Best & Worst Honda Odyssey Years [Models]

A closer look has been taken at each Honda Odyssey from 1999 until this year’s latest model and the worst and best years have been categorized.

The objective of this guide is to explain the best and worst years of the Honda Odyssey, and how to choose between them.

From Honda Odyssey’s common problems to its best features, I’ve thoroughly researched authoritative sources like NHTSA and Consumer Reports.

Best & Worst Honda Odyssey Years [Models]

The latest Honda Odyssey generation is the most reliable year, with insight into transmission issues and recalls from the early Honda Odyssey models.

It’s time to get started.

Honda Odyssey Generations

In 1995, Honda launched its first generation of the Odyssey, a vehicle that quickly became one of the top minivans on the market.

In its first generation, the Odyssey embodied comfort, safety, and functionality in a way that set the standard for generations to come.

I have summarized the Odyssey’s evolution from 1999 to now in order to provide a clearer picture of its evolution:

5th generation (RL6)2018-Present
4th generation (RL5)2011-2017
3rd generation (RL3/RL4)2005-2010
2nd generation (RL1)1999-2004

If you are contemplating your next Honda Odyssey purchase, you should be aware of the generational changes, as they might very well influence your choice.

Honda Odyssey Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

As part of our effort to determine which years are the best and worst for Honda Odyssey, we’ve considered a number of factors, such as, but not limited to:

  • Reliability reports (surveys) from owners
  • Maintenance costs on an annual basis
  • Rating for safety
  • The reliability score of Consumer Reports
  • Owner satisfaction score according to Consumer Reports
  • Recalls, investigations, and complaints filed with the NHTSA
  • Owner ratings on Edmunds
  • Owner ratings from JD Power
  • Owner ratings from Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB)
  • Owner ratings on VehicleHistory
  • Owner ratings on

Here’s a visual representation showcasing all the combined ratings from the sources listed above.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
5th generation (RL6)2021 2022 202320202018 2019
4th generation (RL5)2012 2013 2015 2016 201720112014
3rd generation (RL3/RL4)2009 201020082005 2006 2007
2nd generation (RL1)2004N/A1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

A neutral year is a model year that has an evenly balanced performance, without any significant highs or lows.

A number of factors, for example, NHTSA recalls, have a negative effect. There are a high number of complaints and recalls for this model year, indicating lower reliability.

Here are the specifications of the best, neutral, and worst years of Honda Odyssey.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 5th Generation [2018 to Present]

As the Honda Odyssey entered its fifth generation, it refined its stance in the competitive minivan market.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 5th Generation [2018 to Present]

Honda Odyssey models for 2018 and 2019 should be avoided due to NHTSA recalls around various issues. Honda Odysseys from 2021, 2022, and 2023 are among the best and most reliable models.

2021, 2022, 2023 are the best years

In this generation, Honda Odyssey achieved top rankings in J.D Power, Consumer Reports, and

As for the engine under the hood, a 3.5L J35Y6 V6 engine continued its reliable run coupled with a 10-speed automatic transmission that also improved fuel efficiency, reaching an impressive 33 miles per gallon on the highway and 14 miles per gallon in urban settings.

Over these years, a wide array of features have been added to the system, from an improved infotainment system to a system that integrates CabinWatch and CabinTalk.

This decade was marked by safety advancements, such as adaptable cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and collision mitigation braking.

There’s been a noticeable upgrade in exterior design in these years, with more aerodynamic profiles and sharper lines.

There was plenty of cargo space inside, comfort and convenience in the interior, thanks to the Magic Slide second-row seating.

2020 is the Neutral Year

Despite its numerous improvements, the 2020 Honda Odyssey found itself in the neutral zone mainly because of some teething problems.

The 3.5L V6 engine carried over from the previous year, and the majority of the refinements that would be found in subsequent models were introduced this year.

It was reported that some owners had experienced infotainment issues and occasional powertrain issues similar to those seen in earlier models.

2018 and 2019 were the worst years

NHTSA recalls concerning various problems are surprisingly high for 2018 and 2019, so they are chosen as years to avoid when purchasing Honda Odysseys.

There were a number of issues with the 2018 Honda Odyssey’s powertrain, commonly cited by owners as jerking, shuddering, and even loss of motive power at times.

Several owners complained about the performance of the vehicle, as well as the infotainment system, which occasionally malfunctioned due to cable and software issues caused by Media Oriented Systems Transport.

The 2018 Odyssey has been recalled due to loose battery terminal connections, faulty sliding door latches, and poor brake performance.

