The model known to Europeans as the shuttle in the Japanese market is called the Odyssey. The first generation appeared in 1994. Then, for the Odyssey model, the production lines of the Honda Accord sedan were used temporarily, so the car received an unusual body height that differs from both the sedan and the truck. Equipped with a power unit of 150 units, as well as a “six” V-shaped 3.0-liter in 210 hp. Produced with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. At that time, the car received rave reviews and criticism, but immediately created a sensation and created a minivan market in Japan. In 1998, the American Odyssey appears. It is noticeably larger than its Japanese namesake, both in length and width. The wheelbase has grown from 2830 to 3000. Since the autumn of 1999, this model appeared in Japan, but already under the name of Lagreat. The second generation that followed in 2000 appeared with a design inherited from the first generation, according to the rule: “In the machine that was in demand, the concept should remain.” The peculiarity of the second generation was to significantly increase body stiffness and improve handling.

Photo Honda Odyssey

The passive safety system was complemented with air bags for the driver and passenger, not only frontal but also lateral. The technical design has also improved thanks to an improved suspension, which has become more energy-intensive. A lot of small improvements and innovations have appeared inside, including a DVD player supplied as standard. However, with the emergence of worthy competitors, the popularity of Odyssey has weakened noticeably. Therefore, in 2003, Honda responded with the development of the third generation. This generation reached the North American market almost a year later. Honda engineers have designed a low floor platform, installed an ultra-thin gas tank and a suspension of a new design. In this way, they not only reduced the height of the car snow cover(now it has become 1,550 mm), completely eliminating the space left under the floor, but also provided the interior space that is superior to the second generation Odyssey.

Photo Honda Odyssey

The following types of engines are proposed for the third generation: two 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engines (with a double overhead camshaft and a camshaft distribution system). One is the usual 160 hp, along with a continuously variable transmission (7-speed mode), and the other is a version of 200 hp sports type Absolute, combined with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 240-horsepower engine also appeared. In the list of options, in addition to the usual equipment, there is a unique equipment such as the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), which changes the direction of the beam of light according to the steering wheel; highway speed control system (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control, IHCC), which detects the distance to the vehicle in the front and maintains the desired distance; as well as the crash brakes, the previous detection of the possibility of a collision by using the functions of the IHCC. The Absolute version also offers genuine Recaro seats with side support as an option. The height of the floor is almost the same as a regular sedan.

Photo Honda Odyssey

The landing position is not too low, so the point of view is in height between the sedans and other minivans, or a little higher. In addition, depending on the class, a mechanical rear door, open and closed with a button on the key, a folding system of the third row, folding seats under the floor, etc. they are installed as standard or as an option. In 2004, a new generation of the Odyssey minivan was launched. This generation is distinguished by its new style, high performance and refinement, as well as being a leader in its class of performance in fuel efficiency, power, functionality and passenger capacity. The car is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 255 hp. (15 more forces than the previous version), five-speed automatic transmission and cylinder deactivation system. Odyssey has eight seats, leg room in the third row has increased by three inches. The entire third row is retracted towards the floor in a single movement, the center seat in the second row can be folded or completely removed. Engineers have strengthened the body’s support structure, which increased the reliability of the car in a frontal collision.

Photo Honda Odyssey

All Odyssey models are equipped with stabilizers and side airbags for the three rows of seats and power windows. In 2005, an updated version of the Odyssey. The new Odyssey is not a cardinal “remake” of the previous model, but a modified version. Collect this model will be exclusively for the North American market at the Honda plant in the city of Alabama. The new interior of the cabin in the Absolute configuration is made in blue. Modification Type M is equipped with special retractable seats to facilitate boarding in the car, a key with a smart card and a position adjustment system for the electrical conductor, which can take 8 different positions. In a segment composed of only four models, it might seem very easy to succeed, but it is not. The real predators of the minivans are not the same minivans, but the SUVs, which with their increasing popularity have put the mamavans in danger of extinction. The Honda Odyssey , however, remains convinced that there is a market for it and struggles against the current SUV to convince us that it is a better family vehicle. The family concept of minivans has been refined over the decades and the arrival of more and more technology. This new generation of Honda Odyssey takes advantage of the latest developments of the brand and also launches exclusive technologies and smart solutions to become a kind of sanctuary where each member of the family finds its place. Is it, then, the ultimate family vehicle? We have put it to the test.

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As of today we have not put our hands on a more practical vehicle . There are lots of holes to store objects. And for objects we do not limit ourselves to coins, tickets, wallets or telephones. In the storage space of the center console we keep a sweatshirt, a handbag and a camera. And just as we manage to accommodate so many objects, we can also take more than one family. In the Honda Odyssey there is a real place for eight passengers, those in the back row somewhat limited along , but still with enough space to accommodate and support a long trip. The big advantage is that, being a minivan, Odyssey does not condition the space of the trunk: there is a great volume of cargo even with the third row of seats in place. On the same line of versatility also the Magic Seat system , which allows you to configure the seats in six different ways according to our needs and leave the flat floor in case it is necessary to optimize the maximum load space.

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There is equipment for the whole family, but … why not bet on driving assists?

First thing’s first. In terms of quality, the Honda Odyssey finishes left us with a very good taste . Some time ago the overall quality of a minivan was lower than that of a medium sedan of the same brand. Today Odyssey gets on top of Accord – although the new generation is coming and will have to be seen. The selection of materials and colors seems very accurate: there are plastics with gummy touch and even imitation leather with seams on the board, all very well achieved. The assemblies are good and, like all Honda, they feel durable.

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The equipment is vast. Vastísimo, in fact. Among the highlights are a couple of systems that are sure to win the Mommy Choice Awards: Cabin Watch and Cabin Talk . Through them we can make our voice sound through the car’s wireless headphones and headphones, as well as monitor what happens in the back seats through an infrared camera. No more turning around to scold children. The rest also meets everyday needs and occasional travel : DVD player and Bluray with a 10.2-inch folding screen for the second row with a pair of wireless headphones, an app that tells kids how long it takes to get there, electric front seats electrical adjustment with memories, 115 V socket, infotainment compatible with Android Auto and CarPlay, sunroof, LED headlights and hands-free tailgate opening, among others.

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In any case, we would have thought of including some driving assistance . For what it costs and what it measures, the Honda Odyssey would do no harm a lane maintenance assistant and 360 vision camera or, thinking of long trips, an adaptive cruise control. For now it only has the Honda LaneWatch system , which eliminates the blind spot with a camera that displays its image on the main screen and replaces, in a way, the blind spot monitoring. The excessive orientation to comfort also has an effect on a very smooth handling, but not very direct. The steering is of a totally artificial touch and at times could qualify of little precision, while the brakes are of long distance and feeling of little firmness. Anyway, the protective assistance is ready to avoid any unforeseen and before it can even begin to lose trajectory in emergency maneuvers, the Honda Odyssey stays where we want.

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The engine fully meets all the requirements of a family vehicle. There is enough energy even for fast incorporations and good rebases. We like the amount of torque available from low revs. In total, this six-cylinder block develops 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque . It goes with a 10-speed automatic transmission with changes to the steering wheel – it is operated from the dashboard because there is no lever – which makes the changes smooth and, as far as possible, it looks for fuel savings, although with a V6 and more than two tons to drag, consumption is not your strong point. We averaged 6.5 km / l and the tank is filled with around 1,200 pesos.

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