Should I buy a used Honda Odyssey?

58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
Hi there! I have been looking through the Odyssey threads and love all the info. We are planning on buying an Odyssey next month, about mid-month after the sale is over.

My first question is what to buy. Before reading through the threads I thought we would be buying in the range of a 2003, 50K miles EXL, spending 15-20K. But I have read a lot about how much better the 2005 and newer are. Should I figure out a way to afford an 05 or newer? (not even sure if this is possible!) I am now worried that an older used isn't a good purchase.

My second questions is will the prices get better after the sale, or should we try to wait until later in the year? We could hold off until Oct/Nov/Dec if we thought there was some big deal to be had. I see that people are now getting nice EXLs just under 30K OTD. Could it get any cheaper?

And my last question is about trade ins. Yes, everyone says not to trade in your car but not doing so is really inconvienent. We only have one car and 2 little kids. I can have the car detailed and pull the car seats but it will be a pain the butt. Well, more so than normal I think. Plus we will have to rent a car to car shop, which sucks. Is it even possible to get a somewhat fair offer on my trade in? (2001 subaru forester S with 50K miles if it matters).

We plan on driving this car into the ground and only put about 8K miles a year on a car.I think that is it. We don't care so much about the dvd player, but I must have the power doors and leather. The rest I don't care so much about. And we are in Seattle.

Whew! I appreciate that you read this and any thoughts, insight or experience you can share would be greatly appreciated.

motor motor!


  • mary36mary36 Member Posts: 52
    As a mom... I only looked at 2005's and newer. Only because that's the year when a LOT of safety features became STANDARD. Prior to that, people had to ORDER safety features - like side curtain airbags etc. And most people didn't (too much $$) and some of the safety features that are standard in the newer models today weren't even OPTIONS in older models.

    That being said, my search narrowed down even further when I was informed that the 2005 models only have one tether anchor in the rear... meaning you can only tether 1 carseat. I have three kids, so this is not an option for me.

    I then narrowed my search down to 06-07.

    I also want leather (easier to clean), rear camera, and other things.... but mainly I was after safety features.

    I wish I knew what the sales are going to be like in the fall. We're trying to figure out if we should pull the trigger now or wait.
  • georgiagirlgeorgiagirl Member Posts: 17
    I am sort of in the same boat so can't offer too much advice. However, I have ruled out 2004 models and older due to reasons Mary36 stated. The safety features on the newer models can't be beat.

    Although leather and power doors would be nice, it's not really a deal breaker for me. I am really wanting an Odyssey for the safety features. I can't decide if I am going to buy a used 05 EX-L or EX or a NEW 07 LX. I also plan to keep the van for a loooong time so I don't want to regret not getting some extra features, that's why I'm leaning towards a used 05. With the great deals going on now it seems I'd only be saving a few thousand dollars buying used. Hmmm....what to do???

    I am also curious to see what happens after Labor Day and the incentive ends. In my area there are still plenty of Odysseys to be had. It would seem that they would continue to offer some specials to get rid of the 07s to make room for the new. Color is not a factor for me so I'd be willing to take whatever I could get for a good price.

    I am also not in a hurry to buy, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled to see what happens.

    Sorry I could not offer too much advice. Good luck with your purchase!
  • mary36mary36 Member Posts: 52
    I'm finding that a used 05 (EX-L) is going for just a few thousand less than a NEW EX-L.

    We NORMALLY buy used... I preach it all the time. But with my prerequisite of having standard safety features, for Oddy's I can't look at models older than 2005. I just can't and won't.

    After driving what I'm driving now (02 Caravan), I promised myself we'll never skimp on safety features again - no matter the cost. Gotta protect my kids on the road. They're more likely to die there than really anywhere else.

    Good luck with the search... we're in a quandry. I've got a Carmax offer for my van good for 7 days (expires Tues). And the Honda sale ends about the same time too. I feel the need to pull the trigger now... but my DH is waiting for a few things to happen at work within the next month. :confuse:

    So..... not sure what we're going to do.
  • esteezeesteeze Member Posts: 102
    I agree with the statements about the safety features. The 03 model year also had some mechanical issues (mostly transmission) that I would be concerned about.

    My wife has an 04 Odyssey EX that we've leased for the past 3 1/2 years; it's been a really good car. There have been a lot of new features (safety and otherwise) that the newer models have, so we're looking forward to getting a new one when the lease is up in a few months. We've been looking at the 07 EX-L with the rear entertainment system (RES).
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    After reading all of what you said, I am now really leaning towards waiting another whole year to buy. The arguements for getting a much newer car than we can afford right now are just too big. We can wait one more year (blech!) then we can buy next year with either no or little car payment, which was the goal. I really want an odyssey! Two kids in car seats in a Forester sucks. thanks again everyone and I will still check in on this thread and see what else you all have to say.

    vroom vroom :( emotorcons/emo_frown.gif
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    My two cents is to buy right now. You should be able to get an '07 LX for less than 22K. Your Forester now has low miles and (depending on where you live) may be an easy sale if you price it right on craigslist - the low miles should attract someone. Even if you have to trade it, it should bring decent money due to the mileage.
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    I don't want an LX. I will wait a year for the leather if I have to. 22K for a new LX is pretty amazing though. Does the LX come with power doors? I think with kids leather is worth it. We have cloth seats now and I hate them. Our previous car was a 87 volvo wagon with pleather and I miss the pleather very much. We had 2 big stinky dogs with that wagon and could get it CLEAN.

    Plus - won't there be killer sales next year this time?
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    No, the LX does not have power doors. If you want leather and power doors, you're looking at an EX-L - right now the best price reports on those are around 26K.

    Good prices a year from now? Well, Honda has never offered an incentive approaching the current 2K to dealers. If that's your yardstick, then I would say, no, prices won't be so great this time next. My take is that the current situation is being driven by several factors including: scary ecomony, Chrysler's fire-sales prices on their '07 minivans prior to the new '08 model, and (at least here) Toyota offering 2K on the Sienna.

    Another thing here is that your Subie is not going to be any more valuable a year from now.
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    26K! From what the OTD prices I have seen here it is closer to 30K. Where are you hearing 26K?

    I suspect you are right about the current car selling climate, but we would be in a very nice buying position one year from now and we can make due with our stupid small Forester. And next year we could buy used 06 or 07.

    Maybe for giggles I will contact a dealer via email and see what they can do.

    So, uh, you work for a Honda dealer?
  • mary36mary36 Member Posts: 52
    If you don't get Navigation and DVD, you CAN get an EX-L for around that $26 price.

    Those other goodies add on about $3k.

    I got a quote for around $29 (before taxes) for an EX-L with DVD plus NAV.

    What I'm finding used for 2006 (again equipped as above) all have 20-40k miles on them and are either only a couple grand less than what I was offered for NEW... or even MORE expensive. Crazy huh?

    This is the ONLY reason why we're considering new. I've NEVER had a new car - ever. It'll be very strange to have actual "new car smell" in our garage and not from some silly aroma spray.
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    Mary are you planning on buying one this weekend? If you are buying what are you going to buy?

    We have never had new either and it seems pretty weird. I remember years ago the APR was so low it made it a good deal to buy new, but those days are long gone.

    I have put in an email at the dealership, we will see what happens. I still don't think it is smart for us now but I know I need to look into it. If it really is OTD 26K maybe there is a chance.
  • mary36mary36 Member Posts: 52
    I HOPE we buy this weekend.

    And rumor has it here -
    ... there's going to be $2k off on leftover 07's PLUS low APR financing (only this weekend). Right now, it's either/or not BOTH. We'll see if it's true.

    Our problem is, we want to pay cash. I thought we had the $$ for it, but my lovely husband informed me/reminded me last night that he's taken out a big chunk of that money to pay on the mortgage. (He did tell me this in passing a LONG time ago... I just forgot).

    Of course, that's the wise, mature home owner thing to do right? Put your money in something that apreciates. But that doesn't help momma's cause! I need a new van before my crappy seatbelts ejects one of my kids!

    If the dealer IS offering the low APR and $2k off... I think I could talk DH into doing it. He's expecting some really large bonuses this winter and spring and we could pay the loan off then.

    If you don't want NAV and DVD, I really do think you'd get close to that $26k price. And you'd have an awesome vehicle.

    Good luck! ;)

  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    No, 26K for the vehicle - taxes and fees vary widely across the country. Just read the Prices Paid threads here and on the Odyssey club site to get an idea of current market pricing.

    I've never worked in any phase of the automotive business.
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    cccompson-I was just teasing you a bit!
  • 58motor58motor Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the link but for me it didn't go to a specific page. That is a good rumor about this weekend though. It will be interesting to see what they do for me.

