12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite - Four Seasons Introduction

April 13, 2011
Honda
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Due to the ever-growing popularity of crossovers and sport-utility vehicles in America -- there are about 90 currently for sale in the U.S. -- many automakers have chosen to drop minivans from their lineups, leaving only seven manufacturers to duke it out in the small but competitive segment. It's even more competitive now, since Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota each introduced all-new or significantly revised minivans for 2011. After driving the all-new Odyssey last fall, we decided that it was an obvious choice to receive one of our ten coveted 2011 All-Star awards. The true test of a vehicle's fitness, though, is putting it through the rigors of daily life, and so we welcome a Black Cherry 2011 Honda Odyssey into our Four Seasons test fleet to see how it fares in a year of heavy use and tough scrutiny by our staff.
2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Front Three Quarters View
The Odyssey's sole engine choice is a carryover 3.5-liter V-6 that was mildly revised for 2011, increasing output to 248 hp. Despite the bump in power, standard cylinder deactivation combined with a new six-speed automatic transmission helps the Odyssey achieve a best-in-class, 19/28 city/highway fuel economy rating. We wanted to test this impressive rating in the real world, so the six-speed was a must on our Odyssey. This narrowed our choices down to the highest two trims. Since the top-spec minivan also added a few must-have features, we decided on the Touring Elite with the base price of $44,030.
2011 Honda Odyssey Ex L Rear Three Quarters View
Over forty-grand for a minivan could be tough to justify, but the Touring Elite comes standard with nearly every convenience and infotainment option available on the Odyssey. Topping the list of entertainment features is a 650-watt audio system that includes twelve speakers and surround sound and a rear-seat, 16.2-inch widescreen monitor that is capable of displaying video from two different sources side-by-side. The system also includes an HDMI input allowing cameras and even some gaming consoles to be connected. But rear passengers don't get all the goodies; those relegated to the front seat have an extensive list of electronics at their fingertips. An 8-inch multimedia screen displays turn-by-turn navigation, rear-view camera images, and, when linked to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, caller information. The system can be operated in three ways: using a dial located on the central dash, steering wheel mounted controls, or through voice commands.
The system also includes a 15GB hard drive where up to 3500 songs can be stored and controlled via voice commands or through the central control dial. And should all that voice-commanding give driver or passenger a dry throat, a cool beverage is always within reach from the refrigerator located at the bottom of the center instrument panel. The center console between the front seats is also fully configurable or completely removable.
In fact, with seats that slide, flip, fold, or completely disappear, the entire interior of the Odyssey is infinitely configurable to accommodate up to eight passengers-including the ability to hold three child seats in the second-row, a class-first-or up to 148.5 cubic feet of cargo. And in traditional Honda style, no matter where those passengers decide to sit, there is a three-point seatbelt or a LATCH system (five total in the rear two rows), as well as a full array of front, side, and side curtain airbags to keep them safe. We look forward to a year stuffing the Odyssey with kids, dogs, and stuff and hitting the road to test its proficiency as a utilitarian and family-friendly vehicle. Won't you join us?
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

Long-Term 2011 Honda Odyssey Reviews to Date:

Introduction
2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite - Four Seasons Introduction
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