2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite

Nathan Leach-Proffer

Feels great from behind the wheel. The steering is reasonably direct, if a little dead on-center. Not a ton of feel, but, really, not bad. Rides comfortably. Plenty of power from the V-6. I have no quibbles with the powertrain. The Odyssey has the traditional Honda strength of a relatively low cowl and good sightlines through the front and side windows. It helps to have the triangle windows in the A-pillars. However, it is impossible to see the front corners of the vehicle from the driver's seat. The rearview camera works well and has a good image. The instrument panel is well laid out and easy to decipher. I like the center stack controls; there are three different readouts: 1) the big nav screen, on top in its own binnacle; 2) a small readout with climate control info; and 3) another readout with radio information. I think actually this is better than trying to combine all these functions in one place.

I'm still not sure about the exterior styling. As for the sliding door track at the rear of the vehicle: minivan designers have gone to great lengths for years to try and disguise this, as it's unattractive yet of course essential for the door function; but here it seems to have been made extra prominent. I saw a last-generation Odyssey in the grocery store parking lot last night, and the side profile is arguably better looking, with a simpler greenhouse, without the big kick-up in the rear window, and less emphasis on the door track.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

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