More Expert Reviews
|2008 Honda Odyssey
|2008 Honda Odyssey Specs|
By Twain Mein
- Clever packaging
- The ultimate vehicle for families with young kids
- Lots of space
- Reasonable gas mileage; about 17.5 miles per gallon
- Could use more power
- Could have 4wd
- Could be hybrid
- It’s a minivan…
This is the loaded version of Honda’s home-run hitter, the Odyssey Minivan. It is the loaded Touring model with Honda Navigation System, rearview camera, DVD rear entertainment system, leather-trimmed interior, XM® Satellite Radio, and Bluetooth® Handsfree Link. It features cylinder deactivation (with 241 hp vs 244 hp but with an EPA rating of 17/25 mpg versus 16/23 mpg for the slightly more powerful LX/EX trims).
This might be the most impressive vehicle I’ve ever driven…from the perspective of a guy with 2 kids (ages 6 and 1) and who also has a lot of hobbies that take up space – like boating, fishing and biking. A testament to its practicality is my first drive which required that I pick up my wife and kids who were returning from a week-long vacation. My wife came home with 3 huge duffel bags and 4 smaller carry-ons, plus my gym bag and laptop bag. I was amazed that all of the luggage easily fit behind the 3rd row, thanks to the huge and deep cargo well. This was incredible; in our Toyota Highlander Hybrid, our luggage virtually filled the cargo space. The luxury ride to and from the airport in the Odyssey was also serene, quiet, and enjoyable.
This is a beautifully built car with a gorgeous leather interior, excellent visibility and amenities everywhere. Electronically assisted side doors (both sides) and tail gate make opening a breeze, especially for smaller moms. (One nit — I couldn’t quite figure out how to operate the side doors from the remote though I didn’t delve into the thick owner’s manual to find out). Additionally, the “magic” 3rd row seats that fold into the storage area are an engineering marvel. There are nooks and crannies and additional storage in front of the second row seat that seem like a demonstration of Honda’s packaging genius. Most amazingly, there was plenty of 2nd AND 3rd row leg, hip, and head room for adults. But what makes this amazing is that the Odyssey is less than 2 feet longer than our Toyota Highlander Hybrid . Yet the interior space was much more usable and vast than a recently tested GMC Yukon Hybrid.
Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
Honda has done it’s work with focus groups of moms. Notably:
- Back up camera to make parking easier and make sure Junior’s toys (or Junior himself) isn’t behind you
- Tire pressure monitoring
- DVD entertainment system with rear controls
- Bluetooth® integration
- Supplemental panoramic rear-view mirror to keep an eye on the kids (genius)
- Storage cubbies aplenty
- Innovative 2nd row center seat that folds forward and is removable for easy ingress to 3rd row
- Cavernous interior with amazing 3rd row seats that are comfortable enough for adults—yet still fold easily into the floor.
Smartly, Honda uses a dash mounting for the shifter, freeing up console and floor space. It seems a bit “van like” but is very practical. It also allows for the front seat passenger to scoot through the two front seats for easy access to the kids in the back row. Outstanding.
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