The van has been one of the most reliable vehicles we have owned. We have traveled across the country with it a few times with no problems and it is a solid performer during the harsh winters in Chicago. We purchased the van used 5 years ago with 110,000 miles and it currently has 150,000 miles. During those 40,000 miles we have not had any transmission problems and aside from preventive maintenance and tires the only things we have had to replace were: battery, rear hub, oxygen sensor, oil pan gasket and sway bar links. I keep very detailed records of all the maintenance and our annual cost to maintain this van has averaged only $800/ year. Not bad for a car that is fully paid for!
The interior is very roomy and we can haul a ton of stuff. The quality of the interior is top notch as it has held up very well to the abuse of our three kids, dog, and numerous trips to the hardware store. The technology is not the best since it is a 15 year old van now, but a Pioneer aftermarket stereo fixed all of that. Our van now has bluetooth audio for our iPhones and handsfree calling. The exterior is in great shape and the paint still holds a nice shine. Personally I think the 99-04 years is one of the nicest designs among all the Odyssey's. There are a couple of small rust spots along the rear wheel wells, but no complaints here given that we live in the rust belt.
Overall, we have been extremely happy with our van and plan to drive it another 50,000 or 70,000 miles. After that we will purchase another Odyssey - perhaps an EX-L this time.
I bought this vehicle new and sold it about a year ago. It was a great vehicle for the 11yrs we owned it. Only consistent problem was the passenger automatic sliding doors would get out of alignment every other year or so. It also developed a slight oil leak (very slight) as in one to five drops per week (estimate) never actually counted the droplets on a weekly basis. I only hope the new owners have as good of an experience with this vehicle as we did.
More reliable passenger side automatic sliding doors.
Decent minivan, has some squeaks and rattles, struts are shot and the second transmission just blew. The first transmission went at ~58k, less than 40k on the second. I have kept the transmission fluid clean by drain and fills, has Honda trans cooler. Other items replaced have been wear items. I would be quite happy with this vehicle if the transmissions had been better engineered and reliable. Honda has been poor in standing behind their product IMHO and won't get another purchase out of me. (multiple Honda car owner.)
Please Honda, send your transmission designers/engineers to school! Learn how to make your automatics as good as your manual transmissions. Replacing these boat anchor lumps isn't a trivial expense.
We bought our 2000 Odyssey in 2004 with 93,000 miles. We just replaced the original transmission with a nicely rebuilt one. I love this van! Drives nicely, looks great, gets good mileage (avg. 21 mpg) for a van. For the wear and tear we have put on it, 3 kids, 6 dogs, numerous road trips, it has performed admirably.
Love my Navigation system, upgraded the DVD. Love the cargo room, ease of stowing rear seats and removal of 2nd row.
Honda should really have put more thought into the transmission, the clutch plates need more lubrication grooves, they should use synthetic ATF, and a cooler and inline filter should be standard! The sliding doors need more durable rollers! Other than that, I have no suggestions.
I'd be very happy with this vehicle if it weren't for the automatic transmission. I nursed the original transmission along for years, but it finally became too flaky to consider safe. I just had it rebuilt at 160k miles at a private shop for almost $4,000 exactly. I had my car serviced by the dealer until 4 years ago; they kept telling me that they couldn't find anything wrong. Only when I took it to a private mechanic did I get the news that these transmissions are not up to par.
Very versatile vehicle. Huge interior. Can fit 4 X 8 feet plywood flat on the floor.
Transmission shouldn't be on its last legs in less than 10 years.