What's New for 2001
Second- and third-row seats get new child seat-tether anchors, stereo speakers are upgraded, an intermittent feature for the rear window wiper is added and floor mats are made standard. LX models get a driver seat height adjuster and traction control, while EX models benefit from a new alarm feature for the remote control. A brighter Starlight Silver paint color replaces Canyon Stone Silver.
Introduced just two years ago, the second-generation Honda Odyssey is currently recognized as the minivan benchmark, having thieved the crown from Chrysler shortly after its debut in 1999. Honda reliability, coupled with the largest interior in its class and useful features like a fold-flat third-row seat and second-row captain's chairs that can be slid together to serve as a bench are among the reasons the Odyssey has single-handedly revived interest in minivans.
It's powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve VTEC V6 that produces up to 210 horsepower and 229 foot-pounds of torque, according to Honda. To get that kind of power requires 91-octane fuel, but with 87-octane, the engine makes 205 horses and 217 foot-pounds of torque. The V6 is based on the Accord's 3.0-liter engine but it offers more oomph, since the Odyssey's got a bit of extra girth. Still, acceleration away from a stoplight is somewhat leisurely, with power building in the mid-range where many Americans don't notice it. More low-end punch would be appreciated.
The base LX model includes such standard fare as a height-adjustable driver seat, traction control, dual sliding doors, power windows (including power rear-vent windows), power locks, power mirrors, cruise control, a theft-deterrent system, front and rear air conditioning and antilock brakes. Step up to the EX and enjoy features like dual power sliding doors, a roof rack, keyless remote entry, an eight-way power driver seat, alloy wheels, a CD player and steering-wheel-mounted radio controls.
Sitting on a four-wheel independent suspension, a first in the minivan segment, the Odyssey is supported comfortably and keeps the driver in touch with the road. Combined with the Odyssey's wide track, the suspension contributes a nimble and stable feel. Body roll around corners is well-damped for a vehicle of this size.
A unique Odyssey feature continues to be its hideaway, or "magic" seat. With a minimum of effort and the use of just one set of hands, the rear seat can be folded out of sight and be flush with the floor in a matter of seconds. The second-row seats are convertible and can be used as separate captain's chairs or as a bench. A navigation system is optional on the EX and employs a single DVD disc for nationwide mapping. Sadly for some buyers, an on-board entertainment system is not available, and there is no leather upholstery option. Dealers with dollar signs in their eyes would be happy to add both to your Odyssey, for a premium, of course.
A minivan would not be complete without safety features, and the Odyssey comes with its share. All seven seats have headrests and three-point seatbelts, both firsts in the minivan market. ABS, traction control and an Electronic Brake Distribution system (EBD) are also standard. In government and insurance institute crash testing, the Odyssey couldn't have scored better, getting five stars all around. This is one van that does a great job of protecting occupants.
With its terrific crash-test scores, innovative features and cavernous interior, the Honda Odyssey might just be the ultimate family vehicle.