The Honda Odyssey ranks near the top of its class in minivans due to the spacious & luxurious interior and the smooth & comfortable driving, handling, and controls that offer a smooth ride all around.
The first model of the Honda Odyssey made its debut back in 1994 and has seen 28 different models across 5 different generations.
The model appeals to a small market, with its target audience shrinking; however, since it is a Honda manufactured vehicle, it has still been able to capture people’s attention across the globe, but not all of it is good.
We’ll be looking at the best and worst years for Honda Odyssey.
Best Years for Honda Odyssey:
Worst Years for Honda Odyssey:
With these two lists out of the way, let us discuss why the models rank as they do.
List Of The Best Years For The Honda Odyssey: What Years To Avoid
These models are why the Honda brand gets the recognition it has amassed over the years, being good quality vehicles with comfortable and smooth driving.
#1 Best Year: 2017 Honda Odyssey
After a very rough generation for the Honda Odyssey, the manufacturers were able to isolate, evaluate and eradicate many of the issues which had been plaguing the generation and in the final lap of the generation, released the 2017 Honda Odyssey, which is the most reliable modern-day Honda in the market.
The model came with six trim levels and notable features like power sliding doors, cruise control, an electronic stability system, and more advanced features.
Being the last of its generation, it generally has no new features that weren’t present in previous models. It can seat up to 8 people in 3 different rows and comes with a standard V6 engine which powers the front wheels through the 6-speed automatic transmission.
#2 Best Year: 2020 Honda Odyssey
Releasing in the most suitable time, in the middle of its generation, the 2020 Honda Odyssey offered a sophisticated space inside the car and exceptional driving.
The interior had roomy and comfortable seats and high-tech and user-friendly entertainment and information systems, all inside a modern and well-built cabin.
This was all supported by a solid engine which allowed for an amazing driving experience. The engine was friendly on fuel as well, as the mileage on this car is outstanding.
#3 Best Year: 2019 Honda Odyssey
The second release of its generation, Honda’s 2019 Odyssey, is a 7 to 8 seater, which depends on the car’s trim level.
It can easily push out 280 horsepower on a 3.5-liter V6 engine hooked up to a 9-speed automatic transmission that can also be subbed out for an optional 10-speed automatic transmission.
The 2019 odyssey continued to prove that the Odyssey series was still a solid choice for families worldwide, being an all-purpose vehicle that offered great versatility and mostly reasonable prices.
#4 Best Year: 2022 Honda Odyssey
The latest model of the series, the 2022 Honda Odyssey has many of its generation’s best features such as the plethora of safety features, easy folding 3rd row, which allows for more cargo space, the family-friendly Cabin Watch system, enhanced outward visibility, and top tier gas mileage.
The model comes in 5 different trims, each better than the last. Overall it is a very sensible and satisfying family vehicle that excels in comfort and smooth driving and is a solid alternative to various SUVs, capable of towing 3500 pounds.
#5 Best Year: 2018 Honda Odyssey
The start of the latest generation of Honda Odyssey began with the release of the 2018 Honda Odyssey, which featured a complete redesign for the new generation, which persisted in following models.
The model can house up to 8 seats and is a very solid minivan that features intuitive and new multimedia systems, a V6 engine capable of pushing 280 horsepower, extreme comfort, and great handling for smooth and safe driving.
Crash testing the car has shown the model to have solid protection and durability, having a better standard system than its competitors.
#6 Best Year: 1996 Honda Odyssey
The second model to be released by the series, the 1996 Honda Odyssey, continued to make strides in the minivan market by releasing another solid entry into the Odyssey series.
The vehicle was very easy to drive, felt very open, and had lots of legroom and cargo space once the back seats were put down. The minivan had minimum blind spots and a solid turning radius which further increased the ease and smooth driving feel.
The car is also very reliable, managing over 200,000 miles easily, only requiring a change of timing belts.
#7 Best Year: 1997 Honda Odyssey
Like its predecessor, the 1997 Honda Odyssey is reliable. The car can manage more than 250,000 miles like they are nothing and does so with great gas mileage. The car comes in two different trims, which offer amazing serviceability, utility, and overall quality.
Compared to its competitors, the 1997 Odyssey was the smallest of the bunch but still managed to beat the competition by being capable of having seven seats and offering a 140 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine packed with a front-wheel drivetrain and 4-speed transmission.
