2008 Honda Odyssey Review

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling, 60/40-split flat-folding rear bench, optional eight-passenger seating, extensive feature list, smooth V6.
  • Top-line trim levels are expensive.
List Price Range
$3,500 - $10,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2008 Honda Odyssey deftly excels at all things important for a minivan. This is one you won't want to miss.

Vehicle overview

Raising a family presents a seemingly never-ending parade of choices. Cloth diapers or disposable? Private school or public? Cash flow into the 529 plan or 401(k)? When it comes to shopping for a minivan, however, we'll make the decision process easy for you: Just get a 2008 Honda Odyssey.

Since the late 1990s, the Honda Odyssey has been a perennial favorite of ours, and it's been a constant Consumers' Most Wanted award winner since the most recent redesign in 2005. Why? While just about any minivan can serve as a competent people mover, only the Honda Odyssey combines the usual minivan qualifications with a polished and refined nature and responsive steering and handling. Just because your life often seems like one Gymboree schlep after another doesn't mean you have to give up a pleasing ownership experience or driving enjoyment.

Honda has also been keeping the Odyssey fresh. This year, there are a variety of updates that include new front-end styling, additional interior features and an updated version of the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology. As before, it's fitted to the V6 engine on EX-L and Touring models and imperceptibly shuts down cylinders during cruising to reduce fuel consumption. This year's VCM (it's the same as used on the 2008 Accord) expands the cylinder-deactivation cylinder count and operating range even further, and the result is increased fuel efficiency in a wider variety of driving conditions.

These changes certainly help keep the Odyssey on top, even though there are more choices than ever for a family-oriented vehicle. Besides the usual selection of recommended minivans -- the Chrysler Town & Country, Toyota Sienna and Hyundai Entourage are also worth a look -- there's also the growing field of three-row crossover SUVs. But no crossover will ever beat a minivan in terms of ease-of-use and hauling capacity, and no other 2008 minivan matches the Honda Odyssey in terms of all-around desirability. Parenting choices are tough. Thankfully, purchasing an Odyssey is a life-simplifying choice.

2008 Honda Odyssey models

The 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. The base-level LX model comes standard with manual-sliding rear doors, power front- and second-row windows, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack. The EX trim level adds alloy wheels, power sliding doors, a power driver seat, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, automatic tri-zone climate control and additional interior convenience and storage features.

The more expensive Odyssey EX-L provides a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a rearview-mirror-mounted backup camera, satellite radio and a sunroof. For the EX-L, Honda offers a navigation system with a display-based backup camera and a DVD entertainment system for rear passengers. For an Odyssey with all the toys, go with the Touring trim. It has a power liftgate, parking sensors, Bluetooth, power-adjustable pedals, driver memory positioning and an upgraded audio system.

2008 Highlights

The Honda Odyssey receives minor improvements for 2008. The front end has been restyled, and under the hood of EX-L and Touring models is an updated version of the Variable Cylinder Management system. New convenience features include Bluetooth, a power passenger seat, a back-up camera integrated into the rearview mirror and memory-linked side mirrors with a reverse-gear tilt-down. The Odyssey also receives minor interior material upgrades, additional interior storage and a standard auxiliary audio jack.

Performance & mpg

The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6. On LX and EX trims, it produces 244 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. For the upscale EX-L and Touring trims, Honda equips the engine with a cylinder deactivation feature (VCM). It drops power slightly (241 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque) in exchange for a slight bump in fuel economy. With VCM, the 2008 Odyssey has an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway, best in class for the mainstream minivan segment.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2008 Honda Odyssey include antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. For the Touring trim, Honda offers Michelin PAX run-flat tires, a technology that allows punctured tires to be driven on for more than 100 miles. A downside to PAX tires is that they typically cannot be repaired when a puncture does occur. Also, replacement tires can sometimes be difficult to source due to their relative scarcity.

In terms of crash safety, the Odyssey earns a top five-star rating in all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration front- and side-impact tests. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test results are equally impressive; the Honda minivan earned a "Good" rating (the best possible) for performance in frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.

Driving

The 2008 Honda Odyssey is the most carlike minivan on the market today, thanks to its tight turning radius, responsive steering and athletic suspension tuning. A high seating position makes the Odyssey easy to pilot, though as with all minivans, its bulk can be a hindrance if you're never taking extra passengers or gear along: Smaller families might prefer the tidier footprint of the Mazda5. The V6 complements the van's likable road manners, providing satisfying acceleration in virtually all situations.

