Single with no dependents, the concept of a mini-van has always been so-not-me. No offense, but hey, I’m more of a racy coupe, or performance sedan type. If, however, I had two, or more kids, a mate and a dog and was still as cool as I am today, rest assured, I’d be taking a very serious look at the 2011 Honda Odyssey.
On the exterior, the all new Odyssey has turned away from the look to which we’ve all become accustomed to in terms of mini-vans. Odyssey is now sleek from every angle. And I just love the spoiler that caps the rear fascia. Yeah, Honda got a little jiggy with this one! Even so, I’d still pimp it out a little further with a bodacious chrome grill and a set of rims—20’s at minimum.
Truth be told, if you can appreciate the $50,240 Mercedes R Crossover, you and your friends are gonna love the $43,250 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, with base model (LX trim level) starting at $27,800.
Here’s where the Odyssey got me: Behind the wheel, it feels much like a crossover, in the absence of the clumsy, van-like handling that I recall from the last time a relative of mine (who shall remain un-named) had maybe one, or two too many glasses of granpa’s egg nog last Christmas and asked me to drive them home.
In terms of power, all trim levels have the same 248 horsepower, 3.5 liter, SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) i-VTEC V-6 engine that delivers never deficient power while achieving 19 city / 28 highway miles per gallon fuel efficiency. And that’s regular unleaded. Even if you scale it down to the LX, EX, or EX-L, none of which include a six speed transmission, your fuel economy is just one mile less to 18/27.
At the Touring Elite trim level, the new Odyssey has some of the coolest features including high intensity discharge headlights (HID), blind spot information system, a premium 650 watt stereo with 15gb of memory in the hard drive and a theater mode for the HD “ultrawide” rear monitor that allows passengers to watch two programs on one screen at the same time. That’s hot!
Of course the steering wheel is loaded with features to your hands there and not elsewhere to change the radio, talk on the phone, or program the navigation system, all of which are included on the $43,250 Touring Elite.
My one regret is not having had someone to drive me around the week I tested this one. With 115-volt power outlets I could have brought my laptop to do some work and remained organized in the process thanks to the center stack storage with utility tray. I could have also lowered the temperature (whether I was in the second, or third zone) to take a nap, or watch a movie in a reclined seat along the way to grandmother’s. I could have even had a cold one a stops in between, thanks to Odyssey’s integrated cool box.
If I had a large a family, rest assured, the 2011 Honda Odyssey would definitely be on my “hot list!”