#8 Best Year: 1998 Honda Odyssey
Honda was able to manufacture three great minivans within three years, showing that the company is committed to delivering great products.
The 1998 Honda Odyssey is yet another solid minivan that offers a great driving experience and unmatched reliability, capable of driving for decades on end with minimal to no repairs.
The seven-seater vehicle has great fuel economy and cargo space. It can easily store a lot of luggage, making it the perfect car for the family, comfortable and smooth during a ride.
List Of The Worst Years For The Honda Odyssey: What Years To Avoid
Many of these models are from the same generation, so it is best to avoid the 2nd generation entirely as it was plagued with transmission issues and was generally unreliable.
#1 Worst Year: 2002 Honda Odyssey
The entire second generation of the Honda Odyssey suffered from numerous problems in the transmission. This is certainly true for the 2002 Honda Odyssey, which had the most problems at the lowest mileages and required high amounts of money to repair.
First and foremost, transmission failure was very likely to occur in this model. If you were lucky enough not to have your transmission give out and require a replacement, you would be suffering from shaking while shifting, transmission disengages, losing gears, and sudden, unintended acceleration.
All of this combined makes this model extremely unreliable and problematic, placing it at the top of the list as the worst Honda Odyssey to have ever been made.
#2 Worst Year: 2003 Honda Odyssey
Following the disaster of the 2002 Odyssey, Honda’s 2003 Odyssey was just as riddled with transmission problems as the previous model but with body issues and airbag problems to add a different spice to the mix.
The transmission problems were the same as before: prone to failure, hesitation, clunking, jerking during shifting, and slipping. Further problems included the paint being lackluster, peeling, and chipping all over the body.
Finally, the model suffered from the Takata recall in which the airbags would explode when deployed and launch metal fragments at the passengers.
#3 Worst Year: 2005 Honda Odyssey
The 2005 Honda Odyssey is one of the most complained about models in the series, having a high number of problems that it passes on to future models.
Despite being the debut model of the odyssey’s third generation, the 2005 model suffered from the same poor quality paint which would chip off, now with malfunctioning doors and various steering problems such as whining when turning and heavy steering at relatively low speeds.
The engine blew oil rapidly, and the mount would also sometimes fail.
#4 Worst Year: 2006 Honda Odyssey
The 3rd generation of the Odyssey was full of rust-bucket models, which became increasingly obvious upon the release of the second model of the generation, the 2006 Honda Odyssey, which was suffering from the same steering issues as its predecessor, having stiff and noise emanating from the power steering.
Transmission failure from the second generation returned, and so did the stutter during shifting and whining noises. The paint was still an issue as it was still peeling off the whole body. The engine was also riddled with its problems.
#5 Worst Year: 2007 Honda Odyssey
Despite its flaws, the 2007 Honda Odyssey became one of the best-selling minivans in the United States, which is shocking. Honda was slowly reducing the major problems it has brought with the 2005 model, but it was not enough.
The peeling paint from the last two models, the easily breakable air conditioning unit, the whining steering pump, and the dangerous problem of the brakes being deployed by themselves made this model extremely bad, and people who ended up buying it were not happy.
#6 Worst Year: 2008 Honda Odyssey
The myriad of problems brought by the 2005 Odyssey was finally cut in half by the 2008 Honda Odyssey, but that did not make this model any better than the previous three models.
The paint was still bubbling and peeling off the body. The engine had a habit of consuming excess oil and tended to suddenly accelerate unintentionally.
This, coupled with the soft brake pedals, made for a recipe of disaster, especially when the brakes would make the steering rattle and not work properly. The battery was also prone to draining.
#7 Worst Year: 2014 Honda Odyssey
After a few generally good models, the 2014 Honda Odyssey was yet another step away from the direction the Odyssey series should have been going to.
There was a flurry of problems ranging from transmission issues to electrical complications. The model showed early signs of transmission issues by jerking and general clunkiness when shifting gears.
The brakes had warped rotors, and there would be a loud crack and squealing when braking. The engine also tended to misfire, vibrating heavily and hesitating during acceleration, all with excessive oil consumption.
#8 Worst Year: 2010 Honda Odyssey
The last model of the 3rd generation, the 2010 Honda Odyssey, brought a close to what was overall a mediocre generation of vehicles.