    I hope you do get to buy your car this weekend!

    I am pretty doubtful we will be getting one. We would be depleting too much of our savings to do it. And our Forester is fine. Small but just fine. Nice even. I am just so sick of such a small car, plus we are driving to Vancouver in October and I had my heart set on having a decent size car. Plus this will be the second time we have put off buying the Odyssey. Last year DH came up with the great idea to take the $ we had to buy an ODY and pay off the Forester. Which was smart. And we would be getting an ODY if I didn't do any research! We would be getting a 03 or 04. But I think it is best to wait and get the newer one.
  • lunamuzlunamuz Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a bit of advice. I'm thinking of buying a 1995 Odyssey. It has 241,000 miles and they are asking $2500.00. It has an issue with the A/C and catalytic converter. Do you all think this is a good deal...anything I should look for when I test drive it???

    Thanks so much for all your help!!!
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    Good deal?

    Absolutely not - it's miled up and needs (likely expensive) repairs.
  • cillakatcillakat Member Posts: 53
    awful deal. i just sold my 2000 ody ex for 2500 miles. many many cosmetic issues but all major compoenents and engine in perfect order, new timing belt, four new michelin tires, brakes 15k on them, new radiator. the automatic doors are fussy and require various operator tricks to close. the ac blows icecold but again, major trickery to get the button for the rear a/c lined up just right to work.

    anyhoo, you can do better if you look look look and are willing to sacrifice on cosmetics.

  • esleveslev Member Posts: 1
    I'm dealing with a 2000 oddysey with 107k miles on it. It seems a bit sluggish accelerating after a stop. There's almost a 'pause' when the gas is applied. Is this normal for hondas?

    also, my big concern is transmission issues. This one hasn't had any issues so far, but I've read a lot of posts on it. Should I be concerned?

    Lastly, how many miles should I expect out of an Oddysey?

    Thank you!!!
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    No, that pause is not the way it should act. If it is doing anything strange in downshifting (as when slowly stopping for a light), the transmission is failing for sure.

    Second generation Odysseys transmissions aside, Hondas run forever if properly maintained.
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    Not a good deal. Catalyic converters are about $700-$1100 installed. AC is also expensive.

    Just replaced mine and I'm selling my mint condition 2000 Odyssey with 150k for $6000.
  • olivegreenolivegreen Member Posts: 6
    Points to ponder:
    (1) From Dealer with 12 month warranty added to remaining months left (total 38 months, give or take).

    (2) Certified car, not totally clear what that means.

    (3) Was in "fender bender" on DEALER lot. They (dealer) replaced front/rear bumpers & touched up tailgate paint (about $2500.00+ damage). Damage cost sounds a bit excessive to me, but then I could be out of touch with todays' dollars.

    (4) Has 4,200 miles, was told owner wanted to trade up to a leather model, does this statement make any sense to anyone?

    (5) Price: Around 22,500.00 OTD. Texas Area.

    (6)Lastly, I keep telling hubby it is USED... as he is getting "blindsided" by the price! Need to keep focused: tell myself this is STILL a used car, Period. I have no problem buying used IF the deal is great.
    So what are your thoughts?? Would you go for it?
    Why? Why NOT?
    Please answer any/all questions as I am a newbie who would like to replace present vehicle, which is a 10 yr. old Ford Windstar with 34,000 miles (not TYPO!) that we plan to sell outright.

    OH: Where would I find the Honda Odssey Owner's Club that I have seen mentioned on this board?
    Thank you in advance for helping a "lady" out!
  • blackexv6blackexv6 Member Posts: 503
    I wouldn't believe the story about the previous owner upgrading to a leather model.

    However $22,500 is a pretty good price. Invoice on the '07 is $26,625 & usually take a $4k hit the first year. I don't know what taxes are in Texas but in PA 6%.

    So, lets assume the car is around $21,150. Check the CarFax to see what the damage report is if not serious then it is not a bad deal but always try for more.
  • olivegreenolivegreen Member Posts: 6
    Thanks... our thoughts also... a bit dubious about trading up to leather model, seems to me there is more to this story or not?
    Was told accident was NOT recorded/reported so would not be on car fax report. Is this legal or not?

