When it comes to People Movers, Honda's Odyssey models are on the top shelf - amongst the best vehicles in the segment.
Highly regarded as used vehicles, the various Odyssey models attract premium prices because they're good.
Offering a very stylish exterior design and a brilliant interior with seats for six or seven, the Odyssey highlights everything that Honda does well: excellent engineering and build quality, loaded with convenience and safety features and powered by high-tech engines with a reputation for performance and good economy.
Honda Odyssey On the road
Odysseys have always been great cars to drive.
Most have been powered by four-cylinder engines although from 2000 to 2004, Honda also sold range-topping Odyssey models powered by a silky-smooth V6.
Honda's engineers did a brilliant job with the overall packaging of the Odyssey - it doesn't have the 'tall-boy' looks of conventional people movers like the Toyota Tarago or Volkswagen Caravelle. Same with the interior which delivers a variety of seating configurations, excellent legroom and access to the rear seats is easy (although not to the same degree as the larger people movers).
The one criticism of early model Odysseys is the luggage space. When you configure the vehicle for maximum passengers (six or seven) the amount of available luggage space is not amongst the best in the segment.
However overall the Odyssey scores high marks - particularly as vehicle for families. Designed from the outset as people mover, its more mainstream size makes it popular with female drivers who find the Odyssey much easier to drive and park than rival full-size people movers which are relatives of commercial vans.
Honda Odyssey - what to look for
When looking at a used Odyssey it's a good idea to check the interior for damage caused by baby capsules and child seats. Also check the luggage area and rear bumper for signs of scratches or damage - particularly from strollers.
Check all of the seats are operational and slide/fold easily.
In your test drive, listen carefully for any clunks from the front end when turning low-speed corners - this could indicate worn driveshafts.
Engines that puff smoke on start-up or when accelerating up hills should be treated with suspicion.
You can find good used Odysseys priced under $30,000 but if the budget can stretch, look for the third generation models (from 2004).