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We’re looking at buying a recently used minivan and are down to the 2015-2017 Odyssey and the 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica. I’ve done quite a bit of research but have always found the forums to be more reliable than a lot of other sources, so any input on the below would be appreciated (whether personal experience or what you’ve read or learned online):

  • How is the 2015-2017 Odyssey’s reliability generally? Are there any known issues / weak points that I should be aware of going in? The reviews of the Odyssey are generally favorable, but I’ve seen it ranked pretty low on reliability (including in Consumer Reports). I know earlier Odyssey generations had known transmission issues, so just wondering if there’s anything like that to be aware of that affects this generation. I’ve never owned a car with this much tech and electronics in it, so I’m particularly worried about electronics (like adjustable seats, buttons, screens, etc.) having issues and being expensive to fix.
  • Related to the reliability question, any thoughts on getting a CPO vs. non-CPO Odyssey? Do you think it’s worth it?
  • Any tips about features/options to definitely get vs. ones to avoid (or ones that have known issues)?
  • Lastly, it would be great to hear anyone’s thoughts about comparisons between the 2015-2017 Odyssey and the 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica, including reasons you chose the Odyssey over the Pacifica.
 

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IMHO. This site, is pretty good. Lots of loyal Odyssey owners, so posts are slightly biased. Lot's of good information, recommend you read "posts" on this site, with the year Odyssey you are interested in. When, you have trouble with your odyssey, this site provides DIY repairs, and other's experience dealing with "Honda".

If I were in your shoes, I would go the "Sienna" route. Honda, "quality/reliability" a thing of the past.
 

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Honda's of this vintage are reliable IF properly maintained and VCM deactivated. Proper maintenance includes a transmission fluid drain and fill every 15-30k miles along with a timing belt change at 105k miles and possible valve adjustment at 150k miles. There are no such frequent maintenance requirements for the Pacifica or Sienna.

My recent rental car experience with the Pacifica was good, especially since the vehicle had been abused for 45k miles on the streets of San Francisco. Sway bar end links were shot but it drove straight as an arrow and was by far more quiet at speed than my Odyssey. I did get some weird behavior from the transmission, but not sure how much of this was due to being hammered as a rental in hilliest city in the world.

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I cannot add much information. I have a 2012 Odyssey EX-L and my only observation when I rented a 2017 Pacifica was that the Pacifica drove a lot more like a car, a good thing for me, and was a lot quieter. My Odyssey feels bigger but drives more like a railroad car compared to the Pacifica. Reliability? I don’t know about the Pacifica, except that Chrysler generally has a poor reputation on reliability. My Odyssey at 88k miles,... I’ve had the timing belt tensioner fail at 60k miles and the CV boots on both driver and passenger side started leaking their grease. Also, one of the rear wheels has gotten quite noisy, sounds like a bearing that needs replacement. Disappointing for a Honda (especially compared to my 2003 Accura RL which in 254k miles has had only a power steering pump change and an oxygen sensor replacement) but not terrible. Though I expected better, I’m not yet disappointed with my Odyssey purchase. The Odyssey is, I think, a very useful vehicle to a typical family.

When we bought our Odyssey I was also considering the Toyota Sienna but my wife prefers the Honda driving experience. I could be wrong, but my impression is that as far as driving experience Honda and Toyota ( and by extension Acura and Lexus) cater to different types of drivers. To me Toyota gives you a sense of more isolation from the external environment, a quieter ride, say an extension of your living room into the road, the field of view of the outside environment typically being more limited while you are being insulated from the harsh reality of traveling at 70mph on a hard road. Honda seems to cater more to drivers who want to be more exposed to the driving experience itself, lets in more noise, gives you wider field of views to the outside, handles better but harsher. As a driver I’m mostly in the Toyota category and my wife in the Honda, ...so we buy Honda’s and Acuras, since she drives a lot more and for me driving experience is not a top criterion when it comes to vehicle selection. For me, were it not for the reliability I’d prefer the ride of traditional American cars like Cadillacs, Oldsmobile’s and Buicks, even though I’m an immigrant from Europe. In many ways many of you dear Americans don’t know how good you’ve got it here in the US. Living and working on the other side of the pond is not what most Americans think.
 

