2011 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite – Long-Term Road Test Intro

Minivans are the true automotive appliances: unsexy, underappreciated, and indispensable to many families. That the Honda Odyssey is entertaining to drive—as far as these vehicles go—is something we’ve recognized before and why we jumped at the chance to add the latest version to our long-term fleet for a 40,000-mile test. Besides, we all appreciate a good living room on wheels every now and then—or, as it turns out, all the time. More on that in a bit.

Introduced in late 2010 as a 2011 model, the new, fourth-generation Odyssey further refines Honda’s people-moving mission and came out on top in our last minivan comparison test, besting the revised Chrysler Town & Country, the Toyota Sienna, and the Nissan Quest. There, we gave it another nod for good road manners and noted its excellent ergonomics and configurable seating for up to eight.

Six Cogs and Features, Features, and More Features

Upper-level Touring and Touring Elite models like ours are noteworthy for their six-speed automatic transmissions, which replace the five-coggers in lesser models and are a first for Honda in the segment. Starting at $44,335, our top-trim Touring Elite example is a far cry from the $28,885 LX base model. All 2011 Odysseys come with Honda’s 248-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, which can run on three, four, or six cylinders, switching seamlessly depending on engine load. Even the entry-level LX is well equipped: automatic projector-beam headlights; MP3 and auxiliary audio inputs; two 12-volt outlets; four LATCH (“Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren”) positions for child seats; separate front and rear climate controls; an eight-way power driver’s seat; Honda’s 60/40-split Magic Seat third-row—which stows into the floor; front, side, and curtain airbags; active head restraints; and 10 cup holders.

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