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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update: Now that the car has 172,000 miles on it. I had replaced the brakes with Duralast top of the line ceramic pads and top of the line rotors. Getting excellant wear out of both front and rear (about 29k miles on the brakes and they still look new). Overall mileage is about 20 (city/hwy mixed) with highway mileage frequently at 24 mpg (running 75-80 mph). Still runs like brand new, still looks great. No wear on the interior except some stains in the storage area (mulch, trees, etc.). Still have the original struts, and no sign of wear on them. Still has plenty of power, very reliable. This has become the family favorite for trips due to the room, comfort, and quietness.
I have a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan as a company car and found that the Odyssey is smoother, easier to get in and out, (seats are lower), has better visibility, is more comfortable, though the Dodge has the edge over this 2003 Honda in power (183 vs. 145) and the fuel mileage is higher in the Dodge (23 overall with mostly highway driving). The Dodge has a 6 speed trans. vs. the Honda 5. The Dodge also eats brakes. I'd prefer a Honda Odyssey as a company car, but it was not my choice.
Even though mini-vans are not supposed to be cool anymore, I have to say that this is the perfect family car. It's versatile, comfortable, roomy, can handle a huge amount of cargo, especially with the seats down or out, but within minutes can haul a total of 7. It's fast, gets good fuel economy, insurance rates are low (Odysseys are apparently one of the safest vehicles on the road- fatalities per million miles is 0. One of only 6 to achieve this, according to a recent article on car safety). I would certainly buy it again. I do prefer the looks of the 2003 and 2006 to the current Odyssey though, but that is my personal opinion.