2011 Honda Odyssey Review – More of a Good Thing

Thursday January 13th, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • More utility than a Swiss army knife. This is one car that can handle most anything you throw at it, including seating for 8 passengers and lots of space.
  • It offers a limousine-like 58 cubic feet up front and in the second row seats, as well as 38 cubic feet for parcels (behind the third row) and up to 149 cubic feet with the seats folded flat
  • Car-like driving despite its behemoth size
  • Thoughtful and convenient features such as the “magic” third row seats, low rear liftover, “conversation mirror”, and built-in cooler for drinks and sandwiches up front
  • Serene ride and luxurious appointments
  • The family-hauler records a respectable 19 mpg

Cons:

  • Exterior styling is a step backwards
  • Minivan stigma
  • Not available in all-wheel drive

Driving impressions
Though minivans have a negative stigma, I was excited to drive the new Odyssey. Rolling up in traffic, looking down at other commuters, I was as pumped as if I were driving a BMW 7-series. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t challenged to any drag strip races and women drivers didn’t pay me a second, let alone first, look. Hah! Little did they know what they were missing!

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2011 Toyota Sienna Review – A minivan with swagger

Tuesday October 5th, 2010 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek

Likes:

  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Star Safety System is standard on all Sienna models
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Dual power sliding side doors with power lift gate
  • Front/rear parking sonar
  • Dual view widescreen with split-screen capability
  • Many, many convenient storage bins and cupholders strategically placed

Dislikes:

  • Navigation screen defaults to displaying map view and no option for “night” view when headlights are switched on
  • Plastic dashboard materials look and feel cheap
  • Second-row seats don’t stow or swivel, and removing them requires muscle
  • Top-line versions get pricey

The minivan is one of the great automotive innovations of the past 50 years. It’s been beloved, berated, embraced, and shunned since the Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country version took the box-on-wheels design mainstream in the 1980s. And that’s a good thing because the minivan takes a stand and makes a statement: “I can carry you and yours and your stuff’ anyplace you want to go … and do it in comfort.” Now, as Toyota introduces the third generation of Sienna minivan, you can add “… and swagger” to that statement.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Toyota |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »


Real Men Drive Minivans

Thursday June 17th, 2010 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: asgruben

real_men_drive_minivansBy Adrienne Gruben

Back in 1981, when the Talking Heads sang about the “large automobile” in their class-angst anthem “Once in a Lifetime,” and its spirit-shriveling effect on the song’s anti-hero dad, no one had a clue that just two years later, something called a “minivan” would debut, and proceed to enchant, confound, comfort and embarrass scores of dads to come–especially because it all started innocently enough.

With the van no longer the stuff of Beach Boys songs, portals between virginity and crabs, and false memories of family vacay singalongs (instead of the real version where dad swerved the van onto the shoulder, slammed it into park and threw everyone’s luggage out before threatening to take off alone),–the family decided it wanted to actually be able to park their lugging mechanism in the garage, and get more efficiency out of the deal.

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