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Discussion Starter #1
This is my impression after having our RRP EXL-RES for three days and putting about 80 miles on it. Since this was a replacement for my 01 I will try to sum up the differences. I’m sure that some of my initial thoughts and opinions will change over time but this is how I see it now.

Build Quality


Fit & Finish – Our 02 definitely has a slightly better build quality in terms of body panel alignment than the 01. The 01 was plagued with miss-aligned doors and non-uniform fit between the various panels. The 02 is much better but there are still some issues. The passengers side rear vent window is out of alignment and angles down towards the rear. I think I'll fix this myself, since I don’t trust any of the nearby dealers to handle it without making something else worse. The passenger front door is also miss-aligned slightly. It’s not terrible so I will fix that one myself also. The areas just behind the rear wheel wells are very flimsy (a carry over from 99 ~ 01). Installing the mug guards took care of that and now that area is very rigid. Both sun visors seem to hang down from the ceiling when they are in the retracted position. My 01 fit snug against the headliner when retracted. Not sure how to fix that one yet. Any input would be appreciated. All in all, pretty minor stuff.

Paint/Color - My biggest worry! So far, the paint job looks good. I’ve washed it once and I haven’t been able to see anything abnormal except a few smudge marks on the passenger sliding door. Looks like they are under the factory clear coat. Good enough so far. The color? My wife is very happy with the RRP and that’s what counts. I don’t necessarily dislike it, but it will have to grow on me a little. It is a dramatic change from the SS. I remember the SS color being a shock when we bought it as a replacement for our Black 2000 Accord EX-V6.

Wheels – They’re OK. I think I prefer the 01 in terms of appearance but again, they will grow on me I’m sure.

Grill & Tail lights – I like the changes here. Fresh look and the amber taillights add some dimension to the van. Then again, I like the look of the LX black door handles and side moldings better than the body colored ones. It breaks up that monotone look.

Interior


Leather – In one word. Awesome! I still can’t get over the transformation that took place by adding the leather. It really makes this van feel like it’s approaching the luxury category. Very refined throughout. I don’t agree that the vinyl backs feel cheap as some have posted. This interior is very well done.

Heated Seats – What can I say. I live in the Chicago area. It gets cold. This is a welcome feature. I do think it should have been an option however because people who live in Southern California for example will generally not need this feature. But if they want leather they don’t have choice in the matter.

Lumbar Support – I’m sure some of the after market powered systems work better but still,this is a welcome addition. The adjustment is easier than on earlier Hondas but the range of travel is pretty small.

RES – Again, awesome. This system is done so well. I’ve only seen three or four factory supplied systems but this one takes the cake. It is very flexible and user friendly once you figure it out and in my opinion it is well worth the money. Not to mention that it’s DVD based. They could have easily charged more for this system. Even the rear passenger headset volume control & aux input panel is lighted. Well thought out. The single drawback that I can see is that it was necessary to lose most of the front console drawer storage space to make room for the DVD head unit. Although there is still a small drawer, its nothing to brag about. This is true also of the passengers left rear storage compartment that had to give up a little real estate to make way for the headset & aux input panel.

New Features:
To numerous to mention but the minor improvements just add insult to injury as far as the competition is concerned. More handles, hangers and conveniences to up the ante on an already impressive list of features.

Magic Seat
– Bummer! Our new magic seat doesn’t lay completely flat just as the 01 didn’t. I was hoping Honda would wrestle this thing to the ground. It’s hard to imagine why Honda can’t control their suppliers on the tolerances for these seats. Other than that it works fine and is obviously still one of the strongest selling points for the ody.

Sound Quality – Maybe I’m getting old but I’ve worked in the sound field all of my life and while I agree the sound isn’t equivalent to my studio monitors it is very good for a stock, no frills factory system. Frequency response is solid and still transparent. When parked, and not being masked by road noise, the low end is strong. Sure a 200-watt Bose or JBL system would make a world of difference but from reading prior posts I was ready for complete trash. This will work just fine for me. Maybe some speaker swaps here and there. A subwoofer would help for on the road but isn’t needed when standing still.

Performance


Brakes – I feel that the 4 wheel discs make a very noticeable difference. Much smoother. I don’t have the feeling that I need to slam on the brakes to bring the van to a stop.

Suspension – Feels heavy and doesn’t seem to grip the road like my 01. Not that it is bad by any means, just different. The steering seems sloppy at low speeds. A better way to put it would be that it feels like you would expect it to feel when it’s three years old. Good, but not brand new and tight feeling. Could be the new tires. Dunno’

Engine – Noisy. More so than the 01. I don’t know why but it sounds more strained. Even at idle. I get a sensation as if a feed through grommet was left out of the firewall and the sound was coming through. I think I’ll check. Maybe that did happen. It is definitely louder than I am used to with the 01 ody. Although I haven’t worked the engine yet, because I want to break it in gently, I don’t really notice much of a difference concerning the added 40HP. I imagine that when I can open it up a little I will feel it. Especially in the middle of it’s power range.

Transmission – Rough shifting both up and down. I think I have a problem here. It doesn’t feel real smooth and seems to have a slight amount of slipping at low speed when I let off and then reapply the gas pedal. Also, there is a rather loud wining or whistling sound when it enters second gear. the sound continues on through third gear then disappears when it shifts into fourth. I am going to give it a week or so to see if it has to do with break-in. If it’s not better by then I’ll take it in for diagnosis. I had a problem with my 2000 Accord trans at 600 miles and Honda replaced it without a question. We might all want to watch this one and see if mine is isolated. (as a side note, it would be great if we could track problems by model year on the forum)

Ride Quality/Road Noise – Not impressed. I really can’t see any difference between this and the 01. Road noise seems no better or worse. I know Honda insulated, changed the suspension, and developed new tires with Michelin but it’s just as noisy as before. The wind noise is even higher than the 01. I’ll have to check out my door seals to see what is up. There were no body changes so why would the 02 be any louder?

I also have tons of rattles. So many that I can’t even tell easily where they are coming from when I’m driving. I’m going to have my wife drive me around while I isolate them one at a time and see if they can be eliminated.

Miscellaneous – Gas sloshing sound is unchanged for 02. Not a big deal but someone in a earlier post asked if it was fixed.

Didn’t drive enough to do any meaningful mileage checks. I’ll do that one later.

Enough said. Remember these are just my opinions after a few days of ownership. I am anxious to hear if others have similar observations.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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Thanks tomhan, and all you other new owners for sharing opinions about their new Ody with us. I promise to do same when I get ours (02 MB EXL). I am glad to hear that the leather seats are well done. What about that "extra" bolstering that Honda touts? Do you feel any difference in seat comfort? I was hoping that the increased soundproofing might reduce road noise. The rattles do not sound like Honda. I Hope that you and Honda can resolve any quality control? issues promptly. Great web site!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dvl:

Thanks tomhan, and all you other new owners for sharing opinions about their new Ody with us. I promise to do same when I get ours (02 MB EXL). I am glad to hear that the leather seats are well done. What about that "extra" bolstering that Honda touts? Do you feel any difference in seat comfort? I was hoping that the increased soundproofing might reduce road noise. The rattles do not sound like Honda. I Hope that you and Honda can resolve any quality control? issues promptly. Great web site!
</font>
Good point DVL. I forgot to mention that the extra seat bolstering is nice. More cushy for sure. The center row seats are very comfortable. I imagine they will be great on long trips.

I do have certain times where I am more sensative to random sounds such as road noise. I'll give it awhile and see if I still feel the same after a little more experience. It's physically impossible to not have made some degree of improvement in noise level by making the changes Honda made.
(insulation, suspension, tires,,,)

I agree, the rattles are not common for the ody. At least not to this degree. Actually, I won't even involve Honda on that issue. I'm sure I can hunt the culprits down and eliminate them, most likely better than the dealer, because I can take my time. Not a mojor issue at all. I guess my first mod will be to "make it rite".

The only concern is the transmission and I suspect at least some of what I feel may just be break in issues. The transmission does have a period of "learning" the drivers habits. So far I really don't have any issues tht worry me.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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What is the "sloshing" sound in the gas tank exactly? I've been driving my 2002 for a week and noticed a strange sound coming from the rear whenever I make an abrupt stop. It is very similar to the sound from a watermelon rolling in the trunk and hitting the walls, a heavy, thud-like feeling. This only happens when I have close to a full tank of gas.

-Fan
 

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A watermelon: yep, that's it. Eventually, mine became a cantaloupe, then an orange, and now I hardly hear it.


...and I hear everything.



[This message has been edited by MerpsMom (edited 10-07-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by fanyu:
What is the "sloshing" sound in the gas tank exactly? I've been driving my 2002 for a week and noticed a strange sound coming from the rear whenever I make an abrupt stop. It is very similar to the sound from a watermelon rolling in the trunk and hitting the walls, a heavy, thud-like feeling. This only happens when I have close to a full tank of gas.

-Fan
</font>
Yep...That's it. The famuos gas tank sloshing sound. It's caused by the fact that the gas tank had to be made an irregular shape because of space restrictions caused by the rear cargo hold. It's not a problem and eventually you will just tune it out.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok. We went out driving again on Sunday to see basically if I'm going crazy or just being oversensative. My wife agrees that our new ody rides much harsher and is noiser than the 01. So just before I left for work this moring I decided to take a quick look at her tire pressure. Guess what. The tires are supposed to be 36psi all around and I found them to be 42psi cold. I didn't have a chance to adjust and check out the difference but this has got to be playing a roll in the rough ride. Here's my real concern. I have piece of paper in my hand certifying that the dealers technician checked and adjusted the pressure prior to delivery. If he didn't check something as basic as the tires, how many other items on the list were skipped? Does anyone out there know of steps the dealer has to take to prepare the ody for delivery other than the items on the delivery check list? I plan to recheck everything on the list but I wonder if there are other items that dealers are supposed to do.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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Yeah, the tires at 42psi cold would certainly contribute to a rough ride! Because if anything, I would think the '02 should ride a little better due to different suspension settings (although it doesn't seem like it would be a BIG difference).
The Symmetrys are known to be a bit noisy-is that the kind of noise you are hearing? Did your '01 have different tires?
I would have the dealer go through the whole checklist again, because as you mentioned, you have to wonder what else they may have missed!

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RRP EX Navi on the way-finally!
Forget world peace-visualize using your turn signal!!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ody:
Yeah, the tires at 42psi cold would certainly contribute to a rough ride! Because if anything, I would think the '02 should ride a little better due to different suspension settings (although it doesn't seem like it would be a BIG difference).
The Symmetrys are known to be a bit noisy-is that the kind of noise you are hearing? Did your '01 have different tires?
I would have the dealer go through the whole checklist again, because as you mentioned, you have to wonder what else they may have missed!

</font>
Thanks ODY,

Yes, they are Symmetrys but I read somewhere that Honda and Michelin came up with a new design for all 02 models to help reduce the road noise. I have a pretty high level of road (tire) noise. It starts at roughly 40 mph. The second noise source is transmitted through the suspension on even the smallest of bumps. It's sound is similar to the sound you might hear on an older car with worn out strut mounts. I think this will be reduced to some degree when I lower that pressure back down to 36 as recommended.

As far as the dealer checking things out, I truly don't have a dealer in this area that I trust. I can run down the normal delivery list myself. I was wondering if any one knows of any other routine the dealer tech performs, say on the suspension prior to delivery. I've heard of some manufacturers installing spacers or clamps in the springs to minimize travel during transportation.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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Check the Problems and Concerns forum-there is a thread there about soundproofing that has some great ideas others have used.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:

I said initially the the color would probably grow on me. Wow was that an understatement. Took it out today in the sunlight for a few quick pics and boy, it is really a nice color. There is one area on the passengers slider where the paint apparently got brushed at the factory and then clear coated over. I wouldn't dare let anyone try to repair it. The rest of the paint is beatiful so my wife and I have decided this minor flaw will be considered the vans birthmark. <font color=green>Beautiful!</font>


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See my Pics

Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES

[This message has been edited by tomhan (edited 10-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by tomhan (edited 10-09-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have considered it! My version however would have shackels for the kids. NOT!


