By on February 18, 2016

2015 Honda Odyssey EX

With 6,402 miles under its belt, it’s safe to say our 2015 Honda Odyssey is in its prime; fresh enough to feel new, broken in enough to make the most of its 3.5-liter V6, yet not beaten into submission by too many toddler snacks or dog hairs. We now have our Odyssey right where we want it.

Alas, this too shall pass. The floor trays aren’t quickly removed, so the winter’s salt and grime, mixed in with some of Prince Edward Island’s red dirt, is accumulating swiftly. Hairs from the dog, who’s always kept behind the second row, are somehow attracting one another along the sills of the two front doors. We’re rapidly approaching the Odyssey’s first service, a free one at Centennial Honda during our next visit to the in-laws in PEI.

With a dirty, hairy interior and the first service complete, it’s official: our long-term Odyssey is no longer new.

2015 Honda Odyssey EX floor trays, Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

We drove home from Summerside in our Odyssey EX at the end of last June, and continue to accumulate mileage slowly. As often as not, we drive a manufacturer-supplied press car if the dog doesn’t need to join us and the timing is convenient for a child seat swap. There’s a palpable sense of superior horsepower now, but we’ve yet to see the fuel economy figures improve. Not only was our summer driving more highway-centric, the temperatures were obviously milder and we were on all-season rather than winter tires.

Perhaps then, it’s notable that fuel mileage hasn’t noticeably worsened. We’re consistently seeing around 24 miles per gallon on the U.S. scale, just under 10L/100km for Canadians. (MarkPorthouse.net’s calculator is great if you don’t want to do the math yourself.) The Odyssey’s combined EPA rating is 22 mpg. The bulk of our driving is in a suburban setting.

2015 Honda Odyssey EX dirty doorhandles, Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Chasing and overtaking my brother in his 1.4T Cruze away from the MacKay Bridge tolls late one Sunday night in January was a real joy, not just because the Odyssey is quicker than my older brother’s car – especially when accelerating from moderate speeds to a highway pace – but because I’m secure in the knowledge that he doesn’t find any joy in prodding his own minivan. He drives a Dodge Grand Caravan, a van with a best-in-class 3.6-liter 283-horsepower V6. Best-in-class refers, of course, to the horsepower rating, not the engine itself. Lacking refinement, burdened by an uncooperative six-speed automatic, a Grand Caravan commanded to accelerate with all its gusto is not the happiest Grand Caravan, and is owned therefore by an unhappy driver.

That’s not to say the Odyssey’s six-speed automatic has all the charm of an S2000’s manual. Somewhat recalcitrant when cold, the Odyssey’s automatic is periodically befuddled by uphill acceleration at highway speeds. Mileage continues to eradicate many of the transmission’s bad habits, but one wonders why minivan makers can’t install properly smooth and cooperative transmissions; the Sienna and Sedona units aren’t exactly paragons of performance, either.

2015 Honda Odyssey sunglasses holder, Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Through nearly eight months, other complaints merit little attention. With frequent fresh blankets of snow, we’re prompted to reach for sunglasses more often these days than during the fall. This restores the belief that the Odyssey’s sunglasses holder, part of the conversation mirror that provides a great view of the driver but a very distant look at the rear, is among the worst in the automotive industry. Many are built with cheaper materials, but I don’t recall experiencing a sunglass holder so incapable of accepting a pair of sunglasses. Oh, the space inside is acceptable, but the aperture is slim.

All other complaints revolve not around the van but the means by which Honda packages Odysseys. In traditional Honda fashion, there are no options, just trim lines. In hindsight, there are a couple of items that would be very nice to add to an Odyssey EX, but both require a leap to the Odyssey EX-L RES. That’s a CAD $7,010 jump for a power tailgate and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

2015 Honda Odyssey EX rearview camera, Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

The filth of winter is most apparent on the tailgate, and the tailgate’s grimy state is most obvious under the lip, beside the rearview camera, right where your clean hands must go to open the tailgate.

It’s not a big deal. I’m going to survive without a power tailgate. (I personally despise how slow so many vehicles complete this power-operated task, including the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 we’re driving this week. Take a knee while you wait.) But given the degree to which this has become an expected feature, it’s odd that Honda Canada won’t let you have a power tailgate in an LX, SE, EX, or EX RES. For a power tailgate, American Honda expects you to pay for a $36,950 Odyssey EX-L. It’s unavailable on the $30,300 LX, $33,450 EX, and $34,400 SE.

As for the leather-wrapped wheel, it’s again a feature without which I can cope. But virtually every press vehicle that comes our way is a top-spec model, so every time I get back into my own car, I’m missing out on the key touch point. After extensive time in something fairly miserable like the Honda HR-V, there’s a sense of relief knowing there’s a wildly superior option in our own driveway.

Except that the HR-V’s steering wheel is nice. And our Odyssey’s isn’t.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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101 Comments on “2015 Honda Odyssey Long-Term Test: Eight Months in With Few Complaints...”


  • avatar
    madman2k

    Well, at least it’ll last you a long time since you barely put any miles.

    Might just have to get in the happen of carrying your sunglasses on top of your head or clipped on the top of your shirt.

    Does yours have the vacuum?

    Not that having it would mean it’s a tempting thing to vacuum after every single drive when I assume it’s super cold and crappy out…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Now we know how the Odyssey holds up in super cold weather. But it does equally well in super hot weather. My daughter bought a 2013 Odyssey, her second. She lives in El Paso, TX, where temps can be hellish. She traded her LX in on an EX-L, and aside from a lot of extras in the EX-L, the Odyssey was pretty much the same.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “She lives in El Paso, TX…”

        Condolences.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Yeah, it was a mess this past week with his Holiness, the Pope, visiting Ciudad Juarez.

          I was not able to get tickets to attend the Mass. I was too White.

          • 0 avatar
            Charliej

            Poor baby. Your expected white privilege did not work for you this time.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Maybe the Pope knows about his history of funding abortions?

            God certainly does.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It looks like we need more Baruth articles to scare the SJWs back to their safe spaces.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “It looks like we need more Baruth articles to scare the SJWs back to their safe spaces.”

            Yup, that would work.

            I like Baruth’s writing. He communicates exactly what he wants to get across, even if it irks bleeding heart liberals and homosexuals. Baruth’s writing leaves no doubt about what the real world is like. Everybody should be treated the same. No special treatment for nature’s anomalies. Priceless!

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    What a looker that Odyssey is! So stylish, you don’t even need to mention Honda’s nonexistent reputation for quality and dependability to make a sale.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    A sunglasses holder really us a nice thing to get used to. It’s a frivolity, sure, but I went from having one to not, and it really irked me when I didn’t have a convenient storage option. I’m not one to have expensive sunglasses because I’ll break or lose them, so I usually don’t have a separate case for them. Without a specific holder in the car, it then becomes a wear them or risk scratching them scenario.

    As for the packaging of options, I understand why they are handled this way, but I truly wish it were possible to order them a la carte. I could actually get the exact car I want then, and spare myself a lot of add-ons I don’t need or want.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      We have them in 2 of our 3 cars, and I love them. As a blue-eyed individual I’m more sensitive to the bright, and the fact that there’s almost always a pair of sunglasses in them in case I forget to bring mine is a lifesafer.

      The third car is the S2000. I’m in sunglasses in it nearly 100% of the time I’m driving, so there’s no forgetting them.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That camera thing is one part I appreciate about my Golf SportWagen. The camera flips out of the logo when you shift into reverse. And even though you also use the logo to open the rear hatch, the camera is hidden behind a separate compartment in the logo, so you basically never touch it. It’s a great feature…you know, until the sh*t breaks because it’s a Volkswagen and all.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The annoying thing with that is I got a drop of water on mine, and where it dried there is now a small brownish smudge I can’t easily clean off. Its a minor annoyance, but I haven’t checked to see if there is an easy way to access the camera other than having someone in the car sitting on the brake in reverse while I clean the lens.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      That reminds me of all of those 90s Nissans sedans where they hid the trunk lock behind the badge, which rotated to expose the key slot and almost invariably broke. Nissan apparently intended to stand out from the other second tier Japanese car companies with clean trunk lid design, a feature noticed by no one ever, and actually stood out from other second tier Japanese companies by being the one with the badge hanging 50 or 60 degrees askew.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        A lot of GM cars did that, too. We had a 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight where the key was behind the badge. Also, I once test-drove a 2004 645Ci (I know, I know) that did it. The newer 6-Series has the camera located behind the badge, like my GSW.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          My 91 and 92 DeVilles both had this type of keyhole on the trunk. I thought they were clever and liked them.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          My first car was a 96 Altima which also had the trunk keyhole behind the badge. Eventually, it just had the keyhole exposed on a silver plate shaped like the outline of the Nissan logo, since the cover had a tendency to break off over time.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Yeah Honda probably just skipped doing anything like that because they figured it’d just break eventually. Honestly it seems like only VW bothered to hide the camera in their logo, probably because complicating things without regards to reliability isn’t a big deal to them lol.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    When roads are dirty as they are for much of the winter do you have to clean the rear view camera everytime you need to back up?

    • 0 avatar
      ddroadkill

      Yes!

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Yes.

      • 0 avatar
        GS 455

        Automakers need to make a backup camera washer controled from the dash. And while they’re at it devise a bigger rear window wiper system than that pathetic little half circle.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Seems like the smart thing would be to simply incorporate the camera into the hatch glass where it would get wiped by the wiper. Or have a separate squirter for the camera. Seems to me that somebody does that – Volvo maybe?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      What a pain. The first car I had with a camera was my former Leaf, and its camera got dirty very easily. It was useless in the very conditions you needed it most.

      Based on my experience, I have no confidence in mirror-less camera-based concepts (looking at you, Tesla).

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        The solution is obvious, but no one is doing it. Install the camera *inside* the vehicle behind a portion of the rear-facing glass that is cleaned by a wiper.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford has a rear view camera cleaner on the Explorer, Edge, and F150. Other vehicles are coming soon.

          http://www.at.ford.com/news/cn/Pages/There%E2%80%99s%20a%20Place%20the%20Snow%20is%20Always%20Plowed%E2%80%A6%20Ford%20Develops%20Front%20and%20Rear%20View%20Camera%20Washers.aspx

          youtube.com/watch?v=wsikAvX91Ss

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            That’s additional complexity and I’m not confident that “tiny washer jets” will resolve all winter conditions. Couple that with the fact that this solution fails without washer fluid, and I’d rate this a very fragile solution.

            The reason rear-view mirrors work all the time is that they’re not exposed to the exterior elements. Thus, my solution to simply install the camera in the interior of the vehicle behind the glass.

            I realize that sedans and other vehicles without rear wipers are exempt, but the CUVs that everyone seems enamored with are the ideal candidates for this solution. Besides, a properly designed sedan doesn’t need a rearview camera.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You solution is better and more simple. As long as you are able to clear the back window, you should be able to see with the camera.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Where I live, if you are out of washer fluid you are screwed anyway. I buy the stuff by the case. Luckily, the smallest of the tanks in my three vehicles is 1.5 gallons.

    • 0 avatar
      mchan1

      Heck, Yes!

      Whenever there’s bad weather (winter driving or rainy days), you’ll have to wipe the rearview camera lens every time Before you drive.

