A perennial best seller in the minivan segment, the Honda Odyssey enters the 2015 model year with few changes following the 2014 launch of the latest generation.
The awards are impressive:
• Best Minivan for Parents from Parents Magazine and Edmunds.com
• Best Value award from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
• Good Housekeeping VIP Award
• Greener Choices of 2014 highest ranked minivan from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; to list but a few.
With a base price starting at $28,975, the 2015 Odyssey is available in five trim levels — LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite.
All Odyssey models are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine generating 248 horsepower and 250 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to six-speed automatic transmission and requiring regular unleaded gasoline, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway. It is also rated as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.
The front-wheel drive, eight-passenger (seven passenger seating in the LX trim level) can also tow up to 3,500 pounds.
One of the innovative features is the HondaVac system (standard on the Odyssey Touring Elite) that is integrated in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. It includes an extendable hose that can reach every interior corner of the vehicle and can be operated up to eight minutes when the vehicle’s ignition is in accessory mode — or continuously if the engine is running.
Standard safety features include vehicle stability assist with traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, front active head restraints, LATCH child safety seat anchors and tethers in second and third row seats, as well as a rearview camera system.
EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite Odyssey models are also equipped with forward collision warning, and lane departure warning systems.
Without question, the Odyssey is very nicely equipped, especially as you move up the trim level ladder.
All models except the LX include a keyless entry system with push button start, allowing the driver to approach the vehicle, open the door and start the engine without touching a key. All you have to do is have the key fob in your pocket or purse. And when you leave the vehicle, all you have to do is touch the handle to lock all of the doors.
And yes, the Odyssey is available with all the creature comforts busy families need, such as an outstanding audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, a fantastic rear seat entertainment system and power sliding rear doors.
One of the things I appreciated is the Odyssey’s 38.4 cubic feet of cargo area behind the third-row seat. With the second and third row seats not in use, it provides 148.5 cubic feet of cargo space, providing a lot of versatility.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
The Nuts and Bolts
2015 Honda Odyssey
7- or 8-seat minivan
LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, Touring Elite
3.5L V6 (249 hp/250 T)
EPA: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
FUEL: Regular unleaded
Vehicle stability assist with traction control
LENGTH: 202.96 inches
WHEELBASE: 118.1 in.
WIDTH: 79.2 inches
HEIGHT: 68.4 inches
WEIGHT: 4396-4613 lbs.
FUEL TANK: 21 gallons
TIRES: 17-, or 18-inch
CARGO: 38.4/93.1/148.5 cubic feet (behind 3rd/2nd/1st row).
TOWING: 3,500 lbs.