HomeMediaPick of the Day: 1996 Honda Odyssey

Pick of the Day: 1996 Honda Odyssey

More to this than meets the eye


Once a vehicle turns 25 years old, it can lawfully be imported to the United States on a permanent basis even if it was not originally manufactured to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In the automotive collector community, this is commonly referred to as the “25 Year Rule.”

Luckily for us, that means some unique vehicles that were originally sold exclusively in overseas world markets in the late 1990s are starting to come stateside. This is one example:

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage JDM-spec 1996 Honda Odyssey listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Cleveland, Tennessee. (Click the link to view the listing)

On the surface, this Odyssey looks like nothing spectacular. It appears to be nothing more than a clean example of Honda’s first minivan, which was based on the Accord platform and leveraged a wishbone-style suspension, an inline-four powerplant, and a four-speed automatic transmission. A unique aspect of this minivan (in all markets) was that it had traditional swing-out rear doors rather than sliding doors.

One thing U.S. market first-generation Odysseys didn’t get was all-wheel drive. That’s where today’s feature vehicle comes into play. The listing states, “The many options this Odyssey has are all-wheel drive, roof rack rails, a rear decklid mirror, a retractable corner marker pole,” and so on.

Moving to the interior of the vehicle, a dead-giveaway that this Odyssey came from another market is the right-hand drive layout. Cloth seating is provided for 7 occupants, and this van features climate control functions for both front and rear passengers as a bonus.

Showing only 20,959 original miles, this Odyssey is still just a baby. Even so, it’s 27 years old, and any vehicle that old deserves a mild refresh. The selling dealer states that recent services included replacement of the oil, transmission fluid, air filter, coolant, battery, air conditioning refrigerant, alternator, and brakes. “Fully serviced and ready to go!” the listing states.

The last bit of good news is that despite being a Japanese imported vehicle, this gen one Odyssey has been legalized in the United States and now carries a clear Tennessee title.

The selling dealer’s asking price is $19,000. It’s a JDM import that’s versatile enough to get approval from the whole family. A 21-minute walkaround video has been included with the listing.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine, KSLCars.com, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


  1. I have a 1997 Honda Odyssey. 188,000 miles and runs like new – literally. Before I bought it I looked around online for different models/ examples and found that these models were “The” best. Some had 200k+ miles and a few had 400k miles. Super smooth with “ air suspension” and dual air conditioning and air bags. Mine is a fully loaded LX model ( no sunroof ). I without a doubt want another one. One of the best riding, comfortable, quiet and enjoyable vehicles I’ve ever owned. I just won’t spend $19,000.00. I can and will find another one ( mint ), for under $10k. They are out there. I’m going to be buying another one in the next year as I want it to be the last ( well built ) gas powered vehicle before I go all electric. Nice article and good luck to the seller and buyer of this awesome vehicle!

  2. My mom bought a 1995 Odyssey new and that thing was amazing. We didn’t often see them with these doors (instead of the sliding doors), so whenever we were on the road, we’d point one out! My brother and I learned to drive on it, it took us on road trips, and to college. When she finally HAD to get rid of it in 2020, it had over 300,000 miles on it.


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