By on July 2, 2014

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The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite is the Nimitz-class flagship of the suburbs. Many suggest it’s the only van for enthusiasts, if there can be such a thing. It must be true, there’s even a lightning bolt zapping down the side view and all.

Is the Odyssey the way for you to buy in without selling out?

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On the suburban battlefield, the Odyssey demands respect. Honda will tell you it’s the best-selling single nameplate, though that’s likely to end soon. Combine the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country numbers and the total nearly doubles what the Odyssey shifts. Chrysler is going to consolidate its two vans into a single model, and even if the new Town & Country takes a bit of a sales haircut, there’s plenty of headroom. The Odyssey is likely to lose its single-model sales leadership.

Let’s avoid getting confused with the facts, though. Everyone loves the Odyssey. Motor Trend even went so far as to say it “doesn’t drive much different than our 2013 Honda Accord Sport.” Choose an Odyssey and you’ll even get validation from people who see automobiles as little more than white goods. It’ll wind up in a conversation that also includes front-loading high-efficiency washing machines, refrigerators with snack drawers, and radiant heat in the bathroom.

In the immortal words of Orson Welles, “fellas, you’re losing your heads.” I have driven both, and unless there’s a Tuna Boat option package, The Odyssey is not like the Accord.

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I expected more supple responses given the way the Odyssey has been talked up. Instead it’s choppy. The Odyssey does handle well, so if you want to slalom, go right ahead. For family-hauling, the Toyota Sienna does a better job being compliant without floating. There is that 3.5 liter, 248 hp V6; a lively engine once you get it revving. Power lags the competition, but only a little, and 250 lb-ft of torque is right in the fight. The six-speed automatic transmission is newly standard across all Odyssey models, and it stays out of the way. The snarl of the V6 is great and the Variable Cylinder Management drops back to four or three cylinders when all six aren’t needed. Thanks to careful tuning and active engine mounts, the VCM system is virtually undetectable.

While I’m not reminded of an Accord, the Odyssey definitely drives like a Honda. The power boost of the rack and pinion steering is too light for my tastes, but probably just right for the buyers. It’s a little numb, too. The brake pedal is solid, easy to modulate, and clamps down on big four-wheel discs. That’s good, because there’s more than 4,000 pounds to stop. The suspension that can be harsh lets you corner with confidence hard enough to rip that ice cream cone right out of little Suzy’s hand and splatter it on the side window. Body roll is well-checked.

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You just can’t beat a van for actual usefulness. Two powered sliding doors and a powered rear hatch open up a world of possibilities with ease. Load heights are low and the third row seat can be disappeared into the floor. With the seats stowed, the surface is lumpier than the the Chryslers, and you have to heave the second-row seats out to get the maximum cargo space. Because of its seating arrangement, the Odyssey has longer front seat travel. That’s important because it lets you find a comfortable driving position.

The seating design is flexible, giving you the option of three-across in the second row, or a “wide mode” with a console in between. All three rows are comfortable, though the first and second rows are where it’s at. Pop the second row seats out, stow the third row, which is easy, and 4×8 sheets of material will fit. Who needs a pickup?

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The Touring Elite is the most comfortable Odyssey there is. It had better be, because it costs luxury car money. There is no inexpensive Odyssey. The base-model Odyssey LX starts at $28,825. You can step through EX, EX-L, and Touring before you get to the Touring Elite trim level and its $44,450 MSRP. The result of that spending is basically every feature that’s optional on lesser Odyssey trims is standard for the Touring Elite.

That’s all of the things. More climate zones than your house (3), rear DVD system with remote and headphones, even a friggin’ central vacuum. The equipment list reads like a rental property, for crying out loud. Features like a cool box in the center console, power doors and hatch, parking sensors, rear-view camera, and navigation are what other moms and dads will chat you up about at soccer. They’re all fine, and they create profit for Honda. Half of the extra features are more distraction, the other half make the Odyssey easier to use. The hard ones are the controls for the infotainment, a partner in maintaining the peace when there are miles to cover with restless natives aboard.

