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I purchased an new 2000 Ody LX over a year ago. The more I live with it, the less I like it. That isn't what I expected to feel with a Honda. I loved my Civic I owned several years ago. Here are the reasons I think people should turn a critical eye on the Odyssey:

- The rear flip up seat, albeit slick, cannot be moved back and forth. This is a problem when you are carrying 5 people with luggage (ie: family of 4 bringing a babysitter or nany on a roadtrip). Much of the luggage has to be placed on the floor in front of the passengers especially because the rear suspension bottoms out if you load much over 250 lbs in the rear. This is not safe nor convenient.

- The rear suspension is far to soft and cannot support the weight of the luggage capacity of the van. Also, the van squats and bottoms out if you have two medium sized adults in the rear (unadjusable) seat. I have found some cheap air adjustable suspension helpers but installing them will void the suspension warranty.

- Any of the map lights, if left on, will simply burn all night until your battery is dead. Most vehicles today automatically shut off any light after 30 minutes. It is a constant battle to be sure the kids have turned off their lights before leaving the car especially if they just got bumped during the daytime. Your only choice is to turn off the master switch leaving you with no lights in the van the next time you open the doors and that's a hassel during the darker winter months.

- There is a real lack of storage space and accessible cup holders for the passengers. I previously owned a Caravan and found it to have much more "van-ablility". Meaning, it had more and better convenience items (cup holders, storage areas, locking systems, suspension, etc.)

- Lack of power. I read the specs and was impressed with the engines capablilities until I lived with it for a year now. The lack of low end torque and delay of shift down (kick down) make the vehicle a clumsy driving van. The van weighs around 4000+ lbs which probably contributes to it's outstanding crash worthiness. But, it takes all 215 hp to move itself, much less people, cargo, gear or a boat. Comparatively speaking, the Caravan and Nissan feel far stronger.

- No daytime running lights (except the Canadian models). As dull as this van is for lack of color and style, it is hard to see on the road. The added safety feature of daytime running lights is pretty much the standard for most cars today. Why not the Ody?

- Quality problems. Maybe I bought the only problem plagued Honda on the road but several of my friends and appearently many people on this website share my experiences. Here are my observations concerning this issue. The drivers side sliding door is getting stuck and harder to get open. The steering wheel shimmys at speeds of 65+ ( I live near areas with 70 & 75mph speed limits). The door body panels don't fit flush with the body giving the appearance that the door isn't fully closed. The paint chips down to bare metal (and rusts) far too easily relative to any other car I have owned. The sloshing and booming sound of the gas tank is annoying. The engine stumbles when idling in "park". Now, as many owners have been experiencing, my Ody front brakes have also begun clunking. And, I am now hearing an occasional loud POP from the drivers side strut tower, another common complaint and worry. My belief and concern for resale is that these vans, due to their extreme hype and popularity, are being manufactured too fast to meet demand and therefore the quality is beginning to suffer.

- Price ! Need I say more. We and you will probably be asked to pay $1,000 to $2,000 more than the manufacturer says the car should sell for. Because why ? Well, it's a HONDA for God's sake ! I do love Honda's but these things are questionable. For the minimun of $3,500 more you will pay for this van with its list of shortcommings, you could buy a Caravan and yes probably end up repairing it a few times but the with the present value of $3,500+ saved and compounded over the 3 year warranty coverage period you will end up with almost $4,500 available for repairs. I doubt you would need that much. With the premium price you will be asked to pay for this Honda, it is my belief that in strictly financial terms, including resale value, it is not the best choice.

- Think about your needs and make the right choice for you. Good luck.

- And no, I am not a representative for Chrysler, no way. Just an average family man unhappy with his new van.
 

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Thanks for the info.

We'll definitely be keeping a critical eye out this first year of ownership, with an eye towards your items. I'll be interested to see if, over time, it seems that they've corrected anything on the 02 models.

I guess the objective is to get rid of it while it's a seller's market, if these types of things are happening.

I agree with you with respect to the Civic.
 

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I wish someone with a 2002 would give me the low-down on the interior lighting. I heard that Honda 'reworked' the interior lights for 02 and wondered what that means. Here's how the lights work on my 01:

- dash switch in bottom 'off' position; no lights work from dome buttons or anything else. Lights permanently 'off'.
- dash switch in top 'always on' position. Lights are all on, all the time.
- dash in middle position:
--- when pressing remote to unlock vehicle; lights come on for 15-20 seconds then go out
--- when opening a door (any door including rear hatch), ALL lights come on for 15-20 seconds then go out
--- when turning key in ignition; lights go out
--- lights are controllable from dome switches and can unfortunately be turned "ON" to the point where they stay on even if you close & lock the van.

Does the 02 lighting work this way?

[This message has been edited by nyvram (edited 10-02-2001).]
 

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Dunno, but I'll check tomorrow. It's a quarter of midnight here and I am off to sleep. Good Night.
 

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i agree to only some of your issues, however, it is still the best minivan on the market regardless of price. also, it has 210hp not 215hp.

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2000 lx,fern grey,remote starter, single disc cd player,roof rack with cross rails, bra, hidden hitch,csa 5 spoke alloy wheels,15% film over oem privacy glass and artic alpine tires on the oem steel wheels.
 

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Mike,
What do you pack in your luggage? I've had six people and luggage in my 2000 LX and I've never bottomed out. I would if if flew over some railroad tracks or something similiar, but otherwise it's been fine. If you are consistently bottoming out then you better make sure you are not exceeding the load capacity of the van, which is unsafe.

To fix your sticky door buy some SYL-GLIDE and put it on the weatherstripping. I had this problem a week after I had my van and haven't had it since I used the stuff.

For the map lights, I saw a mod in here somewhere that shows how to add a timer switch to shut them off after a few minutes. I agree this should have been included.

My in-laws have a Caravan and I don't really see where there is a lack of storage space comparatively. The Ody's rear well actually increases space, and one of my pet peeves when driving is stuff sliding all over the place around turns. The well limits that, and with the well cargo liner it's also waterproof.

Cup holders: 4 for the front, 2 for middle row, and 3 for the rear. How many more do we need? For rear cupholders, there are inserts that were standard on 2001 that cost $2 apiece. I put these in my van and now cans are not a problem. Try www.hondapartsforyou.com;they include shipping.

As for the power, I agree that the low-end torque is lacking, but with a gentle push on the gas this is quickly overcome. I never have a problem with quick maneuvers and bursts of speed. If you want musclecar acceleration then a minivan is the wrong vehicle. I also drive a Bronco II. THAT is the worst with horsepower AND torque. Driving the Ody after the Bronce II makes me realize just how powerful the ODY is.

As far as your other problems, I haven't experienced any. I had the a/c compressor make noise a couple of times early on, but nothing lately.

As for price and resale, I paid MSRP ($23,800), and I checked Kelley Blue Book for resale value. Let's see, over $25,800. My only add-on is the roof rack. I'd say for a Caravan there would be a significant DROP in value. If I wanted a Dodge with over 200hp, then I'd have to fork over more than $30,000

I'm sorry you're not happy with your van. You are one of the few.
 

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You want low end torque - go get a diesel pickup truck. You've got a VTEC engine - it loves to REV! Just step on the gas, get the engine spinning faster and you'll find that you've got plenty of torque available. If your engine is hesitating before it picks up speed maybe you need to have the injectors cleaned.?
 

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You could have some sort of deficiency in the engine/transmission management systems of your van. My Odyssey downshifts almost as if it reads my mind. Whenever I tip the throttle in just a little bit, even on flat ground, it is there to do my bidding IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner. Some have even complained that they downshift too much, but, I like it since the little motor is always poised to do its job. Yes, small displacement engines take a little different mindset to be used properly, but, I feel that Honda has done a very good job in programming their powertrains. My Odyssey climbs the Grapevine section of I-5 without breaking a sweat and that's a pretty formidable hill. I hope you will get to feeling better about your van or be able to sell it and find something which pleases you more. I have owned a car I really did not like and it is no fun.

Jerry O. 2001 GG LX
 
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