Performance and Handling
Though this minivan was nearly as wide as the recently tested Infiniti QX56, it didn’t feel as cumbersome. The ride is extremely smooth yet still responsive to light steering inputs; body lean was admirably minimal though it was susceptible to cross-winds in a recent storm. Visibility was excellent and the rear-view camera made it easy to negotiate tight parking spots. The blind spot warning feature was well executed; it wasn’t obnoxious but warned you when cars were coming up on either flank.
In the rain, the front-wheel drive layout did exhibit some wheel-spin under hard acceleration but it wasn’t overly dramatic. With only 7 more horsepower than the 2008 model, the Odyssey felt peppier and accelerated from 60-80 more quickly. Perhaps this is because of the more closely-ratio’d 6 speed transmission.
Honda created the “minivan” category sixteen years ago. It has been embraced and copied since then. The 2011 model sports a refreshed exterior, new 6-speed automatic, and a few more amenities. Pricing varies greatly, as seen by the chart below, from just under $28,000 to over $43,000. We tested the fully loaded “Touring Elite” model.
At over $43,000, the Odyssey isn’t cheap. Yet it offers a luxurious interior, reasonable gas mileage, and utility that is hard to match. This is one car that can truly do most everything you need. This said, the 2011 Toyota Sienna does offer all-wheel-drive and similarly equipped, is about $3000 less though with poorer fuel economy. Consumers definitely benefit from the competition in this segment.
Much Different, Much the Same
This is an extremely competent minivan. Though it doesn’t have a hybrid option, fuel economy is remarkably good. It offers an incredibly practical package without any real sacrifices. It continues to be a world-leader in the minivan segment.
|Honda Motor Company of America: Cars, Sedans, CUVs, Trucks – http://automobiles.honda.com/|
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