Should I Buy a Used Honda Odyssey?

1995 Honda Odyssey (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.) Think of the Honda Odyssey as the straight A-student that rarely makes a misstep. If you want steady, reliable excellence that is designed for a growing family, the Honda Odyssey is likely the minivan for you. Debuting in 1995, the Honda Odyssey entered the minivan market a

1995 Honda Odyssey (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)

Think of the Honda Odyssey as the straight A-student that rarely makes a misstep. If you want steady, reliable excellence that is designed for a growing family, the Honda Odyssey is likely the minivan for you.

Debuting in 1995, the Honda Odyssey entered the minivan market a decade after established players like the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Honda quickly sought to distinguish the Odyssey from the competition by offering standard safety features, like dual air bags and four-wheel disc brakes, which competitors lacked. The Odyssey also had a hefty dose of practicality, thanks to seating for up to eight, a dual glove box and efficient and reliable 4-cylinder engine. Times have changed significantly since the Odyssey debuted, so credit Honda with keeping pace with market demands but never forgetting that its customers are family-centric. For them, safety and convenience never goes out of style.

Honda delivers just that as evidenced by its consistent No. 1 and No. 2 rankings and industry awards over the past decade. In fact, the Odyssey has won our Best Minivan for Families award every year since 2012

Model Years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

2007 Honda Odyssey (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)

The Honda Odyssey was in its third generation by 2007, and reviewers gave it high marks for power, road handling, and cargo/passenger versatility. U.S. News and World Report ranking gave it an overall score of 9.5 out of 10. Indeed, that model year received many accolades including Car and Driver “5Best Trucks,” Edmunds “Most Wanted,” and Consumer Guide “Best Buy” awards.

Of course, no car is perfect, and some reviewers knocked the Odyssey for its transmission, steering, and suspension. Still its V6 engine, expansive and versatile cargo room, and safe, solid performance more than made up for the shortcomings.

Honda gave the Odyssey a face-lift for the 2008 model year, adding auxiliary audio input jacks, daytime running lights, and programmable power door locks. Other family-friendly extras include upgraded climate controls, updated navigation, and available Bluetooth options for phone connectivity..

Thanks to the updates, the 2008 model got excellent ratings, with some reviewers calling its combination of power, sporty-for-a-minivan handling and versatility, the best in its class. A bounty of standard convenience and safety features netted the minivan a wealth of critical kudos and excellent crash test ratings.  

To the consumer eye, the Odyssey remained the same through model year 2010, but Honda didn’t neglect it. The automaker continually tweaked the vehicle, refining styling and adding colors.

Reviews remained high through the 2010 model, though it did slip into third place that year in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of minivans behind the Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona.

Models Years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015

2015 Honda Odyssey (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)

In 2011 Honda gave its tried-and-true Odyssey a complete redesign.

Critics gave thumbs ups to the 3-mode second-row seat that folds, an optional rear seat entertainment system, and five LATCH child seat positions, more than any other in its class.  Reviewers also cheered the handling, calling the Odyssey the best driving experience available in a minivan.

The 2011 models offered a variety of trim levels with features ranging from rear privacy glass and forward power seating to a remote to HomeLink, the wireless home access system, power sliding doors, and a 16.2-inch HD video display with surround sound.

With all those extras, it’s likely not surprising there were few changes for model years through 2015. Although, the Odyssey was given minor upgrades – such as standard back up camera and Bluetooth in 2013 – that paid off big with its customers.

The bottom line – If you’re in the market for a used minivan, the Honda Odyssey has an excellent combination of safety, reliability, and family-friendly features, no matter what model year you shop. 

Tags: Honda Odyssey, Minivans, used car buying, used car buying advice
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