Honda Odyssey

2016 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is the minivan to beat, if you consider design flair or driving pleasure. It is a bit long in the tooth, having last been redesigned for the 2011 model year, but it still ranks near the top of a small class.

Odyssey offers fuel economy that nearly matches that of a sedan. Hondas 3.5-liter V6 engine develops 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, mating with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. The Toyota Sienna is the only minivan that offers all-wheel drive.

Odyssey has plenty of reserve power to provide brisk passing, even when carrying a full load. It blends ride comfort with responsive handling, though the ride is a tad firm.

Occupants can expect a surprisingly quiet and refined experience. Active noise cancellation and active engine mounts squelch excessive road noise, as well as any vibrations emanating from the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system.

Odysseys seating layout is more reconfigurable than most. An available split second row lets outboard seats move toward the doors, yielding greater room for hips and shoulders. Second- and third-row seats can also be repositioned, to ease access to the back row or add space for second-row occupants. An Odyssey also offers greater flexibility in terms of positioning child safety seats.

Touring Elite models get the HondaLink infotainment suite, which uses a smartphone app to access Internet-based entertainment. Standard on Touring Elite and the new SE (Special Edition) is the helpful HondaVAC. Co-developed with Shop-Vac, its a vacuum cleaner that resides in the cargo area, and never needs to be charged or plugged in.

A clear standout in safety, Odyssey is among a handful of large vehicles that have earned top crash-test rating from both safety agencies: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). NHTSA gives Odyssey a five-star overall rating, while IIHS names it a Top Safety Pick, including Good ratings in each of five tests that were conducted.

Each trim level has a standard rearview camera. All but the base LX get Hondas LaneWatch camera, which puts an image of the blind spot into the right-hand mirror when you signal for a right turn or lane change. EX-L trims and above include lane-departure and forward-collision warnings. To get blind-spot monitoring, you have to pick the Touring Elite.


2015 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is about function and making family life easier. It can carry a family of eight, or half a high-school soccer team, along with all their coolers, balls, tents, shoes, whatever. It can tow a small trailer with a motorcycle or watercraft. Odyssey can carry 48-foot plywood flat on the floor. In fact, 10-foot-long boards could be stacked on them, extending between the front seats when the convenient removable console is taken out. Best of all, its loaded with conveniences designed to simplify life.

The Honda Odyssey was thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered for the 2011 model year, marking a new generation of one of Americas favorite multi-purpose vehicles.

For 2014, Odyssey got minor tweaks to trim that freshened its appearance. Noteworthy equipment updates included the addition of Bluetooth and Pandora as standard equipment, plus the industrys only built-in vacuum cleaner. Standard in the top (Touring Elite) model, it works better than any cordless vacuum weve used and better than most corded handhelds. Neatly stowed in the left rear cargo area wall (where lesser models secure the second-row middle seat not in use), the Shop-Vac built HondaVAC unit runs for 8 minutes on battery, indefinitely with the engine running, and can reach anywhere in the van.

The 2014 Odyssey also gained in safety, with more warning systems and driver assists, a benefit of its revised structure. Odyssey was the first van to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, including a Good rating in the small overlap front crash test. (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a lobbying organization for the auto-insurance industry.)

Because the Odyssey received a number of upgrades for 2014, the 2015 model continues with no significant change.

Though still called a minivan, theres nothing mini about the modern minivan. The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Nissan Quest, and Kia Sedona are big passenger vehicles, most stretching past 16 1/2 feet in overall length. If you need a true mini-van, you might consider the Mazda5, which is sized more like European family vans.

For many uses, and especially for carrying people, a Honda Odyssey or one of its competitors makes more sense than a full-size sport-utility or crossover. A minivan often handles better and is generally more space- and fuel-efficient. The Odyssey is less expensive than a luxury SUV, gets better fuel economy, and has more cargo room, with greater flexibility in how the space is configured.

Unless you need all-wheel drive or you tow a big car or boat, the Odyssey should work nicely. Odysseys third-row seats set a new standard in legroom, with as much space as the front seats in a Cadillac Escalade, or even the Odyssey itself.

Hondas 248-horsepower V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission lead the class in fuel economy without lagging in performance. Active cylinder management lets the engine run on 3, 4 or 6 cylinders as needed, improving fuel efficiency. Specifically, the EPA estimates Hondas minivan at 19 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway (22 mpg combined).

Comfort and poise are excellent, even with six large people on board. Six airbags, including three-row side curtains, are standard. Blind-spot and lane-departure warnings, Hondas LaneWatch right-side camera view, and forward collision warning are optional.

Odysseys main competition is the Toyota Sienna, which offers more choices with a four-cylinder engine, a sport model and available all-wheel drive; Sienna does not offer eight seats, however. Dodge Grand Caravan and Nissan Quest are the primary alternatives to the Honda and Toyota, and Kia has redesigned its Sedona for the 2015 model year.


2014 Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is about function and making family life easier. It can carry a family of eight, or half a high-school soccer team, with all their coolers, balls, tents, shoes, whatever. It can tow a small trailer with a motorcycle or watercraft. Odyssey can carry 48 plywood flat on the floor, with 10-foot-long boards can be stacked on them, extending between the front seats when the convenient removable console is taken out. Best of all, it's loaded with conveniences designed to simplify life.

The Honda Odyssey was thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered for the 2011 model year, marking a new generation of one of America's favorite multi-purpose vehicles.

For 2014, Odyssey gets minor tweaks to trim that freshen its appearance. Noteworthy equipment updates include Bluetooth and Pandora as standard equipment and the industry's only built-in vacuum cleaner, which works better than any cordless vacuum we've used and better than most corded handhelds. And the 2014 Odyssey is safer yet, with more warning systems and driver assists, a benefit of its revised structure for 2014. It is the first van to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, including a Good rating in the small overlap front crash test. (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a lobbying organization for the auto-insurance industry.)

Though still called a minivan, there is nothing mini about the modern minivan. The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Nissan Quest, and Kia Sedona are big passenger vehicles, most stretching past 16 1/2 feet in overall length. If you need a true mini-van, you might consider the Mazda5.

For many uses, and especially for carrying people, a Honda Odyssey or one of its competitors makes more sense than a full-size sport-utility or crossover. A minivan often handles better and is generally more space and fuel-efficient. The Odyssey is less expensive than a luxury SUV, gets better fuel economy, and has more cargo room, with greater flexibility in how the space is configured. Unless you need all-wheel drive or you tow a big car or boat, the Odyssey should work. Odyssey's third-row seats set a new standard in legroom, with as much space as the front seats in a Cadillac Escalade or even the Odyssey itself.

The Honda 248-hp V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission lead the class in fuel economy without lagging in performance.

Comfort and poise are excellent, even with six large people on board. Six airbags including three-row side curtains are standard. Blind-spot and lane-departure warnings, the LaneWatch right-side camera view, and forward collision warning are optional.

Odyssey's main competition is the Toyota Sienna, which offers more choices with a four-cylinder engine, a sport model and available all-wheel drive; Sienna does not offer eight seats, however. Dodge Grand Caravan and Nissan Quest are the primary alternatives to the Honda and Toyota.


 

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