The world of minivan buyers has evolved and changed significantly over the past few decades. With the boom of crossover vehicles, a large portion of the population who would normally purchase a minivan decided to go with a crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) instead. On the other hand, larger families know that the minivan, in terms of space and cargo capacity, cannot be beat—particularly for long trips. The problem with the explosion of crossovers is that multiple minivans are being discontinued. Thankfully, the Honda Odyssey is not one of them.
The Honda Odyssey has been known as king of the minivan category by many automobile reviews since its inception. Rather than being a simple family-hauler, the Odyssey is the ideal combination of luxury and overall driving responsiveness. It can also fit up to eight passengers comfortably. The style of this sleek minivan is nothing to overlook either. The 2009 model embraces all the great qualities of its predecessor and includes a handful of significant changes that make it worth a look.
Body Style: Minivan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Honda Odyssey LX, Honda Odyssey EX, Honda Odyssey EX-L, and Honda Odyssey Touring
Since the Odyssey very recently underwent a total makeover, the 2009 model kept its alterations conservative. The 2009 EX-L trim level received an update with a variety of technological options, such as the inclusion of a rear DVD entertainment system, a navigation system with Bluetooth, and an integrated rearview camera display. Also, a power liftgate is now part of the standard EX-L package. The V-6 engine was slightly redefined to raise power levels by five lb-ft of torque, while maintaining the horsepower of the 2009 model.
The exterior of the 2009 Odyssey was kept the same as the previous year's design. After all, the sleek look certainly is not something that needs to be changed until the next major overhaul. The front end is still the new style from 2008, featuring a swept-back look of smooth curves and widely stretched headlights. To help with fuel economy, the front windshield is tilted at a distinct angle to separate it from older minivans that went for a box appearance.
One of the main selling points of the 2009 Honda Odyssey is the number of seats. This fact means that the seats truly take center stage for the interior of the vehicle. Seven or eight passengers can fit comfortably in the Odyssey, which is made possible by a storable center seat in the second row. If carrying a smaller group of people, this special seat can be converted into a tray table or removed completely to be placed in the minivan's in-floor storage space. Other seats within the Odyssey can maneuver, and the second-row captain's chairs can be brought together to form a two-passenger bench in the middle of the vehicle. The 60/40 split bench in the third row can seat three or be completely folded flat to increase cargo space to 91 cubic feet. The number can be increased even further to 147 cubic feet of cargo room if the second chairs are removed. This amount of cargo space is greater than any of the crossover SUVs.
Performance & Handling
All 2009 Honda Odyssey models are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This hardware can produce 244 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque on the base-level LX and EX trims, but gets an upgrade to 244 horsepower with 245 lb-ft of torque on EX-L and Touring models. The Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) systems on the EX-L and Touring are responsible for the slight boost. The Odyssey is a front-wheel drive minivan like the rest in this category of vehicle and comes with a mandatory five-speed automatic transmission. In addition to these relatively standard aspects, the Odyssey is widely known to be almost car-like in its driving ability, as it can handle corners with ease and has a tight turning radius.
There are multiple standard safety features for the 2009 Odyssey. Anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, active front head restraints, and stability control are all included. Airbags are also numerous on the Odyssey due to the potential number of passengers. Front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a special rollover sensor make up the airbag selections.
EPA Fuel Economy
Honda Odyssey LX and EX: 16/23 mpg city/highway
Honda Odyssey EX-L and Touring: 17/25 mpg city/highway
- Agile handling
- Convenient rear bench seat
- High passenger capacity
You Won't Like
- High road noise
- Bumpy suspension
Great handling and ample space for a low price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Sienna
- Kia Rondo
- Dodge Grand Caravan