Used 2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Honda Odyssey - Consumer Reviews

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Trans Failure
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pwinth
on

Vehicle

2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Entertainment (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Loved my 2003 Honda Odyssey till transmission suddenly failed going 70mph on the freeway with my children in the back seat. Trans suddenly downshifted to 2nd/1st then continued to wildly shift back and forth, just through good luck no horrible accident. For $100, dealer tells me trans is cooked. Found out via Internet this is a very common problem, in fact most people don't get as much use as we did. We took good care and was in beautiful condition prior to this incident. New trans -> $4800, Honda America refuses to help, they say warranty is 36,000 miles and I should be happy I got 160,000 miles. If I'd have known of this potential issue, I'd have sold it pronto while value was $5k.


Favorite Features

Pretty much worry-free till sudden catastrophic transmission failure at age 8 years. Now I feel lucky to be alive.


Suggested Improvements

Honda should repair these horrible transmissions which pose a safety hazard, and not bury its head in the sand, that's no way to treat your customers. If you own a 2003 Odyssey and trans hasn't failed, I suggest you get rid of it. You can google "2003 Honda Odyssey transmission" or look at NHTSA website for confirmation.


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Transmission Failed
11 of 16 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mykidsmom1
on

Vehicle

2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Purchased 2003 Odyssey new from the dealer (had to preorder because they were in such demand?) NHTSA tranny recall @ dealer 8/2004 w/39,000 miles. Last week, with 164,000 highway miles (never TOWED) slipping btween 2nd & 3rd gears & lock up 2x on busy highway. Extremely scary could have been hit and killed. Dealer diagnosed "internal transmission failure". American Honda is useless & tried blaming us. Dealer agreed to discount AFTER we asked, they never offered. Inherent well-documented serious tranny problem. Shame on Honda. Just traded our '93 Ford Aerostar w/just 157K miles & never had tranny problem. Wonder why Hyundai is America's #1 Car Dealer....No more Hondas for us!!!


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Why all the negative comments?
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By happyhondaowner
on

Vehicle

2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

The 2003 Odyssey EX-L we purchased new about 8 years ago has been a very good, reliable and enjoyable car. I read on the post about all transmission and door problems, etc. but we have not experienced those problems. We drive about 12k miles/year. I'm not saying we're lucky... I think we take care of our car with maintenance, with not driving it hard, etc. This was our first Honda and we don't have anything bad to say about it. It's plenty spacious for the family and all the trips and things we take with us. My 2 cents. it's a great car , but if you get a lemon, you'll have a sour taste in your mouth - (we must have got the cherry)!


Favorite Features

Lots of them


Suggested Improvements

No improvements that I can think of


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Transmission Problems
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jannydd
on

Vehicle

2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

We own a 2004 Honda Odyssey EX-L van & encouraged our son, with a baby on the way, to purchase a 2003 (147,000 miles) van 5 days ago. We felt it was a great investment for a new family with limited cash. Less than a week & the transmission is slipping between 30-40 mph. These kids don't have the money to fix the issue because the Honda dealer told me a new tranny is thousands of $'s. The private party, who admits to selling cars as his business, will not stand behind the vehicle. Of course Honda is not standing behind these tranny problems. How many times will Honda have to be sued, due to transmission lock-ups causing crashes, before they will take responsibility for the tranny issue?


Favorite Features

Our 2004 has treated us well, but after reading reviews on the 2003, we are extremely disappointed in the Honda transmission issues. We are also disappointed in Honda for not standing behind this common issues with their transmissions. We do like the inside size of the van for transporting and moving. It is more spacious, overall, than my dad's dodge grand caravan. There is also definitely more head room. Heated leather seats are awesome and we did add an after market auto start which was well worth the money. It is wonderful to get into a warm van, with heated seats, on a cold Minnesota winter day!


Suggested Improvements

As Honda takes responsibility for their defective airbags, it would be great if they would also take responsibility for their defective transmissions. Also...I am only 5'3" and I find the leg room, in our 2004, to be inadequate. Both my husband (6'2") and I prefer to drive because the leg room, in the passenger area, is too confining and uncomfortable. We are both normal weight. It appears the van was built for very short people. The illumination, for the clock, is also a common and expensive issue to fix. I keep a small light, near the clock, so I can check the time at night.


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An Excellant family vehicle
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rporterincincy
on

Vehicle

2003 Honda Odyssey Minivan LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I really like my 2003 Honda Odyssey. It now has 143,000 miles and runs like it's brand new. Very smooth, powerful and dependable. Like any other car it does have some quirks. My Odyssey goes through tires every 35,000 miles (wears evenly, and I rotate them every 3000-6000 miles), and goes through front brakes every 40,000 miles (evenly worn brakes). I just installed top of the line ceramic brakes to see if this would improve the ride. My car has no rust (wax every 3-4 months), no wear on the interior, and I change the oil every 3,000 miles. My dealer is great and I like working with them. The car is very versatile and we enjoy going on trips with it. No major issues yet.


Favorite Features

Dash easy to use (speedo, tach, radio, etc) while driving. Clear easy to use buttons.


Suggested Improvements

Bigger brake pads & calipers


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