According to Honda, the 2019 Odyssey also faced similar problems and was recalled owing to stalling concerns caused by fuel pump failures.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 4th Generation [2011 to 2017]

As the Honda Odyssey entered its fourth generation, spanning 2011 to 2017, it underwent another crucial period.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 4th Generation [2011 to 2017]

Honda Odyssey models of this generation have the most problems in 2014, so it is best to avoid them. In the 4th generation Honda Odyssey, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are the model’s best years.

2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 were the best years

Honda Odyssey years 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 score well on platforms such as VehicleHistory , Consumer Reports , and .

There was a robust 3.5L J35Z8 V6 engine in these models, which produced a commendable 248 horsepower.

As a result of the 6-speed automatic transmission, fuel efficiency improved even further, with highway mileage of 31 mpg and city mileage of 13 mpg.

HondaVAC, the famous built-in vacuum cleaner for the Touring trim, was added to the infotainment system, which now features Bluetooth and touchscreen controls.

In the higher trim levels, a forward collision warning system and a lane departure warning system are available.

As a result of its agile handling, upscale and roomy interior, and range of available technology features, the 2017 Honda Odyssey has garnered high praise.

It had a few minor issues, mainly related to infotainment glitches and occasionally malfunctioning air conditioning.

2011 was a neutral year

As the first Honda Odyssey of this generation, the 2011 model struggled to find its way.

In addition to the 3.5L V6 engine and the 5-speed automatic transmission, the Touring was equipped with an automatic transmission.

A sleek “lightning bolt” beltline adorned the exterior of the redesigned 2019 Lincoln MKZ, while an improved interior boasted improved space and comfort.

A battery drainage problem, excessive steering wheel vibration, and brake failures have been reported by owners.

Honda Odyssey’s 2011 model was neither the best nor the worst of this generation’s models due to these issues.

2014 was one of the worst years

The year 2014 is considered to be the black sheep of the generation. You should avoid the 2014 Honda Odyssey generation due to numerous engine and transmission problems.

The transmission shuddered and jerked while shifting, causing many owners problems.

In addition, the engine’s VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) system presented problems.

Misfires were caused by oil leakage through piston rings into cylinders, triggering the “Check Engine” light and damaging internal engine parts.

After Honda settled a class-action lawsuit regarding this problem, they faced a class-action lawsuit.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 3rd Generation [2005 to 2010]

In its third generation from 2005 to 2010, the Honda Odyssey aimed to create a minivan that was more reliable and feature-rich.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 3rd Generation [2005 to 2010]

Honda Odyssey model years 2009 and 2010 are among the best in this generation. Avoid the model years 2005, 2006, and 2007.

2009 and 2010 were the best years

Honda Odyssey owners rate 2009 and 2010 as the best years of the third generation at VehicleHistory and

As a further improvement to transmission reliability, Honda introduced the more robust 5-speed transmission from the Ridgeline to the Odyssey.

In higher trim levels, customers could choose from features such as power tailgates, Bluetooth, navigation systems, and rearview cameras.

A number of innovations were added to cars during these years to improve safety, including stability control, antilock disc brakes, and part-length side-impact airbags for the front seats.

Odyssey’s fuel economy is approximately 12 mpg for city driving and 28 mpg for highway driving, making it a more than viable choice for family trips.

The models were largely free from major complaints, although some minor issues surrounding brakes and occasional electrical glitches were reported.

2008: The Neutral Years

In 2008, Honda Odyssey experienced its best and worst years in a row.

There were some brake problems with the 2008 Honda Odyssey, but the technology and safety advancements Honda introduced this generation helped make up for those.

There were multiple trim levels, ranging from LX to Touring, and the 3.5L J35A6 V6 engine was reliable.

In the higher trims, you could find features like a sunroof, leather seats, and a DVD player in the backseat.

As a result of lingering issues, especially in regards to brakes, and the continued but reduced incidence of sliding door malfunctions, the 2008 Odyssey landed in the neutral category, thus not being the best or the worst year.

2005, 2006, and 2007 were the worst years

Honda Odyssey owners in 2005, 2006, and 2007 should steer clear of these years due to low ratings on platforms like VehicleHistory and power train problems.

In 2005, the Honda Odyssey suffered from a variety of transmission issues. There have been reports of transmission slipping, jerky shifting and hard shifting from owners.

There remained a problem with sliding doors in the second generation.

A number of recalls were also issued this year due to faulty fuel pumps, brake fluid leaks, and reduced braking performance.

