Date Driven: 9/21/2010 (2011 Touring Elite)
Last year's sub-benchmark V6 acceleration, so-so fuel economy and merely adequate brakes have been addressed for 2011 with the addition of a six-speed transmission (to Touring/Touring Elite models) and upgraded brakes throughout.
Because of its historically well-sorted steering and buttoned-down suspension, the Odyssey often has been called the 'driver's minivan,' and the 2011 is no different. The Odyssey is responsive and rewarding in ways that mimic a large sedan.
For its size and responsiveness, the Odyssey offers a remarkably good ride. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a crossover (and there's no SUV) with this magic combination. There are sedans and wagons that are better, but not by much.
With available acoustic noise cancellation and a slippery (though large) exterior, the Odyssey is a quiet vehicle. Some road noise creeps in on coarse surfaces, but that's about it.
There are few vehicles that can fit as many gizmos in one place and maintain sound ergonomics and logical operation, but the Odyssey is one of them.
Honda has addressed the minivan's inherent visibility issues with available blind-spot monitor, front and rear parking sonar, and a backup camera.
Seat Access & Space
If there's anything a minivan does well it's accommodate a large number of people comfortably, and the Odyssey does so better than most.
Cargo & Storage
With the exception of a purpose-built cargo van, you cannot find another vehicle with more room than a minivan. Yet you must still remove the second-row seats manually to take advantage of the Odyssey's full 148 cu-ft cargo capacity.
While it's not a luxury vehicle, the build qualities of both the interior and exterior would suggest it is. Very good in a real sense, and outstanding in the minivan realm.
Properly equipped and fed by 91-octane or better gasoline (87 is recommended for everyday use), the V6-powered Odyssey can haul up to 3,500 pounds (minus the passengers and contents of the minivan).