We’ve been reading a host of comments about how ugly the new Odyssey is, with its “lightning bolt” beltline. One commenter said (scroll down and look for “blackdog”), “looks like they welded sections from three different vans together.” And the car is, honestly, just a mishmash of bad design.
However, others have made the point that minivan drivers are far less influenced by style than utility, and that is surely true. And this is a minivan with everything that traveling American families could want: HDMI connection for video, seating that configures to your every need (see below), a ring to hold your trash bag, a “cool box” to hold a six-pack of whatever, a media tray to hold cell phones, etc., and, best of all, an “Ultra-Wide Rear Entertainment System (RES) with split-screen capability.” I forgot—yes, it does have 15 cupholders.
Everything you need to forget you’re driving.
The engine offered, for now, will be Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 iVTEC, which promises 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. All-wheel drive may be coming. The 2011 Odyssey will be in U.S. showrooms this fall.
The car is bigger inside and out than previous versions, and Honda says three adults will fit comfortably in the back row. Look at the photo; they gotta be kidding.
The new Odyssey will go head to head with the 2011 Toyota Sienna, and of course there are other competitors in the field, like Chrysler’s Town & Country, yet to appear. But the Odyssey is the best-selling minivan in the country (one in five are Hondas).
If you are a bit disappointed with this latest Honda offering, we suggest you look at some of the driving reports (here and here) on the new CR-Z, which are at best lukewarm. We still see no reason to alter our earlier judgment on the company that seems to have lost its way.
Which minivan would you prefer—the new Odyssey or the Sienna?