The Honda Odyssey is a vehicle manufactured by Honda. In North America it is manufactured as a minivan.
First generation (1995-1998)
The Odyssey was introduced in 1995 as a compact minivan with four swing-open doors as on most sedans rather than the conventional sliding door design. The basic vehicle was shared between the Japanese and North American markets. The Odyssey was also the first minivan to have a flat-folding third row seat. Built on the Accord platform and using a 4-cylinder engine like the Accord's, many critics thought the interior was too small for a minivan, and the engine underpowered despite an engine size increase in 1998. Consumer Reports preferred the larger, redesigned Dodge Caravan in a test. Consumers agreed and the first generation Odyssey was not a sales success.
The first generation Odyssey came in two trim levels LX and upscale EX. The LX could fit seven with two front buckets, a three-seat middle bench, and a 2-seat third row bench. The EX came with two second row captain's chairs.
The Odyssey was rebadged as the Isuzu Oasis, which is now discontinued. This unusual sharing of vehicles resulted from a lack of SUVs in Honda's lineup. Isuzu got from Honda the Odyssey and renamed it the Oasis. Honda got from Isuzu the Rodeo and renamed it the Passport. Acura got the Trooper and renamed it the SLX. The Odyssey and Oasis were used in New York City as taxi cabs.
The Odyssey was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1995.
Second generation (1999-2004)
The American Odyssey was sold under the name Honda Lagreat in Japan from 1998 to 2004, with the smaller Japanese Odyssey continuing in Japan and numerous export markets. The American van was the first Japanese minivan to adopt the size and layout of the class-leading Dodge Caravan. It had class-leading power and good acceleration, however transmission technology failed to keep pace with engine power. The 4-speed automatic transmission in 1999 to 2001 models and the 5-speed automatic in 2002 to 2004 models had very serious problems with transmission reliability which have not been solved. The oil jet recall for some 5-speed automatic transmissions did not address or solve the main cause of breakdown. As in the similar 5 speed transmissions of the Acura TL and MDX, failure of the transmission's third clutch pack, blockage of internal transmission fluid flow by large amounts of clutch debris, and other issues remained a problem even after the oil jet recall.