2011 Honda Odyssey Touring: Of Seats And 4x8 Sheets
June 01, 2011
My daughter's room has floor-to-ceiling closet doors, and they're beyond painting. Turns out that with the right approach and some encouragement the perimeter frame snaps apart in a very clever way. Replacing the panels is as simple as measuring the old inserts and heading down to Home Depot to have some new 3/16" panels sawed to the right dimensions.
Those dimensions were 6 inches shy of 4 feet wide and 3 inches less than 8 feet long -- easy work for our 2011 Honda Odyssey once the middle seats were removed. But even an unsawed 4x8 panel would fit easily. The tape above illustrates 48 inches and there's easily enough space for the 8-foot dimension to slip inside that plastic hatch trim panel.
Yeah, that radius at the sides does require that a full-width 4-foot wide panel be lifted up and over the threshhold a couple of inches, but once the panel is inside it's not going to slip around.
But how about those seats?
The middle seats come out easily so long as you remember to fold the back down flat first. From there a release handle (just in front of my knee in the picture) disengages the rear floor clamps, allowing the seat to tip forward. Swing the back out the door using the outside front one as a pivot, then lift.
According to my scale they weigh about as much as the suitcase I took on my last business trip -- 47.5 pounds. That's less than most wheel and tire assemblies but still enough for this to be a honey-do task.
I know that Chrysler has Stow-and-Go seats that make this simpler and eliminate the where-do-I-put-them-now problem. But the last ones I sat in were uncomfortable because of the compromises needed for them to oragami themselves into the floor. They also didn't slide fore and aft for an adult-sized helping of middle seat legroom with a tall driver sitting ahead.
The Odyssey has well-shaped middle row seats with good padding and a fore-aft adjuster. I can ride in them all day long. I like 'em.
As a minivan owner myself I've only had one occasion in 7 years where I needed to remove the middle seats. Or maybe it was two times -- it's been so rare I've forgotten. I'll take every day comfort over a seat removal and storage task I rarely need to do. Of course everyone is different, so I can see how other folks might see the Stow-and-Go trade off another way.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing at 7,558 miles