2005 Honda Odyssey Review
By Bruce Hidaka-Gordon
The Honda Odyssey used for this test was the Touring Edition equipped with all the bells and whistles.
Exterior: Not much can be said about the exterior of the Odyssey. I don’t particularly like the styling of minivans and the Odyssey was not an exception. Some of the lines are starting to move away from the rounded plain look, but not enough to make the Odyssey stand out from the crowd.
Performance: I must say that for a van this vehicle performed like a race car. The pickup was more than adequate for getting in and out of fast lanes and the cornering, braking and smoothness of the ride are all better than most vans in this class. The interior was very quite both in the city and on the highway.
Interior: the interior features are where this vehicle really shines. In fact I have to say that this van had more features than any other I have ever driven. Not only were there more features, they were better throughout, and they all served a useful purpose.
The entertainment system, for the most part was great. The DVD worked flawlessly except for two issues. The controls were a bit complicated due to the abundance of buttons and the wireless headsets. The sound quality and operations were just fine, but the headsets apparently were designed to fit adults not the smaller heads of my two young (7 and 5) sons. The headphones kept falling off of the kid’s heads which led to using the stereo for the DVD audio, which of course means that my wife and I now also know all of the “Rugrats” songs by heart.
One of the Odyssey’s many thoughtful features that I found especially worthwhile is included in the front sunglass holder located on the headliner in the front center. When I pulled it down I noticed a mirror and a second stop position. By leaving this open the mirror provides a complete view of the rear interior of the van which kept me from having to turn around to check on the kids. I wonder if the engineers a Honda got lucky or really engineered this lagniappe.
The GPS screen is designed to double as the back-up video display. I found this a little difficult to get used to after so many years of turning to look backwards when a car is in reverse. The backup sonar operated well and the combination of video and sonar should provide for a new level of safely backing up.
All of the seating was quite comfortable, the seat arrangements were fine and the table/storage unit in between the rear captains chairs proved to be a big help on the trip by providing the kids a place to play cards and put their food and drinks. The trip computer and live fuel efficiency displays were fun to play with, although I am not sure how useful they actually are... The dashboard has traditional displays and they were comfortable to look at.
Overall : The Honda Odyssey delivered more comfort level than any other minivan I have driven.
The price as tested was over $38k so this is not an entry level vehicle. If this price is within your budget and you want a top-of-the-line minivan with a great ride, ample power, great resale vales, and loads of obvious and not so obvious features, the 2005 Honda Odyssey could be the right vehicle for you.
I believe that an important factor in Honda’s success is in their attention to the details…Wow!