      • 0 avatar
        GS 455

        This gets me worked up like DW gets with Cadillac. First automakers design vehicles with such crappy rear visibility you need a camera to keep from running over someone. Then they play it up like it’s the greatest thing since free internet porn but it doesn’t occur to them that cars get dirty and the camera becomes useless. “2016 A Honda Odyssey” except that HAL is blind because of road crap on its eye. A Stanley Kubrickhead film.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I’ve never found a sun-glass holder that works for me. I like wrap around style lenses and they are often larger then typical prescription glasses. So I just put my glasses in some other bin. With all my tunes on an iPhone now the lack of CDs in the car has freed up plenty of space. Also with a manual transmission the cup holders offer additional free space since shifting and drinking don’t mix.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My car doesn’t even have one, unfortunately. The space that would go to an overhead sunglasses holder is instead taken up by the motor for the panoramic sunroof. My X5 didn’t have one, either…and it also had a pano sunroof.

      Speaking of having iPhones and not CDs, the Bentley Mulsanne has a special drawer for phones and media devices, toward the top of the center stack.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I usually wear wayfarers, so they generally fit in anything. My wife’s large girly sunglasses didn’t though.

      We got her a new pair for Christmas this year that actually happen to fit in her Santa Fe now, not that it was at all the reason she wanted them.

  • avatar
    ddroadkill

    I have a 2007 Odyssey Touring about to hit 200000 KMs and except for 2 little points, it’s been extremely reliable. About missing having a leather-wrapped steering wheel, I don’t know if they have changed the materials, but mine is barely leather-wrapped anymore. If your hands are wet from rain or snow, it gets weirdly sticky and parts actually come off. There are certain parts that are now bare, which is where I put my hands when they are wet now, cause it doesn’t stick anymore. My other complaint is after only 5 years I had to replace that handle on the tailgate because it rusted so bad that it would not spring anymore and would stay stuck open. All in all this van has been great and I will definitely be looking at the next model for a replacement.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    8 months long term? that is funny! 18 yrs with my Corolla,THAT is long term

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      We ain’t done yet.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Consider how long the average auto journalist spends with a car before writing up the review. I’d say most of the reviews on this site should count as long-term at most others.

      Also, being that this vehicle is owned, I’d say the idea of long-term review is more of an ongoing one.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      That Odyssey will be on its third transmission 18 years from now. Probable rebuilt engine. Long term wise a Senna will out live an Odyssey.

      • 0 avatar
        Sloomis

        Not eve. I think that whole issue is overblown. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I think that since people expect Honda to be bulletproof, when a component fails to entirely live up to that reputation it sends people into hysterics. As a middle age parent who associates with a lot of other middle-age parents, I know a lot of minivan owners, probably divided evenly between Odysseys and T&C/Caravans. None of the Honda owners ever report significant issues, while the Chrysler drivers, well…

        And speaking from personal experience, I’ve driven an Odyssey for 11 years and 142,000 miles and everything has been rock solid the whole way, including the transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          Corollaman

          I know 2 people who owned Accord and Odyssey, and both had transmissions rebuilt, the Accord with only 110k miles, the Ody had about 150k. Others I know with Toyota with similar and higher miles, no transmission problems

          • 0 avatar
            sco

            1999 Odyssey, two transmissions replaced under warrantee, 2005 Odyssey traded in at 140K with check engine light/torque converter issues. And this was with changing the tranny fluid every 40K and no abuse like towing. I’m not saying this is good or bad for any mini-van but it was far less than the quality I was expecting and which I had in an older Civic.

          • 0 avatar
            goldtownpe

            I have a 1998 Honda Accord EX V6. Just rolled past 250k miles last night. Original transmission and engine. But I do drain and fill the transmission every 30k miles. The only component that has given me any real problem is the Delphi supplied alternator. Original lasted 80K miles. Rebuilt replacement from Honda dealer lasted only 40K miles. Suprisingly, the cheap Chinese one from Autozone is still going strong with over 120K miles on it. Go figure.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            First year of the 5-speed transmission/J30 combo and yours lasted 250k miles? Either you’re a VERY gentle driver who is in a flat area, or you got a unicorn.

          • 0 avatar
            goldtownpe

            Mine only has the 4-speed auto. I think the 5-speed auto was in the 7th gen Accords (2003?). It’s mostly flat for my commute, but I’ve taken it on several long trips over the mountains here in California. The J30 is a sweet motor. Plenty powerful for climbing hills and way more refined than Nissan’s VQ.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            My sister has a 1999 Odyssey and I have a 2001. Between us, we have put six transmissions into the two vans, each with about 200K miles on them as of this writing.

            Watch out for any 1999-2004 Honda/Acura V6 automatics – you may get lucky, and you may not.

  • avatar
    Nurburgringer

    We’ve had our 2011 Town and Country for 3.5 years and 40k miles now (bought with 11k miles for $23,000US), and I can’t honestly say the engine and/or transmission ever make me unhappy. Sure the trans sometimes lets out a clunk but she’ll put those 283hp down to the ground, lift up her skirt and boogie up to highway speeds plenty fast, with a rather sporty roar.
    The seat leather (cheap bonded crap, I’m still wondering if I shouldn’t have just ponied up the extra 4 or 5k for a “Limited” with better leather, heated steering wheel and most importantly memory settings for me and the shorter wife) is already showings some signs of wear but otherwise no mechanical or cosmetic issues whatsoever. Gas is practically free nowadays so who cares about mpgs… and it has a nice leather steering wheel, and is made in Canada ;)
    Oh yeah, stow and go seats are the #1 greatest thing in the world.
    Honda does make some great vehicles, I grant you. Will likely never sell my ’86 CRX Si.

