"We purchased our Odyssey in '02, knowing the Honda reputation and planning on driving the van for 10 years. At 6 years and 139000 miles, we have replaced the transmission (AH gave us a "deal" with a cost of $2500) and had water pump, heat, and electrical problems with our van. At this point, I am ready to replace rather than repair it again- it hesitates when shifting. All maintainence was done with Honda dealership- expensive! I don't feel we got our $$ worth with this van."
Pros: "Reliability, roomy, quality human engineering"
Cons: "Locks, door and ignition wore out"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Owned this car for nearly ten years. It was not coddled. It has performed superbly this whole time. I did treat it to synthetic motor oil but other than that it has been driven hard. NO major problems. Even the battery went seven years without problems"
Pros: "Fun to drive, A/C still cold with no maint, strong"
Cons: "electric windows and doors act up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Been Abused in every way possible! neglect, children, dogs, hauling, long road trips, limited maint, multiple wrecks, and victim of a fallen tree!! All this and it just keeps running great. Window and door motors beginning to fail, misc electric oddities, TCS now acting up. But- overall the best vehicle I've ever known of. Bought new and would love another someday! Not sure how many of my issues could have been prevented with proper maint, but that is WHY I bought the Honda brand."
Pros: "Stylish, very roomy, lots of great features and drives great."
Cons: "Far too many transmission repair issues to be worth the high price tag."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The van itself is a great van, it handles great and is very comfortable and roomy for a nice growing family which is where I was when I purchased it in 2002. In fact, in my area there was such a demand for this vehicle at this time that some dealers had wait lists. I was happy with my purchase, initially. Then a couple of years later, around 36K miles on a family road trip to Yosemite the transmission completely gave out. The dealer where I had to get the vehicle towed installed a used transmission with about 6K miles on it from another Odyssey. This one cost me about $1000 and it lasted a bit longer, but when the vehicle reached about 130K miles, it, too, gave out. $4000 later, the transmission which was rebuilt and repaired, lasted for little over 1 year. Just long enough for the warranty to expire on it. So here I am again in need of another transmission and I'm done spending my hard earned money to get this fixed. I purchased this van with the intention of keeping it indefinitely, and am a firm believer that it's more economical to fix a car than to go out and purchase a brand new one. I do NOT recommend this van to anyone. In fact, I recently went into a Honda dealership to test drive the new and improved Odyssey and when I asked if the transmission problems that had plagued the Odyssey in the past had been resolved, they weren't able to give me any kind of straight answer, so I walked away.....FAR AWAY! Which is what I suggest anyone looking to buy a mini-van do from the Honda Odyssey."
"Bought new in 02 and have not any major issues with the van. Gas mileage 20 in town, 25+ on the road. Great value for the money. Can haul lot's of stuff if you remove second row seats. Have not had any issues with transmission. Negative's: clock light goes out and costs about 60.00 to replace. Motor for rear quarter windows went out, cost about 200 to replace each. Not as quiet as a Toyota. Cost little under 25K when new now work about $6000. For some reason the same year Accord is worth more, but cost less."
"My tranny went out 111,000. Then replaced under recall warranty and after 60,000 miles tranny is going bad again!! Honda said they will not warranty even though I brought honda in one year later saying tranny is not right!! Very disappointed with Honda again, BAD BUSINESS"
"I am currently getting ready to replace my transmission for the third time. I really like my Honda and its performance except the transmission. I had it replaced during the recall back in 2005. Now in 2008 it has just went up. The warranty has ended and now I have to try and come up with $3,658.50 for a new transmission. This would make this the third time in only 8 years that the transmission is installed. I currently have 118,000 miles on my 2001 odessey. It clearly is a major issue with the odessey's transmission. If I come up with the cash I will replace the transmission in hopes of at least getting 200,000 miles out of my Honda, but I am really starting to reconsider my position on the quality of Honda's cars. I usually recommend Honda to everyone. NOT SO SURE NOW!"
"I bought this car used at 39k miles. Everything seems to be in working order accept for the AC. Had to change the compressor. Old owner never changed the cabin filter. I also had the transmission fluid changed with honda ATF. Remember only use Honda ATF fluid, or your will have transmission issues and eventually failure.
I used the van to haul people, furniture, garbage on and off for 3 years and the van just past 53k miles. The transmission started acting funny. I immediately went to the dealership to have the fluid changed with Honda ATF and the transmission seems better. The mechanic at the Honda dealer recommended changing the transmission fluid every 10k to avoid issues and to install a transmission cooler. That's my next To-Do for this van.
Let's cross our fingers."
