By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
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 Okietraveler (OK) on Monday, March 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This is the second Odyssey and fifth Honda overall I have owned. While the styling has improved over the previous model, I'm not sure too much else has. We bought the Touring model a year ago and it just hasn't been as pleasing as previous Hondas. The interior fit and finish seems cheaper. The quality of materials has undoubtedly dropped. Creaking and popping over bumps and turns has already started. Also a strange sound coming from the steering when turning at slow speeds. Furthermore, the center dash displays and controls are just a mess. All this being said, I'm not sure there is a better minivan out there. Despite the shortcomings we will likely stick with the Honda."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Unnamed (NY) on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, comfort, speed."
Cons: "read the review"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"First of all I'd like to say that this is my third Odyssey. I don't know why did they have to change so many good things into bad things, but here it is. 1)Weak AC, it works "OK" with only refurbished air after 100's 2)Rear seats do not fold flat, used to be flat but not anymore (well it's almost flat). I liked the old folding system better, it seems a little less confusing for someone who never used a car. 3)Older body had more head room at front seats than this new one. If you like to sit high (plus you are tall), you'll be breathing into the ceiling. 4)No arm rests at second row seat (maybe it's the trim, I have EX, but I think the previous one even had it on LX, but I might be wrong) 5)Bluetooth needs work, mic quality is somewhat adequate, but nothing good. Phone book sometimes freezes. 6)In between front seats change/bottles/other things compartment used to be easily fordable, now it's just a huge box. 7)Interior quality appears to be worse than in previous model. 8)Climate control is confusing. Other than that it's a great vat which drives like a car."
39 people out of 41 found this review helpful
By Tauqir (CA) on Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have replaced the transmission three times each at a high cost. Now I am throwing the car away on the fourth failure."
47 people out of 100 found this review helpful
By Mark (NY) on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Went from a 2010 CRV EXL to the 2012 EXL, best move I've made in years of car buying. We are definitely still on our honeymoon, but I really like this minivan."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By THE DAD (CA) on Monday, October 29, 2012
I want this caroverall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I can honestly say, Minivans are the speed demons on every American freeway! Now I know why. They are fast when they get going, especially this minivan. Smooth and quiet I love all the amenities of the Touring Elite. Got to drive my father-in-law's 2012 multiple times. Love everything about it. We went from Northridge, CA all the way down to Orange, CA round trip and it took just over a 1/4 tank of gas!!! Amazing! My kids love the panoramic DVD screen and the surround sound. Definite plus! I agree, older Odyssey's were built much better, but I can live with this one. The headlights are so bright that the freeway road is lit up for two lanes. Hahaha! A PLUS!!! Love all the sensors all around the car. Especially love the ones for the blind spots!!! Wow! A comfortable ride, with all the bells and whistles for a great price! My wife and I are purchasing one and we can't wait to get ours. I've tried other manufacturers, but it just doesn't add up to the quality and low maintenance a Honda provides. Oh, love all the hook ups for USB, earphones and such. Great for kids! Truly a traveling machine! There are flaws with every vehicle, but I have found few with this one. Everyone I know who owns a Honda Odyysey loves it! Consumer Report reviews say it all."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By zoman (FL) on Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 800overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "good price, financing,, ease of entry, honda name"
Cons: "interior quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"First let me say we have no kids, that's right no kids. We do however have 1 large dog and 2 smaller dogs and feel that mini vans are the best vehicle for our needs. After over a year's worth of research we decided on an EX-L with Nav. Our Mazda had almost 180,000 miles but, we loved almost everything about it. This new Honda seems to concentrate more on gadgets and gizmo's and less on quality (as did the Toyota Sienna). Hopefully I am wrong about this, but many of the interior materials seem hard to keep clean and prone to marking, scratching etc. Our previous van was small, sporty, and easy to navigate in and out of traffic. This van is large and offers a more luxurious ride. We do like the versatile seating, bluetooth, nav etc. Only time will if this van is a winner for us."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful