Are you looking for a reliable family or small business minivan with proven reliability and top performance?
If yes, add the popular Honda Odyssey minivan to your list, and our guide will make your decision easier. Remember, for every vehicle, not all model years are created equal.
The Honda Odyssey brand has garnered loving acceptance in the United States and worldwide for its spaciousness, family-friendly features, cargo areas, and comfortable ride.
Owners have experienced nagging problems, including transmission problems or engine errors, for years. So it is essential to research those Odyssey years to avoid and the best years to embrace!
I’ve put together this piece to show you the absolute best years for the Honda Odyssey and the worst model years to avoid, as well as the pros and cons of each year and the models explained.
- 1 What are The Worst Years to Avoid?
- 2 First Generation (1995-1998)
- 3 Second Generation (1999 to 2004)
- 4 Third Generation (2005-2010)
- 5 Fourth Generation (2011-2017)
- 6 What are The Best Years for the Honda Odyssey?
- 7 Top 3 Honda Odyssey best years
- 8 The Newer Models
- 9 Reliability Scores
- 10 The Common Problems and Issues
- 11 Engine Problems
- 12 Interior and Exterior Issues
- 13 Sliding Door Issues
- 14 Braking Issues
- 15 Flaking and Peeling Paint
- 16 Transmission Issues
- 17 Automatic Transmission
- 18 Transmission Failure
- 19 Reliability and Owner Satisfaction Ratings
- 20 Maintenance and Repair Costs
- 21 Safety Features and Scores
- 22 Side Curtain Airbags
- 23 Adaptive Cruise Control
- 24 Share this post:
What are The Worst Years to Avoid?
Now, show you those bad years of the Honda Odyssey by generation. It will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a used Odyssey.
First Generation (1995-1998)
The first generation of the Honda Odyssey (1995-1998) is some of the worst, with several nagging problems.
However, our research reveals the 1995 model could be better to avoid because it regularly has transmission failure after hitting 100,000 miles, necessitating a complete repair. Many owners report excruciating disappointment with abrupt stops while driving due to ignition failure.
Second Generation (1999 to 2004)
The 2nd gen, between 1999 and 2004, had a series of negative issues yearly, so we strongly advise our readers to refrain from buying any.
Though 1999, 2001, and 2002 deliver more nightmares, including unreliable performances and transmission issues, they’re generally considered unreliable and must be avoided altogether!
Third Generation (2005-2010)
The third-gen period spans 2005 to 2010; the 2005 and 2006 models emerged as the worst years you must avoid.
Those years saw a big trend in consumer complaints on online and offline platforms due to transmission problems.
Consider something other than the 2010 model with concerning problems reported, such as excessive oil consumption, steering vibrations, and paint peeling, among other issues.
Fourth Generation (2011-2017)
The 4th generation was from 2011 to 2017 and had better improvements than previous generations, but there were many consumer complaints about the 2014 model year!
Most reported issues were warped brake rotors, peeling paint, and noisy transmission, particularly from drivers over 20,000 miles away.
What are The Best Years for the Honda Odyssey?
Now, you can get over the bad news and enter a phase of hope as you prepare for minivan shopping.
Let our editors now show you the best years of the Honda Odyssey and highlight newer models with their outstanding reliability scores.
Top 3 Honda Odyssey best years
1. 2017 Honda Odyssey
The 2017 Honda Odyssey stands out as one of the most reliable and highly-rated years, offering strong performance, a comfortable interior, and advanced safety features. Some highlights include:
- A smooth, powerful V6 engine
- Spacious and versatile cabin for up to 8 passengers
- Multiple standards and available safety features, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning
2. 2013 Honda Odyssey
Another best year for the Honda Odyssey is the 2013 Honda Odyssey, which has shown consistent reliability and a strong reputation among consumers. A few of its strong points include:
- High-quality interior materials and comfortable seats
- Impressive fuel economy for a minivan
- User-friendly technology features, such as Bluetooth and a rearview camera
3. 2009 Honda Odyssey
Lastly, the 2009 H.O. also earns a spot on the list of the best years for the Honda Odyssey, thanks to its mix of reliability, safety, and practicality. Here are some standout features:
- A peppy V6 engine, providing sufficient power for most driving situations
- It is a comfortable and quiet ride, even on longer trips
- An impressive safety rating, with standard features like electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes
While some years, such as 1997, 2008, and 2018, may be less popular due to reported issues or lower reliability scores, the 2017, 2013, and 2009 Honda Odyssey models stand out as the top choices and overall best year Honda Odyssey models.
The Newer Models
Every angle of our research amply reveals the model years mentioned below as some of the best for the Honda Odyssey:
- 2017, 2018, and 2020
- 2023, 2022, and 2021
These newer models have received praise for their performance, features, and overall quality, making them worthwhile when searching for your next minivan.
Reliability is crucial when considering a vehicle, as it can directly impact your ownership experience and long-term costs.
