The Honda Odyssey minivan has been redesigned for 2011. However, this minivan was already a solid product that the new version didn’t have much to change. The only question, though, is that is it enough to attract people to go for a minivan.
From a sensible point of view, minivans can cover everything like that of any family transportation. Vans are more cost-efficient than a full-size SUV, more spacious than crossovers and way more adaptable to heavy loads than station wagons. If every vehicle purchase were a highly reasonable choice, then all of us would prefer to drive minivans.
Basically, the fourth-generation Honda Odyssey is a polished version of its predecessor, which was also a refinement of the second-generation Odyssey. Therefore, the new Odyssey is just the improved version of what’s already known as the best van.
Honda’s standard VCM, or Variable Cylinder Management, that turns off cylinders below engine loads, is placed on every Odyssey models' 248-hp 3.5 l SOHC V6 engine. The previous year's five-speed auto transaxle was based on LX and EX trims. The Touring trim features a new six-speed auto transmission that increases its EPA-graded fuel efficiency to 19 mpg in the city, one mpg improved than the older Odysseys. All the 2011 Odysseys are rated 27 mpg on the freeway.
If you look on a different perspective, the 2011 Odyssey's design, including the wide shoulders, sculpted nose as well as the lightning belt line stands out from the ultra-restrained metal of the previous Odysseys. What’s fascinating is that Honda continues on its visible sliding-door tracks. However, Honda cleverly made the tracks run similar to the back window and signifies the top of the taillights.
The roof has gone down 0.4 inches and the total width is up 2.1 inches, making the minivan look lower, more athletic and grounded. The inside headroom may be down by a pinch, giving the shoulder room more space.
The Honda's chassis is still the most excellent in this category. The Odyssey's independent suspension is unchanged. The MacPherson struts up front handle road bumps without compromising control, while the multilink system functions magnificently at the back. Using its controllable ride motions and outstanding steering sensation, sometimes, it's unbelievable that the Odyssey is a minivan at all.
Odyssey's new interior is simple, but it offers comfort and versatility. While it can seat eight people, it can still ensure everyone an enjoyable trip. There's a variety of entertainment, including the new drop-down screen.
The Odyssey, however, lacks some sort of a smart seating system on the second row unlike Chrysler's Stow 'N Go seats that drop to the floor. Therefore, seats at the center are not suitable for people who are prone to hernia risks. Certainly, the seat folds to a well on a 60/40 split.
The new chart-topping Odyssey Touring model is full of gadgets and is definitely more comfortable compared to many homes. The EX also has a detachable console as well as a "cool box" below the dash to keep drinks chilled on those hot summer days.
Another useful feature is the "multiview" camera at the back that shows a clear view of what's at the back of the van as well as clear guidelines that indicate potential hazards. This technology makes the van more convenient to live with.
Regardless of the lightning belt line, the new Odyssey isn't a major leap forward for vans. It's more like of a baby step towards its kind and the vehicle by which all others has to be judged.
The alternatives to the Odyssey are the Chrysler Town & Country (MSRP $30,260; 17 city / 25 hwy) and the Toyota Sienna (MSRP $36,300; 18 city / 24 hwy).
82 out of 100
What others say:
"For families carrying adults or kids alike in the second or third rows, the 2011 Honda Odyssey remains more comfortable and versatile than ever; it's still the closest thing to a living room on wheels."Car Connection
"Sporty for a minivan. Odyssey exhibits only moderate body lean in fast turns. The electrically assisted power steering feels very light at all speeds but maintains good response."Consumer Guide
"Pricier than some competitors; some desirable options and features only offered on upper trim levels; button-heavy dash."Edmunds
"The all-new, fourth-generation 2011 Honda Odyssey sports a bolder look and more of the people-pleasing features that have made the Odyssey a long-time family favorite."KBB
|Vehicle Type: Minivan||Base Price: $28,075.00|
|Fuel Tank Capacity: 21 gallons||Miles Per Gallon: 19 city / 28 hwy|
|Length: 202.9 in. (515 cm)||Width: 79.2 in. (201 cm)|
|Height: 68.4 in. (173 cm)||Curb Weight: 4337 lbs (1967 kg)|
|Wheel Base: 118.1 in. (299 cm)||Ground Clearance: NA|
|Luggage Capacity: 38.4 cu ft behind 3rd row||Maximum Seating: 7 people|
|Engine: 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC® V6||Displacement: 3471 cc|
|Horsepower: 248 HP||Max RPM: 5700 RPM|
|Torque: 250 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm||Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic|
|0-60 mph: 7.8 seconds||Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs (1587 kgs)|
|Option:EX||MSRP: $31,225; MPG: 18 city / 27 hwy|
|Option:EX-L||MSRP: $34,725; MPG: 18 city / 27 hwy|
|Option:EX-L w/ Rear Entertainment System||MSRP: $36,325; MPG: 18 city / 27 hwy|
|Option:EX-L w/ Navigation System||MSRP: $36,725; MPG: 18 city / 27 hwy|
|Option:Touring||MSRP: $41,030; MPG: 19 city / 28 hwy|
|Option:Touring Elite||MSRP: $43,525; MPG: 19 city / 28 hwy|