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Honda Odyssey 2012 Review

Honda Odyssey is a practical vehicle that makes a lot more sense than the large SUVs that also seat seven. Odyssey doesn’t give its owner the feeling they can conquer the Simpson Desert, nor does it give a – completely inaccurate -- sense of being invincible. What it does offer is a smooth, quiet ride, good interior space and the sort of engineering with which the Japanese company has been associated for decades.

DESIGN

Lower than some station wagons, the Odyssey has slim head- and tail-lights, a stylish grille and a longer than normal bonnet for this class. The roof tapers mildly down at the back to improve aerodynamics and therefore reduce fuel consumption.

Odyssey’s interior is almost futuristic in its shape, with a sweeping-wave dash and instruments that sit in no fewer than four layers. The latter seems a bit over the top to us, but in this class where understatement tends to be the norm that’s perhaps no bad thing. A pleasing feature of the Honda Odyssey body is relatively slim A-pillars to give a better and safer view to the front-side, particularly on twisting roads.

Large, spacious cabins are the whole reason for buying any people mover. Sit three tall adults behind one another Honda Odyssey and all have good legroom. However, those in the rearmost seat may be tight for headroom. Try it for yourself if teenagers may be riding back there.

The secret to the interior space in this low-slung Honda is its low floor. Access to the rearmost seats is never easy in a vehicle of this type, but Honda does it better than most, with back doors that go as far backwards as possible, virtually touching the wheelarches, to create decent space.

FIT-OUT AND EQUIPMENT

The latest Odyssey, the subject of this week’s road test, has a touch-screen satellite navigation system with live traffic updates, as well as integrated Bluetooth and steering wheel mounted audio controls. A reversing camera is a very useful safety feature for anyone, no-one more so than the family driver at whom this vehicle is aimed.

All seven seats have lap/sash safety belts. Front, side and curtain airbags protect occupants in every row of seating. Boot space is quite good, but the amount of luggage space suffers if all seats are in use. This isn’t unusual in this class and SUVs can suffer more than most due to the need for an extra differential and driveshaft under the boot area.

ENGINE AND MECHANICAL

Power comes from a four-cylinder 2.4-litre engine producing 132 kW of power and 218 Nm of torque. Engine performance is adequate rather than exciting, which is acceptable for a family wagon. If you're going to be carrying a lot of people, and driving in hilly areas you may find the Odyssey struggles at times.

The V6 engine once offered in older generation Odyssey’s is no longer available as very few buyers were interested in paying the significant extra cost.

The four-cylinder engine has been revised in the latest Odyssey and we found typical fuel consumption to be reasonably low. Expect to use about seven to eight litres per hundred kilometres in easy driving, and around eight to ten litres in suburban running. This number is likely to climb significantly if you use your Odyssey with a big load and/or in hilly conditions because of the engine’s relatively small size.

DRIVING

Ride comfort is almost car-like as a result of the low centre of gravity. On smooth to moderate roads we were most impressed by the quietness of the ride. Obviously the designers have put considerable emphasis on this important aspect of the latest iteration of the Odyssey. It’s almost limo-like to ride in.

Road and tyre noise on coarse-chip was pleasingly low, meaning this family people mover can be used on rough backroads during weekends or holiday trips without overly tiring the occupants.

HONDA ODYSSEY

MODEL RANGE
Odyssey 2.4-litre: $37,100 (automatic)
Odyssey Luxury 2.4-litre: $44,920 (automatic)

FEATURES
ABS Brakes: Standard in both models
Automatic Transmission: Standard in both models
Cruise Control: Standard in both models
Dual Front Airbags: Standard in both models
Front Side Airbags: Standard in both models
Electronic Stability Program: Standard in both models
Rear Parking Sensors: Standard in both models
Reversing Camera: Standard in Luxury
USB/Auxiliary Audio Inputs: Standard in both models
Bluetooth: Standard in both models
Steering Wheel Mounted Controls: Standard in both models

ENGINE:
Capacity: 2.354 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Head Design: DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Maximum Power: 132 kW @ 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 218 Nm @ 4500 rpm

DRIVELINE:
Driven Wheels: Front
Manual Transmission: Not offered
Automatic Transmission: Five-speed
Final Drive Ratio: 4.437:1

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4810 mm
Wheelbase: 2830 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1545 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1645 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Boot Capacity: 259 litres (708 litres with rear seats lowered)
Towing Ability: 450 kg (1000 kg with braked trailer)

SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Front Suspension: Independent, double wishbone, coils springs
Rear Suspension: Independent, double wishbone, coils springs
Front Brakes: Ventilated disc
Rear Brakes: Disc

FUEL CONSUMPTION:
Type: Petrol 91RON
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.9 L/100km

GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Greenhouse Rating: 6/10
Air Pollution Rating: 6.5/10

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years/100,000 km

Pricing guides

$16,950
Based on 15 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$10,865
Highest Price
$18,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,865 – 18,988 2012 Honda Odyssey 2012 (base) Pricing and Specs
Luxury 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $12,800 – 18,590 2012 Honda Odyssey 2012 Luxury Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$10,865

Lowest price, based on 15 car listings in the last 6 months

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