The Honda Odyssey mightn’t be all that sexy, but it has affluence activity for it if you charge to move seven bodies in comfort.
Parents with a affection for bustling out accouchement are baby for best in the Australian car market.
There are mid-sized crossovers with part-time pews in the boot, ute-based off-roaders with seven seats, and purpose-built SUVs like the Holden Acadia aggressive for a allotment of a pie already bedeviled by cars like the Toyota Tarago (god blow its soul) and the Honda Odyssey.
Life’s been boxlike for the Odyssey lately. Along with the crossover squad, the long-running nameplate is aggressive the Kia Carnival for a allotment of the bodies mover market.
And the Carnival is giving it a kicking, owning a whopping 49.7 per cent of the market. The (slightly smaller) Honda has a (much) abate 21.0 per cent share. Which is a abashment because the Odyssey isn’t perfect, but it’s a acceptable thing.
For starters, the best big-ticket 2019 Honda Odyssey VTi-L sneaks in below $50,000 ($47,590 afore on-road costs) but wants for nothing. It’s a seven-seater with two costly ‘captain’s chairs’ in the additional row instead of a three-seat bench, which cuts your arch calculation by one but absolutely cranks up the luxury.
The seats accelerate to the actual rear of the berth if the third row is bankrupt flat, absolution up abundant legroom to baby for actively gangling passengers. Forget BMW and Mercedes limousines – if you’re in the business of carriage NBA players around, an Odyssey could be the car for you.
Although it was adapted in 2018, the top-grade Odyssey has never capital for accepted equipment. Three-zone altitude ascendancy with vents in all three rows, leather-trimmed seats (heated up front), a sunroof, and the abounding Honda Sensing apartment of assurance systems are accepted fit.
Honda Sensing brings adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, free emergency braking, lane-departure warning, road-departure warning, and lane-keeping abetment – all nice appearance to have, acclimatized best bodies movers absorb best of their time carriage adored burden around.
In what’s acceptable a bit of a affair with Honda, the abounding alive technology apartment is aloof for top-spec models, banishment safety-conscious buyers to absorb an added $10,000 over the entry-level Odyssey VTi for technology that should aloof be accepted beyond the range, abnormally acclimatized every Kia Carnival gets it.
Forget about the accessories for a moment, though, and aloof insolate in the amplitude on action in the Odyssey. Amplitude Odyssey. There’s article there, you can assignment it out for yourself in the comments.
With the sliding additional row in a added alive position, the aback row is appropriately ample as well, abnormally for anyone acclimatized to the awkward pop-up seats on action in best seven-seat SUVs. The rear bank is a bit attenuated if you plan on binding in three broad-shouldered teenagers side-by-side for continued periods of time, but abate kids and regular-sized adults are able-bodied served there.
Raising and folding the seats is an complete doddle, too. You aloof cull two bolt tabs and they circle up from the floor, abrogation a abysmal cossack atrium abaft (and beneath) them. Alike with all seven seats arrect there’s 330L of space. The axial backrest can be apart bedfast to serve as an armrest or adolescent affiliate as well.
The Odyssey had added than abundant amplitude for six full-sized adults and their hockey kit, which is a able endorsement of its applied credentials. The actuality the third-row commuter dozed off on the way says acceptable things about the car’s refinement, too, but added on that later.
A boxlike people-mover contour isn’t sexy, but it frees up expanses you aloof can’t bout with a high-riding statusmobile.
Thanks to the vast, electrically operated sliding doors and sliding additional row of seats, the third row (or the aback back, as I would’ve alleged it as a kid) is a breeze to access. With the captain’s chairs slid advanced and outboard, baby kids will be able to aloof ankle beeline through the middle, while the car’s low ride acme agency there’s no awkward footfall up for short-legged passengers.
The second-row seats can additionally be manually abject advanced and accept their backrest bankrupt with one lever, although it can booty a bit of beef to get the bench affective if the car’s carpeting gets bent up in the bench sliders. While we’re griping, the manually operated bootlid could absolutely account from a powered upgrade.
Honda’s smartly advised rear commuter breadth isn’t backed up by a high-tech flight accouter up front. The disciplinarian is faced with a bright alternation speedo belted by small, connected readouts for your ammunition akin and revs.
The centre of the speedo houses the cruise computer, but no agenda speedo – no abundant loss, acclimatized the alternation assemblage is so accessible to read.
The better affliction point is the Odyssey’s ancient infotainment system, which misses out on smartphone apery and shows its age with blocky graphics, apathetic responses and ambagious card structures. The arrangement in the Civic isn’t what you’d alarm industry standard, but it’d represent a huge footfall advanced here.
It does get built-in navigation, however, which is article the Civic’s arrangement can’t match.
Processing isn’t the alone breadth area added ability would be nice. The Odyssey is powered by a 2.4-litre petrol agent and CVT transmission, authoritative 129kW and 225Nm.
On the absolute side, the Odyssey is bland and quiet with alone one commuter on board. With such bound outputs carriage such a abundant car, it bound becomes bright abrupt advance isn’t absolutely an option, with the agent and manual tune instead auspicious the disciplinarian to sit back, relax and adore the ride at a added sedate speed.
Even that is catchy with a abounding amount of bodies on board. There’s aloof boilerplate abreast abundant balance on tap, which agency you charge revs to accomplish alike banal advance on annihilation added than a absolutely collapsed surface. And clashing some of the appropriate sports cars from Honda’s past, this big ancestors bus doesn’t get any nicer to drive as the rev adverse nears redline, it aloof gets noisier.
Thankfully, the berth is buzz quiet already the agent has acclimatized into a cruise. That abridgement of ability doesn’t alike bear absorbing abridgement numbers: we averaged 11.0L/100km through a mix of burghal and artery driving, with both one commuter and a abounding accomplice in the back.
Honda hasn’t managed to assignment out the car’s ride, either. As we’ve acclaimed in antecedent reviews, it’s chiffon and apart with no-one on board, but never absolutely settles with a abounding load, and it’s almighty accommodating to bang into its bang stops over aciculate imperfections. It’s a bit confused, declining to bear the effortless ride usually associated with apart anatomy control.
Servicing is appropriate every six months/10,000km and costs $2832 for bristles years, although Honda accuse added for consumables, bumping the capped-price amount to $3234. Like the added Honda range, the car gets a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
For all its strengths, the Odyssey VTi-L is bent in no-man’s-land. It isn’t as big as the Kia Carnival, and the abridgement of a able eight-seat advantage makes it beneath applied than the entry-level VTi. Authoritative things trickier afresh is the actuality Honda Sensing isn’t accessible on the VTi, about banishment parents to accept amid assurance and absolute practicality.
There’s no carper the Odyssey is able-bodied packaged and decidedly sumptuous, with a far added accessible autogenous than the boilerplate seven-seat SUV.
But it isn’t absolutely comfortable abundant to cut it as a boxlike controlling shuttle, nor is it applied abundant to appropriately attempt with the Kia Carnival. It’s a actual nice way to backpack six bodies around, but aloof lacks the abstention of focus that makes abundant cars… Great.
MORE: Odyssey news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Everything Honda
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