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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.
 

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Well, I'm sorry you've had such a terrible time. I hope you buy a Sienna because that is the only other minivan that DOESN'T have a lot of troubles. I really haven't had any trouble with my '00 LX, but I bought the HondaCare anyway. As for the '99 being a piece of junk, it's very common for a new model to have trouble the first year out. Ask Ford about the Escape. At least now you'll get top dollar for your Ody. Good Luck.
 

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Being an owner of an 02 Ody, I will not recommend my friends to buy an used Ody. I did not expect Honda to make cars at such quality.
 

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This seems to contradict what I've seen from CR about the Odyssey. The 2002 Odyssey is their top rated minivan (I believe the 2001 was also). I've got a copy of the most recent CR reliability rating. Log into www.hotmail.com as honda_odyssey/2002ody. Look at the message "Consumer Reports rating" (I didn't have a convenient way to link the picture here...I assume it's got to be a valid URL?).

When I hear things like:
"...it can be safely assumed that it too is on this same list for the 2003 issue..."

It makes me wonder what was really said by CR. Either CR has conflicting information or you're assumptions are wrong. Can you post what was said without making assumptions or paraphrasing? Not trying to attack you, I'm really just curious at this point.

<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>
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mhellman:
Log into www.hotmail.com as honda_odyssey/2002ody. Look at the message "Consumer Reports rating".
</font>
Could you provide the password?




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'02 Ody EX-L(Mods: still considering options).
'96 Maxima SE(Mods: FSTB, RSTB, RSB, Winter Blizzaks on GXE rims).
'87 Honda mower(No mods).
 

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All Consumer Reports has is a list of used cars to avoid. The 1999 Honda Odessey is on the list. It doesn't say why...

When you look at the breakdown for the model year the only things that were avg or worse for the '99 are:

Electrical (slightly worse than avg)
Brakes (avg)
Integrity (avg)
Hardware (much worse than avg)

All else was better than avg or excellent. Engine and transmission both recieved excellent scores.

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2002 EXL-RES Redrock Pearl

2001 Chevy 2500HD crewcab 4x4
 

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The only reason that Consumer Reports has the 1999 Odyssey on their avoid list is that they make it a policy to not to recommend cars in their first year of production.
Otherwise the Odyssey was always their top rated minivan from 2000 on.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The only reason that Consumer Reports has the 1999 Odyssey on their avoid list is that they make it a policy to not to recommend cars in their first year of production.
B]</font>


It is not true that CR has this policy. Several cars in their first year of production are recommended. The 99 Odyssey did have problems, particularly with its electrical system. To Honda's credit they seemed to have fixed it, and 00 and 01 are recommended used cars (as are, incidentally, all previous generations Odyssey's.
 

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I know the Ody isn't perfect, but have you checked the competition? The Ford,Chrysler and GM vans in this size range are not any better. Chrysler has had problems with trannys(BIG $), Ford has had problems with engines and GM with poor trim and build quality.

The Sienna and MPV are OK, but they're smaller, so they don't count. It's hard to build a big steel box that's fuel efficient AND safe. Also, from a purely economic(residual value)point of view you have to buy an Ody.

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'96 Odyssey, 260,000Kms and a
'90 Accord, 219,000Kms
 

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<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.

Good luck!

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 01-18-2002).]
 

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That's a good point to remember that we all should be aware of... the CR reports are based on SUBSCRIBER surveys and those who return them. How many of us are current subscribers? I for one am not. A couple questions to ponder... Have they surveyed Ody owners other than their subscribers? Probably not. And how many subscibers are Ody owners? Probably a very small percentage.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by vquan:
That's a good point to remember that we all should be aware of... the CR reports are based on SUBSCRIBER surveys and those who return them. How many of us are current subscribers? I for one am not. A couple questions to ponder... Have they surveyed Ody owners other than their subscribers? Probably not. And how many subscibers are Ody owners? Probably a very small percentage.</font>
I subscribe and have found their reliability survey results to be extremely accurate with my experiences. This includes cars they've rated high as well as low. (I've owned plenty of both types!)

