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 2002 Honda Odyssey Review, GRIM, From Minneapolis

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Honda Odyssey

 ModelHonda Odyssey
 What things have gone wrong with the car?an abysmal, static-ridden FM radio, as bad as the mid-90's Toyota radios; no delayed shutoff on interior lights--leave a door ajar and you'll have a dead battery 3 hours later (which I've done); oil changes are a real pain for a do-it-yourselfer--it's best to remove the right front wheel to get at the pan drain and filter; uses only 5W20 oil (if you go to quick-change places, they might not have it or might charge a premium for it); not exactly a Carrera in looks (that's the area where a van is a van, but this ain't a beauty contest, it's a ride)
 General comments?I'm quite biased in favor of minivans; I've owned 2 others and driven many. The Honda is a cut above any that I've tried, particularly in handling. Even with seven passengers it seems stable on the highway. It comes very close to a well-suspended sedan and has plenty of pep with the new 240 hp engine, pep that does not come at a premium cost in fuel--it equals or betters any of the other popular vans in mileage. Quality control is excellent--its only flaw upon delivery was uneven tire pressures, not a biggy. Comfort comes close to my wife's BMW (the most comfortable ride I've ever had)and interior conveniences are great--good cup holders, a solid swinging center console, lots of nooks and creannies for storage, the ingenious disappearing rear seat (very easy to handle), the flexible captain's seat arrangements in the second row (easily removed), and the large cargo capacity for perpetual remodelers like myself. We are bike tourers and need only remove one captain's seat and pull down the rear bench to be able to roll our bikes in with no alterations and bungee them to the neat cord fasteners. Even the windshield wipers, mirrors, and visual paths are well-conceived. The gas mileage is quite variable (of course, so is the gas around here)--it's ranged from 15.6 mpg in crowded town traffic to 30.1 mpg during long trips on rural highways. Typical freeway mileage on long hauls is 23 to 26 mpg, but I don't have a heavy foot. No problem pulling my 16' fishing boat. A caution--it will not accept cheap trailer hitches--don't try to put on a Cars-R-Us 1500-lb. do-it-yourself job. Unless someone figures out how to top this one I can't imagine changing brands for a while. I'd give it a 5, but I've driven that BMW--now that's a 5. I think 4 is the best a van can do, and the Honda does it.
 Previous car1994 and '98 Mercury Villagers (liked them both); Toyota Sienna (almost as good as the Honda, and more luxurious feeling, but came up short on handling); various Chrysler vans (not handling champs, ei

Review 2002 Honda Odyssey GRIM, From Minneapolis
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007