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We’re looking at buying a recently used minivan and are down to the 2015-2017 Odyssey and the 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica. I’ve done quite a bit of research but have always found the forums to be more reliable than a lot of other sources, so any input on the below would be appreciated (whether personal experience or what you’ve read or learned online):

  • How is the 2015-2017 Odyssey’s reliability generally? Are there any known issues / weak points that I should be aware of going in? The reviews of the Odyssey are generally favorable, but I’ve seen it ranked pretty low on reliability (including in Consumer Reports). I know earlier Odyssey generations had known transmission issues, so just wondering if there’s anything like that to be aware of that affects this generation. I’ve never owned a car with this much tech and electronics in it, so I’m particularly worried about electronics (like adjustable seats, buttons, screens, etc.) having issues and being expensive to fix.
  • Related to the reliability question, any thoughts on getting a CPO vs. non-CPO Odyssey? Do you think it’s worth it?
  • Any tips about features/options to definitely get vs. ones to avoid (or ones that have known issues)?
  • Lastly, it would be great to hear anyone’s thoughts about comparisons between the 2015-2017 Odyssey and the 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica, including reasons you chose the Odyssey over the Pacifica.
Hi,I owned 2 odyssey’s a 2009 and a 2013.was quite happy with the 09 till a accident caused me to get rid of it.The only issue I had were rotor and pad replacements on the brakes,mileage was about 75,000. Then bought a new 2013 ody. Vehicle got better gas mileage ,but was much more noisy to drive ,no insulation under hood or in fender wells ,just a very nosy vehicle to drive .I am not a brake rider or aggressive driver,however had to do brake replacements starting at 19,000 miles and continuing every 20,000 or so miles till I sold it with 85,000 miles ,when the dash screen went black and had no A/C or radio and all that had to be accessed there.Bottom line bought a 19 Pacifica a year ago ,have 18,000 miles on it.Brakes are great actually no groves in rotors,better fuel mileage ,very quiet and better performance than the Honda.So can’t say about reliability,but ,think it is a better,and more comfy vehicle so far.And all rear seats fold into floor easily when hauling ,Honda was a hassle removing second row seats ,as of now very pleased.
 

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You should also be aware that the people who hang around and comment on this forum are DIWers in much more significant proportion than the general minivan population. So, many of us do our own maintenance and are thus somewhat insulated from repair costs. For me, personally, I don’t mind a vehicle with some sort of low cost parts high labor cost defect which needs to be repaired regularly. For example, if the timing belt tensioner kept failing every 40k miles on my Odyssey, its not expensive, I’d learn to replace it efficiently, and be happy. A worse scenario for me is a vehicle where different things go bad at frequent time intervals, requiring me to learn a different part of the vehicle every time. To someone who is not a DIWer it does not make a difference. They have to pay the standard repair cost whether it’s the same thing breaking all the time or something different.
 

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Other random musings:

To me, the middle and rear seats in the Odyssey are more comfortable than the Pacifica or Sienna, if less roomy. Stow n Go is amazing, but seating comfort takes a hit.

Offset crash ratings on the Sienna are suspect.

The entertainment center on the Odyssey is as arcane as it is slow. There are also fewer USB outlets in the Odyssey.


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Never rely on those BS reviews. These days they are not true 100%.

For your question specifically, Odyssey all day over the Chrysler.

On the other hand, sienna verus odyssey? Sienna no question for reliability.
 

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Yeah, having spent the better part of a week as a rear passenger in a Pacifica...those stow n blow seats, well...blow. But kids might not mind em. The Odyssey handles better than both the Pacifica and Sienna, IMO.


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I think Consumer Reports showed the 17 Pacifica as pretty crappy reliability-wise. Odyssey was decent if memory serves. Sienna, Odyssey and Pacifica are all suspect safety-wise, but Odyssey perhaps less so: informedforlife.org. Good thing you want a 17 or older. Per Consumer Reports and informedforlife.org, your choices all suck 2018 and up. Best choice if you want a safe and reliable newer people and stuff hauler might be a Kia Sorento.


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Short term or long term? If you only need a minivan for a few years and don't mind a resale hit then the Pacifica might be for you. But beyond 75k on the clock, good luck.

