Our staff is growing up. We've got two new babies and a new hire with a 5-year-old, so it seems fitting that our long-term test fleet should add a little bulk. In the spirit of baby announcements, please join us in welcoming the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring to our growing family. This rather large delivery took place on February 1, weighing in at 4,541 pounds and measuring 202.9 inches.
What We Got
There are five Honda Odyssey trim levels, with our Touring model ranking second only to the Touring Elite. Included with our Topaz Metallic minivan are 18-inch alloy wheels, dual power-sliding doors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, memory settings for the driver, retractable third-row sunshades — deep breath — a fold-down armrest for third-row passengers and both the navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems. Opting for the range-topping Touring Elite would've added xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a 16-inch HD widescreen video monitor (with HDMI input) and a premium 650-watt, 12-speaker surround-sound audio system.
Like all 2011 Odysseys, ours is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Touring Elite models get a six-speed automatic, while lower trims make do with a five-speed. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 city/28 highway mpg and 22 mpg in combined driving.
The 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring is priced at $41,535 with no notable options to kick that figure higher. That makes our latest addition the second most expensive minivan on the market — $2,495 less than the Odyssey Touring Elite. Fortunately, Honda provided the car to us for 12 months, so those children of Edmunds still have a college fund.
Why We Got It
The entire minivan segment has seen significant revisions or complete redesigns for the 2011 model year, and the new Honda Odyssey benefits from a roomier interior, better fuel economy and a longer list of features.
In our most recent minivan comparison test, the Odyssey (in midrange EX trim) tied for 2nd with the new Nissan Quest. The 1st-place Toyota Sienna SE is already in our long-term fleet. Before the Sienna, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan was the last minivan in our lot. While the new DGC is a vast improvement, it still finished last in the comparison test.
This latest long-termer addition is almost $10,000 more than the Odyssey EX from the comparison, with plenty of other bells and whistles to evaluate. Are these added features worth it? Do they function as advertised? These are questions that we hope to answer in the next year.
In our reviews, we list the Odyssey's agile handling, fuel economy, quiet cabin, configurable second-row seat and easy-to-fold third-row seat among its strengths. On the other end of the spectrum, we count the high sticker price and button-heavy dash among its drawbacks. We'll see how these hold up during the next 12 months and 20,000 miles.
Follow the long-term road test blog for updates about our 2011 Honda Odyssey.
Current Odometer: 1,373
Best Fuel Economy: 23.8 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 19.6 mpg
Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 20.8 mpg
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.