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2005-2010 Honda Odyssey
USED CAR REVIEW
Odyssey has plenty of space and power
Honda's reputation for building durable vehicles is reason enough to consider the Odyssey.
Honda entered the fast-growing minivan segment in late 1994 with the debut of the Odyssey. The Accord-based seven-passenger family hauler featured four swing-out doors instead of the traditional sliding openings.
A larger and more traditional-looking Odyssey that arrived for the 1999 model year was built on its own platform and came with a 210-horsepower V6 (raised to 240 horses the following year).
A third-generation Odyssey that was introduced for the 2005 model year featured a 244-horsepower 3.5-litre V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Following five successful years at or near the top of the minivan pecking order, an all-new Odyssey arrived for the 2011 model year.
THE GOOD STUFF
Honda successfully turned its seven-passenger minivan into a nimble driver that felt more car-like behind the wheel than its competitors. Both the second- and third-row seats could be folded flat to create a larger load area. Also, the third-row bench could be completely folded underneath the floor.
The standard 3.5-litre V6 was a smooth operator and the power it generated was more than welcome on the highway or when hauling/towing heavy loads. Up-level models featured Variable Cylinder Deactivation that seamlessly shut down three of the engine's six cylinders at steady highway speeds for increased fuel economy.
The third-generation Odyssey did so much and did it so well that there was very little left to criticize. There was some noticeable body lean on twisty roads, but corner carving is not really part of any minivan program.
The dashboard location of the shift lever got in the way of accessing the control panel switchgear. Also awkward was access to the standard third-row bench seat due to the fact that the sliding second-row seats didn't slide quite far enough. Finally, the location of the spare tire under the floor behind the driver's seat made it awkward to access.
Honda's reputation for building durable vehicles is reason enough to consider the Odyssey. Unlike some competing brands, all Odysseys are equipped with the same powertrain and begin with a healthy level of standard gear, which makes comparison shopping between candidates much easier.
Odyssey has plenty of space and power to handle most carrying needs and should last as long as you're willing to maintain it.
Engine: 3.5-litre SOHC V6 (244 hp)
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Body: Four-door minivan.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Odysseys were more costly compared to their domestic rivals and resale values will reflect this fact.
*The low end of a given price range represents higher-mileage, low-option vehicles. In all cases, the higher prices are for the extensively equipped Touring versions. Prices sourced as of March 2011.
©CarTest.ca. Posted June 14, 2011. Source: Wheelbase Communications.