It would be interesting though if Honda made a pickup based on the ODY.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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Tomhan,
Your comments on the new van are very interesting. The noise issue is especially high on my list. You describe the front suspension noise very well and I cannot find anything which would cause such "racket". Also, your remarks re steering sound right. I can tell you that tires will not do you much good there, since I have had my XGT-H4s inflated to 40 psi and still feel the steering is not too good. Honda missed on that item, which is unfortunate, since it is something which is in constant use. I find the slow ratio (as compared to my '94 DC van) to be especially annoying when making right turns around town. Even after nine months of ownership, I must make a conscious effort to keep from hanging out in the other lane as I make the turn. Compared to the Odyssey, the DC steering was "racecar" quick.

Jerry O. 2001 GG LX
 

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I picked up my SS EX L today. Can't find anything wrong. It is tight and rattle free so far. If it is as good as my 99 EX, I will me happy.
I did the installation on the Poron reverse sensor this afternoon. I got the instructions from errol. (See Odyclub spects)I did take almost 3 hours because my color perception saw 3 green wires. It now works great! Best $105 I have spent.
First impression is more power and the leather seats are very comfortable.
Again, thanks errol!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jerry O:
Tomhan,
Your comments on the new van are very interesting. The noise issue is especially high on my list. You describe the front suspension noise very well and I cannot find anything which would cause such "racket". Also, your remarks re steering sound right. I can tell you that tires will not do you much good there, since I have had my XGT-H4s inflated to 40 psi and still feel the steering is not too good. Honda missed on that item, which is unfortunate, since it is something which is in constant use. I find the slow ratio (as compared to my '94 DC van) to be especially annoying when making right turns around town. Even after nine months of ownership, I must make a conscious effort to keep from hanging out in the other lane as I make the turn. Compared to the Odyssey, the DC steering was "racecar" quick.

Jerry O. 2001 GG LX
</font>
Jerry,
That's interesting. My 01 EX seemed effortless at low speed turns, or at any speed for that matter. I used to comment on how nice and smooth it felt. The 02 is very different and somewhat sluggish. It seems to fight against me when I'm trying to turn.

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Tom
2002 RP EXL-RES
 

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I'm concerned reading these posts as I'm about 2-3 weeks from delivery of my EX-L RRP Ody. Did anyone testdrive an 02 before they bought it? I don't know if its possible to do that or not these days. I'm buying the 02 based on my experiences in test driving the 01. I loved the 01, but is basing my purchase of an 02 on that a mistake?

HELP!
Killroy
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Killroy:
I'm concerned reading these posts as I'm about 2-3 weeks from delivery of my EX-L RRP Ody. Did anyone testdrive an 02 before they bought it? I don't know if its possible to do that or not these days. I'm buying the 02 based on my experiences in test driving the 01. I loved the 01, but is basing my purchase of an 02 on that a mistake?

HELP!
Killroy
</font>
I have had my SS 2002 EX Nav for almost one month (1100 miles) and have not experienced any of the problems described above. The panels all line up perfectly, the paint looks fine, the car is as quiet as my Chrysler 300M, it handles incredibly well for a 4000 lb + vehicle, in fact better that many sedans that I have driven. The doors work fine, the acceleration is terrific. I might not be hearing or seeing what the others are seeing but I am very happy with the car. The only drawback is that the mileage isn't as good as I expected, however I have not done much highway driving yet, and I have done a lot of stop and go during the break-in period.


[This message has been edited by LHOdy (edited 10-12-2001).]

[This message has been edited by LHOdy (edited 10-12-2001).]

[This message has been edited by LHOdy (edited 10-12-2001).]
 

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kilroy:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm concerned reading these posts as I'm about 2-3 weeks from delivery of my EX-L RRP Ody. Did anyone testdrive an 02 before they bought it? I don't know if its possible to do that or not these days.</font>
Give me a call, guy. Be happy to let you try it out.
 
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