The 2006 Honda Odyssey continues the model’s tradition as a top pick in the minivan market since its introduction in 1999, with its impressive combination of a spacious cabin, thoughtful list of standard equipment, easy handling, high safety ratings, and an overall reputation for reliability. A number of mechanical upgrades and an extended features list gives the vehicle a boost for 2005, and the 2006 Odyssey continues to serve as an excellent option for any buyer looking for a high-quality, family friendly auto.
Honda has put as much thought into what rests under the hood of the Odyssey as it has into the comfort, safety, and happiness of its passengers. With the optional i-VTEC engine and Variable Cylinder Management providing increased fuel efficiency, and an ergonomically arranged cabin with plenty of appealing features, the 2006 Honda Odyssey provides a pleasurable ride, whether you sit in the driver’s seat or the middle of the back row.
Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Honda Odyssey LX, Honda Odyssey EX, Honda Odyssey Touring
The most notable change to the Honda Odyssey in 2006 concerns the Touring trim, which now offers the rear-seat entertainment system separately from the navigation system; in older models these to features only came in a single package. A handful of other additions for this year include child-seat tether anchors in the third row and satellite radio in the Touring model. Also, as with all 2006 Hondas, the new SAE horsepower-rating procedure has resulted in a lower stated power output for the Odyssey’s engine.
When it comes to appearances, the 2006 Honda Odyssey looks like a standard minivan. It serves as a traditional family vehicle, and its design reflects its practical intentions. Still, plenty of modern features keep the Odyssey fresh and appealing. Standard exterior equipment for all models includes a front air dam, a rear spoiler, power windows and mirrors, privacy glass, a rear window defogger, and a rear wiper. A towing hookup remains optional on all models, as do mud guards and a running board. Steel wheels come standard on the base LX, while alloy wheels enhance all higher models. Heated exterior mirrors come on the EX and Touring models and remain optional on the LX. A power sliding side door comes on all but the base LX.
The Odyssey’s usefully designed, seven-person cabin offers three rows of seating, while the EX models also feature a ?Stowable Second-Row PlusOne seat? that boosts the van’s capacity to eight occupants. In the Touring models, this extra seat gets sacrificed for a removable second-row center console. All models come with a 60/40-split third-row seat that folds flat, for those times when your cargo load trumps your list of passengers.
Standard interior equipment includes air-conditioning, with separate front-seat climate controls in the EX and Touring models, a radio with a CD player, steering-wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, cargo area tie-downs, and removable second- and third-row seats. The list of additional options for each trim level include a subwoofer, a cassette player, a CD changer, adjustable and heated front seats, a leather steering wheel, and a DVD player and navigation system available in the Touring model.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Odyssey gets its power from a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, rated at 244 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Both the EX trim with leather and the Touring model include Honda’s new Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system, which boosts fuel efficiency by limiting power to only three of the engine’s six cylinders during cruising and deceleration. Power automatically switches back to all six cylinders when needed, in a motion that seems nearly unnoticeable to the driver.
Even as a full-size minivan, the Honda Odyssey boasts impressive carlike handling and performance. Steering feels responsive, with a close turn radius and good suspension. The Odyssey accelerates and maneuvers well in a wide range of road conditions and situations. Overall, this minivan proves easy and enjoyable to drive as well as to ride in.
The 2006 Honda Odyssey provides a full range of standard safety features, including traction control, stability control, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with BrakeAssist and electronic brake force distribution. Front-seat side airbags are included, as well as side curtain airbags with rollover sensors in all three rows. The 2006 Odyssey earns five out of five stars from the NHTSA for both front- and side-impact crash tests, while the IIHS names the minivan a ?Best Pick, ? giving it the top rating of ?good? for frontal-offset crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Odyssey LX: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Honda Odyssey EX: 17/26 mpg city/highway
Honda Odyssey Touring: 17/26 mpg city/highway
- Carlike handling
- Seats up to eight passengers
- Long list of features and options
- Impressive V-6
You Won't Like
- Tough to repair and replace PAX run-flat tires on the Touring
A long-time favorite in the minivan crowd, with plenty of power, comfort, and great features to go around.
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