Another SF Road Trip - 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Long-Term Road Test

2011 Honda Odyssey Long Term Road Test

2011 Honda Odyssey Touring: Another SF Road Trip

May 16, 2011


Seems like heading up north was a popular destination this past weekend. I too drove north to the Bay Area, but I visited in-laws. With this visit in mind, I was very happy to see our Honda Odyssey was available.

Why would a married guy without kids even be happy about a minivan?

The Odyssey was a great option because I was going to visit my brother and sister-in-law. They are soon to be parents. My brother-in-law has an unnatural affinity for minivans that only a soon to be father can have. He was especially thrilled that our family cargo hauler was the Touring edition. In fact, he cited more options than I really knew about the van as we looked it over. The guy has been doing his homework.

He's right to be excited about this minivan. The drive up from LA was very comfortable. It's got plenty of power to pass the big rigs on I-5, it's pretty quiet and composed on the road, plenty of room to haul the family, the baby gear plus the family dog of which he has four. When the kids get older, the DVD system will entertain them during those ruckus rides too and from Grandma's house.

We drove around town with everyone in the car, including all the dogs. As a dry run of sorts, I really understood why a family would want one. I say that because a minivan to me always seemed just plain wrong, like haggis. In high school and college the minivan was a symbol to me that you just gave up your individuality. Let's be honest, how many single friends you know without kids own a minivan that isn't a hand-me-down?

Yeah the Ody's steering is numb and it's not a very sporty vehicle. But are you really looking at one of these for it's cornering ability? Honestly, just having the nice motor goes a long way to satisfy that flickering memory of a single life. But if you do have kids, the practicality, functionality and unrivaled versatility of our Odyssey cannot be beat. I guess I must be growing up, or "getting old" because I'm getting to that threshold that I just don't care about that stigma. I'm not full blown old man yet. I still wear shoes that are somewhat fashionable, not just comfortable.

Would I buy one? Well, all I have is a wife and dog, so no. A minivan would be overkill. But if I had a kid(s), and the incredible amount of crap people carry these days to go with them, you bet I'd be seriously looking at this vehicle.

If you're at that crossover point, or you've way past it, is the minivan the only true option? Would you still go for a station wagon, SUV, or just cram them in the Civic?

Scott Jacobs, Sr Mgr, Photography

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