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Honda Odyssey 1999 - 2004



  • Hello, everyone. This may be a rather sacrilegious question to ask in this forum, but I'll risk it, and hope you won't flame me...

    We are very content owners of a 1999 Odyssey EX, and were already on the
    waiting list for a 2002 EX-L. However, having just had a major problem with
    our local Honda dealer (they had agreed to a price of $19,500 on the
    trade-in on the deal sheet, but when we went to deliver the car, tried to
    drop that down $3000!) we are now feeling stung and thinking maybe we should
    consider alternatives which would be more readily available.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to other vehicles (vans or suv's) which
    would give a similar functionality - room for at least six with some luggage
    space still, fold-into-the-floor third seat, preferably power doors if a
    van... Japanese or European models, please - I may get my wife to swallow
    the idea of getting something other than a Honda for the first time in
    years, but I am sure I would never get her in an American vehicle.

    Thanks for your advice.

  • I doubt you will be able to find something similar to Ody, given that your preference is either European or Japanese. As it is, Ody is probably the biggest one available. Perhaps you should consider a Suburban (Chevy), an Excursion (Ford), or a full-size van. Why don't you check around and see what other options you have on the 99 Ody? Have you thought about selling it yourself?
  • billg7billg7 Posts: 342
    I would first look around at other dealers for an Odyssey. You might have to go to the nearest large city, if you live in a small to medium size town. I would not give up easily looking for an Odyssey. I would be patient and willing to work at it.

    I would go to a large book store and get Consumer Reports Soft cover book on 2001 mini vans and SUV's.

    For the 2001 models The Toyota Sienna LE was almost as highly rated as the 2001 Odyssey EX, but that was before the 2002 Odyssey, with so many improvements. Next comes the Chrysler Town & Country LX with its twin the Dodge Grand Caravan Sport rated the same. These 4 vehicles are the only ones rated excellent.

    For SUV's, although it was not the top rated model, the completely re designed 2002 Ford Explorer got a very good rating, in one of the latest issues of CR, available at your library. It is also reasonable priced and I believe comes with a fold down rear seat. CR rates other SUV's higher, but they cost quite a bit more then the Explorer.

    I would not get a SUV and CR will tell you why, in the book above. They are just not as practical as a mini van unless you drive off road a lot. Their ownership costs are significantly higher also.

    With a 1999 mini van already, which would be only 3 years old, I would be willing to wait even for a 2003 Odyssey. You are going to have your new car for many years, probably. So why not get the best mini van you can. Also you get another year out of your 1999 and it will not depreciate that much more from 3 years to 4 years. So you will probably actually save some significant money by getting another year out of your current vehicle. I kept my last car 150,000 miles and my brother got another 20,000 out of it, and that was an American Buick. So cars last a long time.
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    Since you are probably paying msrp already for the new Odyssey, why not shop you 99 around to other Honda dealers. My bet is that this guy is hoping that you want the 02 so bad that you are willing to go low on your 99 (this is equivalent to sell you the van at $3000 over msrp). We just traded in our 01 RX for a 02 SC and my wife called around the dealers in the bay area and the low bid she received is $27K and the high bid is $31K for the same suv. Given that Odyssey is still hot, you probably can do better without a lot more work. Hope it help.
  • Phoenix 2001:
    The post on the Canadian Odysseys in Scottsdale: The $25,900 you quoted -- which Ody was that for? 2001, 2002, LX, EX? My husband is (understandably) leery about what kind of a deal this might be, so if that's a 2001 LX price, I'm not sure I'd even check it out. But... if it's a 2002 EX-L or something similar, might be worth a look. (And was that Canadian or US $? :) j/k)
    p.s. do you know what doc fees are running in AZ right now? how negotiable are they?
  • The Doc Fee charged by the dealer is usually about 10X what it costs them to title and tag the vehicle. Almost every one will tell you that it's not negotiable. Like any other profit center, it is.

    When I'm negotiating for a vehicle, I'll tell them up front that I will not pay for an item called "Doc Fee" or anything like it. I tell them to hide it somewhere, because I'm looking at the drive out cost; and I don't want to see that item in the final driveoutr price. When they leave it in and refuse to remove it, I walk. *Every* single time this has happened they've eventually removed it. One saleman even chased me out into the street as I was driving away to tell me that, if I'd come back, they'd remove it. They did. I bought.
  • The next time you get a chance, check out your local police cars. Leather seats, because it wears better than fabric or vinyl; and the stuff that tends to get on the seats of a police vehicle (blood, vomit and other bodily fluids and stuff) cleans off of leather a whole lot easier than fabric.
  • How tall? I'm 6'4 and 260 lbs. I modified the driver's seat a bit; and the ride is now A-OK.
  • I deposited $500 yesterday and signed the paper, but today, I looked the paper I signed, I didn't see any VIN# or LOT #, is this normal? Have I missed anything? Thanks in advance.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I believe that the auto manufacturers only allow for vinyl or cloth seats for police package cars. Leather would be far too high maintenance for them :-). What you saw were probably vinyl seats, which could look like leather.

