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Best Year For Honda Odyssey – Find A Model Year That Is Reliable and High-Performing! 

Best Year For Honda Odyssey

Comparing the worst model years, the recalls across the different generation and production years of the Odyssey, and the model years with the least problems, we can determine the 2017 version is the best year for Honda Odyssey. 

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Honda Odyssey Overview

The Honda Odyssey is a comfortable and stylish car that offers setting for up to 8 passengers, complete with a large cargo area for maximum comfort and performance. The vehicle is the quintessential minivan, with style and technology upgrades that make it a popular car on the market today. 


Drivers usually compare the Honda Odyssey with other HOnda choices, like the Honda Pilot, but find the Odyssey offers added convenience for those who typically carry more gear or carry more passengers. 

Honda Odyssey Generations

First Generation 1995-1998

  • The Odyssey was the first minivan produced by Honda, with the company using the Accord platform to build the Odyssey. The original Odyssey used a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that could produce 140 horsepower, updating this base engine to the 2.3-liter version in 1998.

Second Generation 1999-2004

  • The second generation of Odyssey switched out the four-cylinder engine for a 3.5-liter V6 engine for increased performance and acceleration. Other changes to this generation include larger sliding doors, larger body size, and the offer of a five-speed transmission with 240-horsepower.

Third Generation 2005-2010

  • In the third generation of the Odyssey, Honda added features like an optional second-row center jump seats to increase the size, a 255-horsepower engine, variable cylinder management system, increased fuel efficiency, run-flat tires, power rear liftgate, and adjustable pedals. 

Fourth Generation 2011-2017

  • The fourth-generation Odyssey which debuted in the 2011 model year contained the same engine, but had a powerful six-speed automatic transmission, more trim levels, a wider roof line and exterior for a sleek look, and an XM navigation system. The 2017 version is potentially the best year for Honda Odyssey. 

Fifth Generation 2018 – Present

  • The fifth generation of the Odyssey is what is currently being produced now, trying to recreate the reliability of the 2017 model and produce the best year for Honda Odyssey in terms of sales and performance. 
  • The updates for this new generation include a nine or ten-speed automatic transmission and a 3.5-liter six cylinder turbo engine with increased horsepower. 

Worst Honda Odyssey Problems

To figure out the best year for honda odyssey, drivers need to be aware of the worst problems and which model years they occur most in so they can avoid buying these cars on the market. 

Transmission Problems

The Honda Odyssey has experienced transmission problems in various years, with the most severe issues being between the 1999-2004 years. We will begin with discussing the Honda Odyssey transmission problems by year, and the average cost to fix the problems. 

1999 Honda Odyssey

In the 1999 model, the transmission failure would typically occur at around an average of 125,000 miles, and would cost an average of $3,500 to repair. Many users reported having their transmission replaced at an earlier mileage, and still having to get a new replacement at just 100,000 miles later. 

  • In addition, the Hondas have reports of ignition failure due to the switch problems, which causes an extremely dangerous situation where the car can just turn off while you’re in the middle of driving at high speeds. 
  • Some users have noted that this model of the Honda Odyssey experiences transmission problems and failure without any real warning signs before failing completely. You might be driving down the road and have no warning lights or no symptoms, and then your car will just fail. We recommend finding out the best year for Honda Odyssey to avoid this happening in your car. 

2001 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

Even though the dashboard warning lights coming on are not the most severe issues when it comes to cars, transmission failure is something that needs to be fixed. 

  • The problems typically occur at an average of 126,000 miles and will cost about $3,500 to fix. The main solution to the problem is to replace the transmission, with some users needing to also replace the torque converter for a complete repair. 

2002 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

Avoid this car if you are looking for the best years for Honda Odyssey – this 2002 Odyssey model has one of the highest reports of transmission issues and has the highest incident report when dealing with chronological order. The main problem with the transmission is transmission failure, accounting for most of the complaints.

  • The transmission slipping during use occurs at around 109,000 miles and costs about $3,380 to fix. 
    • The only solution to this problem is to replace the transmission. The transmission disengaging occurs at just below 100,000 miles and costs around $4,000 to fix. 
  • The P0730 Code can typically be fixed by taking your car to a technician, where they can perform certain tests. They will run a DTC scan and find an incorrect gear ratio. This is a costly repair, which runs at about $4,000-$6,000, and will occur at around 107,000 miles. 
  • The D-light flashing is the least expensive fix out of these other solutions, coming in at around $1,000 and showing up at typically an average of 140,000 miles. 

2003 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems

The transmission failure will run a 2003 Odyssey owner about $3,340 and will occur at an average of 106,000 miles. The only solution to transmission failure is to replace the transmission, or, if you want to save money and extend the timeline of the repair process, you can rebuild your transmission. 

Honda Odyssey Engine Problems 

Along with addressing the transmission concerns to figure out the best year for Honda Odyssey, car shoppers need to be aware of the model years that contain engine longevity and durability concerns. 

2003 Honda Odyssey Engine Problems

The 2003 Odyssey is a very poorly-rated production year, with this car suffering from widespread transmission failure, backlight failing, and a high Honda Odyssey engine replacement cost. The transmission slipping means the entire mechanism eventually has to be replaced, soon after 90,000 miles and costing over $2,000 in most vehicles.

