The minivan is the quintessential family vehicle. They have enough room to cram everyone in, not to mention all the soccer balls, flutes, bags, and everything else that accompany a large family. They’re safe, too, like driving around in a big hug. Crossovers and SUVs have risen in popularity over the years, but the minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Voyager still hold a special place in the hearts of families. But between the 2022 Honda Odyssey vs 2022 Chrysler Voyager, which has the better family-friendly features?
Get to Know the Competitors
The Honda Odyssey has been around since 1994. Introduced as an affordable, family-friendly ride, it has become one of the most recognizable names in the minivan market. Throughout the years, it’s stayed true to its original purpose and has become a classic and a true titan amongst competitors. Even the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission recognized the passenger-friendly potential of the Honda Odyssey and introduced the minivan into their fleet in 1996. It’s currently in its fifth generation and still going strong.
The timeline of the Chrysler Voyager is not quite as linear as the Honda Odyssey’s. The Voyager has been around, in some form, since 1988. It was essentially Chrysler’s version of the Dodge Caravan until 2003, when it was replaced with the Chrysler Town and Country. In 2019, the lower-trim options of the Chrysler Pacifica were separated from that model and became the modern Chrysler Voyager, and it is one of the most affordable minivans you can buy.
Minivans were designed with family budgets in mind; they are not a vehicle that’s going to break the bank, as most come at an affordable price. The Honda Odyssey is historically easy on the wallet with a slew of standard features, to boot. The starting MSRP of the 2022 Honda Odyssey is $32,290. The Chrysler Voyager has seen some volatility as far as pricing goes – it was even manufactured as a luxury minivan from 2008 to 2016 in certain markets. These days, it’s comfortably settling in to its role as an economy minivan with a fiercely competitive starting MSRP of $27,860 for the 2021 model year (2022 prices have yet to be released). Okay, so both minivans have an attractive starting price, but what are you getting for your buck?
Interior and Cargo Space
Minivans aren’t known for being the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles you can buy, but manufacturers know their target market cares more about what’s on the inside. Interior comfort and cargo space are of the utmost importance to busy families who spend a lot of time in their vehicles running around.
The Honda Odyssey can accommodate larger families with seating for up to eight. Its flexible design is meant to be customized and configured to maximize your cargo and passenger hauling potential. It offers up to 158 cubic feet of cargo space, as well as 163.6 cubic feet of passenger volume. Adding to the flexibility of the Odyssey’s interior are the second-row Magic Slide seats, which can slide to allow easier access to the third row or bring a child within reach of the first row. The Chrysler Voyager, on the other hand, prioritizes its interior room slightly differently with 165 cubic feet of passenger volume and up to 140.5 cubic feet of cargo space. However, despite having slightly greater passenger volume, it only seats a maximum of seven people.
Technology and entertainment play into how comfortable a vehicle feels as well. The Honda Odyssey’s infotainment system consists of a 5-inch or 8-inch screen depending on the trim level. Either way, it’s Bluetooth enabled, and all trim levels except the base Odyssey LX are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Higher trim levels also come standard with the Advanced Rear Entertainment system – a ceiling-mounted 10.2-inch screen with a Blu-Ray player and streaming apps. The Chrysler Voyager will come standard with Chrysler’s award-winning UConnect 4 system, also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It has a 7-inch display, integrated voice command, and Bluetooth. The Voyager LX trim has the option to add on an overhead DVD system.
Safety probably comes pretty close to the top of the priority list for most families when shopping for a vehicle. Minivans, being geared towards families, are generally very safe vehicles. Both the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Voyager come equipped with safety features. Honda’s particular brand of safety features is encapsulated in the Honda Sensing Suite, which includes:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System: When an imminent front-end collision is detected, the vehicle will employ emergency braking to reduce the severity of impact.
- Road Departure Mitigation System: When the vehicle crosses drifts out of its lane, the driver will be alerted, and gentle steering and braking will prevent the vehicle from unplanned off-roading.
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow: While using cruise control, the driver can set a designated following distance, and the vehicle will automatically slow down and speed up to maintain that distance between it and the vehicle in front. It can even bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
- Lane Keeping Assist System: This feature will adjust steering to keep the vehicle centered in the lane, making highway driving a breeze.
- Traffic Sign Recognition: When speed limit signs are passed, the Driver Information Interface will display the information for convenient viewing.
The Chrysler Voyager doesn’t come standard with many safety features, which probably helps drive the price down. The option to add on the SafetyTec suite is there, though, and may be well worth it considering the features it adds on:
- Full Speed Forward-Collision Warning Plus: This feature warns the driver of potential front-end collisions, using both visual and audible cues.
- Advanced Brake-Assist: This works in tandem with Full Speed Forward-Collision Warning Plus and employs the brakes if the driver’s braking is either absent or not enough to avoid a collision.
- Blind-Spot and Rear Cross-Path Detection: The vehicle will alert the driver to other vehicles’ presence in hard-to-spot places. An icon on the side mirrors lights up when there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, and the driver will be alerted of traffic crossing behind them while they’re attempting to reverse.
- ParkSense Rear Park-Assist with Stop: This will alert the driver to stationary objects behind the vehicle that they may have missed while backing up. If an imminent collision is detected, the brakes will automatically kick in.
- Pedestrian Emergency Braking: The brakes will automatically engage if a potential collision with a pedestrian is detected.
The benefits of choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle are two-fold: less money spent on gas means more room in the budget for other things, and a cleaner vehicle can help contribute to a cleaner future for younger generations. Minivans are large vehicles and don’t have the most eco-friendly reputation, but they’ve gotten more and more efficient as the years have gone by. Both the 2022 Honda Odyssey and the 2021 Chrysler Voyager get 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. This is pretty standard fare for a vehicle of this size, and when you consider the number of people you can carpool with, minivans actually have the potential to be pretty efficient.
Which Minivan Rules Them All?
Each family has unique needs, and the minivan that suits your family may not be the same one that suits your neighbor’s. Choosing the right vehicle can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to squeeze car shopping into an already jam-packed schedule. Being aware of the features that are most important to you is a good place to start, and if you value having a lot of features, the 2022 Honda Odyssey will be the best fit. While more expensive than the Chrysler Voyager, it does come standard with a lot of extra perks, including plenty of standard safety technologies that will keep everyone protected wherever your journey takes you.