Old Odyssey vs. new - old drives better

In the market for a mini-van that handles, accelerates, and drives well, I test drove a 2002 with 60,000 miles on it and a brand new, re-designed, EX
one at a Honda dealer. Old one first.
Liked the old one a lot. Astonishing how much better it drives than our department Chrysler mini-van that one rides on more than drives. Then I tried the new Odyssey and to my great surprise I liked it quite a bit less than the 2002. Felt slower, less road feel, and more Chrysler-like. Just did not care for it.
Never drove any Honda mini-van before this.
Anyone else feel the same way?
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GLitwinski wrote:

The 'old' Odyssey van was sold from '95 - '98. It's even cooler, with four swing-out doors and a much lower roofline. The second generation looks like a Winnabago on the inside, by comparison.
The Gen 1 drives like an Accord, I guess. Probably less top-heavy than the current ones too. The '98 version came with a V-Tec.
'Curly'
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: GLitwinski wrote: : > In the market for a mini-van that handles, accelerates, and drives well, I : > test drove a 2002 with 60,000 miles on it and a brand new, re-designed, EX : > one at a Honda dealer. Old one first. : > : > Liked the old one a lot. Astonishing how much better it drives than our : > department Chrysler mini-van that one rides on more than drives. Then I : > tried the new Odyssey and to my great surprise I liked it quite a bit less : > than the 2002. Felt slower, less road feel, and more Chrysler-like. Just did : > not care for it. : > : > Never drove any Honda mini-van before this. : > : > Anyone else feel the same way? : > : ------------------ : : The 'old' Odyssey van was sold from '95 - '98. It's even cooler, with : four swing-out doors and a much lower roofline. The second generation : looks like a Winnabago on the inside, by comparison. : : The Gen 1 drives like an Accord, I guess. Probably less top-heavy than : the current ones too. The '98 version came with a V-Tec. : : 'Curly' :
I think the comparison is between the 2002 (2nd generation) and the 2005 (3rd generation), isn't it?
I can't comment on the new one, not having driven one, but I love the way my 2001 drives. The '02 (also 2nd generation) might be a little bit better, with more power and a five-speed automatic instead of four, among other improvements.
On paper, the new ones sound even better, and if I were in the market I think the safety features would be a big factor in deciding which to buy. But driving dynamics count for a lot with me, too.
Paul
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Exactly. It starts with the feel of the steering wheel. The old one felt good in the hands. the new one feels skinny with a unpleasant texture.
I also don't get why the car books rave about the quality of the plastics in the dash vs. that used by GM. Neither the current nor earlier generation Odyssey has any better plastics in the dash than my 2000 GMC Yukon. We also own a Lexus LS so I know what a very high quality dash "feels" like, and the Odysseys and our Yukon are a notch below, with little difference among them. Bit of a disappointment in that regard given the build up.

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Personally I wouldn't buy the old or the new with the rate of expensive transmission failures being reported on the Odysseys, Pilots, etc. It seems like Honda didn't engineer a transmission strong enough for the weight and power of it's bigger vehicles.
John
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Please elaborate. I had not heard of this problem.

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http://www.hondanews.com
Look for a press release in the last year or so that talks about Honda's *latest* transmission recall--one of the largest recalls ever.
This is ON TOP OF the major transmission problems they had with the 4 speed units hooked to V6 engines. Those, they simply extended the warranty on to 100K miles. But the 02-04 5 speed models, they spent huge amounts of money (a) checking every transmission, and (b) replacing quite a few of them.
Frankly, from 1998 well into the 2004 model year, Honda struggled very badly with auto transmissions hooked to V6 engines. It's a HUGE weak point in an otherwise stellar engineering record.
I have an 02 Odyssey. According to the recall, mine required only the oil jet kit, not a replacement. Regardless, I have promised myself that I will not pay for a single transmission repair on this vehicle. Between my dealer (with whom I have a great relationship) and Honda, they can argue about who will take care of it. All I know is, it won't be me should anything come up.
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I found these:
http://www.hondanews.com/CatID0000?mid 04041436013&mime=asc
The recall involves approximately 600,000 light trucks manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. Affected models include certain model year 2002, 2003 and early 2004 Honda Odyssey minivans; 2003 and early 2004 Honda Pilots; and 2001 and 2002 Acura MDX sport-utility vehicles.
http://www.hondanews.com/CatID0000?mid 04063039497&mime=asc
The voluntary action involves approximately 499,000 Honda and Acura passenger vehicles with V6 engines and 5-speed automatic transmissions. Affected models include certain 2003 and early 2004 model Accord V6 sedans and coupes, 2000-2003 and early 2004 Acura TL sedans, and 2001-2003 Acura CL coupes.
More than a million vehicles.
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Just Google on "odyssey transmission defect" and you will find more to read than you can ever hope to look at.
GRL wrote:

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Have the 2002 Odyssey, it handles well. Even better since replacing the original tires with new Michelin's, never liked the original tires it came with. Thank goodness they finally wore out!
Like the hard edge styling of the 2002 over the wet bar of soap Chrysler look-a-like the designer's gave us this go round. Real hard to tell it in profile at speed from a Town and Country, why did they do that! The chrome bezel around the window is true Detroit.
Was hoping to turn in the 2002 in another year for a new one. Now might hang on to it until the next style change, in what five years? Will test drive the new Odyssey at my next service. Will evaluate it then.
Just an fyi, the transmission did go south at 37k, this van has been driven with kid gloves. Never abused and maintained per the book. Honda did replace it no questions asked. Was ready with a ton of news group print outs if they said it was my doing. I was pleasantly surprised when the best service writer I ever met called me 30 minutes after it was dropped and told me the trans would be replaced at no charge. No if's and's or butt's, we will call you later and tell you when it will be ready, WOW! Most service writers act like they have "never" heard of any problem that an owner is complaining about. They picked up the rental tab, and he stressed I would not have to use my extended warrantee for the replacement. Very business like, really appreciate that.
I do believe the transmission is under designed for the vehicle weight. All the manufactures seem to think or try to take the off the shelf power trains they have and put them in a van. They all get the same result, had two Ford Windstars before the Odyssey, first Windstar lost the transmission before 30k. Just about every Chrysler van owner I know has replaced a transmission or two. Has to hurt the bottom line at some point, but then they do not all fail and I guess that is the bean counters point. Interesting concept.
Greg in California
"
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