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The electronic support for drivers looks comprehensive on paper. It’s like Honda figured two screens are obviously better than just the single displays the competition offers, and my Odyssey also included blind-spot monitoring and a forward collision warning system. It’s confusing to know where to look for which controls, and some features require the control knob while others are driven via touchscreen. When using the audio screen there’s no tactile feedback, the layout is cramped, and it’s hard to stab the right spot when traveling at speed. It’d still be a bad idea even if the screen were responsive, which it isn’t.

Using Chrysler’s UConnect will make an Odyssey driver fall to their knees, weeping. At least Honda’s attention to detail tries to redeem the Odyssey. The interior materials are good, and even pieces you’d expect to feel flimsy, like the little change cup that folds out of the left side of the dashboard, are solid. While I hated the electronics, I thought the basics of the Odyssey provide firm footing to stand up to the abuse a family will deliver.

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Minivans are do-it-all family vehicles, there’s no denying that. There’s only so much styling you can apply to a box on wheels, though the Odyssey does its best with a kink in the side view and crisply-creased surfaces. The Odyssey is most chic van to be seen disgorging your family, and the van scene has really changed since the turn of the century. Honda and Toyota have upped their van games and Chrysler has been the only domestic manufacturer willing to try and keep up.

Still, the Odyssey wouldn’t be my pick. It’s expensive. The electronics and secondary controls are infuriating. When you’re making the ultimate family-vehicle play, it’s going to take some abuse. The Odyssey may be the diamond of the field, but from the 2015 Kia Sedona, to the Chrysler vans, to even the Nissan Quest, there’s a lot of cubic zirconia options that are going to cost less, wear well, and be easier to use.

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68 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite...”


  • avatar
    challenger2012

    Let’s talk conspiracy here. The lightning bolt could be a modified version of the old German SS notation. After all, Japan and Germany were allies. The van is big enough to be a panzerkampfwagen.
    You see, all my time spent at Tea Party rallies has given me this insight. No need to thank me.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Unfortunately, as Honda never admits mistake as a corporate credo, the crap infotainment system will get more and more unlikely to be changed as ever more people complain. Ref. Acura beak.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Honda never admits mistakes? You should tell that to the 2013 Civic, which was completely refreshed just a year after that generation was introduced.

      Also explain it to the Accord hybrids, which uses completely different approaches from the previous Accord hybrid.

      And definitely inform the RDX, which shifted from turbocharged SH-AWD boyracer to heart-of-the-segment V6 charmer.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This thing looks like Flash Gordon’s hearse. Yecch.

  • avatar
    DougD

    Our childcare provider just got a tuxedo black Odyssey to replace a Suburban, she is the queen mother of the burbs no doubt, so your analysis is spot on there.

    Me, I drive a 2007 base Caravan. I think it’s the enthusiasts choice since it does all the non-glamorous jobs of hauling kids, pop up tent trailers, getting me to work, getting groceries etc etc without complaint, and for the minimal investment.

    This in turn allows me to have motorcycles, guitars, project cars, and great family vacations. If I had a new Odyssey it would be less so.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    Yes! A 2014 Odyssey review! I was just checking yesterday to see if y’all had a review on one.

    This is probably the best minivan for the money. I mean, which other vehicle gives you two power seats, a backup camera, bluetooth, seven passenger seating, and 20 MPG for under 30 grand? My neighbor’s EX I filmed last year gives you LaneWatch, power sliding doors, HondaLink, eight passenger seating, and tri-zone climate control. With haggling, an EX could go for under 30 grand.

    People need to hush about 45 grand being too expensive. The other competitors don’t offer that much equipment on their vans, but if they did, it’d probably exceed 45 grand. Also, I’ve seen Touring Elites go for under 40. I joked with my friends that I’d move into an Odyssey Touring Elite once I graduate high school, and there’s a good reason why.

