September 30 sees the delivery of the revised 11 Honda Odyssey minivan to dealerships by American Honda Motor Company Incorporated. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $27,800, there is the Odyssey LX for the budget conscious. If you can stretch your budget to $43,250, you can get the ultra-premium Odyssey Touring Elite. There is a delivery and processing charge of $780 per motor.
So what are you getting for the $840 or 2.5% increase in price (sales –weighted basis 2010 models)? Think comfort, savings and convenience. The Odyssey has had a complete redesign. The interior functionality has improved, it has improved style and there are fuel economy savings. There are more than 50 new features across the full range of Odyssey models: the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and the new Touring Elite.
The aims of these improvements are to make fuel savings, improve the driving experience and increase comfort. The intention behind the redesign of the Odyssey was captured by Vice President of Corporate Planning and Logistics for American Honda, Eric Berkman when he said that the company was seeking to “Redefine the minivan segment as the ultimate family vehicle.” This redefinition has led claims of improved space, functionality and comfort using style, fuel efficiencies and technological improvements.
The interior has changed to incorporate a ‘3 mode’ second row seat layout that is more spacious and comfortable for middle seat passengers in the Odyssey EX and above. The 2011 Odyssey has an impressive five LATCH attachment points which outstrip competitors. There are four in the Odyssey LX. Honda has retained the original features that were a success, including the one-motion, 60/40 split 3rd-row Magic Seat that is now more spacious and easier to use in the 2011 model.
The body has a new look with tapered cabin and familiar ‘lightning strike’ belt line. Third row passengers now have an improved outward view due to the belt line. The shape is more aerodynamic and technical improvements have been made which have resulted in the 2011 Odyssey Touring models obtaining an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) which sees an increase of 3mpg on comparison with the 2010 Odyssey Touring model.
It is the highest rating for any 8-seater minivan. With a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine, there is more power and torque. Standard on all 2011 models is the Variable Cylinder Management feature. This produces 248 hp (an increase in 4hp on the 2010 model) with an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy of 19/28/22 mpg on Odyssey Touring models (18/27/21 mpg on Odyssey LX, EX and EX-L models).
Odyssey Touring models now feature ix speed automatic transmissions as standard to improve driving performance, with all other models having the five speed automatic transmission. The technology has improved with some models featuring rear entertainment systems with large 16.2 inch wide split –screen displays, bespoke wallpaper, auxiliary High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) video input, and "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID).
FM traffic data is also fully integrated on those models with navigation features. Practical items have also appeared for the comfort and convenience of the passengers such as a cool box, a flip up trash bag ring and a front bag hook. The useful back-up camera and available conversation mirror still remain in the newer models. Honda prides itself with safety seats when it comes to the Odyssey. The body of the car is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure which maximises occupant safety and protection during frontal collisions.
Other standard safety equipment includes Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), otherwise known as ‘electronic stability control’. The Brake Assist; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD) have improved response and power of the vehicle and three-row side-curtain airbags with a rollover sensor protect all occupants. The air bag protection covers all with driver's and front passenger's side airbags at the passenger-side.
The use of the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) uses sensors to determine if a passenger is resting on an air bag and can disable to the airbag and alert the driver to avoid risk of injury. The dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags and active front seat head restraints provide the finishing touches on the safety features. With all these new features and an emphasis on comfort and investments as well as value for money, the 2011 Odyssey has seen a 2.5% increase on sales-weighted basis compared with the 2010 models, which equates to an average increase of $840.
The 2011 Odyssey is a home grown American motor. It was designed, engineered and assembled at Honda North America. Working collaboratively, California, Ohio and Alabama helped to take the redesign from sketch to reality. The vehicles themselves are only produced at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) and are made with materials sourced from America and other parts of the world. Lincoln Alabama plant synchronises production of the vehicles and the engines and is the only global manufacturer of Pilot Sport Utili