I bought this car in 2001 from a Honda car dealer in Harrisonburg,VA and still driving it! It now has 245K miles on it. It's the most reliable car I ever own, no roadside breakdowns that I can think of since I owned it. Changed timing belt twice, and it keeps going and going.
It was love on first sight because of the 4 doors. I hate the sliding doors on mini-vans. Most new mini-vans are heavier and feels like driving a school bus. Captain seats on the front and back are my favorite features, and loves the spaciousness in the cargo area. If Honda makes a 1996 Oddessy comeback - I would be the first in line to buy one.
We just wrecked and lost the best car ever, the 1996 Honda Odyssey. We have been looking for a new car replacement for several months, but nothing compares. Today's vans are gigantic by comparison and have those stupid sliding doors. Absolutely nothing today under $60K has seats as comfortable as the FOUR captains chairs in our 96 Odyssey. Closest available today are the Mazda5 or Toyota Hylander, but for long trips, we will have to live without the luxury seating of our 96 Odyssey. Only reason we are not just finding another 96 Odyssey is that the new cars have all those airbags and other safety features. Boo hoo.
Reliability - you can count on at least 200,000 without major repairs.
#1 in seating comfort in first and second rows (with optional captain's chairs in second row).
Seating for 7 when needed (third row is tight).
Van with regular doors.
Too late for improvements, but the only down sides to this car are that it could have used a little more power (small 4) and somewhat weak A.C., both set up for the sedan on which this van is based.
However, the limited horses is rarely an issue.
The A.C. just takes some time to get to the back seats and is fine on long trips in scalding weather.
4 bangers" (2.2l. Engine) but lots of hp. Just like the "energizer bunny". Keeps "going, n going, n going "with minimum maintenance (oil change/s, etc.). Only issue is the "abs" light (bad brakes sensor/s?) kept turning on after getting "fixed" a year later. Minimal rust showing for a 14-15 yrs. Old van. Driven 5 times from Chicago to Florida and back with no leaks, issues, etc. Negative/s?Hard to find used parts in auto salvage junkyards (there is none in il.). Just like my wife, "sometimes" boring but very dependable, trustworthy, and "perky." I guessed I'll keep her than trade her in for newer/"younger" ones (my '96 Odyssey lolz). Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with my '96 Odyssey. It's a 9 out of 10.
Gas Saver. 2.2L engine. Small but lots of Horsepower. Very minimal maintenance.
ABS light on console keeps turning ON even after getting fixed "professionally"by Honda Dealership/s after a year or so.
We bought our Odyssey over 3 years ago with the addition of a new family member (with 5 you have to make the jump to a "mom mobile" or SUV). We didn't have the budget for anything too fancy, but when we came across a used '96 Odyssey, we were sold after simply looking at it and test driving compared to all the other vans we were looking at. At the time it had 95K, and we've put an additional 30k. Very reliable.I changed the timing belt as a precaution. I've simply changed the oil and put good gas in it, no cheap swamp gas stations. I replaced the rear shocks and exhaust manifold since they finally failed after 13 years of service. Repairs less than $200-$400 when I do it myself, very easy.
Parts are easy to find, seating comfort; 4 captain chairs, cargo space abundant when rear seats removed, great towing capacity, reasonable pep for 4 Cyl van, big time return on investment with this van.
Oil filter is in a hard place to get to, but not impossible - the vehicle has to be raised.
I have 180,000 miles on my Odyssey. I will keep driving it until it dies. We love the seat arrangement-use the fold down back seat. My grandkids love to sit in the "wayback" seat. My kids drove it all through high school and it is still going strong. The interior and exterior still look great. No one believes it is as old as it is. Door locks have a mind of their own. Added a satellite radio a few years ago.
fold down back seat, reliability, comfort on long drives, ease of entry, swing back doors