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2005 Honda Odyssey Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Bought a Honda Odyssey EX new in July 2005, this has been the most reliable car we have ever owned. by jfmoyer

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Reviewed: 2005 Honda Odyssey

4dr Minivan, ext. 255-horsepower 3.5L V6 5-speed automatic FWD

2005 Honda Odyssey Love Letter

This car has soldiered on for 13 years and 140K miles with only regular maintenance. Every time we think about trading it, we decide WHY? It runs and look great, is paid for long ago, insurance and plates are cheap.

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Response from LectroFuel

1:30 pm July 2, 2018

We had the same experience with my wife's 2002 Odyssey. 16 years old and 186k miles and only a few small things have broken on it. All of the 186k miles have been hard miles and it has not been garaged in 3 years. We have towed trailers, loaded the trunk up to the payload capacity, done 5 hour trips though the desert and snow. Even at 160k miles we went on a 1,000 mile trip from So Cal to Portland, OR and had no problems. However, we are selling it because we have too many cars and it gets 25 MPG on the highway. Also, we're suprised the transmission never broke since it is notorious for failing. Other than normal scheduled maintenance, we have had less than $1,000 in repairs.

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Response from NormT

9:14 am July 3, 2018

The true cost to own you have to factor in maintenance that some others do not have. Not all v6 engines require timing belt so your maintenance cost is much higher.

From you, "We replaced the first water pump at 80k miles and the timing belt at 100k. At 180k miles we replaced both at the same time. I don't go to the dealer to do the work, but it's still around $1000 for both to replace."

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Response from LectroFuel

6:20 pm July 3, 2018

The timing belt and water pump counts as "normal scheduled maintenance" because I knew I was going to have to replace it every 100k miles or so. It is in the maintenance section of the manual and on the maintenance mileage guide. The $1000 is from all the stuff we did not expect to spend money on such as a starter, alternator, and power steering pump.

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Response from NormT

8:05 am July 4, 2018

True cost to own something else like a Sienna or Caravan would not have that additional costs of a timing belt as they use a more durable timing chain.

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Response from teamsc10190

5:48 pm August 4, 2018

I also own a 2005 Odyssey that I bought new in December of 2004. I violated one of my basic precepts to never buy a new model, the first year of production and this car was a double whammy because it was built in Lincoln Alabama. While I think the drivetrain is wonderful and has generally been fairly reliable, the parts and build quality of the coachwork and fittings is significantly worse than any Japanese car I've owned since my first Toyota in 1964. For starters: I've never seen any vehicle with less paint and worse paint quality. The measure of a car factory is the paint line and Honda Alabama is a big fail. They clearly had issues with paint filled with dirt contamination on all horizontal surfaces. The factory wet sanded the color coat dirt defects on the hood and tailgate before clearcoating leaving visual swirl defects in the paint that really stand out under artificial light. They just left the dirt defects on the roof that is filled with raised pits from the dirt contamination.

When I complained, Honda did offer to refinish the hood and tailgate, but said the roof wasn't considered an 'A' surface and therefore declined to repair it. I rejected the offer to refinish because I understood the repaint would never be as durable long term, but I've hated looking at the hood and tailgate since.

There isn't a micron of paint anywhere on this car where it isn't absolutely necessary. No color coat or clear paint underhood or even in the fuel filler recess. That's just cheap and this car was $36K in 2004. There's no ability to buff out minor paint scratches as in every car I've ever owned because there is so little paint on the car that any minute scratch is through the color coat. Wow!

On to build quality: Panel gaps in this car were all over the place like a 1970's Buick. The front fender to hood panel gaps were particularly awful. The first new car I've ever owned where I had to rehang the body panels to get equally spaced, parallel body gaps. Front fenders, hood, tailgate and glove box door all needed to be rehung and strikers adjusted so closures functioned properly. While I was able to achieve good body gaps by rehanging panels, I couldn't get the top rear surface of the hood to meet the height of the front fenders. The hood was sunken below the fenders and there was no vertical adjustment possible with the hinges other than using washers as spacers. I had a friend over who's been a body shop professional for thirty years and when I showed him the sunken hood, he looked at the car and told me not to look. In a matter of minutes he reformed the hood hinges by hand, shut the hood and it was perfect. He agreed the car should never have left the factory that way.

Rubber parts on this car are also substandard. At 30K miles the rubber pinch welts on rear scuff plates dissolved as did the rear door quarter glass moldings that dissolved into a sticky black ooze that stained clothing if you came into contact with it. Never seen that before on any car.

The wheel bearings failed at 30K miles. Typical domestic car issue.

Bottom line is that this is a Ford Explorer with a Honda drivetrain. The parts that come from Japan are good but the entire body and all fittings are sourced from domestic suppliers, the exact same supply base providing components to the Detroit 3 and they're no better when they're fitted to a Honda. The only difference is that you pay a lot more for those parts when they come with a Honda nameplate.

The Odyssey is a great domestic car; but it's not Japanese import quality and would never be accepted by discriminating Japanese domestic market clients who understand that body gaps and paint quality are real indicators of overall design, tooling and build quality.

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