By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.3
Minivan may not be the sexiest word in the automotive lexicon, but when life dictates a need for something functional, fuel efficient and family friendly, the 2011 Honda Odyssey is tough to beat. Its "lightning-bolt" beltline design ensures that you won't lose it in a Disneyland parking lot, and available features – like a widescreen rear-seat entertainment system with a 12-speaker, 650-watt 5.1 surround sound system – guarantee that you'll have street cred with your kids' carpool buddies. Plus, when you find yourself kid-free for the night, comfortable seating for up to eight adults makes it the perfect party bus.
Looking for a comfortable, flexible and feature-laden family hauler backed by a reputation for quality and stellar resale value? The Honda Odyssey fits the bill.
The family-friendly Odyssey isn't exactly the most wallet-friendly minivan. With all the bells and whistles, a fully-loaded Touring Elite will cost you nearly $44,000, which is more than any other two-wheel drive minivan out there.
The all-new, fourth-generation 2011 Honda Odyssey sports a bolder look and more of the people-pleasing features that have made the Odyssey a long-time family favorite.
Driving Impressions For a minivan, you won't find a more well-rounded ride than the 2011 Honda Odyssey. With decent power under hood, a choice of two smooth-shifting transmissions, solid steering and confident...braking, there's not much to complain about when it comes to driving this people mover. In fact, Honda felt so confident about the Odyssey's abilities on the road that they provided the opportunity to drive it on a small handling course. Our verdict? Although you won't forget that you're behind the wheel of a large and heavy vehicle, the Odyssey handles admirably well when and where it needs to, which is more than we can say for some other seven- and eight-passenger vehicles out there. If you're hesitant about welcoming a minivan into your family, rest assured, the Honda Odyssey is a solid choice.
60/40 Split Third-row Magic Seat
Improved for 2011, the "Magic Seat" system in the Odyssey allows you to effortlessly and quickly fold the third-row seats into the floor with the simple pull of a strap. While other minivans offer a power-folding third row, Honda's manual system is faster and more satisfying in a do-it-yourself kind of way.
Ultrawide Rear Entertainment System with 5.1 Surround-sound and HDMI port
As if a widescreen with dual-screen capabilities and an HDMI port for gaming consoles wasn't cool enough, when paired with the surround-sound system, the back of the Odyssey becomes a home theatre system on wheels.
The 2011 Honda Odyssey fully makes use of every available square inch of space inside. From the "wide-mode" second-row seats that can slide outward by 1.5 inches to allow for three car seats to sit side-by-side, to the substantial 42.4-inch third-row legroom, it's easy to comfortably fit seven or eight passengers (adults, even) in this people mover. Center second-row seats – when equipped – move forward by 5.5 inches, allowing you to move whomever is in that seat closer to the front. For 2011, the Odyssey also offers a 16.2-inch widescreen rear entertainment system. Although the 2011 Toyota Sienna offers a slightly wider screen at 16.4 inches, the Odyssey adds into the mix a 12-speaker, 650-watt, 5.1 surround sound system with HDMI port, allowing you to turn the back of the van into a mobile living room.Exterior
The 2011 Honda Odyssey is lower, wider, and more angular in appearance than any generation before it, and the "lightning-bolt" beltline that zig-zags just beneath the rear window on either side of the vehicle gives this minivan enough visual panache to stand out in a crowd. A good portion of the Odyssey's sleeker, more sculpted look is thanks to improvements in the vehicle's aerodynamics, which directly contribute to better fuel economy and a quieter ride. This new generation also rolls on slightly larger wheels: 17-inchers fill the wheel wells on LX, EX, and EX-L models, while the Touring and Touring Elite trims get 18-inch wheels.
Choose the base Honda Odyssey LX and you'll get a five-speed automatic transmission, seating for seven passengers, 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, "wide-mode" adjustable second-row seats, one-motion 60/40 split third-row folding seat and a 12-volt power outlet. To keep you and your loved ones safe, every 2011 Odyssey comes equipped with three-row side-curtain and multiple-threshold front airbags, active front-seat head restraints, electronic brake distribution with brake assist, five Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) positions and electronic stability and traction controls.