"Replaced transmission @ 100K mi. Keep it maintained and it just keeps on going. I use it in a small business. It's like a truck. The paint is starting to chip off. I haven't been good keeping it waxed. The interior is almost like new."
Pros: "A great drive, I feel very safe in my van."
Cons: "can't think of any"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My van rides like it's on rails. great gas mileage for such a large vehicle. I'd recommend ir for anyone looking for a great family van. Packs in all the kids and their stuff. and the cargo space is so big. I've had huge things in the back."
Cons: "Poor gas mileage. Failure prone transmission."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We bought this car new in 2001 and have always serviced it per the factory recommendations. In 2007 the original transmission failed at 70,000 miles. Honda replaced it under an extended warranty. 6 years later, the second transmission failed, again after ~70,000 miles. I can't believe that Honda thinks 70,000 miles is a reasonable expectation for a transmission. Judging by the volume of people complaining online, this appears to be a design flaw that should have resulted in a recall."
"Had this vehicle 9 years, drove over 135,000 miles. With proper maintenance I have never had a mechcanical breakdown. This car still runs as if it is new. I am not afraid to go anywhere with it. I would recommend this car to anyone with a family who wants a dependable vehicle that is going to last a long time. Just remember, proper maintenance is the key."
"We bought our used 2001 Odyssey after our first child was born in 2003. It was reportedly one of the safest minivans on the market and we felt good about the purchase. Within the first year at about 90k miles, the tranny went out and the dealership replaced it. Two years and 40k later, the replacement tranny went out, this time we had to replace it. After only 21k miles on this tranny, it goes out and the dealership agreed to replace it but we had to pay the labor cost which was about $750.00. We did so and sold the van immediately after. We replaced this unreliable vehicle with a Lexus GS400 and have never looked back. If you are looking for reliability, stay away from this vehicle or you will be very,very sorry!"
"I purchased my '03 Odyssey with 110,000 miles. The motor has had a faulty EGR valve issue and Honda didn't seem to learn from the transmission problems they had with the 1999-2001 models. I've had to rebuild my transmission at 136,00 even after they performed the recall that was supposed to "fix" the cooling issues they have with the five speed transmissions. The van in general is noisy and the stereo is weak. My previous vehicle was an Audi A6 and I have spent just has much on repairs for Honda reliability as I did for German ingenuity:l. This vehicle is my eighth Honda and the most disappointing."
"At nine years this van is just starting to show its' age and we keep it outside.
Plus: Rides like a car. Carries seven comfortably. Last two rows of seets stow or are removable. Carries a lot of things.
Neg: Had to replace breaks because honda couldn't get rid of the squeal. Transmission just started acting up. Check engine light comes on for no good reason."
"Honda has a great reputation, and the Odyssey has lots of great things going for it. Roomy, comfortable, good power, good looking. A good ergonomic design and very good on long trips. However, this vehicle also has a few major defects that end up costing a bunch. The sliding doors and the transmission on this particular car were both repaired or replaced under warranty. But soon after the warranty expired, both items again needed big $ repairs. Many owners have reported the same problems. I would recommend a newer Odyssey, but stay away from the early decade version."
Pros: "Good looks Comfortable Good mileage on the fwy"
Cons: "lots of road noise VERY BAD TRANSMISSION"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought this brand new in 03 runs good comfortable inside runs good looked good but has a lot of road noise and very bad transmission I would not recommend buying this van used because of transmission problem. In 2003 Honda had a recall on this problem because prior models where braking down within 2 to 3 years I know at least 5 people who had the same problem but the recall they had in 03 for the newer models was just a temporary fix where they installed some jet thing to give 2nd or 3rd gear extra lube so that the trany would last past the warranty thats why the trany on mine went out at 120000 miles. Replacement transmissions wont have the recall fix that Honda did in 03 so the replacement transmission wont last long maybe 2 to 3 years just like the prior models so if anyone is buying this van used or replacing the transmission make sure you get WARRANTY on the new transmission!!!( I have a friend that had to replace the transmission on his 4 times by the dealer )"
"We bought ours new in 2000 and have put 167,000 trouble free miles on it and it runs today as good as when it was brand new! My wife especially likes the disappearing fold down in the floor, back seat and the dual Power slide doors. Other than regular oil changes and maintenance, we have never had to do anything mechanically to this van in the 7 years we haved owned it. It has been the most reliable vehicle I have every owned. I believe it will run for at least another 100,000 miles."
