It's true, minivans still have their place in the world.
I posted a thread about 2 weeks ago asking for help choosing between a Sienna and Odyssey. We went with the Odyssey and took delivery last week. It's a white EX-L with Rear Entertainment system to keep my litter amused during trips.
Here it is in all it's glory.
Some highs and lows
-The engine is fantastic. Inaudible during low to mid throttle. Growls really nicely during WOT. Smooth revs freely and the cylinder deactivation ECO mode works well. We saw an average of 8l/100km ( 29 mpg ) during our first tank of gas! Silky smooth torque all the way to redline.
-Interior toys. Well thought out entertainment system for the kids. Wireless headphones are of dubious quality. The center stack and screens are easy to use with the iDrive like pointing device. Power sliding doors and hatch are gold. Especially if your wife is short.
( not my photo )
-Space is abundant obviously and the reconfigurability of the seats is fantastic. The "magic" seats are very easy to flip down/up. The second row comes in/out easily as well but is on the heavy side.
-Feedback / Driving - This thing doesn't handle like the minivans I have driven in the past. You know it's big and heavy, but the suspension doesn't permit any sort of wallowing and feels fairly tight. Steering is light but communicates fairly well.
-Assembly Quality. The rear fender liner was missing 3 screw that held the bumper on.
-Paint. Hard to see from the photos, but the front and rear bumper are slightly more yellow than the paint on the sheet metal. This is a common issue with the colour on Odyssey's apparently. Not impressed Honda.
Now I have previously been rather derogatory when it came to minivans... I need to take that back because hauling around my three boys in this thing is worlds better than the CR-V. No more fighting in the car. No one can touch, poke or otherwise upset anyone else. They watch a movie with wireless headphones and I get to listen to whatever I want. We drove to our cottage 2 hours away over the weekend without a single crying/whining incident the whole way.
For that reason alone I am a minivan convert. I love this thing.
Last edited by SnowGTI2003; 08-17-2012 at 08:54 AM.
I swear the Odyssey has almost-car-like visual proportions and it often looks like a hatchback scaled up to 140% - even moreso when you're driving with all the windows down.
priceless. you win!We drove to our cottage 2 hours away over the weekend without a single crying/whining incident the whole way.
Not an enthusiast.
Nothing can beat the utility it provides. My brother has an 08 Odyssey EX and my brother in-law has a 2010 Caravan (not sure the model but it's pretty loaded). I just cannot get over the proportions and the overall feel while driving; but I'm so used to my GLI.
I already told the wife I am not getting a van. She can have her SUV and I'll jump right into a wagon. Worked fine for my family when we were kids and I love the styling of wagons so much more.
And this is not a "I'm a man and could never turn in my card for a mini-van" statement, it's purely my own taste that I like wagons more.
Last edited by clutchrider; 08-15-2012 at 09:35 AM.
Minivans are under appreciated vehicles. They provide a ridiculous amount of utlity for your dollar. And in recent years they have become much more bearable to drive.
My parents used to have a 94 Caravan with red cloth interior. Man I miss that thing, because it was seriously a comfortable car to drive, even if it was crude at times.
Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
Congrats. Of all the mini vans in the world, Honda Odyssey's always seem the most appealing. Numerous friends have had older version. Oh and make sure you keep up on waxing and taking care of that paint if it's anything like Honda's white paint of the past. It will turn to chalk in a few years
My parents' old '94 Caravan became the DDmobile for us in college. My parents didn't care if we beat the hell out of it, anybody could drive it, and it was comfortable for 6-7 people (sometimes more ) and borderline reliable. Perfect combination.
We still borrow my buddy's mom's 2000ish Grand Caravan for booze festivals and the like.
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I have driven some of the older Honda's and was impressed with them. I had the most fun driving the newer Dodge Grand Caravans with the manual shift option. Still remember when I was younger and my friend would borrow a Ford Windstar because it had a handbrake...
you've discovered the practicality and real value of a product that 90% of SUV driving parents are ignoring or missing. good on you!
my FIL has one of these as well. pretty solid rig for hauling the kiddlets around town, home depot runs and vacation trips. A bit tight in the passenger seat leg room for me though. he also had some issues with a front suspension knock/creak that has finally been fixed after 6 months of Honda trying different things.
if we had gone with 3 kids -> then minivan all the way but i refuse so snip snip. growing up we had minivans for most of our child life (talking 1st gen dodge, wood panels) that thing got some use and then some.
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Crossovers were created because people who buy them grew up in minivans and don't want to be associated with the ''soccer mom'' stigma. As soon as people realize crossovers are pretty much soccer mom material as well, they'll return to minivans as they are way more practical.
I have said it a million times before but the first manufacturer to come up with a ''crossover-ized'' or Outback-like minivan with AWD, modest lift and body cladding will hit a home-run.
So you're loving a brand new car? Shocking! I love driving the POS cars that I sometimes get as rentals--at first. And then by the end of the weekend, I can't stand them.
Update this thread in 8 months time once you've gotten used to it a little more!
FWIW, congrats on the new purchase, the Odyssey is a pretty sharp looking. It's nice to see that modern minivans have a bit more styling flair than they used to.
I personally wouldn't be caught w/o owning a minivan at this stage in my life...although 4 kids has something to do with that. There simply is no better way to move people and stuff in an urban environment.
I'm in the process of selling my '09 Ody EX-L to upgrade to a '12 EX-L, there are just enough convincing elements on the new ones to make the jump.
'05 Sequoia Limited 4WD
'12 Odyssey EX-L
History - '09 Odyssey EX-L, '02 A4 Avant 3.0Q, '01 UZJ100 LX470, '01.5 VW Passat wagon, '04 RX-8, '03 TJ Sport, '01 TJ Sport, '99 Miata, '00 Contour SVT, '97 GTI VR6, '95 YJ Wrangler, '97 XJ Cherokee Sport, '97 Integra GSR, '89 Civic Si, '93 YJ Wrangler, '87 Jetta GL
I have the 6 speed auto and notice a slight surge when coming out of ECO mode at lower speeds from time to time.
Otherwise, love the van! (Check out odyclub forums for tips/TSBs/etc if you haven't already)
minivans are so useful.... even for me right now at age 24. i always take my moms minivan whenever all of our friends decide to go on vacation somewhere far away. I take 6 in the car with me, and the whole way down its just non stop laughter having a great time as well! its so good!
plus the amount of storage we get... Routans can store a lot in the trunk, and the pockets in front of passengers seats. i remember driving down from pittsburgh to DC with 10 people in the van, filled with EVERYTHING you can think of.