2014 Honda Odyssey Review and First Drive

by under Review on 18 Feb 2014 03:09:06 AM18 Feb 2014
Price Range
$44,250 - $51,150
Fuel Consumption
8L - 8L/100km

Interior space and finish, Cabin Noise.


Sat-Nav currently for iPhone 5 only

The Honda Odyssey is one of Carshowroom.com.au’s favorite people movers and we have just sampled the all-new model range at the national media launch.


At launch the petrol only Honda Odyssey is available in two trim levels, the entry-level VTi is priced from $38,990, and the range-topping VTi-L which will set you back at least $47,620.  Honda confirmed that hybrid petrol variant might be available in the future.

Honda Odyssey Overview

The Honda Odyssey will be available with either seven-seats or eight-seats depending on trim level you choose, VTi has 8 seats and the VTi-L gets seven seats thanks to the rear Captain’s Chairs with ottoman in the second row.
The fifth generation Honda Odyssey is larger than its predecessor (hence more space) and includes one-touch power-sliding side doors (two on VTi-L and one on VTi), a reversing camera and DRLs. Honda have increased the level of technology all round and buyer can expect the latest and greatest gadgets.

Honda Odyssey Engine

Propulsion comes from an updated version of Honda’s 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine driving via a CVT automatic transmission. Honda says fuel consumption has been cut by 14 per-cent over the previous model – down to 7.6l/100kms in the VTi and 7.8/100kms in the slightly heavier VTi-L. On our drive loop out of Melbourne Carshowroom.com.au managed a reasonable 8.2l/100kms in both models.


The 2.4 litre DOHC i-VTEC engine delivers 129kW @6200 rpm and 225 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm.  The Odyssey is never going deliver powerful performance type figures but the 2.4-litre engine still delivers some fun for the driver.


Honda is well known for its green credentials and the Odyssey comes with Honda’s Eco Assist system. When activated, ECON mode alters the mapping of the drive- by-wire throttle system to help improve fuel efficiency.  Also improving fuel efficiency is the introduction of the stop/start technology.

Honda Odyssey Exterior & Styling

We won’t lie, when the first images of the all-new Honda Odyssey arrived in our inbox we thought the designers had made terrible mistake.  However once we saw the Honda Odyssey in the “metal” our fears were put to rest, the Honda Odyssey is a looker.
Honda has done a great job in redesigning the fifth generation Odyssey with the exterior design team delivering a van that is streamlined and with an almost SUV like bonnet thanked to its raked nose continues to look more car like than van.


The Odyssey continues the tradition of looking less like a van a more sedan thanks to the pronounced flared guards at the front and rear and a chrome belt line that runs the length of car.
The Honda Odyssey is no shrinking violet with the Odyssey measuring 4840mm in length, 1800mm wide and 1695mm in height, giving the Odyssey a strong road present.

Honda Odyssey Interior

The Honda Odyssey is a very pleasant and now roomier place to be.  As usual with all Honda’s there is a premium feel. This is delivered from the use of highly quality materials.
Honda has increased the interior space and almost all occupants benefit. Increasing the head clearance - raised roof height, reducing the hip height and lowering the floor, has cleverly created that extra interior space. The seating set-up is an interesting choice in the new Odyssey with eight seats available in the entry level VTi and only seven seats in the VTi-L


The introduction of new Display Audio that is a touch screen that displays audio functionality, hands-free Bluetooth functionality as well as system information, similar to the intelligent Multi- Information Display systems found in the rest of the range Honda models.
But the big news comes in the rear. That extra interior space has been used cleverly – the hip point for the Honda CR-V’s rear seat is 38mm lower which combines with the longer roofline to provide enhanced head-room and the cargo capacity jumps by 147-litres to 1648-litres (rear seat folded). 
And folding the 60/40 split-fold rear seat is easy thanks to a clever one-tug strap which sees the seat back, base and headrests tumble-fold to provide a large, flat load area which can accommodate a few sets of golf clubs or mountain bikes.

Honda Odyssey On the Road

Honda made the choice the to let us drive the outgoing Odyssey to the technical presentation and just as we remembered the 4th generation Odyssey is a standout.


Honda has continued that standout out ride and handling in to the fifth generation model, however saying that the extra size and weight causes the latest model to crash over harsh roads.
Technology has been stepped up big time on the new model with Blind Spot Monitoring, Park Assist with auto parking, 360 degree camera just to name a few.  The usual suspects in safety are all there as well, with Honda expecting a 5-star ANCAP rating. 
For a car that is so large the turning circle is remarkable at only 5.4 meters required.

Honda Odyssey Challenges

If Honda could deliver a diesel version of the Honda Odyssey then there would be no stopping the sales success. Buyers looking for an option other than petrol will need to pin their hopes on the hybrid variant getting of the ground.


The sat-nav integration via a free app is a great idea, having the only ready for iPhone 5 users just is plain silly.  Maybe Honda could spring for free IPhone 5 for all buyers?

Honda Odyssey Competitors

Interestingly Honda are aiming the Odyssey at buyers who are looking in the SUV market.  Honda hope to they can steal sales away from their Japanese rivals, earmarking the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger as potential rivals.
If you aren’t interested in a SUV and want to buy a people mover we suggest that you take a look at:


The excellent Chrysler Voyager $57,500 2.8 LX CRD or $77,500 for the range topper Limited.
The South Koreans both offer standout value in the people mover segment.  Th Hyundai iMax 2.4 petrol starts from $38,290 and the 2.5 CRDi (diesel) starts from $40,990.
The Kia Carnival is the best selling MPV in the country and it’s due for an overhaul later this year.  In the meantime you can get the entry-level 3.5-litre petrol for $38,990 with three other trim levels taking the price up to $52,290.  There are also diesel options available.

Honda Odyssey Verdict

The Honda team set out deliver a world class people mover that handled like a sedan and had the practically of a SUV.   The team have done remarkable job in making a van that seats 7 or 8 occupants in comfort and style.
Whilst the Odyssey might not handle like a high performance sport sedan, it does handle better than any other people mover we have driven. 

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