    This is one of the best people movers on sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Winston Braithwaite

      Sienna and Town & Country are both available quite competitively equipped.

      The Odyssey is possibly the WORST value on the market.

      The *BEST* value is likely to be the 2015 Kia Sedona.

      The Chrysler Stow N Go seats are fantastic – that makes the van way more field-configurable. UConnect CRUSHES the badly executed Honda system, the Pentastar makes more power and is on track to be less expensive in terms of maintenance.

      The Honda goes around corners better.

      Honestly, the best van on the market is probably the Sienna, and it’s the ONLY AWD van until the next-gen Town & Country arrives.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The Kia earns no daycare pull-up respect though!

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        Sir We owned a 2003 Kia Sedona. Liked the 5 year, 60 K warranty, but every year something major would go wrong with it. This is what was replaced under warranty, engine mounts, front struts, AC control module, electronic cylinder control, after year 3, it always needed freon for the A/C. After warranty repairs, A/C compressor, engine control module (twice). The van only had 80K on it, when we traded for a Honda. The Honda van is much more reliable, only power steering pump replaced under warranty, and computer reprogramming. The electronic sliding door is not working correctly and front cabin light are both out, and I can not figure out why. Fuse is fine so too are the bulbs.

        • 0 avatar
          Winston Braithwaite

          2003 Kia is not 2015 Kia.

          The Sedona you can buy right now is the bottom of the field, but the 2015 is going to be a very significant improvement.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Fink

        The Honda is expensive but it holds its value way better than the Chyslers and Kia.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Exactly. We owned a Caravan before our current Odyssey. $1,500/year to keep running.

          There is a reason the Odyssey and Sienna cost more.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Relative to other segments, minivans have no resale.

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/loan-terms-monthly-payments-hit-record-highs-in-2014/#comment-3317017

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The link is to an article about loan terms, not resale value by segment.

            Minimal research would tell you that the better vans retain 60% of value at 3 years, and 45% at 5 years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ll just repost the comments for those of us who are unable to follow a link and comprehend its contents.

            Nice pick on the RSX. FWIW go minivan on the family car as minivans have no resale. Just go lowball a couple CPO cars until you get a salesman who “gets it”. They wholesale 19s 2yo inc Siennas LEs. Just scoff at the 27K+ they put on used vans and offer 20ish for a mid level trim and walk away. Eventually someone will bite, its not like they are the hip thing to drive these days.

            MY12 Sienna LE, FWD

            05/12/14 NJ Regular $20,900 21,298 Above BLK 6G A Yes
            05/19/14 FRDKBURG Lease $18,800 21,453 Avg GRAY 6G A No
            05/28/14 HRSNBURG Regular $20,000 29,939 Above WHITE 4G A Yes
            05/22/14 FRDKBURG Regular $19,500 33,677 Above GRAY 6G Yes
            05/21/14 NJ Regular $16,200 35,473 Below BLUE 6G A No
            05/19/14 PA Lease $18,800 38,964 Avg BLACK 6G P Yes
            05/08/14 FRDKBURG Lease $17,100 60,223 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes

            MY12 Town and Country Touring, FWD

            05/19/14 FRDKBURG Lease $19,300 15,719 Above SILVEER 6G A Yes
            05/30/14 PA Regular $19,500 20,589 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
            05/30/14 PA Regular $18,500 24,476 Above WHITE 6G Yes
            05/14/14 PITTSBGH Regular $19,000 25,744 Above BLUE 6G A Yes
            05/07/14 PITTSBGH Regular $17,700 25,946 Above CHARCOA 6G A Yes
            05/28/14 NY Lease $16,200 27,377 Avg BLACK 6G A No
            05/30/14 PA Regular $20,900 30,635 Above GOLD 6G P No
            05/28/14 NJ Lease $15,200 38,580 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
            05/21/14 PITTSBGH Lease $16,300 38,619 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
            05/20/14 BALTWASH Lease $17,400 40,095 Above SILVER 6G A Yes
            05/30/14 PA Lease $16,000 42,204 Avg BLACK 6G P Yes
            05/12/14 NJ Regular $15,800 42,397 Avg GREY 6G A Yes
            05/05/14 NJ Regular $16,595 42,531 Avg Black 6G A Yes

