Honda Odyssey

First introduced in 1995, the Honda Odyssey is an economical minivan consistently ranked as one of the top-selling vehicles in its market segment. However, while the Odyssey has been a preferred choice among minivan drivers for most of its existence, the vehicle was not an instant hit. In fact, it wasn't until Honda released the second generation in 1999 that the Odyssey came into its own with drivers. The vehicle's third generation lasted from 2005 until 2010, and the Odyssey is currently in its fourth generation.

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About the Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is one of the leading models in its class. With a spacious cabin, a generous array of standard features, and the reliability of a Honda, the Odyssey's status as one of the best-selling vehicles in a particularly competitive market segment looks likely to be maintained for the foreseeable future. The Odyssey offers functionality, decent fuel efficiency for a minivan, and a family-friendly interior that's able to accommodate up to eight passengers. With decent ride quality, good handling capability and better acceleration than you'd expect from a family-friendly minivan, it's little wonder that the Odyssey has been a leader in its class since the late 1990s.

Honda Odyssey Features

The 2012 Honda Odyssey is available in five different trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite. The base model LX is fairly well-equipped and includes standard features such as a power driver seat, air conditioning, a 60/40-split-folding third-row seat, power accessories, a stereo system with a CD player, and an auxiliary audio jack. The EX trim level includes additional features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, power-sliding side doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, multifunctional second-row seating, a removable front center console, and an improved sound system. Additional standard features on the EX-L model include a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera and a sunroof. The Touring and Touring Elite models are outfitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, retractable third-row sunshades, and a fold-down armrest for passengers in the third row. Both versions also feature high tech extras such as navigation systems and rear-seat entertainment systems.

The same 248-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine powers all the various models of the 2012 Honda Odyssey. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard across all trim levels, save the Touring and Touring Elite, which are both equipped with a six-speed automatic. The six-speed automatic transmission offers better fuel economy and more responsive acceleration.

Reviews indicate that the Honda Odyssey offers exceptional drivability for a minivan. The van's powerful V-6 engine provides a smooth ride and the van is said to handle surprisingly well. The interior of the van is spacious with plenty of comfortable seating. It is also reportedly quieter inside than previous generations of the Odyssey.

The 2012 Honda Odyssey also earned high marks for safety in government crash tests. The Odyssey is, in fact, rated as a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard safety features for the 2012 Honda Odyssey include antilock disc brakes, traction control active front head restraints, front side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags.

The second-row seat in the 2012 Odyssey is wider than what was found in previous generations by some four inches. This enables the second row to accommodate up to three car seats for small children and infants. The 2012 Odyssey also provides more legroom than previous versions of the van. This large row of seating offers more seating possibilities for families than the captain's chairs that are standard for many other similarly sized minivans.

Honda Odyssey Evolution

When the Odyssey debuted in the mid-1990s, it was equipped with conventional swing-open doors and roll-down windows. It was powered by an inline-four that was borrowed from an Accord EX. Still, with VTEC variable timing, even this engine was rated at 140 horsepower.

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