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  • It has been a while since I last posted but I have remained addicted to this forum.

    The New York Times Automobile section has an article about hot and once hot cars. According to the author, the Odyssey is approaching a "full boil" along with the SC430, T-bird, MDX and Highlander.

    Some choice quotes from M. Maynard's article dated August 31, 2001 arranged so as to not violate copyright laws:

    "Interest remains high in the Honda Odyssey minivan, still a suburban status symbol... Odyssey sales are actually down slightly this year -- not for lack of buyer interest, but because of a production quandary...Honda has had to cut Odyssey production to build more MDX's...the Odyssey wait is generally about three weeks nationwide...Supplies of the Odyssey should ease up late this year, when Honda opens a factory in Alabama that will be devoted to the minivan."

    Don't take what the article says as gospel because I believe the collective information on this board is terrific, however, I believe that many would agree that the information in the article is in the general neighborhood of many felt opinions here.

    The article

  • Just wanted to share my experience with the board and asked for your input. I live in a maryland suburb just outside Wash DC. I have been reading this board for a while and my wife and I had decided to buy an Oddyssey some time ago but just hadn't pulled the trigger. When I heard about the 2002 model, we went to our local dealer and were offered the following:

    2002 EX MSRP 26,750 (Silver)
    2002 EX with Leather add $1,500 (total 28,250)
    440 standard destination charge

    $1,000 deposit (with written statement that it is refundable at anytime -- this is high because I believe the avg. deposit on this board is $500).
    $25 doc fee.
    delivery in November (but salesperson admitted that are very conservative so as not disappoint - may come in October).

    The question I have -- is that already the dealer is making a great profit when you buy the car at MSRP and then when you start adding leather they are charging you the list price as well (adding further to the dealer's profit).

    Has anybody been able to get anything in return from their dealer (especially those in the Washington DC area)? For example - 2yrs. of free oil changes, mud guards, roof rack cross bars?
    Or should I just be happy that I am not paying anything more than MSRP?

    I would be interested in hearing your responses.
  • billg7billg7 Posts: 342
    It looks like to me, from reading everyone of the posts on this board over the last year +, that if you get a 2002 Odyssey at MSRP you are doing good. A number of dealers are charging more then MSRP.

    On my 2000 Odyssey I payed MSRP, but the dealer did throw in one thing, free oil changes for life. He probably figures he makes out on this, as he gets to charge for and do all the other services which are not free.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    Does your sales offer every 7500 miles free oil change for life or every 3,750 miles ? Let's assume Ody life ~ 100,000 miles

    100,000 / 7500 = 14 times oil change, if change oil every 3,750 miles then ~ 27 times. Oil change dealer charges $19.95 x 14= $279. or $ 19.95 x 27= $538.65.

    Oil change is free but how about those so called 15,000 miles or 30,000 mile service which they will charge you an arm and a leg to make up for the free oil change.

    Anyway a free oil change is free. I will take any free one they offer and watch out those 15K or 30K service.
  • Just remember that the only good thing about this is that you can drive over to Scottsdale and see the cars for available, haggle, etc. Call them up and get the address. (Heck, most Ody buyers never get to see the car unless they are just about to buy it.)

    The website is They sell Canadian Odyssey EX's 2001's where they change speedo to miles, add third party warranty because the Honda one will be void, and engine block heater.

    They say they will have 2002's soon and I think Canadian dealers are getting them very soon. The price over the phone is $25,900 but I suggest driving over and haggling. Act like the warranty is a big deal etc. Canadian invoice is about $20,500 so they have lots of negotiating room even after their costs.

    If you can't buy outside of the Phoenix area then these guys will save you money but you have tradeoffs.

    Oh and doc fees are pure BS. I always say I am negotiating total price and the dealer can categorize whatever line items they want as long as it only adds up to my negotiated price. The only good thing about the doc fee category is that sales tax is not applied to it. I remember negotiating a total price and when the invoice came it added up alright but the line items were ridiculous (doc fee, ADM, etc.) I think it allows the dealer to get away with saying, "Everyone pays doc fees!" Pure BS.
  • tag9tag9 Posts: 39
    Personally, paying MSRP for the Ody is not an issue at this point. Delivery, however, is another matter. I've been quoted MSRP by my local Honda dealer but to forget about delivery before the 1st of the year (could even be another 30-60 days hence!). Therefore, I'd gladly take your deal (MSRP, $1k deposit, Oct-Nov delivery).

    With respect to MSRP, consider the following. My neighbor sees 3 2002 Yukon Denali XLs sitting on the lot at the local GMC dealer. He walks in and is quoted straight MSRP, not one penny less. Now, we're talking Prrrrrrrrofit! Sticker on this beast is over $50k while invoice is $44k PLUS the holdback is a full 3% (compared to Honda's 2%). Given the Ody's features, resale value, et al, I'd say we're getting a much better deal paying MSRP for the 02 Ody than he did for his 02 XL.
  • For Thompson # 3070 - I also have a '99 Ex in excellent condition. I traded for a SS 02 Ex with leather. I carried a print out from in with me. It listed the trade in price at 21072. I was told 19500. I told them I could not except lest that 19900 and would not pay for the extra finish or other extras. They told me my mileage of 45500 was costing trade in amount. I did agree to install a cassette because I listen to books on tape when I travel. I finally traded for about 99500.
    I would have like to have more but I asked several other dealers and this was the best.
  • tag9tag9 Posts: 39
    Your post raises an interesting issue; how are the values derived? They're higher than KBB values, aren't they? Compare Edmunds' values for the 99 Ody with KBB:;918502&;t&35&3;13&

  • slockoslocko Posts: 107
    I think my title says it all :-)
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    Will this include heated seats?
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    I hope the Odyssey leather will not have what some reviews call shiney/plasticy leather. I refer to the Accord leathers. I compare with Sienna and Lexus RX 300. Honda leather choices have not been top quality lately. I will have to see the Odyssey leather in person to tell.
  • The leather option includes heated front seats.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I like to refer to them as "pleather."
  • Thank you for the comments and suggestions, folks. It is interesting, abhair - the dealer's quote for my 99 EX was $19,500 too. I wonder if that is just a figure they toss out to everyone.

    In this case, the problem was that my Odyssey is a Canadian one, legally imported and all that of course. I had pointed that out to the dealer quite explicitly (in writing) and they subsequently appraised the car at $19,500 and wrote up a deal sheet with that figure. Then, when I went to deliver the car to them, they suddenly insisted that they had not appraised it with it being a Canadian car in mind (which meant that they thought it had 80,000 miles!) and now they could only offer $16,000. With little time on our hands before we head back to Europe, we can't run around to a bunch of other dealers looking to set up a new deal.

    Well, we checked in with our lawyer, who indicated that the deal sheet should hold up in magistrate's court, and recommended that we simply unload the car at a loss to a non-Honda dealer - CarMax or whoever, and then file against the Honda dealer for the damages (the difference between the $19,500 and whatever we get - which is looking like it's going to be $17,350).

    By the way, for any of you in the Charlotte area who may be interested, the dealer in question, from whom we had bought several cars in the past but will of course no longer be patronizing, is Honda Cars of Rock Hill - part of the Hendrick monopoly in this region.

    What I really don't understand is why any dealer would pull this sort of thing with a loyal customer, knowing that in the process they create any enemy for life? What about the money they would be making off the sale of the 2002 Odyssey, much less the profits from all the cars in the future that they now won't be selling us?

    By the way, it is interesting the difference between Edmunds' values and KBB. To me, the Edmunds' values seem more realistic - the difference between retail and trade-in on KBB is humongous. But then I have been having trouble getting a handle on these values in the real world. When we had the '99 at CarMax yesterday to get it appraised, they had a '00 LX with 30K miles sitting there marked with a "no haggle" price of $25,500. Isn't that more than the original sticker price? Will someone actually pay that? Should I really be selling this vehicle privately, despite all the hassle?
  • tag9tag9 Posts: 39
    I think I'll be satisfied with the leather in the Ody provided all the seating surfaces are, well, leather. After all, the third-row seat in the Yukon XL I looked at was actually VINYL. But, I suppose GM had to skimp somewhere; the vehicle is only $45k.
  • Will someone actually pay that? Yes, I think somone will. About 4 days ago, an 2001 Honda Ody EX (withotu NAV) was sold at same Carmax (off Independence Blvd) for $28,898. This car was only sit there for two days.

    As far as Hendrick, this car dealer is your worst nightmare. Don't order anything from them.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I think you will find that ALLmost all third seating surfaces are vinyl. I suppose there may be a few exceptions. You can still buy aftermarket leather which I'm sure will even be better than what comes on the 02 Odyssey. I have the aftermarket and the WHOLE seat, not just the seating surface is leather, the headrests, and on ALL seats, even the door panels, and sliders are leather. You also get alot more colors to choose from, and even some designs availible too.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The '02 Odyssey comes with side impact airbags though...check your owner's manual for restrictions on changing upholstery, adding covers, etc. Most manufacturers will state that seat mounted side impact airbags are not compatible with aftermarket upholstery, even though the company might claim special airbag compatible stiching.

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  • I don't recall if anyone has noticed that the EX-L interior pictures posted at show a CD changer. Does anyone know if this will be standard in the EX line, or an option? Apparently a 6-CD changer is now standard in the 2002 Honda CRV EX.
  • From the specs on the 2002, it appears the EX-L has a CD player with 6 speakers, not a CD changer.
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