    • 0 avatar
      BoogerROTN

      You made the right choice. You can get a low mileage T&C w/all the bells and whistles all day long for ~$23K. As nobody at Scouts or the Y or the local elementary school is going to get horny over a van, why in the hell pay a $5-10K premium for an Odyssey or Sienna? Especially considering the base function of such vehicles is to get trashed out w/rancid milk, leaky diapers and projectile vomit. And at least w/a T&C you can stick a misbehaving child in the hole (Stow-N-Go).

      Oh, and if reliability keeps you up at night, one can always float an extra grand towards FCA for an extended warranty. Financially, you’ll still come out head of the other parents who’ve given up all hope. Minivans are the sweat pants of automobiles. No matter how tarted up one’s Odyssey is, you’re still telegraphing to the world that you haven’t showered and you might not be wearing underwear. Meh.

      • 0 avatar
        Coopdeville

        “Minivans are the sweat pants of automobiles. No matter how tarted up one’s Odyssey is, you’re still telegraphing to the world that you haven’t showered and you might not be wearing underwear. Meh.”

        Funny, but Jalopnik is over that way <-. Loses some truth once you extend out of the mommy-mobile years. Haven't sold vans in some years, so maybe this has changed, but when I did I would venture that 30% of our business was elderly or empty-nester middle to upper-middle class who could give 2 ***** about what other people thought of what they drove, in the same mindset of the people who might buy a Land Cruiser over a Lexus. They could afford whatever they wanted, and what they wanted was a comfortable van.

        There are no less than 3 minivans in my extended family, all top of the line . The owners are all in their 70's and 80's and can afford any production car on the market. They drive the vans for their seating position and ease of ingress/egress exclusively, and I would venture none have ever seen a passenger in the 3rd row or a wayward M&M.

        But then again that's all anecdotal, and we might just know different people.

  • avatar
    319583076

    A car review ownership article garners an order-of-magnitude fewer comments than several less-than-primarily-automotive-related articles posted the same day…time to start the TTAC deathwatch?

  • avatar
    baggins

    We have had a 2014 Odyssey EX for 2 years now. Also have had a Toyota Sienna for 11 years, so can compare a bit.

    My long term review of the Odyssey

    Pros

    – rides well, not sloppy, not too firm
    – Lane Watch feature is a total winner, particularly in tight areas where you are apt to miss a bicyclist zipping past you while you make a right.
    – big mirrors, tho not as big as Sienna
    – the 3.5 VG is smooth and plenty of punch for any driving activity
    – mileage is pretty good on freeway with 6 speed and variable cylinder management, get 28-29 at steady state cruising. I think its a fairly aerodynamically efficient shape as well. Around town the 4500 lbs mass takes its toll on gas mileage of course – upper teens in my wifes use for running kids around in the hilly area where we live. Even my 4 cyl accord only gets 22-23 in these conditions.
    – Drivers seat fairly comfortable for me (subjective of course)
    – Has a solid feel to it going down the road. (subjective again, but has none of the “tinnyness”, that I feel in my accord sometimes
    rear hatch is not powered, which I prefer as its very light and quick to open, and just this weekend, I had to cram some stuff in there and push the hatch shut, you cannot do that with auto
    – good price /value combination at 28.8K

    Cons
    – Ody has no bins in 3rd row for kids to stash entertainment, water bottles, etc. Sienna had this and kids used a LOT
    – the Ody second row seats dont move back as far as I would like. On long trips in the Sienna, I would push the second row seats WAY back and enjoy huge leg room as a passenger (I am 6’4″). Odyssey has much less travel avail.
    – the driver cockpit isnt as spacious as the Sienna. Less room all around. Odyssey still lots of room, but Sienna is palatial. Sienna is my favorite car ever from than standpoint (I love a spacious, airy driving experience)
    – the cloth materials on Ody seats are a notable step down from my 2004 Sienna LE (base model).
    – the two screen set up is annoying. We dont cell phone or infotainment (mostly just slide in kids CDs) so this doesnt matter much to us
    – the temp control buttons are nice and high, but could be a bit larger

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      I’m jealous that you get to sit in the back of your Ody on occasion. My wife’s driving is too scary for that.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      We have an end-of-year 2014 EX-L ENT (or entertainment package…for a bit they parked the NAV and ENT packages next to each other and would try to talk you into the NAV package…no way…we have kids).

      Wound up with white, wanted bronze but a deal was a deal. Had to have the olive greenish “Truffle” leather, as the other choices were Tupperware gray and Tan. Again, we have kids. There should be a charcoal option, but I know a lot of folks don’t like that. Favorite interior EVER remains the CX-9 in black leather(ette). Great vehicle for up to four people, but alas…we have kids.

      Agree on the Lane Watch. In a city drive, when you need to cross a couple lanes and hit a right exit ramp, it’s flawless! I leave it active on the upper monitor a lot when in rush hour or city congestion.

      Cons? Few, but second row USB adapters for teen phones, easier second row removal (I fight with them every time and wind up on my knees examining the hinges to see how they lever out), and better user friendliness for the A/V system. Really, there has to be a better way to make this interface.

      Otherwise, none. The mileage really is silly-good for something this gargantuan. I’ve put couches in it that had the loading dock guys laughing themselves silly. The room is just amazing.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        The AV/infotainment is really lame. The few times I’ve tried it, feels less than intuitive. Hard to get the top screen to register what you want as well. Happily, we dont use those features much.

        I’ve never taken the seats out. We have the second row seats on our 04 Sienna removed and stored. We use it as a utility van. Home depot runs, dump runs etc.

        We have cloth, and have just resigned ourselves to the fact that the kids will screw it up. Although the Sienna took 10 years of use and the cloth seats dont look too bad. The floors on the other hand…

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    A Honda engine typically feels broken in somewhere between 30K and 40K miles. The brake rotors, on the other hand, typically crap out by 20K miles. Then the dealer tells you that it was probably a bad batch and tries to charge you money for changing them as a wear item. In the end they split the overblown price and you feel owned. Tell us when that happens and how they treat you.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      Buy your own quality rotors and pads online, save money and then pay someone to do it for you, if you’re not mechanically inclined yourself. Worse thing to do is go to a Midas type store, where they “guarantee” the pads for life, but they stick you with high labor and since they use crappy pads, you will be going back often

      • 0 avatar
        Stumpaster

        OK, but the issue I am trying to raise is that pretty much any Honda will have warped rotors by 20K miles. Don’t know why but that’s my experience. The paint durability is also crap but maybe I missed a memo that said long-lasting paint is no longer required to sell cars. Which is probably true.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          We have nearly 50K miles on our 2012 Odyssey, and the brakes have needed no service. Last time he checked, our mechanic said the front pads had 60% life left, and the rears 30%.

          I think Honda has addressed their previous issues with transmission reliability and brake life.

          • 0 avatar
            dingram01

            Not the case for my sister. She’s had the rotors turned once before 10K miles and a full replacement of rotors and pads late last year at something like 15K. Apparently still a common issue with the Odysseys.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Ahh, you’re just getting started. 84K on our ’11 Touring Elite so far. We’ve needed a power steering pump at 60K, all 4 brake pads and rotors at 70K, and control arms at 50K (just like every V6 Honda we’ve owned).

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    Horsepower is all very well and good, but without sufficient torque, it just doesn’t want to move the vehicle. We rented a Dodge Durango for a Florida trip 3 years ago…290 HP, but with 5 people and luggage onboard, it would barely climb hills on I-75 through the Smokies in TN…the only way to maintain 75 MPH was for it to just keep downshifting, that thing was SCREAMING as it tried to climb hills. I felt like I was abusing the poor thing. I can only imagine towing a boat or camper with it…pfft.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Just because it feels like it’s being abused doesn’t mean that it is. Modern engines tend to be designed to make power higher in the rev band these days. This isn’t the 60s when the powerband was done by 4,500 RPM. Even my 3.5L Concorde doeesn’t make peak power until 6,000 RPM, so on the occasions that I want to move, I floor it and allow the transmission to take me there. Then again, I’ve owned a machine that cruised at 6,000 RPM in sixth gear at 75 MPH (just past halfway to its redline), so I have no illusions about an engine being ruined when it’s run at its designed speed range.

      Let the engine rev to get to its peak power, get used to the sound being normal, and you’ll find that 290 hp is plenty of power.

      • 0 avatar
        CincyDavid

        I guess the thing that troubles me is that my old Buick Roadmonster with the little v8 in it would roll up and down those hills in OD turning under 2000 RPMS like the hills weren’t even there. That thing only had about 180 HP, but 276 LBs of torque.

        I think I’m turning into a grumpy old curmudgeon, but I simply don’t see where this is progress…

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          Compare the MPG and acceleration numbers of your Roadmaster to today’s cars, and you’ll see it.

          A quick Google search suggests 0-60 of the mid-90s non-LT1 Buick (whose curb weight is very similar to the Honda’s ~4,400 lbs) was just over 10 seconds, while the Odyssey does the deed in 7.7, and manages 28 MPG on the highway.

          “Feel” doesn’t always match reality, but today’s cars are far quicker and more efficient than the past.

        • 0 avatar
          MWolf

          Inclined to agree. I notice the same thing in some of the newer cars, even if they are rated at higher torque. Maybe it has to do with some of the transmissions, but I’ve owned a Buick and an Olds that seemed to do more with less power as far as climbing hills. Those were just four speeds hooked up to 3800’s.

          I understand they want to gain efficiency with 6 speeds, but I fail to see how downshifting constantly and revving is saving gas.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            And yet all objective measures show that newer cars are using less fuel while able to go faster.

            Warning: the following involves massive generalizations and simplifications.

            To a degree (ignoring innovations like better fueling and VVT), low-end torque is directly related to engine size, and engine size affects fuel consumption.

            Use a smaller engine and you can save fuel, but then you have less low-end torque. You can make more power by increasing torque or increasing revs, and newer engines do the latter, and they do it well.

            The result is an engine which needs more gears to keep it in its sweet spot (low revs when you want economy, high revs when you want power), and you lose that lazy feel of the older, bigger engines, who were tuned to be flexible enough to get by on only 4 gears, and could chirp the tires at low revs but would peter out past 4,000 RPM.

            It’s a different feel, and the cars those older engines were hooked up to were less refined as well, so they felt faster than today’s newer stuff, even though today a 0-60 time of 10 seconds like an early 90s V-8 Roadmaster would be decried by the masses as “dangerously slow.”

            Fortunately for the 3800 worshippers, the newest trend of adding turbos to small engines gives you back some of that low-end torque feel.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            We’re still calling it heresy :)

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @JuniperBug

            You are ignoring the biggest innovation – the widespread use of turbochargers. Which is effectively displacement on demand. Small engine when you don’t need it, big engine when you do. Closest thing to a free lunch physics will allow in an engine.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            How did I ignore it when I mentioned it specifically?

  • avatar
    RHD

    The leather steering wheel situation can be easily fixed by either swapping a top-of-the-line Honda wheel from a wrecked minivan in a junkyard, or buying a sew-in leather cover. I put one in my old Datsun roadster, and was very pleased with it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Are these things even available with roof racks anymore? I can’t stand a minivan, station wagon, or CUV/SUV without a roof rack. If you give me that large of a flat surface I’m going to press it into service every once in a while.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Surely there are OEM people who realize and exploit the fact that roof racks can also be assistive devices for old folks who have trouble dropping into the seat. My CRV’s don’t *quite* extend far enough forward for that but I absolutely will figure that into deciding on any new vehicle unless its seat is perfectly butt-height.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Such a nice van. I love the Obsidian Blue; best color on an Odyssey. My wife picked out our 2010 Odyssey LX in the Bali Blue Pearl because she liked the dark blue so much.

  • avatar
    Rday

    My 06 Ridgeline is based on the Odyssey It has 90K on it and has had brakes replaced twice, rotors once. Timing belt replaced at 8 yrs old. My Sienna had the same sized engine and was never in the shop for the 4 yrs/50K miles i put on it. I would go with toyota [no timing belt replacement which costs $700+]. Plus Honda recommends all these special fluids only available thru HOnda. Toyota doesn’t. I will keep the RIdge until hell freezes over but any new products will be Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Honda has made a few products I like but by and large I would also go Toyota over Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Both Honda and Toyota are proven to be way better than anything else out there. But the “putting my money where my mouth is” award goes to Toyota for me.

        And I did just that, once again. At 3pm on the afternoon of Feb 01, 2016, I took delivery of my Silver Metallic 2016 Tundra 5.7L CrewMax 4×4 SR5 with the TRD Off Road Pkg, skid plates, Bilsteins, P275/65R18 Michelin LTX All Terrain, 18″x8J Split 5-spoke TRD Off-Road Alloy wheels and all.

        Like with any new toy, I’ve been busy taking needless trips in it, enjoying that new-truck smell.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          Toyota V8s are glorious. Such a shame they all cost $50k.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Sam, it wasn’t as bad as all that. Here’s an excerpt:

            2016 Toyota Tundra SR5 5.7L V8 w/FFV Truck Crew Max 4×4

            MSRP:$41,623 incl SR5 Plus Pkg and TRD Off-Road Pkg, Sill Protectors, Plush floor mats, Stainless Steel Exhaust Tips

            Dealer Discount:$1,750
            Factory Rebate:$750

            I agreed to $39K even plus NM TT&L (Sales Tax 3%, Doc Fee $299 and DMV $95)

        • 0 avatar
          gsp

          Went on this link to read about the Honda as I have a 10 year old Oddy. Anyway I just bought this truck too, for my business. Got tired of the F150 repairs (rusted manifolds on a 5 year old truck!!!) But the Toyota is not perfect. Engine is nice but payload sucks and you can see where they cut corners all over the place. No handles to help get in and out, vibrations in the gas pedal drive me crazy (google it), Lots of little stuff like that. The tires that it comes with are a joke, will be worn out in 25k miles. Just my thoughts.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gsp, I had a 2011 Tundra 5.7L SR5 DC LB 2wd before this 2016 Crew Max.

            The 2011 served me long and hard with over 85K on the odo. Better than my 1988 Silverado ExtCab and 2006 F150 SC.

            Never any problems with the Tundra. Lots of problems with both the Silverado and F150.

            Towed beaucoup maxed out trailers with pallets of ceramic tiles, thinset and grout on it, all the way up US82 to altitude 9303 feet.

            Never any problems with my 2011 Tundra.

            My experience obviously was better than yours because I became a repeat buyer and upgraded.

            I’m a fan of Michelin. I’ve had great luck with them. Not so with Goodyear, Firestone and Kumho.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Nice truck HDC! If Toyota had gotten their act together with the 38 gallon tank last year I’d be in the exact same thing other than the color.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Thanks Dan. I’m happy with it. My dream truck was a Limited version, but what the hell? The SR5 TRD Crew Max is a man’s truck that matches my station in life.

            You should see the size of the TRD Off-Road 4X4 decals on the side of the bed, by the tail lights!!! HUGE!

            (Didn’t have any choice on the color – there were only two like this, one white and one silver. I bought the silver.)

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            As much sun as you get down there I’d probably go with the silver too. That “insurgent tan” as bball called it on the TRD wouldn’t be bad either. This time of year I’ve forgotten how much fun dark colors get in the summer.

            How much is a broken in 2011 worth these days?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “How much is a broken in 2011 worth these days?”

            Well, that depends, since mine was well-used.

            There’s a little more to the story though. I drove down in my 2011 Tundra with my oldest son who was going to drive my 2011 Tundra back home. He’d been using it because his F350 DRW was too big for daily driver regular street use.

            When we drove in to the dealer lot we noticed there were NO used Tundra trucks on the lot.

            So after the sales manager and I had closed the deal he asked me if I was interested in trading off my 2011 Tundra.

            I told him I was, and what would he give me for it? I had paid ~$32500 for it in Jan 2011 when I bought it from him.

            He told me $15K was his top offer because it had over 85K on the odo and it had some gravel damage on the hood and both front fenders. It was a well-used truck, and he knew that I had used it to haul and tow for the business.

            So my son speaks up from the seating area behind me and says, “Aw hell, dad, I’ll pay you that much for it in real money” and he whips out his checkbook.

            The salesmanager looked like he just schit in his pants but he accepted my son’s personal check for $15K and my personal check for the difference above that. Both were USAA checking accounts and this was a USAA-affiliated dealership.

            So how much was my well-used Tundra worth? My bet is that they would retail it for somewhere north of $22K since they had no stock.

            Keep in mind, it was a DoubleCab LongBed 2WD SR5 with the factory towing package, in silver. I haven’t seen many of those.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Even if you’d let them steal it from you for 15 that’d still be under 300 bucks a month to drive the wheels off a truck too new to need any work yet. You did good my friend.

            Any 2011 truck you see dealer listed around here under 20 grand has a collision car fax, is ex-fleet, or has 120K on the clock and even those don’t come in under 20 by very much.