Interior

The Odyssey can seat seven or eight passengers. Enabling the latter is a stowable middle seat in the second row for EX and above models. This optional seat can be converted into a center tray table or removed and stored in the vehicle's in-floor storage area. Additionally, the second-row captain's chairs can be pushed together to form a two-passenger bench. In the far back, there's a fold-flat 60/40-split third-row bench seat. With the third row stowed, the Odyssey offers 91 cubic feet of cargo volume behind its second-row seats. Remove the second-row chairs and this minivan can haul up to 147 cubic feet.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Honda Odyssey.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1st owner & 5 1/2 yrs later I am still happy!
billybeefcake,05/27/2014
EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
My wife and I picked out a 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L 5 1/2 years ago with 20 miles on it. We now have just over 73,000 on the vehicle, and we are even more happy now than when we purchased the van because nothing has gone wrong. There has been several recalls such as the brakes, the transmission reprogramming, and cabin noise, but Honda was pretty good (once they acknowledged the issues) at taking care of them. With a fully loaded van (family/cargo) on a flat road I can get 27/28 mpg easily. In town she avg. 18-20 depending on how much a/c we are using. As for us we have had a good experience.
Where my Honda gone?
Honda Angst,11/07/2018
EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Rear Entertainment (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I bought this van used with 104K miles (in April 2016) confident that I was buying a Honda (like I have most of my life) and treated right, they last. By all appearances the vehicle had been cared for. Great paint/body, the interior was clean and maintained and it ran well. Imagine my surprise at 107K miles when my low oil light comes on. I checked the dipstick and I had a drop of oil at the very end. No oil leaks or smoke from the exhaust. This is the beginning of my falling out with Honda. I took it back to the dealer astonished and looking for some answers. They conducting an oil consumption test and determined I was using 1-1/2 qts of oil per 1000 miles. After pressing the issue they told me they had performed a piston ring replacement on the vehicle prior to my purchase for the very same reason and that work was still under warranty. But it gets better. Next thing I know Honda has ponied up for an engine replacement. I was floored, but curious as to why they were being so incredibly generous. I found out why at about 20K miles into my new engine when it started using oil again without leaks or exhaust smoke. I took it back once again, did an oil test and it was determined that the vehicle was using 1qt every 1K miles and Honda said "that falls within acceptable parameters" and so they refused to do anything. This is when I started digging and discovered Honda has settled a class action suit in 2014 for...you guessed it, excessive oil consumption with certain 2008 Odyssey Models (all with VCM, Variable Cylinder Management). Honda extended powertrain warranties for most vehicles and some people that were a actually part of the class action were made whole, thus my engine replacement. Clearly that was not the problem and I eventually discovered the VCM was the actual culprit. I discovered that too late as the piston rings on my NEW engine were already damaged. I would eventually end up at the Honda shop again when the vehicle started experiencing constant cylinder misfires at about 40K miles into the NEW engine. They recommended piston ring replacement, but said ideally I should replace the engine, 40K miles and I needed a new engine. If you're considering one of these Odyssey's with VCM, buyer beware. If you cant verify the service records just walk away.
Rear engine mount failure very costly
lonosc,12/24/2012
EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I just spent $1K replacing the rear engine mount after 60K miles. After researching further, discovered this is common part failure, and will re-occur every 50 - 60,000 miles. Will definitely trade off this vehicle before another 60K miles and will never buy another again. This is a vital part and should not fail so frequently. I expected better quality from Honda.
The new Honda Quality sadly
homersodysey08,05/06/2014
EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I have had a few significant problems. First is was the soft break pedal which was a known technical service problem "fixed" by applying silicone to the known leak. At 9K mi transmission quit. They tried to blame me. They said they could find out what I had done for $180/hour. Needed my car so 2 days later they found a loose wire connector re-connected it "under warranty". Shortly beyond the 36 mo warranty (13K mi) again a soft to the floor brake pedal. I found the original TSB for the brakes and insisted they perform that "fix"a new VSA stability module I paid $400 for the part. Now they say soft is normal but I just got a recall notice for a brake defect, they got caught 5 yrs later

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Honda Odyssey

Used 2008 Honda Odyssey Overview

The Used 2008 Honda Odyssey is offered in the following submodels: Odyssey Minivan. Available styles include EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Rear Entertainment (3.5L 6cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Nav, Rear Entertainment (3.5L 6cyl 5A), LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Touring 4dr Minivan w/PAX (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and Touring 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Honda Odyssey?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Honda Odyssey trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L is priced between $4,200 and$9,490 with odometer readings between 101208 and201791 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Honda Odyssey EX is priced between $4,990 and$6,699 with odometer readings between 139095 and182667 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Honda Odyssey Touring is priced between $8,495 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 84415 and125077 miles.
  • The Used 2008 Honda Odyssey LX is priced between $3,500 and$3,500 with odometer readings between 228944 and228944 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Honda Odysseys are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Honda Odyssey for sale near. There are currently 13 used and CPO 2008 Odysseys listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,500 and mileage as low as 84415 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Honda Odyssey.

Can't find a used 2008 Honda Odysseys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Odyssey for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $14,562.

Find a used Honda for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,720.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Odyssey for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,921.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,385.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Honda Odyssey?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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