Honda's JDM Odyssey – not to be confused with the U.S.-market people mover that shares the same name – has been hailed as one of the best handling minivans in Japan. For 2009, Honda has taken everything good about the outgoing third-generation model and made it better, beginning with a sleeker exterior that pulls a few cues from the Honda FCX Clarity.
Underneath the new, slightly stretched sheet metal lies a reworked chassis sporting double wishbones at all four corners, optional all-wheel-drive and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC powerplant putting out 171 hp in standard guise and 203 hp in the range-topping Absolute model.
The interior is adorned with all the techy tidbits that made previous generations a hit with family-toting geeks, including a sci-fi inspired dash and a new multi-positioned camera system that allows drivers to get a bird's eye view of the vehicle. Similar to the Fit sold in the States, the seating can be arranged in a multitude of ways, including folding flat to create something resembling a bed. We'd like to scam one out of Honda during our next trip to Japan so we can post on the move and don't have to worry about heading back to our hotel – which is traditionally only slightly smaller than the new Odyssey.