The Odyssey; well documented here; disable the VCM, the OEM front brakes are crappy (tons of cheaper/better aftermarket alternatives that you or a trusted local shop can throw on there for you) and transmission fluid swaps. I just did a trans fluid swap on my Toyota Avalon last night, like the Odyssey I can do them in about 20 minutes now and it makes a huge difference (in both), easy and cheap too. I will be adding an transmission cooler to our '16 EXL/RES in the Spring and I added a Scan Gauge II to monitor (unnecessary, but FUN!). We got our '16 used with 41k on the clock, I spent $450 and DIY'ed the above and the Odyssey drives fantastic, better than new (no surging, funky trans shifting, bad braking). The Muzzle install is easy and trans fluid not much too it, total DIY even for a novice. Brakes are a bit more challenging (and messy) but doable, depends on your skill level. That's about it, we love our EXL!

Sienna's, there's no dipstick. You can't easily do a transmission fluid update and these vans need it too (despite what Toyota says). Our neighbor has a well family used '15 and it's nice, but they don't do trans fluid swaps and it shifts rough. They've had to do front brakes as well but had no other issues. It's very nice, not bashing it but we've had our issues with Toyota's too (the transmission on my '07 Avalon had to be rebuilt at 80k miles!). Between my close family, we have two Odyssey's and two Sienna's currently; if that tells you anything. ;)

CPO gives you piece of mind, I guess, but just how well you're going to be taken care of depends on the dealer IMHO.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Short term or long term? If you only need a minivan for a few years and don't mind a resale hit then the Pacifica might be for you. But beyond 75k on the clock, good luck.

The Odyssey; well documented here; disable the VCM, the OEM front brakes are crappy (tons of cheaper/better aftermarket alternatives that you or a trusted local shop can throw on there for you) and transmission fluid swaps. I just did a trans fluid swap on my Toyota Avalon last night, like the Odyssey I can do them in about 20 minutes now and it makes a huge difference (in both), easy and cheap too. I will be adding an transmission cooler to our '16 EXL/RES in the Spring and I added a Scan Gauge II to monitor (unnecessary, but FUN!). We got our '16 used with 41k on the clock, I spent $450 and DIY'ed the above and the Odyssey drives fantastic, better than new (no surging, funky trans shifting, bad braking). The Muzzle install is easy and trans fluid not much too it, total DIY even for a novice. Brakes are a bit more challenging (and messy) but doable, depends on your skill level. That's about it, we love our EXL!

Sienna's, there's no dipstick. You can't easily do a transmission fluid update and these vans need it too (despite what Toyota says). Our neighbor has a well family used '15 and it's nice, but they don't do trans fluid swaps and it shifts rough. They've had to do front brakes as well but had no other issues. It's very nice, not bashing it but we've had our issues with Toyota's too (the transmission on my '07 Avalon had to be rebuilt at 80k miles!). Between my close family, we have two Odyssey's and two Sienna's currently; if that tells you anything. ;)

CPO gives you piece of mind, I guess, but just how well you're going to be taken care of depends on the dealer IMHO.

Good luck!
Thanks. Just out of curiosity, why do you say "beyond 75k on the clock, good luck"? I get that Chrysler isn't known for great reliability, but the Pacifica's only been out 2 years so the long-term reliability isn't totally clear yet and there are already a fairly large number of 100k mile+ Pacificas for sale nationwide for $15k+. I just ask because I hear people on this forum and on others speak poorly of the Pacifica's reliability, but there are never really specifics given (i.e. specific known or recurring issues, weak points, etc), and then they often proceed to say the Odyssey is better as long as you disable this, install that, do this yourself, do these fluid swaps this often, etc.

I don't mean to be facetious at all by the way, I really appreciate all the help here, I am just wondering if there are specific reasons to be concerned about the Pacifica's long-term reliability, other than just because Chrysler's reliability generally is suspect (which is of course a totally valid reason to be concerned). The upshot I'm getting here is that (i) the Pacifica isn't viewed as very reliable, in general because Chrysler's reliability generally is poor but not necessarily because there are XYZ known weak points, and that (ii) the Odyssey is arguably more reliable (at least, Honda historically has been known for better reliability than Chrysler), but you need to be aware of certain weak points (like the transmission), stay on top of certain things (like more regular fluid changes and maintenance items than may be strictly recommended) and potentially be able or willing to do certain things yourself.
 

