Honda Odyssey Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.29/5 Average
3,253 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

For most of its lifespan, the Honda Odyssey has been a favored pick among minivans. Although the vehicle had a rather humble debut, it quickly hit its stride once Honda came out with the second-generation model, which featured a spacious cabin and an innovative third-row seat that folds into the floor. Now in its fourth generation, the Odyssey is one of the top minivans currently available.

The Honda Odyssey has made a strong showing, usually earning top honors in every minivan comparison test we've held. There are other minivans that rival the Odyssey's family-friendly features, but the Honda combines those attributes with confident driving dynamics and a long-standing record of reliability, making it an all-around family favorite.

Current Honda Odyssey
The fittingly popular Honda Odyssey comes in five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite. All Honda Odysseys are powered by a 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The entry-level LX's standard features include a power driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, Pandora interface and a USB/iPod interface. The EX's additional highlights include power-sliding side doors, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a multifunction second-row seat and an upgraded audio system. The EX-L's enhancements include a power liftgate, a sunroof, leather upholstery and heated seats. The Touring adds front and rear parking sensors, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Touring Elite's added highlights include xenon headlights, an integrated vacuum cleaner and upgraded audio and video entertainment systems.

On the road, the Odyssey impresses thanks to its smooth V6 and relatively agile handling. Inside, Honda's minivan boasts tight build quality and spacious, comfortable seating areas. Compared to previous Odyssey generations, the current model is significantly quieter on the road, but the button-heavy cockpit remains. All things considered, the Odyssey remains a favorite of Edmunds editors.

Used Honda Odyssey Models
The fourth and latest generation of the Honda Odyssey debuted for 2011. Completely redesigned and compared to the previous generation, it has sleeker styling, a roomier interior, improved fuel economy and new features. For 2013, the LX standard features list grew with the addition of a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity and a USB/iPod interface. Note that these Odysseys lack the current version's updated exterior and interior styling, six-speed automatic on LX, EX and EX-L models (they previously had a five-speed automatic) and availability of a Pandora interface, HD radio and an in-vehicle vacuum cleaner.

The previous (third-generation) Honda Odyssey was produced from 2005-'10. Trim levels included the LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Motivation was supplied by a 244-hp 3.5-liter V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 found in the EX-L and Touring trim levels had a variable cylinder management system to improve fuel economy.

The LX featured full power accessories, cruise control, side curtain airbags, stability control and a CD player. The EX added alloy wheels, eight-passenger seating, power-sliding doors, a power driver seat, a six-disc CD changer, in-floor storage with a "lazy Susan" and second-row sunshades. The EX-L brought leather seating, heated seats, a power tailgate and a sunroof. The Touring added triple-zone climate control, power-adjustable pedals, foglights, parking sensors, a removable second-row center console and run-flat tires. A rear entertainment system and a navigation system with Bluetooth were optional on the EX-L and Touring.

In reviews, we found this Odyssey to be a top minivan thanks to its smooth V6, responsive steering and secure handling. Inside, Honda's minivan boasted tight build quality and spacious, comfortable seating areas. At the time, downsides included elevated road noise and, as the years went on, a somewhat dated interior.

There were only minor changes for the third-generation Odyssey, with 2008 bringing minor exterior styling updates and new convenience features, and 2009 seeing a standard power liftgate debut for the EX-L as well as integrated Bluetooth for the optional navigation system.

The second-generation Honda Odyssey was available from 1999-2004. It was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 initially rated at 210 hp (from 1999-2001) and later cranked up to 240 hp (2002-'04). The transmission was a four-speed automatic until '02, when a five-speed automatic debuted. This Odyssey boasted dual sliding rear doors in place of the first generation's swinging doors, and it was considerably larger overall, but it retained the original model's trick fold-flat third-row seat. In the all-important safety department, antilock brakes were standard from the get-go, though rear disc brakes only became standard across the lineup in 2002. Side curtain airbags arrived for '02 as well.

Two trim levels were available, each with seven-passenger seating: LX and EX. The LX came standard with air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, full power accessories and an AM/FM/CD stereo (earlier models had only a tape deck). The EX added traction control (not provided for the LX until '01) as well as luxuries like alloy wheels, power-sliding rear doors, automatic climate control and a multifunction steering wheel. EX options included a navigation system (not available in 1999), a rear-seat entertainment system (from '02 onward) and leather upholstery.

In reviews, our editors remarked on the second-generation Odyssey's best-in-class performance, which came courtesy of a powerful V6 and a capable all-independent suspension. We also lauded the Odyssey's large cabin, available power-sliding doors and that slick hide-away third-row seat. Throughout its six-year run, Honda's second-generation Odyssey was quite simply the one to get. It won the Editors' Most Wanted award every year from 1999-2003 for the minivan category.

The first-generation Honda Odyssey, which debuted in 1995, had a few features that, for better or worse, made it unique. Instead of sliding doors on the sides, the Odyssey had four conventional swing-open doors with roll-down windows. And although the competition offered V6 engines, the Honda didn't. An inline-4 borrowed from the Accord EX powered the Odyssey. With VTEC variable valve timing and lift, it made a respectable 140 hp. But good as it was, 140 wasn't enough power when the Odyssey was loaded up with kids or cargo. The van did, however, offer a highly functional fold-flat third-row seat. This feature has proven invaluable to -- and highly popular with -- minivan buyers over the past decade.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 3,253.00
  • Honda Odyssey is a must for families - 2005 Honda Odyssey
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    We have gotten every penny out of this car. It is 11 years old and still only requires routine/expected maintenance. It is great for packing in a bunch of people comfortably. My only criticism might be that the middle seat belts (2nd and 3rd row) hit too high on neck even for an adult (58"). That is something to consider when you count out how many people/kids you will routinely transport. Really cant go wrong with any Honda, in my opinion.

  • 3+ years & 28,000 miles - 2012 Honda Odyssey
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    I love driving my 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L. I have 28,000 miles on it and have made no repairs to it, other than standard maintenance like oil changes, air filters, tire rotation. Ive had no problems whatsoever. I agree with the other reviewer who said the headrests are uncomfortable. I also wish there were more USB ports in the rear, but I believe that was added on the newer models. Overall, I love this van!

  • Transmission with a mind of its own. - 2014 Honda Odyssey
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    When decelerating in town driving, the transmission shifts are eratic and when you accelerate the transmission will down shift and the car jumps forward at times it has put me in a dangerous situation. When at highway speed and going up a hill or incline the engine misfires. Between the engine misfire and the eratic transmission shifts I some times hate having to drive this thing anywhere especially in traffic. Of course the dealer said all is normal no codes. I am a retired mechanic and this is not normal. I expected more from Honda.

  • well worth it!!! - 2010 Honda Odyssey
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    There is absolutely nothing mechanically wrong with this auto .. I am going to up-grade to a newer model, same style Honda Odyssey

  • Meets my needs! - 2014 Honda Odyssey
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  • Lots of small problems - 2012 Honda Odyssey
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    The oil pan leaked off of the lot, steering column squeaks, the headrest forces your head to tilt down, and the sliding door roller makes a pulsing/tapping sound. This car has been garaged and parts are defective from the factory.

  • Other than the head restraint... - 2011 Honda Odyssey
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    This is my first and only minivan. I went into the dealership to purchase a Honda Pilot based on liking my friends so much. Well, the new model rode so rough I changed my mind. Well, the salesman slid me right into an Odyssey...I loved everything about it! I was shocked how much I immediately liked it! I drove it for quite some time that day. It even got two thumbs up from my son who easily gets car sickness in the third row. The room, the comfort (except for the ill angled head rests), the power doors and lift gate, the roominess in the 2nd and 3rd rows, the flexibility of the technology, the large cargo space.....everything. I loved it so much I did some quick research on my phone then I completely tossed aside my stigma of driving a minivan and signed the papers. The only technical difficulties I have had have been the drivers side sliding door can be temperamental and the lift gate sometimes doesnt go down automatically when button is depressed. Both issues have been extremely intermittent and are an annoyance. It does have more road noise than I was used to as well. I have had no problems other problems listed by others. I have replaced the tires and the battery. However, I will say the drivers seat has become increasing uncomfortable for me. It started with the test drive when I noticed the oddly angled head restraints, certainly not rests, and thought I could get used to them....NOPE. The seat has grown increasingly uncomfortable for me despite any of the adjustments I have made. I have since learned I do have back problems, unrelated to the seat, but it sure didnt help. Let me say I have owned a large variety of cars/trucks 68-2011 Chevy, Ford, Landcruiser, Saturn, VW, Lincoln, and Dodge. I can say this is the most uncomfortable seat I have ever sat in. It is causing me to look at a trade in due to the seat however, I learned this angle is a recent Federal mandate in hopes of lessening whiplash. I have a feeling Ill be looking at used 2011 and older. It pains me to let go due to sentimental attachment and how well this van still fits our family but the pain has got to go. I had planned on driving it until the wheels fall off! Until then, I will continue to use my supportive and corrective seat and back support pillows. Two friends have purchased the exact same vehicle, are much shorter than 56 and have had the same complaints: sore back, leg numbness, tailbone pain, and general discomfort so while I have back trouble this does point to an uncomfortable drivers seat.

  • Great Car - 2010 Honda Odyssey
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  • Buyer beware - 2012 Honda Odyssey
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    Bought new. About 10k miles both front shock strouts came loose. (noticed a clicking noise during slow sharp turns). One strout replaced and the other only tightened. Covered under warranty, but in the shop for a week. 36,036 miles power steering pump went out. (Noticed excessive whining noise . Dealer refused to cover since the 36000 mile warranty expired. Lucky we had a 3rd party 100k mile warranty (deductable was $100). Finally 39k miles and after an 800 mile road trip. The traction control light and check engine light came on. Take it to the dealer and they find the piston rings wore out prematurely. Covered under the lawsuit settlement against Honda. This motor has been known to burn oil! So we took it to A local dealership and sold it. Honda is not what it used to be. Never buying Honda again. We have a new Sienna SE. Hope we have better luck !

  • Nice but.... - 2015 Honda Odyssey
    By -

    This is our second minivan for our family of five. We had a Toyota Sienna for 10 years (2005) and just upgraded to a 2015 Odyssey. It has very hard for me to go to Honda over Toyota, but in general, I liked the appearance and features of the interior better than the Sienna (dash was very "truck" and I wanted a bit more luxury). My husband loves the way this drives - quick and sharp handling. The three boys fit great, and we have room when needed for long trips. HOWEVER, we bought it September 3. It has been to the shop for a torn sun visor, weather stripping on a sliding door falling off (after 2 months of terrible wind noise at my ear, I was glad to have it fixed), two blown fuses for interior lights, AND now the wind noise is starting to be very bad at the drivers door. Thats a lot of visits to the repair shop for a 39K vehicle. Perhaps we got a lemon and most dont have these issues? But for me, I have had buyers remorse, and have thought more than once "shouldve stayed with Toyota" as we had one issue in ten years with that van. Looks good. Drives good. Functional. Im just thankful for the new car warranty to cover all these small, petty issues!

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