Pros: "Drives well for a minivan, interior flexibility"
Cons: "Transmissions only last 25-50K miles."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have a 2001 Odyssey sitting dead in my driveway. It used to drive well, handled very well for a minivan, and was reliable, except for the transmissions. It needed transmission work at 32,000 miles, and had transmissions replaced at 34,000, 59,000, 113,000 miles, and the FOURTH transmission in the car has failed at 150,000 miles. This car has gone through four transmissions and has had one additional transmission repair. The original transmission lasted 34,000 miles, the replacements have lasted between 25-54,000 miles. Therefore, a used Odyssey would be a real risk, I would think.
There are suggestions that the replacement transmissions are failing because Honda reuses the housings which are either too flexible or are misaligned, leading to premature failure in the rebuilds as well. So when Honda "fixes" a car, it is really replacing a defective transmission with another defective one. According to NHTSA, for 2001, Odysseys have about 25 times the rate of transmission complaints as Toyota Siennas. I bought a Honda and not a Chrysler precisely because Chrysler transmissions were supposed to fail early. The rate of complaints to NHTSA for 2001 Odysseys is five times that for Chrysler. Ironic.
All of my maintenance has been by the book, all fluids have been Honda, I do not drive any harsher than "normal." Honda disclaims any responsibility for the problem."
Pros: "roomy, comfortable to drive, quality interior"
Cons: "transmissions don't hold up to the Honda name"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"the vehicle itself is very roomy and comfortable to drive, no problems with the engine, always runs great and is very reliable. The problem is the transmission. I bought ours with 27,000 miles on it, always serviced and maintained the fluids as required for severe service in AZ. Trans went out at 83,000 miles. I replaced it with a rebuilt trans and now it is going out again at 125,000 miles. Another replacement is about $3800.00. After doing internet research, the Honda Odessey's (among other Honda models) are plagued with trans problems and they have had them since the 2000 models. I don't expect them to last forever, but they should last at least 150,000 miles as I have seen a lot of domestic trans last. I am an ASE certified Master Tech in auto and med and heavy duty trucks and I know how important it is to maintain a vehicle. I would not buy another Honda, I would go broke buying transmissions every 80,000 miles. Do your research before purchasing this brand !!"
"We have been overall pleased with this vehicle. It is comfortable to drive and reliable. We have had our two children through car seats, boosters, etc and always found it very accessible and roomy. We have been meticulous with the maintenance, so I was very surprised to find that somewhere around 100k miles the transmission started to show signs of failure. We have been driving it in its degraded stated for a while since Honda gave us an estimate of ~ $6000 to fix the problem. I have read about numerous transmission problems with this model. Even with the transmission trouble it has been reliable - have never been stranded."
"The 1999 had known transmission issues, so do your research to fully understand all the transmission issues and make sure they have been addressed in the vehicle maintenance history. The vehicle also has an oil port that can be easiily clogged. Honda has a technical note on this as well. Make sure this modification was performed before purchasing any used vehicle. The VTEC system also tends to fail on older vehicles. A screen on the VTEC solenoid gets clogged and VTEC sensor does not see the appropriate oil pressure. It shuts down the VTEC and will not allow the car to run over 2000 RPM similiar to a limp home mode. This usually occurs because people let the oil get low or dirty. Changing the oil and reseting the computer usually takes care of the problem. Overall the honda has been pretty reliable and the only major maintenace was the replace of the alternator and belt. It is due for a timing belt. Make sure this service was done if you are considering purchasing any van with over 90,000 miles. If this minivan had a better more reliable transmission I would drive it anywhere and recommend the vehicle . highly. The issue was addressed in 2004 and later vehicles, so do yourself a favor if you are looking at a used honda odessey and buy a 2004 or newer vehicle."
"I tried not to get "old" and buy a minivan. Then kids happened. And this "mommy-van", as I affectionately call it, has helped me immensely with dealing with what at home moms have to deal with. Plenty of cargo space, middle seats move and/or pull out, back seat folds down, "trunk" is extra-deep (perfect for keeping your Labrador Retriever out of your kids' laps while driving). The middle and back windows don't roll down in this year's model, but other than that, I have no complaints. Used to think I wanted the "stow-and-go" seating my sister's van has until I sat in those seats and realized they aren't close to as comfy as my middle & back seats. I have had this car for almost 5 years and haven't had any huge repair bills. I opted for the wrap-around warranty from the dealer I bought it from and couldn't be more pleased."
"Mine has 140K miles, and still runs great. It has been very dependable, however, it has been serviced regularly and basic maintenance done. It was also suggested that every third oil change have the transmission fluid drained and replaced and this will cause the transmission to remain in good order, so I've done that as well. No complaints from me or mine!"