The Honda Odyssey might be the best minivan on the market. It's one of the most enjoyable to drive and lives up to Honda's reputation for refinement, convenience, and great fit and finish. Its flexible seating system can accommodate up to eight passengers and it has plenty of room. In short, it's a good choice for families.
Four trim levels make it affordable to a wide group of buyers: The base LX starts just below $27,000 and includes most of the features that make family travel easier. The line-topping Touring has as many bells and whistles as a good luxury sedan and offers Acura handling and Acura pricing.
Yet all Odyssey models deliver car-like ride and handling and a comprehensive set of safety features, including electronic stability control and side curtain airbags for head protection.
Honda Odyssey is powered by a 244-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it's a good powertrain. Even on base LX and one-step-up EX models it features Honda's efficiency-enhancing Variable valve Timing with Electronic lift Control (VTEC). EX-L and Touring upgrade to intelligent i-VTEC with Variable Cylinder Management; VCM shuts down two or three cylinders to conserver fuel when conditions allow it.
High-tech features you can see and touch include a CD player that can play MP3 or WMA files, an auxiliary audio input jack, and an available Bluetooth cell phone link and a rearview camera display integrated into the inside mirror.
The current-generation Odyssey is now in its sixth year of production, and in its third season following a 2008 freshening that brought a new look up front and some new technology inside, including refinements to the VCM system described above. Changes have been minimal since then. For 2009, Honda added some more content at the EX-L level. For 2010, the DVD entertainment system is now available on the EX as well as the EX-L and Touring. It includes a 9-inch screen an a 115-volt AC power outlet. The Odyssey has won numerous awards and critical acclaim.