smiling back at you.

[This message has been edited by MichaelJW (edited 09-09-2001).]
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I absolutely love the back end of the Ody; it's truly distinctive and, IMHO, classy. If the Ody looked anything like the T&C, Windstar, or any of the other gazillion vans out there, I doubt I would have even considered buying one.

The USA Today guy is whacked; his decision is based primarily upon availability, bargaining power, and the attitude of dealers (which varies markedly). No doubt many readers out there will charge into their Chrysler dealership because this guy says they'll get a better deal and won't have to wait. Personally, I don't consider a Chrysler product a good deal no matter how short the wait or how good the deal.
It all comes down to advertising.
I'll sure Diamler spends much more annually then Honda. And anyone who has clients and customers knows. The customer is always right.

Here in NE Ohio Ford is a major player, I can remember a bad or poor review of on of thier cars.
I agree with b1trentel,
I used to work in Advertising some years back.

Saatchi & Saatchi does the Toyota & Lexus line.

Bozell does Chrysler.

And Bates Worldwide does Hyundai to name a few.

All of Honda's commerical are done by small ad agencies. Also they do not need to spend ad dollar on newsprint but rather magazines. (i.e. Road & Track, Car & Driver, etc.)

USA Today knows who butters their bread...Come On....They give this paper for Free on Airlines, Hotels, etc.)
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