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New Car/Review


Honda Odyssey EX-Nav (2001)

SEE ALSO: Honda Buyer's Guide

by Brendan Hagin and Mikele Schappell-Hagin


     Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price              $ 28,400
     Price As Tested                                    $ 29,402
     Engine Type              SOHC 24-valve 3.5 Liter V6 w/SMFI*
     Engine Size                                 212 cid/3471 cc
     Horsepower                                   210 @ 5200 RPM
     Torque (lb-ft)                               229 @ 4300 RPM
     Wheelbase/Width/Length                  118.1"/76.3"/201.2"
     Transmission                           Four-speed automatic
     Curb Weight                                     4492 pounds
     Fuel Capacity                                  20.0 gallons
     Tires  (F/R)                         215/65R16 mud-and-snow
     Brakes (F/R)                          Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS)
     Drive Train                  Front-engine/front-wheel-drive
     Vehicle Type                      Seven-passenger/five-door
     Domestic Content                                 75 percent
     Coefficient of Drag (Cd.)                               N/A


     EPA Economy, miles per gallon
        city/highway/average                            18/25/21
     0-60 MPH                                        9.5 seconds
     Maximum cargo capacity                          1250 pounds
     Maximum towing capacity                         3500 pounds
                 * Sequential multi-port fuel injection

BRENDAN - The minivan market of the 21st century offers many makes and models, but in truth, the best buy is the one with all the features a buyer wants and reliability that lasts year after year. Because of its track record, Honda fits this mold. The 2001 Odyssey EX minivan we tested this week is big enough to be considered a full-sized people-mover, but its easy to drive and not too bulky. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. It gets its broad power band with the help of four valves per cylinder that use variable valve-timing and electronic valve lift control. A four speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available, and it features a system that automatically downshifts and holds a lower gear to maintain a constant speed up a steep grade. When it's traveling downhill while braking, the system automatically downshifts to provide engine braking, giving the driver more control.

MIKELE - I don't understand much of that Brendan, but I'm sure it helps. I was impressed with the Odyssey's handling and the press kit says it's because of an advanced double wishbone rear suspension setup and Honda's advanced traction control system. It's standard on the Odyssey EX and enhances traction and stability on slippery roads by automatically limiting excessive wheelspin under acceleration. A set of 215/65R16 all-season tires add grip-ability, and overall, it drove more like a sedan than a van. The inside is huge - almost too huge because we practically had to belt in our pups due to the amount of freedom they had. A small table pops up in between the front seats and can be easily dropped down to gain access to the rear. It came in handy a few times trying to keep those darn dogs in line. Power windows are standard and they also feature Auto-Down on the driver's side which gives easy access at the fast food drive-through windows, a benefit for parents lugging kids around. It also features power rear quarter-windows for cross-flow ventilation. The driver's seat has manual height adjustment as standard equipment, but our EX had an eight-way power option that is a benefit to vertically challenged folks like me. Brendan doesn't have to worry about that because he's often mistaken for a basketball player. Not so much for his skills on the court however.

BRENDAN - Hey, my hook shot is almost there. It's my crossover that needs work. You're very perceptive of my game, Mikele, but you neglected to mention a few other things inside the Odyssey. It has power door and tailgate locks, cruise control, front and rear air conditioning, and a sunglasses holder up front, something I think all vehicles should come with. It also has an AM/FM stereo with CD, but Honda's available six- disc in-dash CD unit would be best. Our tester had six speakers and steering wheel-mounted audio controls and the music sounded great. Many luxury car lines now feature systems that help drivers find their way around, but the Odyssey EX-NAV is a moderately priced mini-van, and its satellite-linked navigation unit is an unusual feature. It contains information that can help finding gas stations, restaurants, airports, hotel and ATM machines. It can also direct the driver to specific businesses, addresses and it even features icons of Honda dealers in case you want to pick up a few accessories. A third row of seats can fold flat into the floor to maximize cargo area, and the middle seats are movable side to side.

MIKELE - Its dual powered sliding doors are a godsend for parents traveling to and from soccer or baseball practice. The Odyssey is the official vehicle for Little League baseball and it's the fifth straight year a Honda has claimed that title. Safety-wise, the Odyssey is loaded, with driver's and front passenger's airbags, three-point seat belts, rear child-proof locks, front and rear crush zones, steel door beams, and anti-lock brakes. And it's recently been awarded a five-star safety rating, the highest possible governmental certification in vehicular safety.

BRENDAN - Since the Odyssey is so practical, maybe we can get one for tailgate parties at the ball games.