Some 2006 Honda Odyssey owners complained that power steering assist was missing at low speeds and during parking maneuvers, in addition to continued transmission and engine problems.

Various problems plagued the 2007 Honda Odyssey, from a longer brake distance to a persistent steering problem and a squeaking door.

A Honda recall was initiated to address the issue of reduced braking performance.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 2nd Generation [1999 to 2004]

In its second generation, Honda’s Odyssey is more compact and has more features, aiming for a greater share of the minivan market.

Best & Worst Years for Honda Odyssey 2nd Generation [1999 to 2004]

A good reliability score and high owner satisfaction scores make 2004 the best year of this generation for Honda Odysseys, while 1999-2003 are those years you should avoid at all costs.

NOTE: Considering the age and transmission problems reported by owners, I advise skipping this generation completely.

2004 was one of the best years

In Edmunds and Consumer Reports, Honda Odyssey’s 2004 model year received reasonable reliability and owner satisfaction scores.

In 2004, the Odyssey was powered by a 3.5L J35A4 V6 engine and an automatic transmission with a 5-speed BYBA.

There were three trim levels available this year: LX, EX, and EX-L, catering to different budgets and needs.

With traction control, antilock brakes, and side-curtain airbags as standard equipment, the 2004 Odyssey offered high levels of safety.

Furthermore, Honda introduced a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, the first of its kind in any vehicle, as well as DVD navigation.

There were some transmission problems reported by Odyssey owners despite the car’s commendable features.

1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 were the worst years

Which Honda Odyssey year should you avoid? You should undoubtedly “avoid the Honda Odyssey years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003”. The reasons are as follows:

In particular, its transmission and electrical systems were plagued with problems.

There were transmission problems with the 1999 Honda Odyssey. In addition to this, faulty ignition switches caused unexpected stalls due to electrical malfunctions.

Honda issued two recalls regarding these ignition switch malfunctions due to the severity of this problem.

There was a faulty latch that caused the sliding door to open unexpectedly while the vehicle was moving in 1999, leading to the famous sliding door issue.

It was so entrenched that transmission problems affected the 2000, 2001, and 2002 Honda Odysseys as well.

A recall for the 2003 and 2004 Honda Odyssey models was issued by Honda in 2002, but it also covered the transmission issues in 2002.

Common Honda Odyssey Problems

All Honda Odyssey model years are generally rated above average for reliability. A reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 was given to the Odyssey by RepairPal, placing it third among eight minivans. However, there are some common issues with the Odyssey:

Common Honda Odyssey Problems

Braking issues

A faulty brake pedal has been cited as a complaint by many Odyssey owners. There were several reports that the brakes only worked after pumping. This is a huge safety concern.

Transmission issues

As a result of Honda Odyssey’s issues with its 9-speed automatic transmission, a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2019. There was a rough shift, a sudden loss of power, and a sudden acceleration.

Interior problems

Despite the minivan’s spacious interior, Odyssey owners complain of its lack of comfort. As a result of the hard seats and non-adjustable headrests, they complain that they experience neck pain during long drives.

Windows and sliding door issues

It has been reported that models from 2004-2010 and 2015 had defective windows and sliding doors. A frustrated owner complained that their windows could not be fully closed, exposing the interior to harsh weather conditions. Sliding doors were also problematic, as their seals stuck, making them difficult to operate for occupants.

Ignition switch failure

There have been reports of ignition switch failures on Odysseys manufactured in 2004. Despite multiple attempts at repair, the key cannot turn due to a defective ignition cylinder lock. You can expect to pay between $200 and $250 plus labor for replacing the ignition lock cylinder.

Engine issues

A clogged exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve caused a number of engine problems between 1999 and 2016, including rough-running engines, poor fuel economy, vibrations, stalling, and long crank times. A broken front engine mount often led to rough idles and hard shifts in these models, resulting in oil leaks from the engine block.

Catalytic converter failure

Honda Odyssey catalytic converters have been known to prematurely fail in various model years. Odysseys from 1995, 1999-2001, 2005-2007, 2009, and 2012 have been plagued by this problem. Spark plugs or exhaust valves that have burned out are often to blame for this failure, which allows unburned fuel to enter the exhaust system. This causes the catalytic converter to overheat and ultimately fail.

Water leaks

There have been water leaks on some Odyssey models from 1995-1998, 2001, 2005-2007, and 2009-2010. When the evaporator drain inside the air conditioning system becomes clogged, owners often hear whooshing noises.

