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 Barb (IL) on Thursday, August 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "wish the back seat safety belts were stationary"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is our second Odyssey and we've loved them both. Sold the older one to our best friends, we trusted it that much. This one will still be under warranty for another 5,000 miles and will sell it outright with no worries. Looking forward to the 2014."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Imranhasan (IL) on Saturday, August 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Honda reliability, comfortable seating, quit cabin"
Cons: "city milage not great. Slow pick up on speed"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is our second Odyssey. The first one has 206,000 on it. The 2013 comes with great features and reliability. The interior is very quit, noticeably different from the old one ;)and also by Infinity I35. Seating is comfortable for 8 passengers."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By zoe014 (MA) on Sunday, July 28, 2013
I want this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Have done research and have inquired with trusted mechanics who tell me that the Odyssey has had transmission problems for years - was recalled once but the problems still exist. Don't want to get a car that has known problems and not addressed by Honda - too bad - they used to have a great reputation"
14 people out of 42 found this review helpful
By Honda Girl (FL) on Sunday, July 21, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Best car I have ever owned. Traded - My approximate mileage is 89,000
Pros: "Good Quality in and out, lots of room."
Cons: "Absolutely None!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Leased my Odyssey in 2007. We decided to buy it off lease because it is such a great vehicle. Just performed regular maintenance. The only mechanical thing replaced was the power steering pump at around 82,000 miles. My kids are now teenagers and driving their own cars, so we can now down size a bit. I just traded my 07 for a new Honda CRV. I hope the CRV is just as good of a car as my Odyssey. I loved my Odyssey I'm sure it still has many more years left on it. I'm going to miss it!"
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By George39 (FL) on Sunday, May 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, easy driving, great road car"
Cons: "road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My single complaint is road noise at freeway speeds. Everything else is as good or better than I hoped for."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By TallyEsq (FL) on Saturday, May 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, sliding doors, quite, safety"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The price was right for an Odyssey due to low APR and dealer incentives. Like just about everything except the rear entertainment system. Passengers in the second two rows can barely hear the music and DVDs. Took it back to dealer and they said it was "working properly", called Honda and they said people in second two rows should wear earphones. Very unhappy about this. I wanted RES to entertain my kids with DVDs and music; but they cannot enjoy it. Would be better off getting a lesser model and let them watch their iPad. Not sure if Touring and Touring Elite have this same design defect."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful