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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are expecting our second child in mid-September, and we want a minivan to cart around the 2+ kiddies. We've test-driven several makes of minivans and know exactly which model we'll buy: a new Odyssey EX-L. The main question I'm debating is whether it makes more sense to purchase now, or wait until August/September (closer to the date when we'll actually need the vehicle.

If I can expect to see price-drops in the 2011 Odysseys in the late summer, then I'm happy waiting since, like I said, we won't truly need the vehicle until September. However, if I can expect to pay the same in August as I would now (in April), then I think I might as well go ahead and buy now, so my wife can begin enjoying the new car now.

Any thoughts?
 

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I would say buy now. Odyssey 2011 is in high demand. I do not think the price will fall. Besides, the current stock is radiation-free. September's inventory may contain some parts that were shipped/made after the earthquake. Although the amount of radiation may be very small, you may not want to take the risks especially with the baby.
 

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I'll put it this way, for me I waited about 6 months (just ordered it last week) cause I figured the interest rate would come down. It did not, so I did save paying for it across a few months before the twins came, but now I'm left waiting and we need to take 2 cars everywhere we go (twins and a 2yr old).

So looking back I wish I had grabbed in back in Feb...though at least I don't need winter tires this year.
 

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I'd wait until September if you can. I'm speculating, but I think the full line up will get a 6 speed automatic transmission in 2012. If I am wrong, you could still take advantage of 2011 clear out prices (usually $1,500+ in cash from Honda) if you purchase (rather than lease). If you lease, there is usually a lower interest rate, although the residuals are also lower, so the payment is often the same as with a new one (although if you buy it out, the price will be lower).

As to the radiation issue, I'm not sure what to say about that. Honda says about 85% of the parts in their North American built cars are sourced from North American plants. They have also said that they are establishing other sources for supply of Japanese made parts due to damaged plants. The authorities (whoever those are) say the radiation leaking from the plant is primarily a type with a half life of 8 days and poses little threat (I wouldn't want to live in that zone though).

If you are concerned about the radiation aspect, it might be better to go looking on the dealer lots for cars produced at least a month ago. If you aren't I'd say there are some advantages to waiting until the new vans arrive in September.

Just my $0.02 worth :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting replies, thanks. As for radiation, that is not something I'm very concerned about. I will buy, not lease, so lease rates are not a factor for me, though clear-out prices (i.e. cash back) would be.

That is interesting re: the 2012 models coming with 6 speed across the board. I had not thought of that. That would be quite a compelling reason to wait, however if it's pure pie-in-the-sky speculation, well, I feel like I could always speculate myself into waiting "just a little longer."

Any idea when we would have solid information about a move to the 6 speed across the board? In the next month or two, or not until the fall?
 

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We have a new baby arriving in August and already put in an order for a van. We got the Touring though, and it is so hard to come by and they are in high demand because no lots around here have them! At the lots we went to, they did have a bunch of EX-L's so I don't think it will be a problem if you wait. We wanted to wait as late as possible but the cards just weren't in our favor. Our new van should get here in late June they say so I don't think it will be that bad. You can also go to the dealership and see what is inbound and on some of them, they can tell you an ETA at the dealership. According to two different dealerships, they said the prices will not go down and based it off of Toyota increasing their prices (either recently or in the near future). I also looked into getting a 2012 but the dealers I spoke to said they didn't know when they were going to come in since the Ody came out late in the year last year. I feel better having my name on a list for one though since there is no way my Accord will work with three kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, my dealer also told me prices would not be going down, but I didn't know whether that was trustworthy or whether dealers always say that since of course they'd rather have you buy now rather than later. But my dealer said that the 2011's are selling so quickly, and the changes in the 2012 are expected to be so minor, that he doesn't think there will be price cuts. (He didn't say anything about the 6 speed transmission trickling down to lower trims. Like I said earlier, if this is true (as Shazzam speculated), it would be a big impetus to wait).
 

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I do not think 6-speed will be standard on all trims. The major selling point of the touring trims is the transmission. If they standard this, it will harm the sale of the touring trims significantly.

As 2011 is a major redesign, most people do not expect any major changes in 2012 models.

More discussions here:

2012 Honda Odyssey Review and Prices | iGuida
 

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6 speed or not, don't manufacturers work out the minor problems and stuff and tweak it better for the second year and so on? isn't that why most people try to stay away from first year models?
 

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I do not think 6-speed will be standard on all trims. The major selling point of the touring trims is the transmission. If they standard this, it will harm the sale of the touring trims significantly.

As 2011 is a major redesign, most people do not expect any major changes in 2012 models.

More discussions here:

2012 Honda Odyssey Review and Prices | iGuida
You might be right about that. We needed a van now so we got an EX RES (with 5 speed, of course). I'd have preferred the 6 speed, but the 5 does the job. The reason I speculated that there will be a 6 speed across the line is as follows:

1. Honda is building a new transmission plant in the US which will double transmission manufacturing capacity;

2. Government regulations for improved fuel economy are in force and require improved corporate average fuel economy;

3. The competition has a 6 speed in all of its trim levels;

4. The magazine editors have been critical of Honda with respect to this issue and optics are important in the auto industry.

As to when the 2012's arrive, if past experience is any indicator, it will, at least be partially dependant on what dealer inventory is like, but in Canada I have never seen a new model year arrive later than October (unless it was a new model like last year).

Just my opinion, of course. :)
 

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total agree with Shazzam. September is usually the time you can get your hands on new models in the US. If you were going to pay the full price, getting a 2012 will eventual pay off when it comes the time to sell.

In addition to the possible transmission change, there will be fixes going in to the production line when they switch model year. Those fixes might not be picked up by a late 2011 model.
 

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I don't think Honda's been known to make major changes after just one year. Here's another website that speculates it will be a couple of years until all models get the 6-speed: Honda Future Vehicles

You could probably get a slightly better deal by waiting, but I had no problem getting invoice price in February on our Touring. and we had our second child in early March, so we planned all along by waiting just a few weeks prior to her birth in order to buy the van as there wasn't nothing wrong with our old car (06 Accord).
 

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You might be right about that. We needed a van now so we got an EX RES (with 5 speed, of course). I'd have preferred the 6 speed, but the 5 does the job. The reason I speculated that there will be a 6 speed across the line is as follows:

1. Honda is building a new transmission plant in the US which will double transmission manufacturing capacity;

2. Government regulations for improved fuel economy are in force and require improved corporate average fuel economy;

3. The competition has a 6 speed in all of its trim levels;

4. The magazine editors have been critical of Honda with respect to this issue and optics are important in the auto industry.

As to when the 2012's arrive, if past experience is any indicator, it will, at least be partially dependant on what dealer inventory is like, but in Canada I have never seen a new model year arrive later than October (unless it was a new model like last year).

Just my opinion, of course. :)
I honestly doubt there will be any changes for 2012. You might get some of the small fixes here and there, that anyone with a 2011 who brings it in for a defect will get the same 'updated' item.

Sometimes they change a few things the year prior to the mid-life refresh, but that'll probably be 2013.

As far as criticism, well the Acura RL has been relatively un-changed for many years, eventhough several of the magazines I looked at is saying that it's completly insignificant in its market. Honda has done a pretty good job at ignoring those complaints in my opinion.

I'm sure honda expected criticism for not putting the 6spd on all models, but they did it anyways.

Anyways, here are some examples off the top of my head:
3G Acura TL 04-05 no change, 06 improved HFL with phonebook sync. 07-08; mid life update, new wheels on base model, softer suspension, cosmetic dash changes red/clear tail lights, significant transmission changes due to complains with automatic failures, and a few other things. Plus the introduction of the TypeS model and a revised 3rd gear linkage and stronger synchros for 1st and 2nd gear.
4G TL started in 09. not much changed other than the addition of a 6spd in 2010.
now for 2012 they changed the face and rear and a few other cosmetics, Finally it has the 6spd automatic, and also added an advanced package.


So taking that and applying it to the odyssey, I just forsee some minor tweaks until the mid-life refresh. Then, they might offer a Odyssey Type R Advanced package SH-AWD... who knows, but come join me in my speculation. :)

anyways, back to reality, as some have said, the wait time can be fairly long. We put the deposit down october 1st and received our van Dec 3rd. Some have waited longer. If my memory serves me right though, the wait seems longer on Touring and Touring Elite models.

hope this helps
 

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Beware of radiation!! ;)

Anyway, it is all relative, but just keep on mind that you'll be busy as the dates get closer and more worried about other things than shopping for a car. I bought mine 2 months before the birth of my baby. I'd could have waited to the January slow sales month to get a better deal but there were some more important preparation things to deal with than buying a car (including a grumpy wife who cannot care less about 5AT, 6AT or pink leather at the time :D)
 

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I honestly doubt there will be any changes for 2012. You might get some of the small fixes here and there, that anyone with a 2011 who brings it in for a defect will get the same 'updated' item.

