Winner: 2011 Honda Odyssey
It is commonly understood that the most daunting task a vehicle designer can face is that proverbial "clean sheet of paper," which these days might be translated as the "blank computer screen." But we at Kelley Blue Book submit that it can be equally daunting, if not more so, to have the responsibility to redesign a highly successful, hot-selling model that is widely regarded as the pinnacle of its class. In that instance success is expected, while the chance to disappoint looms at every turn. Happily, the designers and engineers responsible for the 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan faced down that challenge by looking it right in the eye, and the result of their efforts is our Kelley Blue Book Best Redesigned Vehicle for 2011.
We don't have to tell you how good the outgoing edition of the Honda Odyssey is. It captured numerous honors including a victory in our most recent minivan comparison test. But the completely redesigned 2011 version of the Odyssey improves on its predecessor in almost every way imaginable. It offers a better-looking, more contemporary exterior design, a sumptuous interior stuffed with innovative features and class-leading fuel economy. Its safety, refinement, resale value and trouble-free nature are combined with a surprising level of fun-to-drive, so it is not difficult to see why Honda refers to it as the "ultimate in family transportation."
The 2011 Odyssey's lower roofline and improved aerodynamics are keys to its class-leading highway fuel economy, while the wider stance not only enhances its exterior appearance, but also translates into significantly more useable interior space. The Odyssey's innovative features are legend, and this time the split third-row Magic Seat is joined by a three-mode second row that greatly improves passenger comfort. Not only is the Odyssey equipped with a robust array of active and passive safety features, but you won't find a vehicle with more LATCH child-seat attachment points - Honda's people mover can accommodate five little ones. The kids will also appreciate the available rear entertainment system that features a 16.2-inch display wide enough to show two movies, along with an HDMI video input. Other added features include the available "cool box," front bag hook and flip-up trash bag ring, all of which illustrate the fact that Honda designers thought long and hard about users' needs as they conceived the new vehicle.
The class of 2011 is filled with more than its share of excellent redesigned models, but when all was said and done the Editorial staff of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com agreed that the 2011 Honda Odyssey is the very best of an extremely impressive and competitive field.
Not looking for a three-row troop transport? Here in alphabetical order are the nine other vehicles that made up our list of Best Redesigned Vehicle finalists: