New Car Reviews

2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite – Four Seasons Update – August 2011

Miles to date: 15,627 / Months in service: 5

Long-Term 2011 Honda Odyssey Update: Fall 2011 Array Miles to date: 15,627

Early in the month, our Four Seasons Honda Odyssey was the chariot of choice for road test editor Chris Nelson and intern Greg Fink’s rock-and-roll road trip to Missouri for the two-day Kanrocksas music festival in Kansas City. They chose the Odyssey for their odyssey because of its refined highway manners, comfortable seats, and vast accommodations but knew that its perception in popular culture as a mommy-mobile could hurt their chances of winning friends and influencing people in the under-25 crowd that would dominate the festival. Lesser men may have been stumped, but Nelson and Fink knew what had to be done.
Their answer to the question, “how do you make a minivan hip?” Why, remove the second-row seats and cover the floor from nose to tail in hot pink shag carpeting, then add a bean bag chair, a fuzzy white pillow, and a lava lamp to set the mood. Once at the event, it seemed that the transformation was a success — or maybe it was Nelson and Fink’s generous supply of beer and food — as the Odyssey’s groovy interior makeover attracted festival goers like moths to flame. Even the Kanrocksas festival’s art director was impressed, calling it “a small but significant piece of the puzzle that created an aura integral to the communal aspect of the event.” In other words, he was digging the Honda’s groovy vibe. The truth is, underneath all that shag and fur, the Odyssey was made to party and it didn’t take long for the gathering crowd to appreciate its roomy interior and wide-opening rear and hatch doors. They were especially fond of the small cubby just inside the hatch door. Not only did it keep the clutter to a minimum, it is perfectly located for easy access to food and drinks.

But the fun had to end, so after two days, Nelson and Fink packed up and headed back to Michigan. Unfortunately, after 1500 miles of potholes and rough Midwest pavement, a small chip in the Odyssey’s windshield had spread, stretching across almost the entire width of the glass. It was replaced for $475 at a local automotive glass repair shop.
A few days later, Web producer Evan McCausland nabbed the Odyssey’s keys to transport his latest large purchase. He initially waffled between using our Four Seasons Infiniti QX56 and the Odyssey but settled on the Honda and was happy he did. “According to the poor employee tasked with wheeling the box out to the curb, I had “the absolute perfect vehicle for bringing home a flat-screen TV.” I could see why — not only was the load floor flat and low with the third-row seats folded, but I’d also removed the center section of the second-row seats, allowing the TV to stand almost upright, supported by one of the remaining bucket seats.”
Check back next month for the latest on our Four Seasons Honda Odyssey.


  • Base price (with dest.) $44,030
  • As tested $44,613
  • Body style 5-door minivan
  • Accommodation 8 passenger
  • Construction Unibody construction


  • Engine 24-valve SOHC V-6
  • Displacement 3.5 liters (212 cu in)
  • Power 248 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Torque 250 lb-ft @ 4800
  • Transmission type 6-speed automatic
  • Drive Front-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 19/28/22 (city/hwy/combined)


  • Steering Hydraulically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 3.5
  • Turning circle 36.7 ft
  • Suspension, front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes f/r Vented disc brakes; ABS
  • Wheels 18-inch aluminum alloy
  • Tires Michelin Primacy MXv4 all-season
  • Tire size 235/60TR18


  • Headroom f/m/r 38.3/38.8/38.0 in
  • Legroom f/m/r 40.9/40.9/42.4 in
  • Shoulder room f/m/r 64.4/63.5/60.9 in
  • Wheelbase 118.1 in
  • Track f/r 68.1/68.2 in
  • L x W x H 202.9 x 68.4 x 79.2 in
  • Passenger capacity 170.1 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity 38.4/93.1/148.5 cu ft (behind third/middle/first row)
  • Weight 4560 lb
  • Weight dist. f/r 56/44%
  • Fuel capacity 21.0 gal
  • Est. fuel range 460 miles
  • Fuel grade 87 octane (regular unleaded)


  • standard equipment

    • 3.5L V-6 engine
    • 6-speed automatic transmission
    • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)
    • Traction control system (TCS)
    • Electronic brake force distribution (EBD)
    • 4-wheel Antilock Braking (ABS)
    • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
    • Blind-spot Information System (BSI)
    • Front and rear parking sensors
    • 650-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with 12-speakers and subwoofer
    • MP3/Auxiliary jack
    • USB audio interface
    • MP3 CD-ROM playback capability
    • Navigation with voice recognition and multi-view rear camera
    • 16.2″ DVD rear entertainment system w/ HDMI and wireless headsets
    • SiriudXM Satellite radio
    • Bluetooth
    • Hard disk drive
    • 115-volt power outlet
    • 12-volt power outlets
    • Multi-function steering wheel
    • Tilt/telescope steering column
    • Tri-zone automatic climate control
    • 10-way power driver’s seat with memory
    • 4-way power passenger seat
    • Heated front seats
    • 60/40 split 3rd-row seat that folds into floor
    • Multi-function 2nd-row center seat
    • Power windows, locks
    • Second- and third-row sunshades
    • Exterior temperature gauge
    • Power moonroof, with tilt
    • 18-inch allow wheels
    • Dual power sliding doors
    • Power tailgate
    • Auto-leveling HID headlights
    • Heated power-door mirrors


  • Roof rails $210
  • Cross bars $373