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2014 Odyssey EX-L
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My 1999 Odyssey EX is getting long in the tooth. One transmission rebuild and I'm due for another timing belt at 252k miles. My fiance drives a Mercedes GLC SUV and won't be seen in my Odyssey that was recently rear ended and now has a newly punched hole in the bumper. The insurance check was as big as the price I could have gotten selling it as used car.

My dilemma is what do I replace this car with that will make the woman comfortable riding with me yet has the hauling capacity for bikes, surfboards, gardening tools, 4x8 sheets of plywood, etc. I loved the flat deck of the 99 with the center seats out. I haven't looked at the middle year models to see how difficult it is to open them up for cargo. My kids are grown so I'm not inclined to use any but the front seats 95% of the time. The EX-L level is nice but I won't be using entertainment video features and the like.

Please help me out with some advice. I prefer not to break $25K for a good used vehicle.
 

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You don't seem to mind older cars. Gen 3 is a really nice vehicle in my opinion - It debuted in 2005, so was designed in the early-mid 2000s, so still in the heydey of the minivan, and it aspired to be a high-end minivan. Also designed before the cost cutting the financial meltdown precipitated. It was also right before all the electronic BS like infotainment and touchscreens and keyless ignition started to show up. Some nice creature comforts are found in the upper trims like EX-L or Touring. Style-wise I think it has aged gracefully... if you scrutinize you can tell the design is showing its age but many people comment to me that my '08 does not look 14 years old.

No newer minivan to my knowledge will give you the flat floor you have in your '99. But it doesn't bother me much - I regularly take the seats out of my Gen 3 and have put all kinds of stuff back there including 4x8 plywood and drywall. Even though it's not totally flat it works fine.

Downsides... VCM is the big one - read up on it, the sticky in the Gen 3 forum is where to start. If you're ok with the EX trim you avoid VCM in Gen 3. If I were buying right now, I'd look for a clean 2009 or 2010 EX with low mileage. If it's not rusty (not sure where you are) it will easily last another 10 years I think. Prices are elevated right now for sure but Gen 3 is old enough that even though the price elevation is a big percentage, the dollar amount premium you're paying right now is not as dramatic as it would be for a newer car.
 

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2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
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3rd gen is by far the best combo of reliability and cargo space. Doesn't look too bad either. Especially the 08-10 redesign.

Timing belt, VCM, and ATF are the three biggest things to look out for with those. Make sure the timing belt has been serviced properly, and if it hasn't, factor in about $1000 to get that done. Make sure the ATF has been changed regularly. And lastly, make sure VCM hasn't caused too much damage yet. Look for signs of significant oil burning. Not a big deal, VCM can be disabled for relatively cheap. Alternatively get an LX/EX that has less features but no VCM. EX is a good compromise, at least in my experience.

Here are a couple examples of the 08-10 redesign:
Automotive parking light Tire Car Wheel Vehicle

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Vehicle

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle


Compared to its 05-07 counterpart (note the difference in front grill, rear taillights, wheels, and slight difference in headlights):
Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Building

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle
 
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After upgrading my '02 to an '07 EX, I'll say it's a nice improvement. Quieter ride and I like the split 3rd row seat. I can have a little/medium/big storage well for groceries. Spare tire is in the left rear quarter panel instead of down in the 2nd row floor. Only niggle I have is that the seat height is higher. An I miss the leather seats of my old EX-L with the winter 'butt-toaster'! :ROFLMAO:
 

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2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
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I can have a little/medium/big storage well for groceries.
Y'know, I completely forgot about this, but this is extremely true. Especially now that I don't have my Accord which had a trunk space that was very versatile and could fit a lot or a little equally well, I find myself using the split feature a lot. Having the 40 seat up with the 60 down tends to be perfect size for most of my grocery trips, and if not, having the 60 up with the 40 down is a perfect fit. It's like it was meant to be.
 

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2007 Odyssey Touring
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Y'know, I completely forgot about this, but this is extremely true. Especially now that I don't have my Accord which had a trunk space that was very versatile and could fit a lot or a little equally well, I find myself using the split feature a lot. Having the 40 seat up with the 60 down tends to be perfect size for most of my grocery trips, and if not, having the 60 up with the 40 down is a perfect fit. It's like it was meant to be.
I didn't realize the Gen 2 vans didn't have split rear seats, but agree it is nice. Especially compared to my previous van - a 2001 Town & Country where I'd physically need to remove the heavy 1 piece third row seat if I needed more room for hauling items.

Just the other day my wife, 2 kids, and I picked up two 6' tall book cases and stopped for dinner on the way back home. We took the passenger side captain chair out and folded the 60 side rear seat into the floor. One kid sat in the 40 seat in back and the other in the driver side captain chair.

Typically on road trips we fold down the 40 side and have the 60 side for seating.
 

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2015 Touring Elite
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3rd gen is by far the best combo of reliability and cargo space. Doesn't look too bad either. Especially the 08-10 redesign.

Timing belt, VCM, and ATF are the three biggest things to look out for with those. Make sure the timing belt has been serviced properly, and if it hasn't, factor in about $1000 to get that done. Make sure the ATF has been changed regularly. And lastly, make sure VCM hasn't caused too much damage yet. Look for signs of significant oil burning. Not a big deal, VCM can be disabled for relatively cheap. Alternatively get an LX/EX that has less features but no VCM. EX is a good compromise, at least in my experience.

Here are a couple examples of the 08-10 redesign:
View attachment 168437
View attachment 168438
View attachment 168439

Compared to its 05-07 counterpart (note the difference in front grill, rear taillights, wheels, and slight difference in headlights):
View attachment 168440
View attachment 168441
I know I currently drive a 2015 Elite... but before that, I drove an obsidian blue 2010 EXL Res W Nav
had it from 32,000 miles and the VcmTuner was installed about a week after I got it.
this year and body had one major issue that I noticed... (Water From Above!!) It leaked if the flow of water got under the roof rails and the sun/moon roof area. other than that I had no trouble with this body and year and I will jump back into another one if the price is ever right again to do so and park my 2015-E for road trips and weekend travels.
 

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2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
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I know I currently drive a 2015 Elite... but before that, I drove an obsidian blue 2010 EXL Res W Nav
had it from 32,000 miles and the VcmTuner was installed about a week after I got it.
this year and body had one major issue that I noticed... (Water From Above!!) It leaked if the flow of water got under the roof rails and the sun/moon roof area. other than that I had no trouble with this body and year and I will jump back into another one if the price is ever right again to do so and park my 2015-E for road trips and weekend travels.
That water leak issue is a well known issue that is not limited to the 3rd gen, and it's easily fixed with some sealant.
 
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yup took care of it. but it was the only problem I had with my 3rd gen. Funny how they went back to the same rear-end shape of the 3rd generation with the wider back. I always said they should have not changed it when I first saw the 2011's. I love my 2015-E.... but my wife's 2010-T walks away from me on the highway with such ease it's sad.:ROFLMAO:
 
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