2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite - Four Seasons Update - June 2011

July 11, 2011
2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Front Left View
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Miles to date: 7754 / Months in service: 3
As it's $45,000 price tag suggests, our Honda Odyssey Touring Elite has a full array of electronics, including driver aids, comfort and convenience features, and entertainment systems. Now that it's been three months, the logbook is beginning to fill with opinions from staff and their respective families on how well they all work.
Being a father of two, art director Matt Tierney was one of the first people to weigh in on the ultra-wide rear display. He was keen on the fact that it can display two videos side-by-side but soon found out that it's a little more complicated than he had hoped. "I expected the DVD player to work like a multi-disc CD a changer but this isn't the case. Instead, you have to plug in your own source, like another DVD player or a video game console." He still managed to enjoy the Odyssey's subwoofer and 12-speakers, though. "The surround sound is phenomenal, and it can be focused rearward by selecting 'rear theater mode,' allowing for front row conversation." New assistant web producer Ben Timmins agreed. He hadn't had time to hit Best Buy after his recent relocation so he dropped in a concert DVD and rocked out in the Odyssey's spacious rear accommodations. "The Dolby Pro Logic surround sound is both sophisticated and glorious."
It hasn't all been sweetness and light, though, as a couple staffers have experienced some frustrating technological gremlins. Like many modern cars, the Odyssey is equipped with Bluetooth which allows cell phone calls to be conducted using the vehicle's sound system so there's no need to take your hands off the wheel. Associate web producer Donny Nordlicht decided to take advantage of this for a quick roadtrip, but gave up after trying several different approaches with no luck. "Even after praying to the Bluetooth-pairing gods, the system wouldn't allow me to access the phone setup menu to pair my phone." After plugging in his phone using the USB port, he had a similar fate with the voice command system when attempting to access his music. Strangely, both of these systems functioned for him several days later without a problem. The Bluetooth gremlin returned a few weeks later for deputy editor Joe DeMatio. Unlike Nordlicht, he was able to pair his phone but the system would disconnect every time he received a call. "When I pushed the Transfer button, it would send the call to the speakers for a second, and then revert back to my phone. Very frustrating."
Despite these sporadic electronic issues, the Odyssey is likely to be one of our most requested road trip vehicles as the summer travel season heats up. Check back soon to read more.

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