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Honda Odyssey VTi 2014 review: snapshot

EXPERT RATING
6
Paul Gover road tests and reviews the Honda Odyssey VTi, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

More Australians should be driving cars like the Honda Odyssey people-mover. SUVs look tough and promise the Outback dream - a dream that so few turn into a reality - but if you have a family and you need a family car then a people-mover makes much more sense. There is more space, more flexibility, more comfort and they are cheaper to run.

And have you ever tried to put serious luggage into a seven-seater SUV once those seven seats are occupied? Thought not.

Value

The Odyssey is one of the long-term people-mover successes, although Honda Australia has not done it (or buyers) any favours with a near-$4000 price rise this year that takes the basic VTi to $38,990.

The higher sticker reflects an overhaul this year that brings a new body and a bunch of other good new stuff, although I still crave a digital speedometer and the electric sliding doors of the upscale Kia Carnival.

The new Honda is a smooth looker, which gets smoother if you pay $47,620 for the VTi-L that comes with lots of luxury including second-row 'captain's chairs". But that sum brings even more choice and enjoyment on the SUV front.

Design

So, back to the eight-seater VTi which has been driven and liked by a number of other Carsguide testers in recent times. They're fans, like me, of the basic idea of the Odyssey and its family focus.

But lots of readers turn away from it because of the stigma of 'family vans", which basically tell the world you have a giant family and have succumbed to a suburban existence instead of dreaming of an SUV run up Big Red in the bush.

What rubbish. The Odyssey could do with more go than it gets from its 2.4-litre petrol four, and the constantly transmission makes it noisier and less responsive than it should be ... and that's about it for complaints. Oh, apart from second and third-row seatbelts that are not easy to use or comfortable for kids.

The Odyssey is easy to load and drive, has great outward vision for passengers (and for the driver when parking). There is 300L-plus of luggage space to start with and up to 1330L if you only have five on board.

It's good that the Odyssey has some sort of spare but having it under the floor means a big unloading job if you get a flat on a trip. And I don't like that idea.
I tried all eight seats and had only tiny complaints about support and comfort, even in the third row. And I cannot say that about the vast majority of SUVs.

Driving

The Odyssey is no sports car but it feels planted and safe on the road, is easy to handle in tight spaces, and kids really like riding in it. The rear-view camera could be bigger and brighter but at least it's there.

Verdict

At the end of the day, the new Odyssey is not a great improvement over the previous model. The cabin looks nicer and it's a little quieter and more airy in the cabin, but that's offset - for me - by the CVT gearbox.

But it's a good idea done pretty well, and a sub-$40,000 price tag is not too tough with Honda now providing capped-price servicing.

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
6
Pricing Guide

$15,990

Lowest price, based on 17 car listings in the last 6 months

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