    You are saying.... this isn't the GREAT deal we think it is?
    PS. Tax is 6.25%
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,064
    Sounds like a pretty good price, wouldn't hurt to try to get it lower if you decide to buy.

    Would be a good idea if you could find or get previous owners telephone number from dealership and ask them about history of vehicle. Front and rear bumper damage suggest it was rear ended and shoved into another vehicle in front of it, most likely at a stoplight. Sounds more than a "fender bender" to me.

    Another thought may be the vehicle is exhibiting an intermentent problem the dealership was unable to fix, so previous owner traded it in. Anyone selling a vehicle after only 4,200 miles is either a bit flaky or trying to get rid of a problem.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    Run away from this as far and as fast as possible. It's no deal and has been hit front and rear.

    You can buy a new '07 EX for 24K or less most anywhere in the U.S. right now.

    Rules here prohibit the posting of other website addresses. Just google and you'll easily locate the Odyssey owners' club site.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    It doesn't sound like a good deal to me; you're shelling out almost $23,000 for a minivan that's been in an accident when the brand new equivalent costs only $1000-$2000 more, depending on your haggling skills and the desperation of a dealership.

    I don't buy the story that the original owner wanted to trade up to leather. A dealership could have easily sold them the EX-L from the get-go.

    And $4,000 in damage? That's quite a lot.

    At this price, I'm going to be a passing. Just get a brand new one for a few grand more, and call it a day.
  • swadudeswadude Member Posts: 2
    Seriously, jokes aside, we just bought our second because we liked the first one so much. My question is why can't I sell my 1st. I priced it way below blue book, TMV, etc ($13,400). It's a 2003 EX, excellent condition, 63K miles, garaged, super clean inside and out. Hardly a nibble! What gives? Is it the economy, supply/demand? Hmmmm. Anyone, ideas? Advertised on Craig's list (dallas) and and parked at used car lot on base and off. I'm having buyer's remorse about the new one just because the old one has nothing wrong and is still so great. What can I say, persuasive wife.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    It can be tough to privately sell a vehicle in this price range, especially one that doesn't have any special (read unique) interest. My only suggestion would be to cut the price a bit and put it in your local neighborhood paper.
  • m6hatchm6hatch Member Posts: 3
    This proves the point that the high resale value on these vans is only a myth. Also, who knows what the next 6 years will bring regarding demand with ever increasing gas prices. If Honda or Toyota brings their diesel motors to the US, all the current model values will drop. I think we are better off leasing right now.
  • esteezeesteeze Member Posts: 102
    I wonder how their resale value compare to other vans in the same class (Windstar. Town and Country, Quest, and Sienna) ?

    In theory, diesels sound like a good idea for the future, but I question whether the American market would adopt. I got a diesel Jetta about 6 months ago, and a lot of comtemporaries looked at me like I was nuts; many people may not be willing to change from engines they are familiar with.
  • cya1cya1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking to buy a used Odyssey and was wondering what the difference is between the LX and EX models and what year did the sliding door windows open and what year did the engine drop from 6 to 3 cylinders on the hwy? Thanks for any help!
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Sliding door windows didn't start to open until the 2005 model year. The cylinder deactivation didn't start until the 2005 model year as well, and only on EX-L and higher trim lines.

    The EX adds to the LX: alloy wheels, power sliding doors, different cloth, a CD changer, and a few other small things.

    I would avoid the 2005 models; I remember reading about a lot of problems with the first batch of them.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    I disagree because such teething issues on any particular car have likely already been addressed.

    Used Odysseys are relatively poor values due to high prices. You can buy a new '07 LX for just a shade over 20K right now most anywhere in the U.S., making it just about the best value around.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Well, for the price of the 2005s, you might as well get a brand new 2007 or even 2008, so why even bother taking a risk?

    I recommend at least going to the EX model though; those power sliding doors are very handy..
  • homesteader1homesteader1 Member Posts: 3
    I bought a new '06 odyssey and had what the factory called road damage to the AC condenser when the car had 9k miles. The only way you could find the leak was to carefully look in the center of a 2" freon leak spot. The local dealer refused to cover the damage but after several calls to Honda USA they agreed to cover it. Now it has happened again and the factory refused to cover it. It cost me $750 to have it repaired. If it happens again Honda is history.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    Why don't you buy a roll of gutter guard at Home Depot and fix the problem?