As with all Honda products, most additional features are tied to trim level. Moving up from the base LX to the EX trim nets you seating for eight passengers, power sliding rear doors, rear sunshades, tri-zone automatic climate control, a removable front center console (large enough to store a purse) and an additional 12-volt power outlet. The EX-L gets leather seating, a USB port, Bluetooth phone connectivity, rearview camera, automatic rear-dimming mirror, front-seat drink coolbox and satellite radio. The Touring trim includes a six-speed automatic transmission, integrated side-mirror turn signals, parking sensors, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system, while the range-topping Touring Elite adds a blind spot warning system, a rear-view camera and a widescreen rear seat entertainment system with an HDMI port and 650-watt, 12-speaker 5.1 surround sound system. If a navigation or rear-seat entertainment system is on your list of must-haves, keep in mind that you'll have step up to the EX-L trim or beyond.
The 2011 Honda Odyssey offers only one engine: a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off cylinders depending on driving conditions for maximum fuel efficiency. LX, EX and EX-L trims pair the engine with a five-speed automatic transmission, while Touring trims get a six-speed automatic. Both transmissions can be shifted into a lower gear (third on the five-speed and fourth on the six-speed) on the fly, but they cannot be shifted sequentially into any other gear, unlike the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country. The six-speed-equipped Touring trim also offers slightly better fuel economy, although Honda says this bump has more to do with improved vehicle aerodynamics than it does with the extra gear.
248 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA City/Highway Fuel Economy: 18/27 (LX, EX and EX-L), 19/28 (Touring and Touring Elite)
By Goose on Saturday, March 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, best outside camera resolution"
Cons: "Short entrance, akward handling, highway squirm"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Seats comfortable but have short seat backs. Drives great in straight line. Tires designed for fuel economy, not real driving. Handling is GM 60's led sled. Thick corner pillars front and back reduce visibility. Outside mirror position corresponds to my eyes (and my neighbor’s) blind spot. I find the on board entertainment awkward at best. Radio scan is not easily available when traveling without taking eyes off the road. No HD radio option (dozens of advertising free stations in my city). The change drawer wipes out the drivers knee if open when entering /exiting the van. OK for short driver that wants to bring canned entertainment. Alignment off when purchased (repaired under warranty). Zero other issues in 14 months."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ed on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Enjoyable to drive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great road car for trips. Good gas mileage. Good handling and performance, especially for such a large car."
By Ed H on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had four Odyssey minivans. This is by far the most reliable and fun to drive Solid car. I had given my children the older ones and my 2006 is still going strong at over 200k miles"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Furioxy on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice,fun to drive"
Cons: "Not 4WD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Yes i do love it,comfortable, elegant, beautiful.. But after this weather I NEED A 4WD..Very surprised Honda didnt add this feature..Because the Sienna has it..But really is upsetting haw much I paid for it,and the value Im getting..So I think would stay shoveling snow and being careful on the slipery roads :("
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Jim/Fred on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "good dive and milage"
Cons: "no storage space and not too good dash"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I had a 2012 Honda Odyssey. It had a storage space behind the passenger & driver's seats. It also had a small storage "glove box" over the regular glove box. The 2014 has no storage space. The storage space behind the Passenger & Driver's seat is now where your spare tire is located. The small glove box is also gone. I suspect the reason for relocating the spare tire is to install a vacuum cleaner. Wonder what that costs? I bet is well over $500.00. You can buy a vacuum cleaner for about $75.00 that will have more suction then the Honda vacuum. I am 77 years old, now imagine me or a woman trying to get a spare tire out of this stupid place--back injury location. The front dash is annoying with it's two visual displays. The one for the radio is not very useful-too many buttons to play with. I don't think the designers ever drive or own a minivan. This is probably my last Odyssey to own since they ruined it."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Doug H on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "economy...it really gets 28 if you cruise under 75"
Cons: "Price...but negotiate."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We are in our second now (5 miles on it). This car is tremendous. Ride, comfort, convenience, features...all top notch."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful