Honda Odyssey: The Worst Model Year You Should Never Buy

One of the most respected and well-received family haulers is the Honda Odyssey. This crowd-pleasing minivan continues to impress in a slowly dying segment. Still, buying a brand-new Honda Odyssey isn’t cheap. So you might consider a used model for your next purchase. But before you decide, you should know about some model-year hiccups. And one, in particular, you should avoid at all costs.

2010 Honda Odyssey minivans for sale at O'Hare Honda in in Des Plaines, Illinois, in March 2010
2010 Honda Odyssey minivans | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Honda Odyssey has always shown up dressed to impress since its grand debut in 1995. The first generation came with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that saw an upgrade to a 2.3-liter variation in 1998. And the versatile minivan only got better from there, Car and Driver reports.

The second-generation Odyssey saw production between 1999 and 2004. Its revamped engine was a more robust 3.5-liter V6. Other improvements came in the form of convenience and functional extras, including dual-side sliding van doors. In addition, the Odyssey throughout those model years was more prominent in size than the first-gen.

By the time the third-generation (2005 to 2010) and fourth-generation Odyssey rolled out, even more dynamic improvements rolled with it. The 2011 base model offered five- and six-speed transmission variations. Honda updated the exterior styling and added an incredible new grille design that greatly improved the Odyssey’s look. 

Today’s models seat up to eight, offer ample cargo space, and pack a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6. Five trim levels let you customize your ride. And in many critics’ circles, it remains the pinnacle of minivans.

But a brand-new model can be pricey. The 2022 Odyssey costs between $32,290 and $48,020, depending upon the trim level and equipment, Edmunds reports.

The worst Honda Odyssey model year you should avoid

If your budget demands something more affordable than $40,000, you might be tempted to find a used model. It would be a smart move — as long as you stayed away from the 2010 Honda Odyssey.

According to Consumer Reports, the 2010 Odyssey may be the worst, thanks to its below-average reliability score and owner satisfaction rating. It earned a 2 out of 5 in both categories. And within the reliability category, the 2010 model earned 1 out of 5 for common issues with minor engine concerns and paint problems.

The 2004 Honda Odyssey comes in a close second for the worst reliability. Its Consumer Reports scores are equally dismal, with a terrible 1 out of 5. The most common areas of concern are major engine and transmission problems. In fact, the 2004 Odyssey has the absolute worst reliability rating of all the model years that CR has tested.

The best model year you can buy

If you’re looking to save some green, look for a 2016 model. According to Consumer Reports, that’s the Honda Odyssey’s best year. Its good reliability rating of 4 out of 5 and solid owner satisfaction rating of 3/5 make the 2016 the best overall Odyssey CR has reviewed.

Buying used is just savvy investing. And buying a Honda Odyssey won’t disappoint. Just steer clear of the 2010 model year. In fact, avoid every model from 2004 to 2010 to be safe. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a low-mileage 2016, and you’ll know you’re driving one of the best Honda minivans.

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