    It's alot cheaper than $750.
  • richarddaviesricharddavies Member Posts: 7
    My wife and I are planning to buy a used Odyssey soon. We're looking at '03-'06 models. We prefer the redesigned look of the '05 and '06 models better than the older models. But judging from what we've seen so far, we can only afford a newer model if it has high miles.

    We recently saw an '06 for sale with 96K miles. I was wondering how concerned I should be about purchasing an Odyssey with this many miles. We plan on keeping the van for 7+ years and want a reliable automobile.

    I've heard of Civics and Accords easily going 200-300K miles. My initial gut feeling is that considering Honda's reputation for building very reliable cars that an engine with 96K miles is still relatively "young" and not a cause for great concern. (Of course I would have a mechanic inspect it before purchasing it.) But I'm not a car expert and haven't owned a lot of cars, so I could be wrong.

    I'd like to get your feedback and opinions. Is 100K miles too many? If not, at what point should I start to be concerned? What are your experiences (good or bad) with Odyssey's after 100K miles?

    Thank you for your input!
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,064
    very reliable cars that an engine with 96K miles is still relatively

    That's a helluva lot of miles for an '06. How much are they asking for it? LX, EX, EX-L?

    I wouldn't worry about the engine making it to 200k. I'd be more concerned with the transmission. Honda has been having some problems with their transmissions. A newer heavier trans put in the 2007 model.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • isellitisellit Member Posts: 15
    Id say it must be a real good deal, THOUSANDS under book before Id buy it. I would prefer an older model with less than normal miles before Id buy a newer car with that many miles.
    If I member correctly the 2003-2005 Odys were the ones who ate transmissions up. Do a search and check me out though.
    All cars wear through a/cs, radiators, brake systems, steering and suspensions, shocks and struts. Do you really want to trust your family in a 150-175K mile car traveling hundreds of miles from home with all the crime and murders on the road looking for victims nowdays? There were just 2 young college girls murdered by thugs last week. One in Alburn, the other at University of North Carsolina. Both kids originally, went to high school/lived in Georgia. What a shame.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I would actually prefer a newer, higher mileage car as opposed to an older, lower mileage one, since the newer one with higher miles probably spent most of its time on the highway (unless it was a delivery vehicle) as opposed to stop and go driving.

    Plus, there's more safety features on the newer one.

    I wouldn't be too worried about the engine; I'd be more worried about the transmission.. The majority of the transmission problems were from 1999-2003, but there have been isolated cases of 05-06 models since the transmission design wasn't updated and toughened until the 2007 model year. I'd get the car examined, and check the maintenance records to see if the transmission has ever been replaced.
  • richarddaviesricharddavies Member Posts: 7
    Just curious, how much does it cost to replace a transmission?

    What about other parts---how much wear and tear would high (highway) miles cause to the suspension, brakes, or other components?
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,064
    Just curious, how much does it cost to replace a transmission?

    The cost will depend on where you take it. Generally would be anywhere from an arm and a leg... to you don't want to know.

    Sounds like you want this van.... so go ahead and buy it.
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    For the Odyssey, it depends on several factors:

    1. Honda dealer, or local transmission guy?
    2. How much is Honda's portion of the bill?

    Typically, the cost is right around $4,000 to replace the transmission in an Odyssey from the Honda dealer; I don't know what it costs at an independent shop, but I'm guessing it'd be significantly cheaper.

    A cheaper way to at least prolong the transmission is to change the transmission often- I believe there's a poster that swears by getting the transmission fluid drained and refilled (but not flushed) every 2 years or 30,000 miles.
  • duhaasduhaas Member Posts: 4
    Possibly on am going to pull trigger on this vehicle on Saturday. Car has 17000 miles, and looks great. The one thing on the carfax report speaks about how honda apparently purchased the car back from original owner to fix an alignment issue??? Problem has been fixed according to Honda, Should I be concerned?
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    A lemon buy-back due to an alignment issue? Make sure it's fixed and the price is right.
  • duhaasduhaas Member Posts: 4
    22500 is the price before tax/title/license
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    If Honda can fix it, then it won't be a lemon buy back. Right?
  • duhaasduhaas Member Posts: 4
    I ended up pulling the trigger on the vehicle, test drove fine, and just too good of a deal. thanks for everyones input. From what i understand, honda purchased the vehicle back from the previous owner, fixed the problem, and this deal purchased it @ auction
  • duhaasduhaas Member Posts: 4
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