AWARDS: 2003 All-Star: Minivan

January 14, 2003
2003 All-Star Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Photo by Glenn Paulina
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There's no clearer expression of Honda's ability to produce a vehicle perfectly tailored to its target audience than the Odyssey. Minivan owners don't want excitement, but they do demand reliability, safety, refinement, and practicality - qualities that Honda has engineered perfectly into its first full-size van. Compared with the Chrysler van family, the Odyssey delivers the perception of better reliability along with a more sophisticated powertrain and a folding rear seat that's so much more usable for the vast majority of operators than Chrysler's pull-out third row. It's so good, in fact, that when Mazda introduced its latest MPV, it featured - surprise - the fold-down rear bench and center seats that slide together, proving again that the sincerest form of flattery is imitation. The most amazing thing about the Odyssey? Five years after its introduction, they still fly off dealer lots, without the need for incentives. If only domestic van makers could say that.


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