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Stow ‘n’ Go is convenient when you’re carrying stuff, but most people use their minivans to carry people more than they do to carry stuff. For carrying people, conventional second-row seats like Honda’s (and Toyota’s, and Nissan’s) are far more comfortable.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Too much money for the Honda Kool-Aid – even the base one – and I don’t go for all the bling anyway.

        I got our used 09 Sedona for $17k in 2010, with 18k on it. With the exception of an out-of-warranty throttle body replacement, it has been wonderful – the best of 4 vans I’ve ever owned. Our 05 Oddy was a lemon.

        The Sedona now has 77k on it, and I hope to keep it a long time.

        Thanks for the shout out for the Sedona.

      • 0 avatar
        Firestorm 500

        @ Winston B: You must work for, or sell, Kias.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        I love the Sienna. Very close to being my favorite; rode in a neighbor’s 2011 XLE, and it was roomy, quiet, and comfortable.

        I have a lot of hope for the 2015 Sedona. It looks really good; whether it’ll sell is to be seen. The 2014 was a terrific value, but it was extremely dated.

        I love your reviews, but I’m not just a fan of the Honda; I’m a fan of the other vans, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Andy

        NB: You are arguing with someone who just mentioned high school graduation in the future tense.

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      I am pretty sure every minivan will offer you all of those features for $30k

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    This thing really needs the latest Accord hybrid system, and a plugin edition which uses all those underfloor storage areas for batteries.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It’s funny, I check to see how pleeb someone is in their Odyssey by noting whether they have HiD’s or not. “Ha, look at you, you’re not Touring Elite!”

    I would also add:
    -This design is looking dated to me now. Something about the front is too close to the old one from the mid 00s.

    -Honda needs to quit using the LOOK AT ME bright red starter button across all models. Change the color for something like a van, where cherry red isn’t appropriate.

    -The Quest seems to have a much nicer interior (same price), and definitely has better trimmed seats.

    -People from India (round here in Ohio) love the Odyssey. It’s their second favorite thing next to the Accord, and above the 3-Series.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    There are some good contenders in the mini-van market now. My question would be reliability. My wife’s 06 Odyssey has 120k miles on it and the only issue I have is how fast it eats brake pads and rotars.

    It’s insanely reliable. I babied my last car and still blew a cylinder, if I ever need just a good reliable car I’d get a Honda or Acura. We will have that van until it dies, hopefully another 80k miles or more.

    As to price, configure a Ford Flex or Explorer, you can get to $50k with those and 40-50k for a Pathfinder. I find Honda to be fairly competitive to Toyota not so much the Sedona but there are features lacking on the Korean.

    • 0 avatar
      challenger2012

      Mr. Steve I have an 08 Odyssey, purchased new. At what mileage did you change the timing belt? I can’t find a thing on when to do this. Also, did you change the water pump?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can’t speak for timing belts but I try to change my water pumps (and serp belt) around 100K.

      • 0 avatar
        DubTee1480

        60K for extreme temp environments, 105K for normal service. Honda has an owners site that should have your maintenance schedule if I recall correctly, it’s been a while since I accessed it for my Accord or Civic.

        http://www.odyclub.com/forums/52-2005-2010-odyssey/47907-2008-exl-i-vtec-timing-belt-chain.html

        Water pumps and tensioners are generally part of the timing belt service on most Honda’s, they are behind the timing cover with the belt and it’s a PITA to go back in and replace again. If you’re flinching at the costs from a dealer you can buy OEM parts online from Majestic Honda or HondaPartsNow and take them to an indy shop you trust. Having worked at AutoZone I winced at the quality of aftermarket water pumps, they were usually remans with cheap bearings installed.

