In its first month, the Honda Odyssey has already managed to accumulate more than 3000 miles. In fact, within a week of arriving, the Odyssey was off for a trip down to Alabama with an Automobile Magazine alumnus. "The V-6 is super smooth," he reported, "and we've averaged about 25 mpg." This may not seem like an impressive number until you consider that our fully equipped Odyssey weighs about 4500 pounds before adding people and gear. The only negative feedback from the trip south was regarding the Honda's vulnerability to cross winds, perhaps not too surprising given the van's large, flat sides.
But those same tall sides and limo-like length make for an abundance of room inside, and copy editor Rusty Blackwell was the first to test the Odyssey's comfort and versatility for people hauling. Anticipating a large group of passengers, he took the Honda Odyssey to a family function and found a butt for nearly every seat. "Two people were very comfortable in the third row, which was simple to access, and two more were able to sit in the middle row, even with a baby seat installed behind the driver. Those in the front seats obviously had no complaints, either, and there was still plenty of room in the deep, wide cargo area for a stroller and other random items."
Getting people and stuff in and out of the Odyssey proved to be a bit frustrating for the Blackwell clan, though. "For nearly $45 grand, I'd expect to have smart-key access so I could always leave the key in my pocket, rather than fishing it out to lock and unlock the doors. When you're on the go with kids, it's would be helpful to be able to just grab the driver's door handle and have it unlock." Blackwell was also surprised that the rear hatch door doesn't power open when the handle is pulled but acknowledged that the hydraulic approach is likely preferable to a slower opening motor-driven hatch. Art director Matt Tierney concurred but added that the power close button, while useful, would be more convenient if it were mounted low on the inside of the cargo area instead of up high on the hatch door where shorter people have to stretch to reach it.
These quibbles aside, with the summer road trip season right around the corner, the Odyssey will undoubtedly be in high demand. Check back each month for updates to see where it's off to next.