The 1997 Honda Odyssey serves as a four-door minivan. Introduced by Honda in 1994, the Odyssey looks more like a taller station wagon than a traditional minivan. It offers a unique blend of the best attributes of a sedan and minivan with Honda dependability. Abandoning the sliding side door, a standard design staple since the minivan’s inception, the Odyssey’s four side doors swing open just like the doors of a sedan. This makes the Odyssey stand out in the very competitive minivan market.
With that said, the true selling point of the Odyssey remains its incredibly stylish and spacious interior. It shares a platform with the Honda Accord. It also shares the engine. It comes in two trim levels: the base LX and the upgraded EX.
Body Styles: four-door minivan
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Honda Odyssey LX, Honda Odyssey EX
The company makes no changes to the 1997 Honda Odyssey.
The exterior dimensions of the LX and EX look roughly the same. The EX gets somewhat heavier with a curb weight of 3483 pounds, while the LX has a curb weight of 3450 pounds. Both models measure 187.2 inches long, 70.6 inches wide, and 64.6 inches tall. They each ride a wheelbase of 187.2 inches with standard 15-inch tires.
The 1997 Honda Odyssey has rack-and-pinion steering, a full independent suspension, and a turning diameter of 37.6 feet. The EX showcases alloy wheels and a power moonroof, which distinguish it from the base LX.
The Odyssey’s standard seating accommodates up to six people. The LX has a bench seat in the rear cargo area to expand seating capacity to seven people. This seat folds down when cargo space becomes the priority.
Taller people prefer the few extra inches of headroom offered by the LX, which has 40.1 inches of headroom compared to the EX’s 38.9 inches. Rear headroom in both models totals 39.3 inches. Legroom up front reaches 40.7 inches, while passengers find 40.2 inches of legroom in the back. Both trims come standard with air-conditioning, an AM/FM radio with a cassette player, and cruise control. The 1997 Honda Odyssey has a large glove compartment and a generous console storage box. A very distinctive looking speedometer marks the focal point of the Odyssey’s slanted dashboard.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Honda Odyssey performs briskly but remains somewhat noisy. The noise seems more like a buzzing bee than an obnoxious roar, which makes sense since no one buys the Odyssey for its power or muscle. The engine feels slightly underpowered. Merging onto highways with a full vehicle, whether full of passengers or cargo, along with having the air-conditioning running, can be tricky. The column-mounted gearshift operates the electronically controlled four-speed transmission. The transmission may get a little jerky upon upshift. The Odyssey handles admirably but it experiences noticeable body lean.
The 1997 Honda Odyssey comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and driver and passenger front airbags. NHTSA crash tests rate the Odyssey with four stars for both driver and passenger safety in front-impact crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Odyssey LX: 21/26 mpg city/highway
Honda Odyssey EX: 21/26 mpg city/highway
- Carlike handling
- Easy to park
- Comfortable and spacious interior
- Fold-down rear seat and abundant cargo space
You Won't Like
- Underpowered engine
- Jerky transmission
- Inferior wheels
An import alternative to American minivans.
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