You are correct that CR only surveys subscribers. However, CR subscribers are subscribers because they like or depend on CR. For obvious reasons, your typical CR subscriber is more likely to own a Odyssey or Sienna (or the other minivans at the top of their list) than any other minivan. So CR is a good source for unbiased reliability information. (If you've got a better source, please cite it.)

CR is widely read. According to a '92 report at their website, their circulation was 5 million and it's likely much higher today. (In addition, many people read CR at their local library.) Even if only 1% of those 5 million bought an Ody and only 1% (both these figures are probably way under the true figures) of them responded to the survey, we're still talking about the experiences of 50000 Ody owners! You can easily draw decent conclusions from that many owners.

Just because you don't subscribe to CR doesn't mean their conclusions are meaningless.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by donlibes:
I subscribe and have found their reliability survey results to be extremely accurate with my experiences. This includes cars they've rated high as well as low. (I've owned plenty of both types!)

You are correct that CR only surveys subscribers. However, CR subscribers are subscribers because they like or depend on CR. For obvious reasons, your typical CR subscriber is more likely to own a Odyssey or Sienna (or the other minivans at the top of their list) than any other minivan. So CR is a good source for unbiased reliability information. (If you've got a better source, please cite it.)

CR is widely read. According to a '92 report at their website, their circulation was 5 million and it's likely much higher today. (In addition, many people read CR at their local library.) Even if only 1% of those 5 million bought an Ody and only 1% (both these figures are probably way under the true figures) of them responded to the survey, we're still talking about the experiences of 50000 Ody owners! You can easily draw decent conclusions from that many owners.

Just because you don't subscribe to CR doesn't mean their conclusions are meaningless.
</font>
I believe Vquan's point was just to agree that the reliability data was from surveys. The original poster apparently did not realize this, and went on to make some questionable assumptions.

I believe CR had over 500,000 vehicles in their 2001 issue statistics, and that includes vehicles from 1993 to present. Even so, Odyssey is probably well represented. Still, I would be surprised if there are more than a few hundreds of responses for each year '99, '00 or '01.

The fact that the responses are not randomly sampled is a concern, and is a potential bias. Editorial biases can affect survey responses. Surveys of subscribers are not strictly scientific. Witness the Chicago Tribune's headline when "Dewey defeats Truman". For various reasons, the Tribune supposedly conducted a poll of its subscribers to predict a winner to go in the headline. Unfortunately, most of its subscribers were Republican:-( Lesson learned.


CR's reliability data does have flaws, and maybe some important biases, too. It would indeed be nice to know the number of responses for each vehicle, and some idea of the variances or margins of error. The surveys themselves are subjective, and leave a lot to the subscriber's judgement. Also, there is no indication of the costs involved. For example, vehicle A could have well below average reliability because of some inexpensive faulty part that has been recalled and fixed, while vehicle B could have average reliablity because of less frequent but more costly transmission failures. I'd rather have vehicle A in that case, but CR's data doesn't give us any differentiation.

Still, CR is probably better for comparing vehicles than anecdotes from the usenet, internet forums, or any other widely available information.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 01-18-2002).]
 

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One last quick point about the "survey". If you have a good reliable van you are probably less likely to take the time to respond, unlike the person who is having problems and wants to spread the "word".

A survey like that is about as biased as these forums. There generally seems to be more negative replys then positive because people who have problems are looking for answers and people who aren't having problems are out enjoying their new vehicle.

There is no doubt that these forums and Consumer reports surveys amongst members are good sources of info., but the info could very well be slightly biased and should be taken with a grain of salt.

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2002 EXL-RES Redrock Pearl

2001 Chevy 2500HD crewcab 4x4
 

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Hey folks,

I'm confused. I just went to Consumer Reports web site as a result of this thread. I clicked on Autos and then on 'Best and Worst Used Cars' on the left side of the page. There were two lists, 'CR Good Bets' and 'Reliability Risks'. There were only four minivans on either list. The Honda Odyssey (except '99), Toyota Previa and Toyota Sienna on the 'Good' side and the Ford Windstar on the bad side.

I just purchased a Certified '99 EX and before I did I checked that same list. At that time only the first generation Odyssey was on the Good list, but the '99 and newer wasn't on the Bad list either, or I wouldn't have bought one.

BTW -My Odyssey's transmission went out the day after I picked it up. It was replaced under warranty, but the dealer gave me the bill I would have received if I had to pay it. It was a remanufactured transmission and the parts and labor total was about $1,800, not $6,800.


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D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX
93 Escort LX
60 Thunderbird Conv.

[This message has been edited by dgs (edited 01-18-2002).]
 

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It's sad to say, but HONDA ain't what it's used to be any more. One can see the quality level going down on a 45-degree slope. I did try to research the Ody before buying it and found that it has many pesky problems (and at least one biggy, the tranny), but I figure that these things should be flushed out within the 7 years while my extended warranty is still in affect. The problem for me was that there was NO other van worth considering. I did look at the Sienna, but it looks small and the non-flush fold down third row didn't impress me. Also, the spare hanging under the van externally is not a good idea. The spare is something you don't use often, but at the one time when you need it most, you might find it not useable for being abused with road hazards under the vehicle for too long. Among other things, I didn't think the Sienna was a good choice. Therefore, I decided to go ahead & bought the Ody. May be within the 7 years, some mfgr's can produce a new & better van with higher quality then we can sell this Ody for that new one. I heard that Nissan will be producing its own van (not the Quests, which are being produced by Mercury) and it should be good. Nissan's quality has been very high on my list. My family owns several Maxima's & Altima's and these things are just great. Also, Nissan as a company treats its customers very well and this goes for the dealerships too. When we considered the van, first thing we thought was a Nissan, but since Nissan doesn't make van of its own, we were out of luck hence the Ody. Within 2 months of delivery of our '01 Ody, the slide door failed and the control unit and/or the motor had to be replaced. The rear windows' motors squeak like an animal when you open & close them, but I was told that honda doesn't consider this as something they want to improve - BECAUSE people are still willing to pay over MSRP for their Ody's. The slide doors and/or glass on driver side are rattling and you are right about the paint - it scratches & chips easily. OK, sorry about all the negatives. Now the good part. We appreciate our Ody very much. Besides the problems mentioned above, it's been doing us A LOT of good service. Since we had the Ody, we've been much happier, especially the kids and whatever makes our kids happy, it makes us happy as parents. So overall, we are very happy with the Ody. As long as we can get the problems fixed at the dealership without additional cost out of our pockets, we'll be happy. That's why one should always purchase an extended warranty. We purchase the extended warranty for all our new vehicles and it usually takes only 1 year for the pay off and it also saves you from a lot of unnecessary headache.

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'01 Starlight Silver EX
Totally Newbie now, but learning quick.
 

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Their site is a little confusing. As best I can tell, you make it on the "reliability risk" list by virtue of survey results alone. However, I'm uncertain how you make it on the "Good Bets" list. It looks like you must have NOT done poorly on the reliability survey AND done well on the consumer reports tests?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dgs:
Hey folks,

I'm confused. I just went to Consumer Reports web site as a result of this thread. I clicked on Autos and then on 'Best and Worst Used Cars' on the left side of the page. There were two lists, 'CR Good Bets' and 'Reliability Risks'. There were only four minivans on either list. The Honda Odyssey (except '99), Toyota Previa and Toyota Sienna on the 'Good' side and the Ford Windstar on the bad side.

I just purchased a Certified '99 EX and before I did I checked that same list. At that time only the first generation Odyssey was on the Good list, but the '99 and newer wasn't on the Bad list either, or I wouldn't have bought one.

BTW -My Odyssey's transmission went out the day after I picked it up. It was replaced under warranty, but the dealer gave me the bill I would have received if I had to pay it. It was a remanufactured transmission and the parts and labor total was about $1,800, not $6,800.

</font>
 
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