The big news for the U.S.-market Honda Odyssey minivan this year was a newly optional vacuum cleaner, but over in Honda’s home market there is an all-new, fifth-generation Odyssey minivan. This Japanese-market van shares nothing with our own Honda Odyssey and is a much smaller twist on the minivan with interesting seating configurations and advanced tech features.
The Japanese-market Honda Odyssey rides on a completely new platform that is highlighted by its ultra-low floor layout that makes for a more spacious interior. Since the JDM Honda Odyssey is much smaller than the U.S. Odyssey, it comes as no surprise that the Japanese van does not share the U.S.-market van’s 3.5-liter V-6. Instead, it is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is part of Honda’s “Earth Dreams” engine family and mates with a standard CVT. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is an option.
Inside, the Japanese Honda Odyssey looks rather upscale, especially when fitted with optional special seating for the second row that look more like living room armchairs than typical car seats. These so-called “Cradle Seats” can not only recline thanks to their articulated backrests, but they have footrests as well. The third-row seat is slightly more traditional, but it is divided into three sections so that each passenger can recline the backrest to a different angle.
The JDM Honda Odyssey also gains many active safety features that aren’t available on the U.S.-market Odyssey like a multi-view camera system, an active city braking system, and a Honda Smart Parking Assist System that can steer the vehicle into a parking space. In Japan, the Honda Odyssey went on sale last week in trim levels ranging from B, G, and EX all the way up to the top-trim Odyssey Absolute.