As Honda's first minivan, the Odyssey marked an important milestone for the Japanese automaker. With front-wheel drive and a 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Odyssey generally exceeds drivers' expectations with its nimbleness, power, and wide range of alluring features. With the 60/40-split backseat tucked down into the well below and the second row of seats removed, the Odyssey boasts a cargo capacity of 148 cubic feet, making it double easily as something of a moving van. With several key awards under its belt, this minivan has done resoundingly well through the years.
The overall design and execution of the Honda Odyssey took place in Japan, where Honda is headquartered. The minivan has most recently been manufactured out of Lincoln, Alabama. When equipped with the right towing package, it can haul 3,500 pounds. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Upper trims, with 6-speed automatic transmissions, boast fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the freeway, and 22 mpg combined; 5-speed automatics get 18/27/21.
There is a long and illustrious history behind the evolution of the Odyssey. When it premiered in 1995, it only had two available trim levels. As Honda's first foray into the world of minivans, it was conservatively designed. In 1999, the second generation debuted; it was larger, had sliding rear doors, and offered optional power sliding doors. In 2000, it became the first minivan to offer a satellite-linked navigation system. The third generation rolled around in 2005; it was wider and longer than its predecessors. The fourth and latest generation of the Odyssey, which premiered at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, is sleeker and more stylish than ever.
The latest Odyssey features a shiny new exterior, but most of the excitement lies inside it. The center row of seats slides forward, making it easier to keep kids under control. The third row of seats boasts a lot more legroom than in the past. Nifty extras like a built-in trash bag holder make the latest Odyssey a consummate family minivan. Those who insist on the best can opt for the top-notch Touring Elite, which includes a rear-seat entertainment system with a 16 HD widescreen monitor.
Since it has always been on the leading edge of innovation, the Honda Odyssey has earned many key awards through the years. It has been named a "Top Pick" by Consumer Reports on many occasions; Car and Driver has featured the Odyssey on its "Five Best Trucks" list several times, too. In 2011, Cars.com named it the "Family Car of the Year". It also snapped up the 2011 Residual Value Award for "Best Multi-Purpose Vehicle" from ALG, a fact that highlights its exceptional resale value.
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