Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2014 Honda Odyssey people-mover.
The fifth generation Honda Odyssey is here and offers updated exterior styling and a fresh interior look and feel.
There are two options – VTi and VTi-L. Both variants have the same 2.4 litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine that produces 129kW and 225Nm and a seven-speed CVT automatic transmission is standard.
On the outside, the Odyssey looks pretty much the same, with minor styling differences at the front and rear, though overall the latest Odyssey is higher and wider than the old model with an extended wheelbase too.
There are more standard features, including a four-way power front passenger seat, 8-inch colour display and an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth.
Newly available features in the 2014 Honda Odyssey include key-less ignition/entry, forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems. One feature takes a little getting used to though – the rear left auto sliding doors is a little on the touchy side and tends to slide shut at just a light touch.
A handy feature of the electric door is that it can be opened and closed at the push of a button from the driver’s seat.
When it comes to flexibility, you’ll appreciate the multi-configurable second-row seat: You can leave the seat as is and fit up to three child seats side by side, or remove sections to create an aisle down the centre or the side.
Right behind is a third-row seat that you can fold down flat with little fuss.
The entry-level VTi is well-equipped and comes with 17-inch (steel) wheels, cruise control, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel adjustment, eight-way power driver seat and two-zone air-conditioning.
Step up to the VTi-L and you’ll get 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, power-sliding side door, heated outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control and power lumbar support for the driver.
On the safety front the new Honda Odyssey features a reversing camera as standard and the model has just been awarded a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Out on the road acceleration is brisk enough to deliver confident highway passing and merging and the CVT executes quick, smooth shifts.
Other appealing attributes include a suspension that delivers both a comfortable ride and relatively crisp handling, as well as steering that is the quickest and most responsive in this segment.
Around town or cruising on the open road the Odyssey is remarkably quiet, with minimal wind noise or road noise. Honda’s use of active noise-cancelling technology contributes to the peaceful cabin by electronically counteracting and thus eliminating much of the drone that passengers would otherwise hear.
Expect to use around 10.0 litres per 100km in the city, the Odyssey has a claimed combined consumption rate of 7.6L/100kms.
All up the new Honda Odyssey is an impressive option for a family vehicle and the many added features offer real value for money.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.4 litre petrol producing 129 kW and 225Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed CVT automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: VTi $38,990, VTi-L $47,620