  • To fix the excessive oil consumption, owners need to pay around $1,950 total at 109,000 miles to replace the piston rings, the timing chain, and add the right kind of oil.

2008 Honda Odyssey Engine Problems

The 2008 Odyssey is a victim of serious defects like braking issues, excessive oil consumption, uncomfortable seats, and an expensive Honda Odyssey engine replacement cost. The most concerning engine issues reported by owners deal with excessive consumption, grinding noises, fouled spark plugs, loss of power, engine misfiring, check engine light on the dashboard, losing power during acceleration, and VCT actuator failure

  • Drivers need to fix the engine grinding to see why this is one of the models to avoid when determining the best year for Honda Odyssey. 
    • Drivers need to replace their brakes, typically costing between $300 and $800 for the brakes, pads, brake rotors, and calipers.
    • In addition, owners should replace the car AC compressor, with this procedure costing between $800 and $2,800.
  • Once the car owners fix the engine grinding, they need to address the issues with the VCT actuator failure. Replacing the variable valve timing actuator is between $806 and $969 in total. 

2009 Honda Odyssey Engine Problems

The final problematic model year of the Odyssey in terms of expensive engine repairs, lack of reliability, and owner complaints deals with the 2009 model year. Owners state concerns regarding excessive oil consumption, oil burning, check engine light on the dashboard, grinding on startup, engine shuddering, poor acceleration, and cylinder misfiring.

  • Replacing the spark plugs costs between $16 and $100, while the labor for a replacement is between $40 and $150. The price of repairing a vacuum hose leak in your Odyssey can run from around $150 and $1,000 depending on the severity, location, and seriousness of the leak in your hose. 
  • If neither of these fixes reduces the engine shuddering, the next step is replacing the engine motor mounts. This motor mount procedure costs between $224 and $563 on average
  • Lastly, you can replace the faulty timing belt in your Odyssey for between $300 and $500, with the timing belt itself costing around $50. Still, the labor is time-consuming, intensive, complicated, and expensive. 

Honda Odyssey Recalls

To see the best year for Honda Odyssey, we need to eliminate the vehicles that have been associated with any safety recalls in the past years. 

Honda Odyssey Recall

Honda issued a recall in 2019 that dealt with the following vehicles: 

    • 2003 Honda Acura 3.2CL
    • 2002-2003 3.2TL
    • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
    • 2001-2007 Honda Odyssey
    • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
    • 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid
    • 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV
    • 2002-2006 CR-V
    • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey

The vehicles mentioned above contain an issue with the driver’s frontal airbag inflators. If these parts were assembled and installed as a recall remedy part or replacement part, they have a high risk of exploding due to propellant degradation after consistent and long-term exposure to high humidity, temperature levels, and temperature changes. 

2013-2015 Honda Odyssey Recall

Honda issued a recall involving the 2015 Odyssey due to concerns with the 4-cylinder engine, continuous-variable transmission, and the high Honda Odyssey engine replacement cost. Certain 2013-2015 Odyssey vehicles were produced with a lubricant that could degrade quickly over time, leading to a deterioration of the drive shaft’s protective coating. 

Honda Odyssey Years With the LEAST Problems

Regarding the best year for Honda Odyssey, we need to go over the best rated years for this type of vehicle. The Odyssey has been produced since the 1995 production year, with the beginning of the issues starting during the 1999 model year.

  • The 1995 to 1998 models had very little issues, meaning one of these could have been the best year of Honda Odyssey.
      • The 1995 had only a few complaints regarding the seat belts, air bags, and the interior accessories. The main concerns focused on the airbags not deploying adt he right time and the seat belts not adjusting properly to give a correct fit. 
      • The 1996 Honda Odyssey year had only one concern, which focused on the engine. The issue dealt with the oil consumption too high in the car, citing concerns with the engine durability and performance. Although this was not the best year for Honda Odyssey, it still ranks as one of the most reliable.
      • The 1997 Honda Odyssey had a few reported problems concerning the electrical and transmission systems, with car owners citing issues with the check engine light coming on while driving and the electric door locks failing. Fortunately for car owners, these are both minor issues, citing this car as possibly the best year for Honda Odyssey.
      • Finally, the 1998 Honda Odyssey was the last reliable model year before the issues began in 1999. The 1998 version had a few issues with the body and paint category, as well as the transmission system. The most prevalent concerns from car owners focused on the water leaking inside the car.
    • After the 1995-1998 model years, the 1999-2014 models all had issues that caused car owners to complain about a lack of reliability and high repair prices. 
  • The 2016-2020 years have declined in terms of problematic replacements, and potentially has the ability to be the best year for Honda Odyssey.
      • The 2016 Odyssey has very few concerns, with the main issues focusing on the interior accessories, which are quite minor when compared to problems with the brakes, transmission ,or engine. Car owners complain about the uncomfortable seats, door panel coming loose, or the rear camera glitching.
  • The 2017 Honda Odyssey has only one complaint, making it potentially the best year for Honda Odyssey. The only issue focuses on the drivetrain, with the mechanism making a high pitched whining noise during use. 

The Bottom Line

Comparing the worst model years, the recalls across all of the production of the Odyssey, and the model years with the least problems, we can determine the 2017 odyssey is the best year for Honda Odyssey. 

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