The newer year models of the Honda Odyssey have been known for their reliability, with specific models receiving high scores. For example, the 2016, 2017, and 2018 models all received favorable ratings for their dependability.
The Common Problems and Issues
Let’s now focus on some critical problems and issues associated with specific years, including engine problems, interior and exterior issues, sliding door issues, braking issues, and flaking and peeling paint.
Various engine problems commonly affect Honda Odyssey minivans, like models from 2007-2008, which have a history of excessive oil consumption.
Some models have issues with their spark plugs, leading to engine misfires. It’s also vital to examine your potential purchase’s engine mounts, as they may deteriorate over time and cause vibrations.
Interior and Exterior Issues
Many owners have reported several issues related to the minivan’s interior and exterior. For example, the 2016 Odyssey received numerous complaints highlighting the vehicle’s lack of interior comfort. In addition, some models suffer from paint problems, such as flaking and peeling paint.
Sliding Door Issues
Sliding door problems are not uncommon in Honda Odyssey minivans. These issues can range from malfunctioning door sensors to actual mechanical problems. When inspecting a used Honda Odyssey, ensure the sliding doors function correctly and smoothly.
Braking issues have also been reported in some Honda Odyssey models. The 2007-2008 Odysseys were recalled due to “soft” brakes, leading to decreased braking performance. When considering a used Odyssey, it’s essential to evaluate the vehicle’s braking system thoroughly.
Flaking and Peeling Paint
As mentioned earlier, paint problems are another concern with some Honda Odyssey models. Flaking and peeling paint affect the vehicle’s appearance and may lead to rust formation. When looking at a used Odyssey, sift through the paint job for any signs of wear or damage.
The early problems with Honda Odyssey transmissions can be traced back to the 4-speed models, where faulty bearings may be present. These bearings would sometimes break apart, sending small metal fragments into the transmission itself.
Another issue is the repetitive transmission fault, which has been present in various generations, starting from the 1999 model year. This problem also extended to the 2001, 2003, and 2007 production years.
Transmission failure is another concern, precisely the second-gen period of 1999 to 2005. Model years 2002-2004 were recalled due to damaged cooling systems and complete transmission replacement after just 15,000 miles.
For instance, the 1995 Honda Odyssey suffered frequent transmission failures once the vehicle reached 100,000 miles, often requiring a total repair.
Reliability and Owner Satisfaction Ratings
Reliability and owner satisfaction ratings are other factors to consider before buying any older version and used vehicle.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2010 Odyssey has below-average reliability and owner satisfaction scores, earning 2 / 5 in both categories. Some common issues in this year’s model include minor engine concerns and paint problems.
According to the FIXD App, the years you should avoid are 2001-2003, 2005-2008, 2011, and 2014, as they have problems related to first-year production hiccups of new powertrains.
On the good side, there are Odyssey years known for higher reliability: 2015-2018, 2012-2013, 2009-2010, and 2004. These years have better owner satisfaction ratings and fewer reported issues.
Maintenance and Repair Costs
Yet other valid factors while shopping for a new or fairly-used vehicle – maintenance and repair costs!
Taking note of these expenses will give you a better overall understanding of the potential costs of owning a Honda Odyssey.
A Honda Odyssey will typically cost an average of $7,575 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This figure is better than the industry average for popular minivan models by $1,870 – $1975.
Regarding specific problematic years, such as 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2006, it’s wise to expect potentially higher repair costs. The average annual repair and maintenance cost jumped from $296 in 2017 to $438 for the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
Some typical repair costs you might encounter with your Honda Odyssey include the following:
- Brake repairs: Around $500
- Transmission issues (for problematic years)
- Engine problems
It’s essential to stay informed and prepared for potential maintenance and repair expenses when owning a Honda Odyssey, particularly if you’re considering purchasing one of the years deemed unreliable.
Safety Features and Scores
All Honda Odyssey models are fixed with safety features to protect you and your loved ones, such as adaptive cruise control, side curtain airbags, and third-row seats’ safety performance.
Side Curtain Airbags
The Honda Odyssey is fixed with side curtain airbags that cover all three rows of seats, designed to protect your head and upper body in a side collision.
Once the airbag activates, it rapidly inflates, forming a curtain that provides a barrier between the passengers and the side windows or structure inside the van. This fantastic safety device is known to reduce the level of possible injuries.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Honda Odyssey comes equipped with adaptive cruise control, which increases the driver’s comfort during a long trip as it helps you maintain a set speed and adjust it to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
It works with cameras and sensors to monitor the traffic flow and adjust your speed as needed. For example, if another is detected ahead, the cruise control will automatically reduce your rate, maintain a safe distance, and resume your set speed once the road is clear.
The significant advantage is that it helps reduce most rear-end collisions. Finally, have you told me about delivering sweet safety scores?
It allows more space for persons sitting inside to enjoy more comprehensive, comfortable options, especially for children and playful young adults!