Used 2002 Honda Odyssey Review

The best minivan sold in America just got better for 2002.




what's new

The Odyssey gains a number of improvements this year. Included with the Odyssey 2.1 upgrade is more power, a new five-speed transmission, standard rear disc brakes and side airbags, optional leather seating and DVD entertainment, two new exterior colors and minor interior storage refinements.

vehicle overview

The second-generation Honda Odyssey is currently recognized as the minivan benchmark, having thieved the crown from Chrysler shortly after its debut in 1999. Honda reliability, coupled with a cavernous interior and useful features like a fold-flat third-row seat and second-row captain's chairs that can be slid together to serve as a bench are among the reasons the Odyssey has single-handedly revived interest in minivans. For 2002, Honda has made a number of changes to ensure that its minivan stays on top.

Headlining the changes is an increase in horsepower. The 3.5-liter VTEC-equipped V6 now produces 240 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque, an increase from 210 hp and 229 lb-ft. Honda says the revised engine provides for quicker acceleration and no longer requires premium fuel. It is connected to a new five-speed automatic transmission (upgraded from a four-speed) that offers improved shift quality and efficiency.

There are two trim levels: LX and EX. The base LX model includes such standard fare as a height-adjustable driver seat (with thicker bolstering this year), traction control, dual sliding doors, power windows (including power rear-vent windows), power locks, power mirrors, cruise control, a theft-deterrent system, front and rear air conditioning and antilock brakes. Step up to the EX and enjoy features like dual power sliding doors, a roof rack, keyless remote entry, an eight-way power driver seat, alloy wheels, a CD player and steering wheel-mounted radio controls.

Sitting on a four-wheel independent suspension, a first in the minivan segment, the Odyssey rides comfortably and keeps the driver in touch with the road. Combined with the Odyssey's wide track, the suspension contributes a nimble and stable feel. Body roll around corners is minimal, particularly for a vehicle of this size, and the suspension has been retuned this year to reduce harshness over bumps.

A key Odyssey feature continues to be its hideaway, or "magic," third-row seat. With a minimum of effort and the use of just one set of hands, the rear seat can be folded out of sight and sit flush with the floor in a matter of seconds. The second-row seats are convertible and can be used as separate captain's chairs or as a bench. In terms of features, a navigation system is optional on the EX and employs a single DVD disc for nationwide mapping. For 2002, Honda has added leather seating to the list, as well as a DVD entertainment system with a 7-inch LCD monitor that flips down from the ceiling.

A minivan would not be complete without safety features, and the Odyssey comes with its share. All seven seats have headrests and three-point seatbelts, and each Odyssey comes with ABS (four-wheel disc brakes are standard this year), traction control and an Electronic Brake Distribution system (EBD). Also new for this year are dual stage front airbags and driver- and front passenger-side airbags. In government and insurance institute crash testing, the 2001 Odyssey couldn't have scored better, getting five stars all around. This is one van that does a great job of protecting occupants.

With its excellent crash-test scores, innovative features and cavernous interior, the Honda Odyssey might just be the ultimate family vehicle.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.