Honda Odyssey of the 5th Kind

MyDrive | Honda Australia – Honda Space Odyssey of the 5th Kind
Written by Adam Tonkin

MyDrive | Honda Australia – The home of the Mini Van may seem like the land that time forgot although during my week with the 5th generation Honda Odyssey, I found this to be very much the opposite.

The Minivan or ‘people mover’ as it is commonly referred to, is an extremely functional way to move the family from A to B and… sometimes C, D and E all in the same day.

With the streets of Australia now seemingly littered with the memories of the humble family ‘station-wagon’, the SUV now reigns supreme as the new ‘King of the Road’.

Although for families, the Minivan can still hold its own with real form and function, not dissimilar to that of a Swiss army knife. But I alone could never utilise or highlight the versatility of the economical VTEC powered Honda Odyssey.

So on a cold, wet wintery morning in Melbourne, I went about employing the help of the Downie-Boyson family.

A typical suburban family of four wonderful children [Lachlan, Ethan, Molly and Ben], with a three day a week social calendar, two loving parents [Justin and Leeanne] and one very well oiled Saturday morning routine. Oh and Gracie, the family cat. How could I forget!

Each Saturday morning the house erupts into a flurry of showers, breakfast and getting ready for swimming, football and shopping.

To an outsider the house may seem like pure chaos but to the trained eye of a parent, it is a highly refined orchestra of requests and commands. Once ready, the troops align at the front door, ready to take their pre-assigned seats in the Odyssey.

Using the keyless-go remote, the rear doors slide open automatically. One by one the entire family files into the Odyssey with Dad…, left to pack the rear tailgate full of bikes, towels, football gear and those environmentally-friendly green shopping bags.

With seatbelts on and the push button start depressed, the Odyssey fires into life as a quiet hush falls over the cabin. [Cue the Space Odyssey 2001 theme!]

With seven seats in the VTi-L, there is even room for a guest, that seat way in back was saved for you guessed it, me!

With a full complement of four kids, three adults, two bikes and one week’s worth of shopping, the 2.4L, 129kW VTEC petrol engine, never showed a sign of being underpowered or sluggish due to the extra weight.

Performance figures don’t really enter the equation here but the Odyssey has the right numbers where it counts, fuel economy and passenger space.

Safety is also key to its success with six airbags, vehicle stability assist, tyre deflation warning system plus a host of other valuable features that have earned the Odyssey a 5 Star ANCAP Safety Rating.

With a mix of suburban and highway travel with regular stops, the Odyssey returned an impressive fuel economy figure of 8.3 litres per 100kms and reached 541 kms before needing a top up of 91 RON fuel.

At 1817kg, the Odyssey is no light weight however, with passenger weight added, handling and balance seemed to improve with the Honda feeling a lot sturdier and anchored to the road.

The 5th Generation Odyssey has come of age, growing in height, width and length. The exterior is a lot shapelier with several design cues being borrowed from the Accord and Civic models.

Smart looking 17” black and chrome rims round off the exterior package of this new age family carrier.

Honda has continued to invest heavily in their version of CVT [Continuous Variable Transmission] and it shows with refined gear changes that realistically go unnoticed.

Honda has included shift paddles on the steering wheel that add to the Odyssey’s somewhat sporty nature.

The interior is swish, functional and easy to keep clean. Leather seats are standard with extended floor mats a must tick box option that give the cabin a home like feel while being easy to maintain and clean.

Grey wood-like panelling lines the door trims and the dash helping to raise the look and feel of the cabin.

Owning a new Honda Odyssey will also defuse the age old argument of “I want to sit in the front seat” because Honda has developed the ultimate in second row seating with the Captain’s Seat.

With built in armrests, a retractable ottoman and the ability to shift back, forward and even sideways to provide extra loading space, the two Captain Seats are the ultimate in transport extravagance.

The front seats are similar to the Captain Seats in the rear which both provide comfort and support.

Honda has included their brand new Multimedia 7” touchscreen display system. Sound quality and functionality are both good with easy to use menus and functions.

However, a re-think may be required on the touch sensitive climate control panel. Even after a week of continuous use, I still found myself having to take my eyes off the road to ensure I had my finger in the correct position to change the settings.

Vehicle Details

Year, Make, Model

Australian Pricing

2014 | Honda Odyssey VTi-LA$47,620 (MSRP)

Engine

Fuel Type

2.4L VTEC 4 Cylinder

Petrol 91, 95, 98 RON

Kilowatts

129 kW @ 6200 RPM

Horsepower

173 HP

Maximum Torque

225 NM @ 4000

Fuel Consumption

8.3 Litres per 100 KMS (MyDrive Tested)

0 – 100 / 60

0 – 200 / 120

Built for comfort, not speed

Not tested

Gearbox

6 Speed CVT + Reverse Transmission

Fuel Tank Size

55 Litres

Weight

1817 (Kerb Weight)

Safety Rating

5 Star ANCAP Safety Rating

Warranty

3 Years or 100,000 KMS

Roadside Assist

Contact Honda for details

 

Vehicle Will Suit?
Regardless if you are a small, medium or big family, the Odyssey has you covered with a four seater that can be converted into a seven seater within seconds.

With ample space, comfort and practicality, the Odyssey seems like the perfect choice.

Final Thought
Honda has created the ultimate Mum and Dad ‘people mover’ with the right dimensions to make it feel big but not tank like.

With a few extra ‘mod cons’ like a DVD player for the rear passengers and an electronically operated tailgate, the Odyssey would be the ultimate in Minivan luxury.

As for the Downie-Boyson family, I left them to stand in their driveway and contemplate life without the Odyssey.

Final Scene
A truly upsetting scenario but as sad and true as that scene may seem, Leeanne and Justin may have just ordered an Odyssey of their very own. The End! [Roll the credits!]

For details on the Honda range of cars in Australia including options and specifications, click > www.honda.com.au

A massive thank you to the Downie-Boyson family for their wonderful help and patience in creating this review and TV segment for MyDrive.

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