We bought this car 8 years ago when we found out we were having twins. The boys came home from the hospital in the van. Now they are carted around to school, soccer practice, piano lessons. The size for us family of 4 is perfect. The gas mileage is pretty good for a van. We average around 25 mpg, up to 30mpg on long road trips. We wish there were similar sized newer models but the Mazda5 is a bit cramped. All other vans are huge and gas-guzzling. We are keeping this one until they bring over the JDM Odyssey or Honda Stream. One thing to remember is to replace the oil cooler o-ring. Also Honda ATF every 15K would ward off transmission issues.
This is a terrific automobile. It has an excellent 4-cylinder engine with perfectly satisfactory performance, a smooth and versatile transmission, fine handling, great comfort and superior quality. It also gets 25 mpg in local (Hudson Valley) driving and a little better on long trips. My only complaint is the damned digital odometer.
After reading numerous reviews on Volvos, Subarus, and old Mercedes diesels, we found out about the 1995-1998 Honda Odysseys. Talk about a car ahead of its time! The 1998 model came with the 2.3L 4-cylinder VTEC, which has excellent V6-like power. These 1st Gens were still made in Japan, and were built from the Accord platform (with the same engine).... because of that, the trannys are much better than what was found in the early 2nd Gen model (1999-2001). We have had ours for a few months, and it has been the best car we have ever owned! I switched to synthetic oil/filter, and get 31+ MPG highway on a tank! No gas car made in '09 that seats 7 can even match that!
I bought this van only 3 years ago, and on average I've driven it 60,000 km/year which is a lot. Right now it has 320,000 km and I've never received a single $5 dollar bulb replacement. I do oil change every 10,000 km (which is late) and it still drives like its brand new. I love the 4 cylinder engine while I save on gas- they should make more of these even though they weren't famous at its time because gas was cheap back then. The 4 cylinder v tech is amazingly powerful