Bought it new as a family van and now has 178,000 miles. In early years, we used it for long trips to Florida, New York, & Canada. Got power and accelerates well. Comfort is fine for local driving but on very long road trips, I wished I had more seat adjustments. The design ambiance is awesome and that's why it's still in our driveway. Had two repaint jobs, one major maintenance overhaul, and transmission was rebuilt once. For many years, this minivan has performed better than I expected. Now that it's 12 years old, our air conditioner acts weird about every 6 months until my mechanic tinkers around with it. We are tough and assertive urban city drivers.
Leather seats are still perfect with no tears nor faded. My wife drove the Odyssey in flooded streets several times and water flowed up to the hood while cars behind her stalled. Still a good looking van with clean lines and aerodynamics. A very durable engine and it probably will last much longer.
For 2003, I only wished the interior a/c vents, 3rd row seat storage compartment door, and back seat handles were stronger because our kids broke them and later ripped it apart. For 2015, it's nice to have a vehicle with several USBs, phone & laptop plugs, navigator, rear view camera, and better sound system. More reliability on the paint and transmission would help, too.
We were gifted our 2003 Odyssey 3 years ago from a friend when it had 184,000 miles. Now is has 315,000. It's our family workhorse and it's been a dandy. I'd buy another Odyssey for certain. Original engine and auto trans. We stay up on our maintenance and it's been very good. Excellent value. We've got our sights on 500K miles!
Excellent overall quality. Comfortable leather seats that have held up well. Rock solid J35 engine. Very durable.
We had trouble with the ignition key cylinder. Fixed it once then had to replace. Inconvenient and expensive. We've been aware of some transmission issues out there, so we drive it sensibly and stay up on the fluid changes. Also added an inline aux trans filter. So far, so good!
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?
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!
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.
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!!!
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)!