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      In terms of long-term reliability, our 2005 Odyssey LX now has 163K on it, maybe 50/50 highway/city and its been pretty good, just routine maintenance. But as noted it’s a big vehicle, does eat brake pads and tires, and you’d better make sure to change the tranny fluid on a regular basis. Compared to my 98 Civic the build quality is not nearly as good (gaps in panels, etc) and the original bulbs that are wearing out in the Odyssey are still going strong in the Civic. Note also that I have the LX, not even a luggage rack (which I had to insist on the dealer NOT installing-kills mileage and what do I haul on my roof?). There is no way I’d pay upwards of $45K for an electronic-gadgeted vehicle with a vacuum cleaner. After 3-5 years of hauling kids its going to look like crap inside and have the inevitable dented tailgate anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      To be fair, a $50K Flex also boasts the pressurized engine (available from the $43K mark), which nets the owner 47% more horsepower and 40% more torque than Honda’s flagship. This makes stoplight sprint comparisons comical at best, along with maintaining power at altitude. In that frame of reference, I’m not surprised to see a lot of Flex Limiteds running around CO.

      And while cool boxes are something all automakers should integrate into every new model with their A/C systems, the Flex’s freezer/fridge is a godsend for longer trips with kids or friends present, although its location and hinging mechanism are a resounding condemnation of the level of idiot-proofing required in the USA.

      The level of gadgetry in the Honda is very impressive; it’s no wonder the conversion van marketplace is rapidly dying out as these modern people movers have rapidly eliminated a conversion’s raison d’etre.

      • 0 avatar
        Winston Braithwaite

        EcoBoost Flex will have AWD, too, which is not available in the Odyssey for any price.

        BUT: the Flex is nowhere near as good at flexibly hauling people and stuff as the Odyssey (or any minivan) is.

        Honestly, my choice is the Mazda 5, because it’s not enormous, it’s all you really need, and manual transmission. Though you can’t get the Touring or Grand Touring with the manual – a damn shame.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    The entry price for a decently equipped Sienna or Odyssey is crazy. We ended up with a CPO Routan SEL (fully loaded) for about 15k less. Yeah, yeah the Routan is a Chrysler with a big VW badge on it but if you can look past that it’s a heck of a deal. Ours MSRP’d at about $42k we picked it up for $26k with 8k on it like new with extra 2 year warranty and maintenance. Being a 012 it has the excellent (so far) 280 hp 3.6 Pentastar which is no slouch and also gets 28mpg + highway consistently. It’s got a few rough edges for sure (Chrysler) but I wouldn’t have touched it with a VW drive train.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My Mom had a Routan for a few years, it was a very nice Van. Fully loaded, she paid less than $30K new for it as a leftover, MSRP was well over $40K (which is insane). No problems at all, other than it was too big for her, and very thirsty. Her’s was too old to have a Pentastar, so the old 4.0 V6, I think.

      My Great Aunt had a same vintage Odyssey until last winter – willfully ugly, expensive, and no better to drive. The interior is nicer, but not $15K nicer. No better fuel economy either – and this is with literally little old ladies driving both vans.

      I just cannot see the value proposition of the Japanese vans over the American and Korean competition. Even with higher residuals, you still lose a ton of money on them in short order, and they just don’t get discounted much at all. Used as intended, the interior is going to get trashed anyway, so what is the point of getting the super nice version?

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Somehow a $40k MSRP became a selling point as in “look, it was $40k but not reduced to $30k.”

        Errrr, it’s really a $20k Caravan with VW service.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        “I just cannot see the value proposition of the Japanese vans over the American and Korean competition. Even with higher residuals, you still lose a ton of money on them in short order.”

        If you only plan to keep them for short order, there’s no point to paying extra for the Honda or Toyota. If you plan to keep them much longer – which is, by far, the wiser personal financial strategy – the combination of lower depreciation and longer life will largely close the gap.