What Makes An Odyssey Reliable?

Used vehicles must have a high level of reliability. An unreliable one will require you to spend a lot of money on repairs and have a frustrating morning. Is there something about the Honda Odyssey years that makes them so reliable?

In the beginning, they were created by Honda. There is no doubt that this iconic group manufactures quality parts. It is evident when you look at the reliability of the newest used models that they take their time designing.

The annual repair cost of Honda Odysseys is also lower than that of other vehicles, according to As a result, they stay in better shape for longer. They also have a lower depreciation value compared to other types of cars.

In order for the Honda Odyssey to be reliable, many factors must be taken into account. The previously stated years are the most prevalent for these items. 

Now that we’ve examined the best, it’s time to discuss the worst so you can understand what you should avoid. In this article, we’ll discuss which Honda Odyssey years are the least reliable.

Is The Honda Odyssey Worth It?

If you’re looking for a used Honda Odyssey, there are several reliable options available. Do you think one of these would be a good addition to your garage?

There is no better minivan than the Honda Odyssey if you are searching for quality. You’ll love the quality, technology, and safety features it offers. Cargo and people are comfortably accommodated inside these vehicles.

There are many excellent things to say about the Honda Odyssey. There will be no stopping this vehicle as it will take everyone where they need to go and then some, pushing its way down the road for many years to come.

What are the most common problems with Honda Odyssey?

It’s no secret that Honda Odyssey is a popular minivan on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Odyssey owners have reported a variety of problems, ranging from transmission issues to electrical problems.

The Honda Odyssey is prone to the following problems:

  • Transmission problems
  • Electrical issues
  • Problems with the engine
  • Suspension issues

Honda dealerships and qualified mechanics are the best places to take your Odyssey if you experience any of these problems.

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What years of the Honda Odyssey have engine and/or transmission problems?

Honda Odyssey models from 2001 and 2002, which both belong to the second-generation series, have the unfortunate distinction of requiring the most serious powertrain repairs. The FIXD reliability scores for both years are just 1 and 2, respectively, with a small chance of engine or transmission repairs over $500 for either year.
Repairs costing more than $500 in 2001 have a 12% likelihood that they are caused by an engine and a 33% likelihood that they are caused by a transmission. It’s the highest probability of all model years for the engine to fail and the transmission to fail in 2002 with 19% and 50%, respectively.

What is considered high mileage for a Honda Odyssey?

According to owner reports, Honda Odysseys are reported to have logged 200,000 miles on their odometers. The only model years that reached this milestone were 2002 and 2004.

According to Odyssey owners, on average, 20% expect the minivan to go beyond 200,000 miles over the next four model years from 2009 and earlier.

We could reasonably conclude that 225,000 miles is a high mileage for a Honda Odyssey. According to their owners, on average 25% of these high-mileage Odysseys are driven “a lot.”.

It seems that long trips tend to add to the longevity of the vehicle, as opposed to short trips. You should learn how the van was used by its previous owner or owners if you’re looking to purchase a well-used Odyssey. 

Which years of the Honda Odyssey are most reliable?

According to our guide, the Honda Odyssey has proven very reliable in recent years. As a result, the models from 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021 require minimal maintenance and perform exceptionally well.

What makes these Honda Odyssey years reliable?

As a result of Honda’s commitment to quality manufacturing, these Odyssey models are among the most popular. As a result, they are less expensive to repair and depreciate and come with engines that are engineered to last beyond 100,000 miles. In addition to Honda’s reputation for long-lasting, reliable vehicles, their reliability has also increased.

What common issues affect the reliability of the Honda Odyssey?

It is common to encounter transmission glitches, engine misfires, and high oil usage issues with the Honda Odyssey, especially those model years rated low in reliability.

Can high mileage affect the reliability of a Honda Odyssey?

Whether it’s a Honda Odyssey or another vehicle, high mileage can affect the vehicle’s reliability. It is possible to maintain and care for high-mileage Odysseys from reliable years even if they have accumulated a lot of miles. In order to determine the reliability of a vehicle, always look at its maintenance history and current condition.


My recommendation for those considering a Honda Odyssey purchase would be the 2010-2013, 2015-2017, and 2021-2023 models. Honda Odyssey’s 2nd generation, early 3rd and 5th generation, and 2014 models should be avoided.

Have you ever owned a Honda Odyssey from one of our top recommended years? Could you tell me how your experience has been?

Feel free to share your Odyssey experiences in the comments!

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