            As cheap as a stripped down new Ford or Ram is I don’t see how they sell any of them.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Dan, I did alright since it is never my intention to screw a dealer out of a reasonable profit.

            Dealers have to be profitable, else they die. The dealerships owned by my brothers and their partners had to be profitable in order for them to retire comfortably after more than 30 years in business.

            And unlike GM, there is no bailout or handout for a failed dealership.

            Granted the dealer could have made a handsome profit retailing my 2011 Tundra, but they made money on an outright sale.

            And with this purchase, I think I’m done. It is unlikely I will buy another new vehicle in the future.

            In New Mexico, once you hit 75 years of age, you have to qualify for a driver’s license every single year. I’m on my last 4-year license now. When it expires when I turn 74, I can only get a one-year license IF I pass the vision and health requirements.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I didn’t like the Sienna, especially inside, when we leased our Oddy in 2014. However, I do like the new van, especially the interior. I like the SE, but I don’t like the suede inserts in the seats or the 19in. wheels. I mean, I like the look, but not 19 inch tire costs. Our area is tough on tires, 20-25k out of a set is about it and with us leasing, I don’t want to put tires on a vehicle and get rid of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      If you’re going to buy a top of the line Japanese car, get the Honda product and put up with the maintenance foibles. If you’re buying entry-level, get a Toyota and never look back.

      And if you insist on spending A4 money on a car with no back seat to speak of because you demand to be special, get a Mazda :)

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Our T&C got rear ended and we are now renting an Odyssey til it is sorted.

    The Ody is superior in every way except one. The road noise is atrocious. Worse than the cheapest economy car you can find. Did they forget sound dampening material?

    As it is, I am going to go check out the Sienna SE and Sedona to see if I can find something better. Maybe the new model next year will fix this, but it is embarrassing.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “The road noise is atrocious” Which model year and trim did they rent you? The 2013 EX-L my daughter owns now is much more quiet that the LX she used to own.

      Maybe an upgraded trim also means more noise insulation.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        Fabric seats, power doors – that should be an EX, right?

        Anyway, this is in comparison to the T&C which wasn’t awesome in the sound department, but was much better once I replaced the tires. I’ve heard the Sienna is better on this front.

        Frankly I would have no problem paying for an Acura or Lexus minivan.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          There should be an emblem on the rear hatch like LX, EX, EX-L. The L just means leather trim, but could also mean additional sound deadening in the package.

          My daughter’s LX had Pleather seats, power all around, front&rear AC, Cruise Control, but that could have been included in the initial production run for the dealer floor plans for that model year.

          Her 2013 EX-L is really a nice vehicle, friendly all around to driver and passengers.

          My daughter-in-law owns a 2014 AWD Sienna and she is a repeat customer, trading her old Sienna in on this new one.

          Tires help a lot against road noise. I continue to have great success with Michelin for all my newer vehicles and Yokohama (for my 1989 Camry).

          • 0 avatar
            Car Ramrod

            No badge on Odysseys unless it’s a touring (or on the 2014 and up, “Elite” is also badged). Should be an EX though. Hubcaps are a dead giveaway for an LX.

            Our 11 Elite is loud, but not nearly as loud as the 05 Pilot it replaced. I remember reading something on the sticker about optional sound deadening glass. Not sure what trim levels include it.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Count me in on the Honda broken transmission club. Nothing rock solid about my Honda. Had problems from Day 1.
    Does not want to drive straight, dash rattles from day 1. Others: clock light out in one year, road noise, broken engine mounts(all) right and front more than once, warped rotors, sticking doors, engine oil leaks, power steering leak. No, the owner is not to blame. Low mileage. All maintenance by the book and more often, even the transmission. That HONDA ONLY transmission fluid and power steering did not keep it from breaking down.

    At least I got some free ammonium nitrate in the air bags.

  • avatar
    JREwing

    The cool thing I’ve noticed about Hondas is that there’s a ready aftermarket for many of the baubles and bolt-ons missing from your cheapo version.

    For example, on my Accord, I could swap out my non-leather steering wheel and shift knob for leather versions, or add liners for the trunklid, interior lights, and so on. Want fog lights on your non-fog-light-equipped Honda? Not a problem!

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    You need some Weathertech Floorliners, Mr. Cain. Damn expensive for floormats, but totally worth it keep winter muck contained.

    Our 2014 EX-L has 16k on it now. I like the van mostly, but I hate the way the 6spd operates. I live with many hills and I find it always doing something and it’s not always smooth about it. And Hondas “grade logic” has always left much to be desired. If I’m pushing on the gas as I’m going down a hill, I need you to upshift Honda! The other thing is the lack of manual control for the transmission, except for the overdrive lock out button, which limits you to four gears.

    This is in stark contrast to our much cheaper Mazda 5, which is way down on power but has one of the best automatics I can remember driving. Quick and responsive, good grade logic and full manual control.

    Our Odyssey has been good, except for a delivery issue where the front doors were grazing the fenders. Nothing like taking your car with 30 miles on it back to the dealer because the drivers door has rubbed through the paint and made a terrible noise doing so. Some cheapness inside, such as the coin holder on the drivers side will not stay closed now. I find the touchscreen system very slow, but I know it was a quick response to the “myriad of buttons” complaint about the old IP.

    Road noise and suspension noise has always been a problem in Hondas. My 88 and 89 Acura Legends were OK, but I remember my folks had a 92 Integra (LS) and it was by far one of the noisiest vehicles I’ve ever driven. My 16 Cruze Limited (old car) is much quieter than our Odyssey and the Chevy doesn’t have active noise cancellation! But the Chevys drivetrain is much more coarse, though comparing a 3.5 V6 to a 1.4T is not a great comparison.