Sometimes they change a few things the year prior to the mid-life refresh, but that'll probably be 2013.

As far as criticism, well the Acura RL has been relatively un-changed for many years, eventhough several of the magazines I looked at is saying that it's completly insignificant in its market. Honda has done a pretty good job at ignoring those complaints in my opinion.

I'm sure honda expected criticism for not putting the 6spd on all models, but they did it anyways.

Anyways, here are some examples off the top of my head:
3G Acura TL 04-05 no change, 06 improved HFL with phonebook sync. 07-08; mid life update, new wheels on base model, softer suspension, cosmetic dash changes red/clear tail lights, significant transmission changes due to complains with automatic failures, and a few other things. Plus the introduction of the TypeS model and a revised 3rd gear linkage and stronger synchros for 1st and 2nd gear.
4G TL started in 09. not much changed other than the addition of a 6spd in 2010.
now for 2012 they changed the face and rear and a few other cosmetics, Finally it has the 6spd automatic, and also added an advanced package.


So taking that and applying it to the odyssey, I just forsee some minor tweaks until the mid-life refresh. Then, they might offer a Odyssey Type R Advanced package SH-AWD... who knows, but come join me in my speculation. :)

anyways, back to reality, as some have said, the wait time can be fairly long. We put the deposit down october 1st and received our van Dec 3rd. Some have waited longer. If my memory serves me right though, the wait seems longer on Touring and Touring Elite models.

hope this helps
Phil, I don't really disagree with you. I suspect the 6 speeds will find their way into the Accord first (will have the greatest impact on CAFE due to the number of cars sold annually) and into the Odyssey afterwards. We couldn't wait to see if the transmission would show up in 2012 so we got a 2011. If the OP isn't in a rush, it can't really hurt to wait and see what develops don't you think?

As to improvements; I think this occurs on an ongoing basis unless it involves a visible part. So in the case of the wiper drive arm, this problem was caught early after some vans were already produced and the rest of the 2011 run will have the new part (not waiting for a model changeover in 2012). I guess that is why many recalls are VIN specific.

:)
 

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Beware of radiation!! ;)

Anyway, it is all relative, but just keep on mind that you'll be busy as the dates get closer and more worried about other things than shopping for a car. I bought mine 2 months before the birth of my baby. I'd could have waited to the January slow sales month to get a better deal but there were some more important preparation things to deal with than buying a car (including a grumpy wife who cannot care less about 5AT, 6AT or pink leather at the time :D)
True. My wife, in general was getting tired of the whole car shopping thing and could have cared less. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the input, guys. My wife really doesn't care when we get the van - she's fine driving her 1994 Volvo station wagon until baby #2 arrives. I've sunk so much time into car searching for the past few weeks, that I kind of want to go ahead and pull the trigger unless there's a big reason to wait. The time value of the weeks of research I've been doing and weeks more I would do if I hold off buying until August/September might offset any summer-time discount :)
 

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Thanks for the input, guys. My wife really doesn't care when we get the van - she's fine driving her 1994 Volvo station wagon until baby #2 arrives. I've sunk so much time into car searching for the past few weeks, that I kind of want to go ahead and pull the trigger unless there's a big reason to wait. The time value of the weeks of research I've been doing and weeks more I would do if I hold off buying until August/September might offset any summer-time discount :)
It sounds like you are anxious to buy now. :) I don't think you can go wrong either way. I spent about 6 months researching vehicles before we bought and a fair bit of time mulling over the transmission issue after trying the Touring vs the EX (variants). The only bummer for me was that I had to pick a Touring if I wanted the 6 speed (which I did want). we couldn't wait (our 2008 Sienna was being sent to an employee as a replacement vehicle) so we too a 2011 model.

If you don't care about the transmission possibility, I don't see any reason to wait. Good luck (with the baby and the van). :)
 
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