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If the Pacifica is reliable beyond 75K, it will be the first Chrysler product in history. ;)

I'm a HUGE Fan of the Charger and Challengers, came close to buying a Charger. Until you look at the write-ups of those that have over 80-90k on them and all the issues that start to appear. "Minor" problems like the cam flattening due to cheap roller bearings blowing your engine up. All kinds of Electrical/IT integration issues, update problems, transmissions issues, etc. in the BRAND. I know a few people that have the Pacifica's and in the 30s-50k range they seem to be doing okay with minor issues (like brakes but here in Odyssey land we're not throwing any stones!) but they shift a bit quirky, rear seats are funky and drive a bit truck like.

I got a top of the line Pacifica as a rental 7-8 months ago (driving by myself like I NEEDED a minivan!) and it's appointments were nice, well built and solid and MAN was it stiff. I beat the crap out of me for the few days that I had it, maybe the Uber leather seats didn't help? I don't know but I went from that right to our '16 EXL and I was glad to be "home."

Honda's reliability has taken a hit, and we know how to fix it and it's pretty easy. Should you HAVE too? No, it's kind of ridiculous. If you don't want to mess with any of this stuff, get a Sienna and just be prepared to pay for transmission fluid updates (which they'll try to talk you out of but you'll instantly feel the difference once you do it!). My '07 Avalon says right on the dipstick "ATF Fluid should never need to be changed..." and man, an update on it last night and it drives like a new car.

It could be the Pacifica will end up being a more reliable, long term vehicle but I personally wouldn't place my money on this bet. That's just me.

Good luck!

From Edmunds.com:

What’s new
  • Trim levels reduced to four choices
  • Some previously optional features are now standard
  • A Red S Appearance package debuts
  • Minor cosmetic changes to the interior
  • Part of the first Pacifica minivan generation introduced for the 2017 model year
Pros & Cons
  • Easy to transform from people hauler to cargo transport
  • Upscale look of the interior design and materials
  • Many available convenience, safety and luxury features
  • All-around visibility is excellent
  • Second- and third-row seats aren't as roomy or comfortable as rivals'
  • Nine-speed transmission occasionally exhibits clunky or slow shifts
  • Seat padding is on the firm side
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the Pacifica is reliable beyond 75K, it will be the first Chrysler product in history. ;)

I'm a HUGE Fan of the Charger and Challengers, came close to buying a Charger. Until you look at the write-ups of those that have over 80-90k on them and all the issues that start to appear. "Minor" problems like the cam flattening due to cheap roller bearings blowing your engine up. All kinds of Electrical/IT integration issues, update problems, transmissions issues, etc. in the BRAND. I know a few people that have the Pacifica's and in the 30s-50k range they seem to be doing okay with minor issues (like brakes but here in Odyssey land we're not throwing any stones!) but they shift a bit quirky, rear seats are funky and drive a bit truck like.

I got a top of the line Pacifica as a rental 7-8 months ago (driving by myself like I NEEDED a minivan!) and it's appointments were nice, well built and solid and MAN was it stiff. I beat the crap out of me for the few days that I had it, maybe the Uber leather seats didn't help? I don't know but I went from that right to our '16 EXL and I was glad to be "home."

Honda's reliability has taken a hit, and we know how to fix it and it's pretty easy. Should you HAVE too? No, it's kind of ridiculous. If you don't want to mess with any of this stuff, get a Sienna and just be prepared to pay for transmission fluid updates (which they'll try to talk you out of but you'll instantly feel the difference once you do it!). My '07 Avalon says right on the dipstick "ATF Fluid should never need to be changed..." and man, an update on it last night and it drives like a new car.

It could be the Pacifica will end up being a more reliable, long term vehicle but I personally wouldn't place my money on this bet. That's just me.

Good luck!

From Edmunds.com:

What’s new
  • Trim levels reduced to four choices
  • Some previously optional features are now standard
  • A Red S Appearance package debuts
  • Minor cosmetic changes to the interior
  • Part of the first Pacifica minivan generation introduced for the 2017 model year
Pros & Cons
  • Easy to transform from people hauler to cargo transport
  • Upscale look of the interior design and materials
  • Many available convenience, safety and luxury features
  • All-around visibility is excellent
  • Second- and third-row seats aren't as roomy or comfortable as rivals'
  • Nine-speed transmission occasionally exhibits clunky or slow shifts
  • Seat padding is on the firm side
Thanks Andrew, very helpful.
 

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I’d only consider the Odyssey or the Sienna. The Toyota offering probably better long term reliability but I find the Odyssey ergonomically better And slightly better inside. Anything made by Chrysler is more or less disposable. We’ve had our 2014 Odyssey EX-L for 43,000 of its 83,000 miles and its been completely trouble free. Oil changes, brakes, tires, and tranny drain and fill. That’s it. It may be for sale very soon though since my kids are out of car seats now and wife wants something smaller.
 

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I imagine you posted on the Chrysler forum too? Just see what kinds of problems they report and if the weaknesses are concentrated in one area then you could preemptively watch out for them, perhaps learn to DIY fix the few frequent repairs and be fine with the Pacifica. I too have driven and liked the Pacifica but don’t know it’s general reliability. I’m just going on Chrysler’s general reputation. It could be that they decided and managed to start addressing a different market segment (reliability seeking customers) staring with the Pacifica.
 

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Lets see, I've owned a Fiat, a couple Pontiacs, Chevys, a Subrau, a couple Fords and several VWs including 3 TDI diesels. Oh, throw a Mercedes and an Imperial! I consider the Hondas to be right up with the best. Almost a luxury vehicle. They hold up very well when properly maintained. Maintenance cost isn't bad if you stay away from the stealerships! I see lots of Dodge/Chrysler minivans in the area. They don't appear to hold up well. The Pacifica appears to be holding their own, but time will probably not be in its favor. Chrysler is forcing new vehicles on their dealers who already have full lots. Some dealerships in my area have gone out of business. Two of the Pacifica lines had to be shut down this past year. I'm afraid Chrysler/Dodge are headed out. If I were to go long term, I would not consider the Pacifica. Here is a interesting read on Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge and family: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/fiat-chrysler-cars-dodge-alfa-romeo-srt/. The Fiat was my first vehicle. A Fiat 1100. I brought it used in 1965. It used as much oil as it did gas. But it got me through my first year of college. Fun vehicle to drive with a 4 speed manual on the column and suicide front doors.
 

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We bought a 2016 EX-L CPO in late 2017 with 21,000 miles. We traded it two weeks ago for a new 2020 Elite. The 2016 had significant transmission issues, and the Honda warranty decision-makers were avoiding a replacement of torque converter or transmission. We brought it in repeatedly, and each they Honda directed the dealership to perform a triple flush and update software, and said that the next time there was an issue they would replace. But each time they decided to flush again. When it would act up, if felt like we were being rear-ended when it would shift from second to third gear. Since it was hauling around my wife and grandchildren, that was not acceptable. Buying new, I looked at all the usual suspects and nothing compared to the new Elite. Here's hoping the extended warranty I purchased is never needed...
 

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I've owned a 2001 Ody EX-? and own a 2016 Ody LX. The 2001 Ody was at the point of requiring more repairs than is was worth. It needed all new door locks and auto latches for over $2K if I did the work. Had I known of the ridiculous VCM joke foisted on the consumer by Honda (worth millions $'s to Honda) I would have chosen a Sienna instead. After disabling the VCM the ride is much improved and handles much more like a car than the '01.

I drove a Pacifica as a rental for 10 days through Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. It has some features I thought were very useful. The full console held my wife's purse and other travel junk with exceeding convenience. The braking system seemed more solid and reliable than my '16 Ody. But, it was gutless. I had problems accelerating and the transmission felt like a Chrysler. My mother has stow 'n go seating. I don't sit in the back. It is just as easy to remove seats in a Honda than stow/unstow the go seats. She uses the space for her electric scooter.

I can 'one up' the comments on the Ody here, brakes, maintenance, eats tires, tranny fluid changes (I had the dealer put on the tranny cooler before it got to 100 miles), VCM disable, timing belt, etc. I chose the LX so there is less technology to fail over time. I did not consider the current Gen problems with the infotainment and tranny failures of it not being designed/integrated properly before production.

If you are looking at a Pacifica site and this for complaints you are on the right track. The decision is yours and it is up to you to be informed as possible. If I had to replace my '16 Ody LX tomorrow I would go with the Sienna lowest tech option available. iPads and tablets can be had for cheap so my kids can watch movies. Makes a nice disciplinary measure to take it away to improve behavior as well. They (tablets not kids) can be replaced much easier and cheaper than that inbuilt infotainment crap that will fail if it works at all presently.

There is a rally good thread here about the '16 odys from new buyers. Good luck.
 
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