        In the meantime, although the luxo interior might get trashed, the mechanicals typically won’t (anecdotes about “My Aunt Sadie’s ’05 Odyssey puked a tranny” notwithstanding), so you’ll spend a lot less time and aggravation getting its various little hiccups fixed. I talked with a cabbie for a line whose drivers had to buy their own cabs. Most of the minivans for his cab company were T&C’s, but he had an Odyssey. I struck up a conversation with him, and he enthusiastically told me why: “because the Chryslers get less reliable after 100,000 miles, and the parts are not that cheap.”

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          And for many people who choose to buy a Sienna or Odyssey it is about their prior experience with the brand and the peace-of-mind that goes along with that.

          My daughter and daughter-in-law owned them and were very happy with them. Yes, they cost a lot more when you buy them, but you get a lot more for them when you trade them off.

          Chrysler may make decent minivans but some people have had bad ownership experiences.

          While any brand can experience quality lapses and problems, since they all use the same suppliers these days, we can always rely on Toyota and Honda to do the right thing.

          Imagine buying a GM product, as an example, and having to wait ten or more years for a recall of a defect, if it doesn’t kill you first in the mean time.

          Best deal, don’t hold on to anything longer than the factory warranty period. Let the repairs and breakdowns be someone else’s worry and expense.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        KRhodes

        This spring, I paid 28.9K for a 14 Odyssey EX that stickered at 32.9K. All done by email. 4K off is a decent discount

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    We own a 2010 Odyssey LX purchased new in the fall of 2009. This van is going on five years old and pushing 100K miles. Recently a buzzing sound has developed in one of the front power door locks, but other than this, we have not had any problems and the only expenses have been scheduled maintenance. We plan to keep this van and drive it until it wears out. When the time comes to buy another vehicle I would buy another Odyssey.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Given my derision for minivans, I will say this: that rear seat looks extremely comfy.

    That being said, 45k is expensive for a rolling pair of mom jeans. Suburbans rule, vans drool.

    And by the way, what are you people doing with all of this plywood? Is it part of owning a minivan?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Mileage is surprisingly good on the MY14 Chrysler vans. I haven’t driven a ‘burban in forever but what’s the mileage of yours?

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      I have never hauled any plywood in my Odyssey, but I once used it to move a bedroom suit. Everything except the mattress and box spring fit in the back. Dresser; chest of drawers;, night stand; and the headboard, foot board and side rails for a double bed. It was tight, but all of this went in the back and the tailgate closed.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Suburbans are just stupid for van duty. Replace a bunch of your interior space with a ladder frame, make the third-row seats almost impossible to get into, cut your gas mileage by 20%, all so you can feel macho pulling up to Wal-Mart.

      Of course if you actually tow 5000+ lbs. on a regular basis then the tradeoff makes sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve_S

      I have hauled lumber, plywood, OSB and drywall for a home theater build. The OSB is a pain as it’s 97×49 or something.

      As others have mentioned it gets beat up by the kids but my reasoning is if you are going to have something for 10 years it may as well be well appointed. I really wish our EX-L came with memory seats. I didn’t want the crappy PAX system of the touring model and it would be a nice feature.

      • 0 avatar
        ctg

        Memory seats (and mirrors) are the one feature I wish was more widely available. On non-luxury makes you generally have to step up to the top trim level, even if a power drivers seat is standard on the bottom spec vehicle (or at leas the mid-level, volume model). My wife and I frequently drive each others cars and its annoying having to manually power the seat way down and back each time I get in after she has driven somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      We’re hauling all the things that Suburban drivers think they’re going to haul.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Honestly, I had kind of thought the Odyssey was overrated and overpriced compared to the Town and Country—least of all because the Odyssey is *the* minivan to have among the suburbanites around here—but having driven both of them extensively, I can see why the Odyssey costs more. It’s simply a nicer vehicle, and it feels far more solid.

