2011 Honda Odyssey: Return Leg of the Diaper-Changing Road Trip
July 06, 2011
Last week I made a 270-mile family trip in our TSX Sport Wagon. Before returning home, I had the opportunity to change out to the long-term Odyssey and drive it for the return leg. Same crew, same amount of stuff and the same route -- observations of going from a $35,470 wagon to a $41,535 minivan follow after the jump.
First of all, the Captain Obvious statement: the Odyssey's a lot roomier. But even I was a surprised to see how much more. I felt like a big fat guy named Walt who suddenly got to undo his belt after bingeing at Applebee's. Life was a lot more relaxed and comfortable in the minivan.
For the TSX, it was a game of Tetris to get all our luggage and gear to fit. For the Odyssey, I easily threw in everything we originally had into the luggage area plus a couple extra storage bins and a bunch of fruit we picked up at the pictured local produce stand. Even then, there was plenty of space available. The Odyssey also trounced the TSX in terms of interior storage, cupholder usability and versatility thanks to its sliding doors and higher roof. Diaper changes were performed in the luggage area, which was a lot easier than the TSX's front passenger seat. Front seat comfort in the Ody seemed better, too.
As for power, the Odyssey has more grunt for highway passing, though it's not a huge difference. The TSX was superior in regards to fuel economy, as I saw about an 8 mpg difference between the two. However, that's not an accurate comparison as I used air-conditioning a lot more for the Odyssey, did more city driving and made more stops with the engine still running. Official EPA highway ratings are 28 mpg for the Honda (with the six-speed auto) and 30 mpg for the Acura.
Overall, the Odyssey was the superior and more enjoyable vehicle for a family road trip. But we'll see how long the glow lasts now that I'll be back to daily driving.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor