The 2011 Honda Odyssey gets an all-new body that tries mightily to inject some spice into the minivan formula. Like every good minivan ought to be, the 2011 Odyssey is still essentially a big box on wheels. But Honda has created a new shell designed to appeal to people who recognize the utility advantages of a minivan but reject the minivan image. Honda calls these people “hesitaters” and hopes the 2011 Odyssey’s sleek new look makes minivan ownership palatable to them. The windshield pillars are raked rearward to form an aero nose, the wheel arches flair to create a wide stance, and the rear roofline tapers in violation of minivan convention. Honda designers say minivans look most generic when viewed from the side. To set the 2011 Odyssey apart, they kink the line that separates its lower body from the glass “greenhouse.” Occurring just behind the sliding side doors, the kink creates what its designers call a “lightning bolt beltline.” More than just a visual flourish, they say the kink also enlarges the rear side glass and improves outward visibility for passengers in Odyssey’s third-row seat. Honda also says there’s more room inside for third-row passengers, despite the tapered roofline. The 2011 Odyssey’s overall exterior dimensions change little: it gains about an inch in overall length and 1.4 inches in overall width, and loses 1.6 inches of height. Wheelbase remains at 118.1 inches. Wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles and key to how much room a vehicle can devote to passenger space. Odyssey’s wheelbase is actually a bit shorter than that of its key competitors, the Sienna, and the Dodge Grand Caravan and its corporate cousin, the Chrysler Town & Country. Full details on trim levels were not released in time for this review, but Honda confirms the 2011 Odyssey lineup will again begin with a base LX model. Returning higher up the line will be the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring, with the 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite designated the new flagship model.
The 2011 Odyssey’s notable improvement over the 2010 Odyssey’s fuel-economy ratings demonstrates the value of Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management. It also could be evidence of several additional fuel-saving measures Honda will apply to the 2011 Odyssey, including an advance to an automatic transmission with six speeds instead of five.
If you are in need of a new or preowned autombile now, call us immediately for Model Year-end Closeout specials and / or special interest rates for qualified buyers.