<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike McBride:
OK folks, it's true. Please refer to page 183 of the Consumer Reports 2002 Buying Guide to see that the (new-99+) full sized Odyssey is on "The Worst Used Cars" list. In other words, don't buy this piece of junk. Specifically the 99 model. Since the 2000 has no mechanical or hardware changes, it can be safely assumed that it too is on this same list for the 2003 issue. The 2001 Ody has some minor changes but only the 2002 and on have significant changes to the motor and transmission. Furthermore, I verified with two dealerships in the Seattle area that the tranys have had some troubles and the cost of replacement to you (they don't do tear downs because of the labor involved) will be $6,800 !!! The unit costs about $4,800 and the labor is about $2,000. This is not good folks. The good news is this... NADA shows the resale is upside down, meaning that a used Ody could sell for more than MSRP right now. See page 82 of the Northwest regional edition for January 2002. I own a 2000LX and have suspected all along that it lacked quality for many reasons. I have had several problems such as shakes, won't start, rough engine, body panels not aligned, doors stuck, squeaks & rattles, paint chips easy, etc. Let's face it, these are not good family vans. A family should never risk facing a possible $7,000 bill for ANY car repair on a component that can occasionally fail, especially on an expensive vehicle where most folks paid OVER M.S.R.P. because of an expectation of reliability and quality. I'm just sorry I bought into the hype and purchased one of these things. Good luck everybody, I'm putting mine up for sale.</font>
Some real information (and not "safe" assumptions)-
First, the 2002 Buyers guide used the same data as published in the April 2001 Cars edition. In it, the 1999 Odyssey fell below average for overall reliability, based on the survey returns from subscribers. For that reason, it was placed on the Used Cars to Avoid list. CR's reliability data is completely based on subscriber survey returns, and therefore does not rely on any editorial content regarding model year changes.
I wrote CR about the lower reliability in the 4/2001 issue. So did another reader on the Edmund's Odyssey forum. CR replied to both of us. They claimed the main complaint causing the reduced reliability rating was the power sliding doors. These were particularly problematic in 1999 (also first year of production), and even had recalls.
The April, 2002 edition will be going to press within a month with the latest subscriber survey returns. It is worth noting that their online subscriber area already has the latest tabulations. These are the same ones contained in the email by mhellman. Based on those ratings, every year Odyssey has a red (above average) or black (average) check mark for overall reliability. Therefore, no Odyssey should remain on the Used Cars to Avoid list, unless more surveys are returned and change the tabulations before press time.
So, Mr. Mcbride, I wouldn't worry too much. Your LX does not have the power doors that affect the Electrical and Power Equipment categories which bring down the overall rating, and the new surveys show improved overall reliability anyway. Also, if you are within your 3/36 warranty, you can still purchase an extended Hondacare warranty if you think you will really need it. You'll get roadside, rental car coverage and have a lot less hassle than selling your van.
Indeed, if you are a believer of Consumer Reports, you will note that the average problem rate is 0.2 problems per vehicle over the last 12 months. That means most vehicles are actually pretty reliable, though there will always be some lemons that get a lot of attention in online forums. Personally, I think these ARE
good family vans. A family should NEVER face increased risk for injury to any member in a crash. Odyssey gets top ratings in all the crash tests, has the best rollover rating among minivans and has an excellent assortment of advanced safety features. It also has a weight and length advantage and a unibody chassis which can all help in crashes. I hope your new vehicle is a Sienna or Windstar, otherwise it may not equal the Odyssey in terms of safety.
[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 01-18-2002).]