    Fuel mileage for me in the hills of western PA is hovering around 14-16 on winter tires and more idling/short trips. No better than 16-18 in the warmer weather on all seasons. I’ve seen as much as 27 highway, but even a steady 80+ with 4 of us and stuff returned 23 mpg.

    I like the Odyssey, but I’m thinking Toyota for next time or maybe the new Chrysler. I like the redesign of the Sienna and I’m intrigued by the Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “If I’m pushing on the gas as I’m going down a hill..”

      AIEEE! That’s crazy talk!

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        LOL! I should clarify: The Oddy, for example, will be holding a gear going downhill and about 3000 rpm. But yet I’m slowing down more than what I want, so I’ll ease back into the gas which should make it upshift. But it takes a lot more pressure than it should and I end up going faster than I want, so I back off. Sometimes it shifts up, sometimes it still hangs in the lower gear.

        It’s very jerky and it’s not consistent either. It won’t do it on the same hill the same way twice. My Mazda works intuitively, so did the CVT in my Altima and even my Cruze does well. Just not a fan of the transmission in the Odyssey. This is why I leased one and didn’t buy it.

  • avatar
    dms123

    I own a 2015 Odyssey that was bought about a year ago. My wife and I, plus our 2 year old, are stationed in Oahu so it is not accumulating mileage too quickly, only about 5000 miles so far.

    We got a minivan since the grandparents live with us about 6 months out of every 12, and we wanted something that would have room for all 5 of us and still plenty of room in the back for baby and beach stuff. And easy to get in and out of for the elders :)

    This is our first minivan (have always owned sedans + one Miata way back when) and so far I have been very happy with it. I am not anywhere near the gearhead as others on this site, but I can give some feedback on things I have liked/not liked about it:

    The Good:

    1-I really like how Honda does not do options, just trim levels, since it makes deciding on a package much simpler. Our other car is a 2004 Acura TSX and I remember liking the simplicity of that back then as well

    2-Once we knew we wanted a minivan, the Odyssey was one of the only ones that seemed to have a requirement very important to me: the ability to have the child’s car seat in the middle of the 2nd row, something not possible on any vehicle that does 2 captains chairs in the 2nd row.

    With only one child and no plans for more, I wanted him in the middle (where I have read/heard is safer than the side) and I was surprised how few minivans allowed for this.

    Even though the Toyota Sienna technically has an option for a middle seat in the 2nd row, it is “sunken” and very narrow, and the car seat did not fit in the narrow sunken space when I tested it out at the dealer (and it did not have safety latches for a car seat mount either, which we own and use).

    3-Fit and finish seem to be very good, we have the EX-L option and it all seems well put together. Time will tell of course

    4-Real hardware controls for climate control, rotary volume knob on stereo

    5-Engine and transmission seem very peppy when in fast freeway traffic, going up hills on the island, etc.

    6-Feels like driving a car, not a bulky truck or some SUVs.

    The not so good (these observations tend to be have to do with the infotainment side of things, since that’s my background and hobby. I work as a product manager for pro audio equipment, and bad user interfaces drive me up the wall.)

    1-the 2 screen setup is weird looking, annoying to use, and just confusing compared to a well designed single screen setup.

    2-Navigation system makes you enter in data using a scroll wheel while the 2nd screen, a touch screen, sits there dong nothing, while you wish you could just type in the address on the other screen. Which I could do on my Acura TSX made 10 years earlier.

    So 10 years of progress went backwards in utility and make things harder, not easier

    3-Lots of nav and stereo controls blocked out when driving, so person in passenger seat can’t make adjustments even though safe for them to do so. Super frustrating and also not something that was present on my 10 year old Accra’s nav system.

    4-Audio system works horribly with USB thumb drives containing large music collection. I have a 64 gig thumb drive with tons of records from my music collection, all carefully tagged. When I use it in rental cars from American and Korean brands, plus other Japanese brands, all of them present all the music neatly grouped by album, artists, etc using the MP3 tags.

    Only in my 2015 Honda is all that data ignored, all the music files are just presented in a single huge list, and only the first 999 for that matter. Can’t view more than 100 albums or so at an average of 10 songs per album (and can’t select by album anyway). I own 2000 albums (all legally ripped from CDs I find cheap at flea markets and a 64 gig drive can hold a pretty large percentage of those at 320K MP3 files)

    People have done various workarounds by carefully organizing their music into special folders, but you shouldn’t have to do that, that’s what the tags are for.

    Going along with this, even if you do ignore the above and just shuffle the 999 songs you are allowed to have, the user interface design is terrible for using the large screen the song info is displayed on. Huge amounts of screen space at the top of the bottom sit empty and unused, while at the same time song titles are cut off because the display is trying to combine multiple lines of song data onto a single line of the screen. I never understand what engineers are thinking when they design stuff like that.

    5-Change tray has an opening on the bottom by design, so when you close it a few pieces of change fly out the bottom onto the carpet.

    6-No USB or other charging ports in 2nd row for passengers to charge their phone. There’s one 2nd port in the way back by the tailgate, don’t understand why put one there but not one in the 2nd row where people actually sit (it could go in the door)

    7-Our mileage has been really bad so far, I had to check the logs but I want to say that we are getting only around 18mpg or so and never really any higher.

    I will admit that most of the driving has been in a lot of stop and go traffic, and on top of that always E10 fuel, and fuel from the military base gas station which I have heard does not get as good MPG as the outside stations.

    Still, I keep wondering if there could be something wrong with the car to get such bad MPG (or maybe I just have really bad driving technique, but I don’t think so).

    So, probably a really random list of things to like and not like in a minivan, but hopefully helpful to some……

    Thanks!


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