By KBB.com Editors
Dads will tell you the best vehicle to transport the wife and kids is a big, burly SUV, but Moms know better. Despite its less-than-macho image, the minivan is still the best family transport ever invented. Large sliding side doors make for quick and easy exits, while a low and level cargo floor means minimal muscle is required when loading. If a minivan is in your future, there are a number of makes to choose from, and at the top of that list is the Honda Odyssey. Revered for its spacious interior, powerful engine, comfortable ride and exceptional safety rating, the Odyssey leaves little room for criticism. About the only deterrent to purchasing an Odyssey may be its high price and limited availability.You'll Like This Car If...
If you'd rather be driving a nice sedan but you have a family, a dog and a load of luggage to haul on vacation, the new Odyssey makes for a livable compromise. With all its nifty features, some of your friends may even think it's cool.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you don't like the traditional minivan look, about the only choices left are Nissan's spacey Quest or the sporty Dodge Grand Caravan. Bargain shoppers may be put off by the high price tag and limited ability to deal.What's Significant About This Car?
New standard features for 2007 include a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a tire pressure monitor and center-pocket coin holder.Driving It Driving Impressions
One of the goals of every new minivan is to deliver a car-like driving experience. If the car in that comparison is a large sedan, the Odyssey succeeds on some levels and comes close on others. With plenty of horsepower and usable torque, the Odyssey moves quickly from a stop and easily merges with traffic. Once moving, the ride is smooth and well-controlled, even if rougher roads don't go unnoticed. While few will call its performance inspiring, the Odyssey brakes and corners with a capability some may find surprisingly good for a vehicle of its proportions, and the strong engine can get you quickly back to cruising speed.Favorite Features
A carpeted panel in the floor in front of the second-row seat lifts to reveal a compartment big enough to swallow the available eighth seat. When you need the room for something else, an optional Lazy Susan makes it easy to access items that might otherwise require a reach.
Run-Flat Tire System
Not only will Michelin's PAX tire system let you drive safely up to 125 miles without air in the tire, we thought the Odyssey Touring model we drove featuring the system actually rode smoother than the models on the standard tires.
There are plenty of innovations worth noting inside the Odyssey, as well as a couple of surprises. Honda engineers have made the third-row seat more accessible, thanks to sliding second-row seats. The third-row seat is also split on a 60/40 bias and very easy to fold flat into the floor. The second row features power windows plus optional twin captain's chairs and an auxiliary eighth seat that stores neatly, when not needed, in a new in-floor storage compartment.Exterior
Rather than pushing beyond the expected limits of minivan styling, the third-generation Odyssey emerges as a refined version of its former self. Honda's designers have conceived an Odyssey that is both sleeker and more sophisticated than the previous generation. Perhaps because of added width, it also seems to have a more secure visual stance. Appealing features such as available power sliding side doors and a power rear liftgate bolster the Odyssey's desirability.Notable Standard Equipment
Every Odyssey (LX, EX, EX with Leather and Touring) includes the disappearing third-row seat, in-floor storage, CD player and cruise control. Standard safety features include frontal and side airbags up front, three-row side-curtain airbags and Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. The standard 3.5-liter VTEC engine gives way to a similar, higher-mileage i-VTEC engine in the top two models.Notable Optional Equipment
Features available only on select trim levels or as stand-alone options include the stowable eighth seat, removable Lazy Susan storage system, leather seating, power sliding doors, six-disc in-dash CD player, 360-watt stereo, higher-mileage i-VTEC engine, power moonroof, nine-inch rear DVD entertainment center, plus a navigation system with voice recognition and an integrated rearview camera. Available only on the premium Touring model are a power tailgate, memory driver's seat, power adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors and a run-flat tire system.Under the Hood
Until someone drops a V8 into a minivan, the Odyssey's 244-horsepower V6 is the most powerful engine in the class (although the Nissan Quest offers nearly as much horsepower and more torque). The Odyssey's 3.5-liter V6 is a solid piece of work. Strong, quiet and fairly fuel-efficient in this class, its performance attributes are only enhanced by its bulletproof service and repair history.
244 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm (LX and EX), 240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm (EX-L and Touring)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (LX and EX), 19/26 (EX-L and Touring)
The least expensive Odyssey is the LX, which has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,240. The EX with leather, DVD and navigation is $35,490, while a Touring with navigation tops out at $39,690. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows consumers are paying about $1,800 over dealer invoice for the base LX, and close to $2,000 over dealer invoice for the Touring. The Odyssey's pricing may seem high, but keep in mind that over a five-year period it holds its value better than the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Pontiac Montana, Buick Terraza, Nissan Quest, Ford Freestar and even the Toyota Sienna.