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Ulysses Would Have Wanted One of These
2005 Honda Odyssey 5DR EX-L
By Alain Gayot


In short: A fantastic utilitarian new-age minivan

There were vans, microbuses and other types of multi-passenger vehicles. Then Matra of France came up with the minivan concept, so the Renault Espace vehicle was born and became an instant success on the marketplace. That same concept infiltrated the U.S. market via the AMC division picked up by Chrysler, and even people far from being a motorhead have heard of the Dodge Caravan or the Chrysler Voyager/Town & Country. These siblings became the ones to beat, and now every manufacturer features a version or more of a minivan.


Honda has picked up the ball in the minivan game and is offering the Odyssey, which was a fine vehicle in previous generations but nowhere near what it has become. We loved our fully loaded tester, which capped at $34,610 with a base price of $25,000. It drives effortlessly in the city and is completely comfortable on the highway. We managed to get close to 500 miles on 17.5 gallons with a good load out of a 255 horsepower V6! Our hats to the engineers and their Variable Cylinder Management system that shuts unused cylinders. We got going to 90 MPH without notice nor lack of power. The car is certified ULEV2 and will go to 100,000 miles before it needs a tune up.

Electronics abound: a cool navigation system with voice recognition, a rearview camera for easy parking, a busy entertainment package with XM satellite radio, a rear DVD system with wireless surround-sound headphones, 6 Disc in-dash CD audio system and Homelink. The vehicle even boasts a storage space with a Lazy Susan within the floor area to make access to your accoutrements easier. All of a sudden, the lives of parents and children have improved tremendously.

The cabin is spacious, pleasant and comfortable. Converting the third row of seats to cargo is instant and easy. Side doors are remote-controlled, electronic and continue to operate should you switch from park. Plus there are more cup holders than drinks you could think of. And the automatic climate control zone will keep everyone at the right temperature.

Warranty/Service: CARB-Certified ULEV2, 100K+ miles, no scheduled tune-ups (under normal conditions).


QUICK SHEET
Price as tested: $34,610

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 3.5-L SOHC 24-Valve i-VTEC V6 Engine with Variable Cylinder Management; 255 hp

Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic with Grade Logic Control

Safety: Driver's and Front Passenger's Dual-Stage Airbags and Side Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor, Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System

Top Speed: n/a

Acceleration: n/a

Braking: 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Electronic Brake Distribution

Fuel Economy: 20 city,
28 highway


Handling: Front MacPherson Strut Suspension, Rear Double-Wishbone Suspension, Variable-Assist Rack-and-Pinion Power Steering

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 04/02/08 HC)


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