2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Review: Car Reviews

17 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Review: Car Reviews
Honda Odyssey

In the minivan segment content is king, and the Odyssey reigns supreme

FAST FACTS

1. The new 2011 Odyssey comes with a top-level Touring Elite trim that includes an Ultra-Wide Rear Entertainment System with a 16.2-inch flip-down screen and 12-speaker, 650-watt surround sound system.

2. A new Wide Mode seating arrangement allows the outside sections of the 2nd row bench to slide out to make room for three child seats side-by-side or two child seats next to each other with access to the third row.

3. All EX trim and up models come with power 2nd row doors that can be operated using the key fob.

4. Touring Elite models get 19/28-mpg thanks to a 6-speed automatic.

5. The 2011 Odyssey starts at $27,800 and tops out at $43,250 for the Touring Elite model.

Sure PR reps can tell you about a car’s features, but in a vehicle like the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey, where most of the gadgets are designed to be used by kids or at least with kids, actually experiencing what is available is nearly impossible without a full-on family test.

So to really get a feel for what the new Odyssey has to offer, Honda lent us a top-trim Touring Elite model for over the Holidays to use, and abuse.

NEW ‘WIDE MODE’ 2ND ROW SEATS IDEAL FOR TWO OR MORE KIDS

Honda Odyssey

First came installing two child seats, side by side, just like Honda says you can. It look a little fiddling, but I managed to slide apart the center bench into its three sections to make room for the carseats, even sliding the center portion forward for better access to my six month-old son on the four hour road-trip to the in-laws.

Next came packing the van, and when you’re playing Santa Claus and need to bring Christmas with you (and then back home again, adding in the excessive generosity of grandparents, aunts and uncles) the cavernous recesses of a vehicle come into play. Minivans will always carry a stigma, but when it comes to sheer interior volume, nothing short of a u-haul can offer the same.

Smaller vans have their place and offer far more functionality than almost any crossover, but this holiday journey meant even our Mazda5 wasn’t going to do. The Odyssey doesn’t disappoint with 38.4 cu-ft available behind the third row.

We, however, would need every cubic foot possible, dropping the ‘magic seats’ into the floor to expand that number to 93.1 cu-ft and then filling it nearly to the roof with presents. Then just push the power liftgate button and walk away.

IT’S BIG INSIDE AND OUT

Finally on the road, the Odyssey feels its size. Sure Honda has done a great job in making it the most car-like van available (with the exception of smaller vehicles like the Mazda5), but there’s no denying its footprint. In fact, it’s one of the few times we’ve ever really used the backup camera on a press car consistently, needing to rely on the screen to get out of tight spots at the grocery store or even back out of the in-laws’ driveway.

Driving a larger vehicle always takes some getting used to.

A Blind Sport information System, only available on the top-level Touring Elite trim, also proved incredibly useful for changing lanes out on the highway. Considering the Odyssey’s size, this really ought to be standard, or at least optional on every level.

Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey
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