$37,100 – $44,920
Good: Brilliant packaging – the classy interior has sufficient space inside yet the Odyssey is far sleeker on the outside than any competing people-mover. Class-leading ride & handling, high levels of standard equipment and value for money.
Not so Good: The 2.4-litre engine can feel underpowered. Unfortunately no matter how good the Odyssey is, the vast, vast majority of seven-seat shoppers today end up driving off in an SUV (when so many of them would be better off in something like an Odyssey!?).
Design and Engineering
Good : The current generation Odyssey arrived here in April 2009 and retains the overall silhouette of the groundbreaking previous model. Significantly lower in height than its MPV competitors (and SUV’s as well).
The Odyssey is a packaging masterpiece; looking relatively compact on the outside yet offers genuine space for seven inside.
Not so good : More of an evolution of the previous model; not as groundbreaking as the previous Odyssey which launched here in 2004 (however, why change a good thing?).
We’re not so sure about the lower body kit which looks like a bolt-on aftermarket kit (which fortunately are becoming less of a feature today than in the 80’s & 90’s!?)
Interior and Styling
Good : The Honda Odyssey has received an updated interior with silver metallic panels replacing the previous wood grain; we think this gives the Odyssey a fresh feel rather than the daggy and outdated wood grain.
The entry level Odyssey gains A-pillar mounted Bluetooth for mobile connectivity and reverse parking sensors for added safety. Meanwhile, the top of the range Odyssey Luxury receives a satellite navigation system with reversing camera, DVD player, integrated Bluetooth for audio streaming, SUNA live traffic updates and USB connectivity.
The Excellent interior features a futuristic dash and a low-set driver’s seat. Unlike in any SUV, it doesn’t matter which row of seats you’re in, as space is sufficient for adults in all 3 rows, plus there is plenty of storage compartments for everyone!
The Luxury grade adds leather-trimmed seats (which are power adjustable), leather steering wheel and a leather wrapped gear knob that further lift cabin ambience while the 2nd and 3rd rows receive roof mounted air-conditioning vents.
Not so good : We found some of the instruments could be clearer and the controls moved closer to the driver for better useability. The audio system in the entry-level grade looks a little cheap & out of place in an otherwise modern dash. This is a smaller vehicle than the extra-large People Movers (i.e Volkswagen Caravelle, Kia Grand Carnival) so obviously the Odyssey has less 2nd & 3rd row legroom.
Good : The 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is mated to a 5 Speed automatic that features Grade Logic Control & Shift Hold; this combination produces 132kW of power and 218Nm of torque. While the engine may be smaller in capacity than the usual six-cylinder petrol engines in mid-size SUV’s – the Odyssey is a couple of hundred kilo’s lighter than most seven-seaters and ‘soft roaders’ so is able to get by with only 4-cylinders, plus the magic of Honda’s i-VTEC helps matters also.
The official combined fuel consumption for the Honda Odyssey is 8.9-litres per 100km, which is pretty good considering this is a people-mover.
Not so good : It does manage to ‘get by’ with a four-cylinder, but forget spirited performance! If you ask too much of the engine you’ll of course loose the benefit of the fuel economy a four-cylinder provides.
Ride and Handling
Good : The Honda Odyssey features sedan-like ride & handling, the steering feels light for a vehicle of this size, while the suspension is nicely balanced offering the perfect mix of comfort and performance in its class.
If you’re about to purchase a mid-size SUV, we’d strongly suggest taking the Odyssey for a test drive.
Not so good : The steering might be missing the feedback of a sports car, however for the majority of buyers this really isn’t an issue.
Buying and Owning
Good : For a luxurious, spacious interior that seats seven, there isn’t a new SUV on the market that has such a classy and usable interior for the same money. The Honda Odyssey has electronic stability control as standard and all seats feature proper lap/sash seat belts.
Not so good : It’s hard to fault the Honda Odyssey as it is a leader in its class. It offers a stylish package that is spacious and great value for money.
However, a bigger engine would be nice and as mentioned before the 2nd & 3rd row seating could do with a little more legroom, but these are minor complaints on an otherwise solid package.
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