2005 Honda Odyssey
This 2005 review is representative of model years 2005 to 2007.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
The third-generation Honda Odyssey minivan should be more popular than ever, with everything from sharper styling to an engine with a cylinder deactivation feature to improve fuel economy.
The minivan market has become more competitive since Honda last revamped the Odyssey for 1999, as minivans have become increasingly like small mobile homes with lots of comfort and convenience features, including DVD entertainment systems.
Honda thus was left with no option but to redesign the 2005 Odyssey. Its predecessor was clunky looking, but was roomy and car-like—and carried Honda's revered nameplate.
Variety of Improvements
Odyssey drawbacks include no all-wheel-drive feature like the Toyota Sienna's, and the Nissan Quest minivan is more sharply styled. Also, the Odyssey's second-row seats don't fold into the floor as they do in Chrysler minivans. (Second-row seats are removable in the Odyssey.)
New Top-Line Odyssey
A new, easily used fold-in-the-floor third row seat is split 60/40 to make it easier to fold than the old single-piece full-across seat. The new seat provides room for one or two third-row passengers if one half of it has to be folded forward for more cargo room. Such space is plentiful, even with the third-row seat completely in its normal position.
The front-wheel-drive Odyssey line starts as the $24,995 LX, continues with midrange EX trim levels and ends as the Touring.
There actually are two versions of the Touring; the top one costs $38,295 and has a navigation system with voice recognition, DVD entertainment system, satellite radio and a rearview camera. Don't need all that equipment? If you can do without it, the regular Touring version lists for several thousand dollars less, at $34,995.
Merging and high speed passing abilities are improved because horsepower of the Odyssey 3.5-liter V6 has gone up to 240 to 255, and there is more torque.
Estimated fuel economy with VCM is 20 mpg in the city and 28 on highways. Without it, the figures are 19 and 25.
Both versions of the smooth Odyssey engine are hooked to a responsive 5-speed automatic transmission, which is controlled by a new dashboard-mounted shifter. While that's a handy location, I found the shifter action makes it easy to slip into the wrong gear if a driver isn't careful.
While rather heavy, the steering is precise, and the brake pedal has a linear action that helps allow smooth stops.
Easy In and Out
Gauges can be quickly read, but EX, EX-L and Touring versions have more complicated controls, with lots of buttons and switches that take getting used to.
New Jump Seat
That seat can be converted into a center tray table. It folds into the floor between the first and second rows. If not holding the PlusOne, a new in-floor storage area contains a rotating Lazy Susan storage unit.
Sliding side doors now have power roll-down windows that lower most—but not all—of the way.
The new, more refined Odyssey has caught up with its competitors in many areas and has the old version's solid reputation—not to mention the illustrious Honda nameplate.