While the number of problems decreased over the years and each model got a bit more stable, they all still had many problems in the end.
The 2010 Odyssey suffered from excess Oil consumption, broken motor mounts, vibration, stalling, and misfires. The paint was still peeling off the body, mostly above the windshield. The brakes were sub-par, and the steering was also not the best.
What Are The Most Common Problems With The Honda Odyssey?
Since we have discussed the worst years of the Honda Odyssey, you may have no doubt have seen the large trend of the same problems repeating every model.
I will list some of those common problems here for your convenience:
1. Peeling Paint
This common problem was found throughout the entire second generation of the Honda Odyssey, ranging from the 2005 model to the 2010 one. It was somewhat prominent in later models as well.
A relatively simple problem, the body’s paint would simply peel, chip, or bubble off the body and force the user to get a new paint job. This is extremely frustrating as you wouldn’t expect this to happen when you buy a brand new car.
Yet another widespread problem with the second generation, almost all models from 2005 to 2010 had a huge variety of transmission problems, most notably transmission failure, which could easily cost the owner a huge sum for replacement.
If the transmission didn’t fail by some miracle, it would be unstable and clunky, often making noises and failing to shift gears. This issue is very dangerous and can easily cause accidents in a bad spot.
Related: Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems
3. Steering Issues
Power steering is a useful feature in cars as it lowers the force needed for you to rotate the steering wheel at lower speeds.
This, unfortunately, was not the case for some Odyssey owners who had heavy steering at low speeds despite power steering. The models had whiny power steering, which was not smooth or easy.
The whine was quite common in many models of the Odyssey. The steering was so bad that the steering would sometimes pull the car towards a certain direction.
Related: Why Won’t My Honda Odyssey Start?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How Reliable Is Honda Odyssey?
The reliability of the Honda Odyssey depends on the model of your choice. Older models, which were the first of the series, are considered extremely reliable and are capable of driving even today after more than two decades.
Other models which fall into the worst years may not be as reliable. Still, overall, the series is quite reliable, especially when compared with the competitors who have had the same problems for more than 20 years and no visible fix in sight.
Q2. How Many Miles Can A Honda Odyssey Last?
The Honda Odyssey is easily capable of lasting around 200,000 miles and does so without the need for any major repairs.
There have been many cases where decades-old Honda Odysseys, manufactured in the 90s, has crossed 250,000 miles, with the only maintenance being a change in timing belts.
Responsible drivers who take care of their cars can easily ensure that they get the most bang for their buck and have their car cross even 300,000 miles.
Related: How Long Do Honda Odysseys Last?
Q3. Why Is Honda Discontinuing The Odyssey?
It has been confirmed that Honda is discontinuing the manufacture of its Odyssey series and will end production in 2022.
This decision was made as a part of the company’s plan to reshape and adjust its manufacturing operations, making sure they double down on other existing businesses, improve their efficiency, and face environmental and safety challenges head-on.
Honda will continue to manufacture the product till the end of its life cycle. There are no plans for a replacement model as of yet.
Q4. What’s The Difference Between Odyssey EX And EXL?
The Honda Odyssey comes in a variety of different trims. The EX and EXL versions, two of these trims, are very impressive to most users.
The EX version offers many solid features; however, the EXL provides users with a lot more convenience in the form of an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener, and a moon roof to boot.
The EX-L also takes things further and has leather upholstery on the first and second rows.
Q5. How Fast Is The Honda Odyssey?
The top speeds of the Honda Odyssey are based on the model in question and the engine being utilized by the model.
Being a minivan class vehicle, it is hard to think that the car can even be considered fast; however, it has been proven that the Odyssey is faster than a Lamborghini.
The Odyssey can easily match the top speeds of other supercars, despite having almost half their cylinders. Whoever said minivans are slow was dead wrong.
Honda is one of the top-selling vehicle manufacturing companies, and their brand is so widely regarded that many people will buy their products for simply being a Honda.
The same is the case for the Odyssey. Regardless of the best and worst years for Honda Odyssey, people will still buy the model. Sometimes it may be a solid one, such as the 2017 Odyssey, and other times, it might be a clunker like the 2002 Odyssey.
Now that you have read this article, you should be able to avoid the various bad models, know which generations you should stay away from, and consider only the best years for your potential purchase.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.