    However, Chrysler has a fresh slate with the next minivan, which won’t carry over parts and design from the pre-Fiat days. Also, you just know Kia’s next Sedona is going to be a knockout. So the Odyssey definitely has something to be worried about…

  • avatar
    MattPete

    I’ve been driving my wife’s 2013 Odyssey these past few days, and two words describe it perfectly: underdamped and wallowing.

    I’ve driven recent T&C and Carravans, and both are buttoned-down compared to the Odyssey.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Since they don’t depreciate as fast as the cheaper ones, this or the swagger wagon would be my choice if buying new. Far more likely is that I would buy the bargain depreciated Chrysler though.

  • avatar
    Frayed Knot

    For what it’s worth, we capitulated to the call of the minivan and after checking out all of the options, we chose the Odyssey. We only went for the Touring and not the Touring Elite, since we didn’t think a better rear entertainment system and a vacuum cleaner was worth the extra $4500.

    That said we went with the Odyssey because
    1. It had the most flexible interior and along with the Sienna, *felt* the most spacious. My wife and I really wanted to go with the Quest based on looks, Ininiti-like interior, and driving experience, but it didn’t feel that spacious inside and the trunk was small when the 3rd row was up. it didn’t feel much larger than that of our Acura MDX. The Odyssey is also the only van (except for maybe the based model Sienna) that has seating for 8. We actually use the seating for 8 from time to time, so it’s been worth it.

    2. The looks were acceptable. None of these mini-vans are lookers, but my wife just couldn’t deal wit the looks of the Sienna.

    3. It drove like a less sporty version of our MDX. Let’s face it – this is a family hauler driven mostly by my wife. She’s not looking for tight cornering and aggressive handling. The Odyssey gets us where we want to go fairly easily and in relative comfort.

    After 6 months of ownership, we’ve been pretty happy with it. It’s not perfect, and I think the review’s comments on the infotainment system are spot on. In theory it could be remedied with a firmware update, but that probably won’t happen. I also wish it had AWD, but I’ve driven it through the mountains of New England and the plains of Quebec during this very harsh winter and it never missed a beat.

    Finally, I do hate that everyone else and their brother has one of these around here (another reason why I wanted the Quest), but there’s a very good reason for that. For a lot of people who need a minivan, the Odyssey gives them everything they need.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I’m a still a fan of our ’11 Touring Elite. From the sounds of this review, the second screen that replaced our sea of buttons isn’t an upgrade if you actually have to use it– plus it eliminates a crap pocket because the DVD tray had to be relocated.

    The DVD system (in the ’11-’13 models at least) is miles a head of Honda’s prior gen system…the primary advantage being dedicated buttons that allow you to scroll through all the damn previews on Disney DVDs while remaining a comfortable distance from guard rails and oncoming traffic.

  • avatar
    Marko

    This car sucks…dirt from the seats very well.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Just a comment, Winston.

    Your writing style has significantly improved since your earliest reviews. Those were painful to read, to the point where I avoided all of your articles. The problem was that you really needed a style guide to follow, something that I’m glad you’ve corrected.

    Cheers to your future automotive writing career.

  • avatar
    C. Alan

    I’ve had an 05 Sienna, and my wife’s current ride is a 2011 Caravan Crew we bought used in 2013. We looked at the Odyssey both time we we purchased our vans, and each time we came away thinking for the price, they are not very good values. The Dodges suffer from lower resale values because the market is flooded by ex-rental units. For us, shopping for a used van, this is a plus. The Dodge also tends to eat brake pads, and also rotors, but on the flip side, the Penstar V6 makes it very peppy off the line, and on a receint trip across country, it got 25 mpg.

    Also, for back seat entertainment, the Dodge system beats the Odyssey hands down. I love having two DVD players: The young kids up front can watch one program, while the older kids watch a different show.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    We bought one of these a couple of months ago. Why? Cost isn’t that important and I expect a Honda will be more reliable than the competition.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    You won’t be able to beat Honda’s depreciation value. Compare it to a comparable Chrysler or even a Kia van. Plus, based on the CR and JDP, reliability is with Honda.


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