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Honda Odyssey VTi 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Adam Tonkin road tests the Honda Odyssey with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The home of the minivan may seem like the land that time forgot, although during my week with the fifth-generation Honda Odyssey I found this to be very much the opposite. The minivan - or people-mover - is an extremely functional way to move the family from A to B...and sometimes C, D and E all in the same day.

With the streets of Australia now seemingly littered with the memories of the humble family station wagon, the SUV now reigns supreme as the new 'King of the Road'. However the minivan can still hold its own, with real form and function not dissimilar to that of a Swiss army knife.

Design

The fifth-generation Odyssey has come of age, growing in height, width and length. The exterior is a lot shapelier with several design cues being borrowed from the Accord and Civic models. Smart looking 17" black and chrome rims round off the exterior package of this new age family carrier.

Using the keyless-go remote, the rear doors slide open automatically and with the push-button start depressed, the Odyssey fires into life as a quiet hush falls over the cabin.

Features

The interior is swish, functional and easy to keep clean. Leather seats are standard with extended floor mats a must-tick option that give the cabin a home-like feel, while being easy to maintain and clean. Grey wood-like panelling lines the door trims and the dash helping to raise the look and feel of the cabin.

Owning a new Honda Odyssey will also defuse the age old argument of "I want to sit in the front seat" because Honda has developed the Captain's Seat; the ultimate in second row seating. With built in armrests, a retractable ottoman and the ability to move backwards, forward and even sideways to provide extra loading space, the two Captain Seats are the ultimate in transport extravagance.

The front seats are similar to the Captain Seats in the rear which both provide comfort and support.

Honda has included their brand new Multimedia 7" touchscreen display system. Sound quality and functionality are both good with easy to use menus and functions.

However, a re-think may be required on the touch sensitive climate control panel. Even after a week of continuous use, I still found myself having to take my eyes off the road to ensure I had my finger in the correct position to change the settings.

Engine/Transmission

With a full complement of four kids, three adults, two bikes and one week's worth of shopping, the 129kW/225Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine never showed a sign of being underpowered or sluggish due to the extra weight. Performance figures don't really enter the equation here but the Odyssey has the right numbers where it counts, fuel economy and passenger space.

Driving a mix of suburban and highway roads with regular stops, the Odyssey returned a fuel economy figure of 8.3L/100km and reached 541kms before needing a top up of 91RON fuel, however it's combined fuel consumption rating is 7.8L/100km

Honda has continued to invest heavily in their CVT transmissions and it shows, with refined gearchanges that realistically go unnoticed. Honda has included shift paddles on the steering wheel that add to the Odyssey's somewhat sporty nature.

Safety

Safety is also key to its success with six airbags, vehicle stability assist, tyre deflation warning system plus a host of other valuable features that have earned the Odyssey a five-star ANCAP Safety Rating.

Driving

At 1817kg, the Odyssey is no light weight however, with passenger weight added, handling and balance seemed to improve with the Honda feeling a lot sturdier and anchored to the road.

Verdict

Honda has created the ultimate Mum and Dad Taxi with the right dimensions to make it feel big, but not tank-like. With a few extra mod-cons like a DVD player for the rear passengers and an electronically operated tailgate, the Odyssey would be the ultimate in minivan luxury.

Pricing guides

$24,500
Based on 46 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$15,990
Highest Price
$33,988

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $12,200 – 17,710 2014 Honda Odyssey 2014 (base) Pricing and Specs
Luxury 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $14,500 – 20,460 2014 Honda Odyssey 2014 Luxury Pricing and Specs
VTi 2.4L, ULP, CVT AUTO $15,990 – 25,896 2014 Honda Odyssey 2014 VTi Pricing and Specs
VTi-L 2.4L, ULP, CVT AUTO $19,990 – 33,988 2014 Honda Odyssey 2014 VTi-L Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$15,990

Lowest price, based on 48 car listings in the last 6 months

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