-Minivans are like hatchbacks.
They lived in a constant automotive shame universe.
We have evidence of that being a bomb wrap though.
Because we're driving the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite while we check the deck.
Honda's goal is pretty simple here, make a really big Accord.
That starts with not looking like a refrigerator,
which is tough to avoid when you are making a minivan.
But the Odyssey does so just about as well as any minivan ever has.
Aside from those hideous cut lines on the rear quarter where the door track lift, this vehicle got a nicely packaged look that is more car like than box like.
The usual highly flexible seating lives within gate, kept by an array of so many power doors; this thing is almost a birdcage when they're all open.
-Now our Odyssey is top of the line.
So, you've got all the best touches here.
Lots of different textures inside the vehicle from fo----what is that?
titanium to but its kinda rubbery leatherette around here.
But in terns of the technology, it's familiar Honda stuff and a slightly different incasement.
You recognize the controller here, which is very Acura later Honda and you recognize that screen as well.
That's the current generation high res, relatively new Honda interface, good font resolution.
Finally, they had this crunchy looking thing for the longest time.
Finally, we got some good duck pitch on this guy.
Moving around the different menus in such is quick.
This is hard drive based now.
And I like the controller; it's a good size knob.
It's not too hard to get used to Honda's roll and click interface.
Still this weird Honda quirck where I have to click over letters that don't exist on the predictive text.
I don't know why they keep doing that, its just 150 me off.
We've got a variety of most of the modern choices you might want, AM, FM, no HD radio.
XM as I mentioned for satellite.
CD, we have a single slot because we have hard drive in here,
so, they just give you 1 optical slot.
Here's my hard drive position, USB and AUX prefers to a standard AUX jack down here and a USB pig tail in here and of course the final button gets you the DVD to separate button from CD, which is unusual.
Most cars just put disc on one selection.
Nice pull up on the [unk] database.
As you can see, we have an auto record accentuated in this car.
It's already ripping it to the hard drive.
And in addition, all these audio sources that are called up here, you've also got bluetooth streaming
and bluetooth handsfree on this guy.
And I gotta say the paring and the connecting was about as easy as any car I've driven.
Here's one of the cool tricks on this Honda system, the iPod and the hard drive are indexed.
Whenever you connect an iPod or rip through the drive, it indexes voice text to go with all the artists, tract, album, and other tittle information allowing you to use natural language to access it.
Easier to show you than to describe it.
-After the beep, please say a command such as one of the highlighted options.
-Please say the music selection command after the beep.
Please say what.
-Play song Tupelo Honey.
Rear cameras are interesting on this car.
When you pop it into reverse, you've got not just 1 rearview, but 3 by hitting the main controller knob.
Here you can go from in this case normal view, top down view, or wide view, whichever one is best looking
at what you're afraid of running over.
Our minivans are noted to be good if riding in the rear seat is no fun and this one does that really well.
Power sliding doors, both sides, starboard and port.
But check this out, you want a rear seat screen, I've got one for you, it's huge.
My first LCD desktop monitor wasn't quite that big.
Ultra wide screen doesn't mean you just take the DVD image like this and stretched it.
It means you can also put this guy into dual screen mode.
I can pull up different sources including the DVD, like a standard set of video in RCA jacks.
I can also go into HDMI and that's pretty rare on cars.
I don't even have a portable with an HDMI out.
I can pull up the iPod up here if I wanna just look at music while I'm listening to it back here.
The split functional allows you to do almost anything you want on either with the 2 screens.
And of course you can listen to different sources separately, it's not all mixed together, you've got wireless [unk] that are included
plus some headphone jacks around here somewhere.
Oh, they're in the third row with the audio-video input jacks.
Now, why in the hell will I put the HDMI on that side in the third row and the RCA inputs on that side of the third row when odds are I'm gonna be sitting here in the second row, that's a big screw up.
-All Odysseys have a 3.5 L V6 unless they have a 4 when they still have a 6.
That's because these engines all have VCM,
variable cylinder management to shut down unneeded engine capacity when cruising.
That means a 4 cylinder when that's all you need.
All in, you get 248 horsepower and 250 foot pound of torque plus 1922 MPG while getting the 60 in a pretty respectable 8 seconds.
-And the first thing you notice getting in a modern minivan like this Odyssey is that they're not quite that mini anymore.
They're kinda huge.
They've grown like just about every car in every segment to have more
and better of everything.
See, if you like a fool driving it alone, but that of course is not the idea behind this vehicle.
What is the idea, I think from Honda's point of view is make something with minivan utility, but make it drive like an Accord and they come very close.
This car is not the [unk] floaty, willowy take your life in your hands experience with the early Chrysler and Ford Aerostar minivans were.
Those were driving disasters.
This vehicle handles kinda like an Accord
that's put a few winter pounds on and that's not a bad thing to say.
In some at this point, the Odyssey's history it's grown into sort of a Demi Acura In terms of fit and finish, the quality of ride, maybe not quite of the performance on the handling that's where it still feels more Honda, but no one ever got fired for that.
-Okay 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, top of the line, totally seen that style
and there not really any options you need on top of this, 432 [unk] that's a lot of money for a minivan, but there's a lot of techy in here and if you hide in the back like what I'm doing, nobody will know you're in a minivan, that's a good thing.
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