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

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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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garbage
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By moparman90
on

Vehicle

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


Review

we have had this thing for 6 months we bought with 120,000 miles... 3 days later the transmission blew out on me... then here we are 8,000 miles later and the transmission is shot again WTF... the heated seats dont work half the time it has no EVIC and thats just stupid for a 2003... it is just AWFUL in the snow with good tires... the clock on the dash doesnt light up another stupid thing... the battery went i had to take the thing in just to get the factory radio set... i have a 2000 jeep grand cherokee with 225,000 miles never had ANY mojor problems i will try to convince her to sell this crap box and get a jeep... my jeep in 2wd is better than this thing with front wheel drive DONT BUY


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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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Transmission Failed
10 of 15 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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A "Me Too" Transmission Failure
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By surferboi
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Add me to the long list of people who have experienced transmission failure. My check engine and traction control lights came on last week while I was on the highway to the airport. I figured I'd take it in when I got back. Transmission started slipping and died less than 50 miles later, just this morning on the way back from a short trip to the airport. 135K miles on the car and it has been running like a champ. And now I get online and see that I'm not the only one. I was always a little suspect about the speed at which they were making these models. Now I guess we are seeing the effect.


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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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Disappointed Honda Owner
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By nohondamom
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Purchased a 2003 Honda Odyssey in Fall 2002. I started having trouble with it after 100,000 miles. All maintenance were kept up. Transmission was the major problem. I had to replace it twice within 1 month (had to pay about $1500, while Honda covered the rest). Then a year later I was told the transmission was leaking. Shift Solenoids A and B Gaskets had to be replaced, luckily it was still under warranty. Now Jan 2011, I found out my transmission has a leak again with other major issues. I'm told the cost of repair is not worth it. The car is almost 180,000mile. Extremely disappointed that it could not make it to 200,000miles.Told it should last well over 200,000.Will not buy Honda again!


Suggested Improvements

Fix your transmissions. I would have purchased a new Honda if I had received a transmission that worked the first time. Also, rollers on doors wear quickly. Need to improve service for Odysseys over 100,000 miles...these are the family car buyers who will determine whether or not they will buy a Honda again. Nowadays, families drive more frequently going to activities, thus, driving longer distances, so a family car should be able to handle that, especially with the high cost of purchasing a Honda Odyssey.


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Why all the negative comments?
2 of 4 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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Not the quality of Toyota
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dharrin
on

Vehicle

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


Review

We bought this car in late '06, have put 85k miles since. Every year the repairs total approximately 1000.(in addition to regular maintenance). I found out this car has a coil for each cylinder. Brakes are noisy. Piddly electrical problems also. So far, the trans hasn't died, but is slipping a little. It doesn't hold an alignment very long. The ride is very comfortable and fits all five kids and their stuff. The ride is good, seats are comfy even on 1600 mile round trips to relatives. It is pretty good in No. New England snow. Avg 27 mpg on highway trips/17 in town. I doubt it will make it another year.


Favorite Features

lots of room, carries kids and their stuff. ride is nice. engine has moderate power. gauges/dials easy to read. seats are good, even on long rides. I like the 3rd seat - folds into floor. heater works well.


Suggested Improvements

windows on sliding doors could open. I wish I could say this was built to last.


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So far so good
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Caseyd
on

Vehicle

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


Review

We bought this 4 years ago when it had 67k miles on it. It now has 110k miles on it. It was a certified Honda so we had coverage until 100k mile, this replaced the motor mount for free. Motor mounts going bad is normal wear for a FWD car at 100k miles. It has leather seats that are EXTREMELY comfortable Road noise is worst than other vans. If you apply 'undercoat' to the wheel wells and buy good tires it will be silent. Bad quality tires make it worse. I have flushed the transmission fluid at 75k miles and changed it at 100k miles. No transmission problems yet. I get 26 mpg driving from Denver to Utah over 11,000 foot mountain passes with the cruise set, fully loaded Love it!


Favorite Features

Comfortable leather seats, button operated sliding doors, fold down 3rd row seat, seat warmers, high gas mileage, smooth suspension


Suggested Improvements

The transmission problems are well known, but aren't a problem starting in '04. I do all the maintenance on the tranny in hopes that it lasts longer More sound deadening Ugly/plain exterior All cars have timing belts, save money and do it yourself for $100 in parts.


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