Read the 2011 Honda Odyssey introduction to our long-term fleet.
See all of the Honda Odyssey Long-Term test blog posts on this vehicle.
What We Got
Our decision to add a 2011 Honda Odyssey to the long-term test fleet was as easy as they come. It's been the gold standard in the segment for years and it was fully redesigned for 2011. It's also an easy van to buy, as its options are bundled together into defined trim levels. This gave us five variants of Odyssey from which to choose, and we opted for the Odyssey Touring.
All 2011 Odysseys came equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 generating 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, along with front-wheel drive and eight-passenger capability. A six-speed automatic transmission separated our Touring and the top-level Touring Elite from lesser trims, which utilized five-speeds. The price tag on our Odyssey Touring was $41,535. In the world of minivans, this ranks it among the most expensive.
As with all long-term tests, our goal was to reach 20,000 miles during our first year of ownership, and after 12 months we had covered 20,640 miles. The miles racked up quickly as the Odyssey found itself on interstate road trips, moving numerous couches and even shuttling mother and child to the delivery room. With all those trips under its belt, there were plenty of useful impressions.
- "Our new Odyssey has already established itself as the Oldham family's go-to ride. In its first month of service the Odyssey has hauled my clan to a taping of American Idol (I think J. Lo just winked at me), a long weekend at Grandma's, tennis lessons, a matinee of Gnomeo and Juliet and the mall. It has also done school drop-off duty and has taken three adult couples to an overpriced, overrated Italian restaurant by the beach." — Scott Oldham
- "Had to take the Odyssey on a 700-mile round trip this weekend. Not the most exciting vehicle to rack up the miles in, but like most minivans it's a great cruiser. The good: solid power from the V6; never has trouble keeping up with traffic even on uphill grades; overdrive toggle switch is nice to have; quiet at speed; the ratcheting armrest makes it easy to find the perfect seating position. The bad: suspension is soft, even for a minivan; on some rougher parts of the interstate, the Odyssey bounces and jitters too much; it feels sloppy." — Ed Hellwig
- "Now I'm that guy. That guy with a real reason to own a minivan, that is. So it's been a few days since you've heard anything about the Odyssey, and for good reason. It spent a few nights parked at the hospital while my little one was entering the world. And now I've got good excuse to fill this rig with every plastic baby apparatus the army of grandmas can throw my way." — Josh Jacquot
- "The Odyssey's front seat is just one more reason why I like minivans more and more lately. I love the adjustable seat armrests. You can easily find that perfect position. And the seat doesn't have the harsh amount of lumbar support found in some Hondas." — Mike Monticello
- "From the driver seat the Odyssey is pretty great. I felt as fresh after 90 minutes of driving as I did after 9 minutes." — Mike Magrath
- "Only Honda and Toyota build vans with eight-passenger seating, so if you need that second-row center seat, you're going to end up with an Odyssey or Sienna — and only the Honda can fit an adult derriere in that seat." — Erin Riches, from our 2011 Minivan Comparison, where the Odyssey EX tied for 2nd place among vans under $40,000.
- "Second-row seat removal in the Odyssey is not easy, but it's also not the hardest in this class. The seats pull out at an awkward angle and they're heavy. Yet each has convenient handles mounted to its underside to simplify the process. I'd consider its three-piece configuration easier to manage than the bulky two-piece design of our Sienna. And the seats themselves are more comfortable than competitive minivans opting for a stow approach over removable seats." — Mike Schmidt
- "Good-sized ventilated rotors and big-looking sliding calipers handle the stopping chores up front. Our stopping distance, feel and fade tests of the new 2011 Honda Odyssey came out much better than expected compared to our test of a last-gen 2010 Odyssey. Did Honda finally raise its internal brake performance standards? It would seem so." — Dan Edmunds, during the 2011 Honda Odyssey suspension walkaround.
- "Easily the biggest difference when it comes to driving (the Sienna and Odyssey) is what happens when the driver opens the throttle. The Sienna is, dare I say it, snappy. It's eager to move out, and acceleration more readily follows the driver's right foot. By comparison, the Odyssey lags. It's less anxious to get moving, and downshifts at speed demand a large throttle opening and plenty of waiting." — Josh Jacquot
- "Driver controls and chassis feedback make the Odyssey feel more capable than it truly is. It's easy to overdrive this van because you can, but the tires cannot cash the check written by the sensations the chassis writes." — Chris Walton, following instrumented testing.
- "I'm not totally happy with the steering. It's great around town, where it's precise and communicative to an extent that nobody expects in a minivan. But I wish the effort was a little higher at highway speeds.... Wouldn't mind a little more weight to it on-center, either." — Erin Riches
Maintenance & Repairs
Regular Maintenance: When it came to routine maintenance, we structured our dealer visits according to the Odyssey's onboard warning system. The Honda requested its first service (A1) with just over 7,900 miles on the odometer. Honda of Santa Monica handled this basic service in about 30 minutes for $34. That was without an appointment. And it was one of the more notable, and positive, service visits we've had in awhile.
As we crested the 16,000-mile mark, our 2011 Honda Odyssey came due for its second service (B1). It was back to Honda of Santa Monica, but this time we didn't get out quite so clean. An oil and filter change, tire rotation and bevy of inspections set us back $122. There were extra items on our list, requiring the van sit in their garage several hours. We requested a brake inspection to confirm the severity of our warped front rotors. They weren't that bad, so we did nothing at the time. Also on our mind were two open service campaigns of which, it turned out, only one applied to our vehicle.
Service Campaigns: Both active recall campaigns were performed under warranty. The first recall pertained to wiper blades and affected 34,341 units. NHTSA wrote, "If the front windshield blades become frozen to the windshield and the wiper motor is switched on, one of the front windshield wiper linkage rods may bend or separate from the motor due to insufficient stiffness of the rod." Honda replaced the wiper rod arm to remedy the potential issue.
The second recall was smaller, affecting 2,800 units. In some vehicles both driver and front passenger side windows were susceptible to falling off their track, at which point pressure applied by the window motor could shatter the glass. Our van was not affected by this recall.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy: After 12 months and over 20,000 miles we averaged 20.8 mpg in the 2011 Honda Odyssey. Our best single tank was nearly 31.5 mpg and covered a range of 495 miles. On the other end of the spectrum, our worst single tank was 13 mpg. For comparison, our long-term 2011 Toyota Sienna (19.6 mpg) and 2012 Nissan Quest (19.2 mpg) averaged slightly worse.
Resale and Depreciation: At the end of every long-term test we calculate the resale value of each vehicle using Edmunds' TMV® Calculator. Based on a private-party sale, the 2011 Honda Odyssey depreciated just 18 percent, which was quite good. The aforementioned 2011 Toyota Sienna dropped 22 percent in value under similar circumstances.
Pros: Minivan versatility hard to beat; ranks among the best in its segment for fuel economy; flexibility of an eight-passenger seating configuration; strong resale value.
Cons: Fully equipped, the Odyssey is the most expensive minivan money can buy. Some would rather have a folding, stowable second row than the removable seats; steering not as precise as previous Odysseys.
Bottom Line: The 2011 Honda Odyssey is still one of the top minivans in the segment. The initial cost is slightly higher than most, but it comes back in the form of high resale value. A must-drive contender if you're shopping for a minivan.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||$156.88 (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||None|
|Warranty Repairs:||Windshield wiper recall and recall for driver/passenger side window|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||2|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||None|
|Days Out of Service:||None|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||31.5 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||13.2 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||20.8 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$34,039 (private-party sale)|
|Depreciation:||$7,496 (18% of original MSRP)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||20,640 miles|
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.