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Hey Everyone, New to the Forum and do not even have an Odyssey yet, just need some help as the salesman at the dealership don't seem to be very knowledgeable. Below is my current situation and please correct me or give me any information you think I may need.

My wife and I have 3 boys ages 5, 2, and 1 month. We currently have an 2015 Acura MDX with 3 car seats in the back (very difficult). We are now looking for a van and after my research the Odyssey is one of the best. We were initially looking at a 2012 EX-L w/ DVD (a must for the kids imo) and it had 147,000 miles on it. I have been researching and see that between 130,000 and 180,000 they may have issues with the water pump, timing belt, or even transmission (depending how it was maintained). The previously mentioned items were not deal breakers but we realized that it was not key less entry, with the button on the door, like our Acura was (very convenient) and it was not a push button start. Can anyone help me with the following questions? Please feel free to comment about what I know or what you think I should know before making this purchase.

Can anyone tell me what year the Odyssey came equipped with the key less entry, where we can pull the door handle and it unlocks or opens the sliding doors for the kids while the keys are still in my pocket? I am thinking 2014

What year the Odyssey started being manufactured with the push button start? I am thinking 2014 for this as well

What models come equipped with the DVD entertainment system? I see it can be EX-L but it optional and is Standard on Touring or Touring Elite

Also, I have located a 2014 Touring Elite with 86,000 miles on it and a clean carfax. What do you guys think? I truly appreciate any help you can provide.
 

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Car salesmen generally have pretty poor product knowledge. I wouldn't trust anything they say - I assume everything is wrong unless there is separate confirmation.

  • 2014+ will have keyless access (and push-button start) on all trims other than LX (lowest). Earlier years might have it on the higher trims (Touring, Elite)
  • Rear DVD system is on EX-L RES, Touring and Elite. (LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L Nav don't) The Elite rear DVD system has a 'wide' screen that can play two sources, has a HDMI input and some other extras.
Here's my opinion: Once you get above 50-60k miles, maintenance quality really starts to matter. Transmission fluid changes are VERY important (suggested to do fluid exchanges twice as often as factory recommended or more if you can DIY). There is also a risk of issues with the VCM system (variable cylinder management) that may cause issues.

Water pump, timing belt, etc. should all be changed at 105k miles (maintenance schedule) - I wouldn't call that an issue. There are other random issues that can come up, but none are deal breakers and they don't effect all of the vans (power steering pump leaks, CV boots/axles, alternators, power door cables, actuators, brakes, etc.).

We got the Odyssey for the second row configuration - you actually can put 3 across without too much hassle (2.5 yo + 5 month twins here) but we normally run 2 in the second row and one in the third for ease of use/access Sliding doors are a game changer if you haven't had them before.

-Charlie
 

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Sliding doors are a game changer. Can’t be said enough.

I may have a 2014 ex-l coming up for sale very soon. It’s mechanically perfect and cosmetically excellent. 83k trouble free miles.

yes 2014 started the push button start and keyless I believe. We wanted the dvd as well but couldn’t find one at the time. Honestly a tablet has worked great and we don’t miss the dvd considering you actually would have to buy, rent, or checkout dvds to use it.

sending you a PM
 

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You can access the brochures for various years by Googling:


For instance. Content did not change at all from 2014-2017. If you can stand to slum it a bit, you might look at low mileage SE models offered in 2016 & 2017 only. That is an EX with cloth interior, rear entertainment, and the built in vac that was only available on the Touring Elite before. Honda sometimes does this at the end of a model cycle to use up parts inventory. I suggest a lower model with low miles because, with three kids and you looking at a van with 145k on on it, perhaps being frugal is called for. No matter what you get, the kids will trash it. I suggest washable seat covers.
You don't say how many miles are on the MDX you have, but the powertrain in that vehicle & the Odyssey are exactly the same. (AWD of course not offered on an Ody & the MDX will have a much more refined ride & engine mounts) But regular maintenance for both is the same.
Every 30k or so you change the trans fluid, engine and cabin filters.
Every three years, regardless of miles, you replace the brake fluid.
At 105k there is a major service that includes the timing belt, water pump, tensioner, drive belt, the coolant and often the thermostat. The spark plugs get changed then as well. They are long life platinum with a hefty list price each of around $18.00.
During this time you have to replace brake pads and sometimes rotors.
I quote miles here just to give you an idea, the Ody will set codes in the MID when the oil life gets to 15% just like the Acura. The MDX would or did need all this as well, maintenance is a part of ownership.
Around here we like to maybe do a trans fluid change a little more often, like every 15-20K. There can be issues with these transmissions that require a full 3X fluid change and a software update. If the van is under 80k or so, the dealer may do that for free.
We also like to use a device to "muzzle" the VCM so it never comes on. Older models with this feature have had extreme issues requiring an engine tear down and ring replacement. If under a certain miles/time, Honda pays for that.
This is just as popular on the MDX as the Odyssey. In fact, all Honda V-6s with Variable Cylinder Management can have these issues and muzzling is the answer. The VCM barely saves a single MPG, but as a corporate fuel economy average, was worth it to Honda.
For $60.00 to $125.00 you never have to deal with it and it improves the driving experience to boot!
 

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I can confirm the 2014 EX-L has keyless entry and push button start. We just bought one on Saturday.
We have an almost 5 year old, a 15 month old, and another on the way. Personally, I don’t think the DVD entertainment system is worth it even with kids. We have a tablet for the kids and can play movies on that and attach it to a head rest mount. It is much easier than having to purchase or rent DVDs and can be used out of the car.
My research found that the Odyssey was the best for multiple car seats just like yours did. Obviously I’m very new to the Odyssey, but car seat installation was a breeze!
 

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One advantage of not having the factory RES is you get to keep the center dash drawer. It is made to hold a drink
or a cell phone. It has a slot that connects to the USB port.
 
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