• Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth Miersma / AOL
Japanese minivan customers have been spoiled for choice when it comes to gas-electric versions of their favorite family haulers. Toyota, for example, started selling the Estima - the world's first hybrid minivan – in 2001, and it also offers the Aphard hybrids. Starting tomorrow, buyers will be able to buy the new Odyssey Hybrid minivan from Honda for a not-unreasonable price. US buyers? We're not so lucky.

That's because the Japanese Odyssey and the version sold in the US don't share much except the name. That means that the only company bold enough to put a hybrid powertrain – and a plug-in version at that – into a US-bound minivan is FCA, which just introduced us to the Pacifica Hybrid.

So, we'll have to just pine for what's available over in Japan. There, the new Odyssey Hybrid comes with an updated dual-motor Sport Hybrid i-MMD powertrain that uses a 2.0-liter and no transmission. It is offered in two versions (standard and 'Absolute') and a total of six trim levels. The hybrid Odyssey starts at the equivalent of $31,235 US and tops out at $34,725, which is a level that Honda says is, "affordably-priced."

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2014 Honda Odyssey Vacuum Cleaner Demo

Show full PR text
Honda to Begin Sales of Refreshed Odyssey and Odyssey Absolute -- Hybrid model will be newly added to the Odyssey lineup

TOKYO, Japan, February 4, 2016 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will begin sales of an affordably-priced hybrid version as well as the newly refreshed gasoline-powered version of the Honda Odyssey and Odyssey Absolute premium minivans on Friday, February 5, 2016 at dealerships across Japan. A new addition to the Odyssey lineup, the hybrid version realizes both excellent fuel economy and high-quality driving in the Odyssey and Odyssey Absolute which have been well-received for their spacious cabin, stately styling and exhilarating yet stable driving experience.

The newly-added Odyssey Hybrid and Odyssey Hybrid Absolute are the first Honda premium minivan models equipped with the revolutionary Honda-developed powertrain Sport Hybrid i-MMD*1 and realize class-topping*2 fuel economy of 26.0 km/L (JC08 mode)*3. In the thorough pursuit of system efficiency, Honda developed a new motor that features an innovative winding method and structure. This newly-developed motor is approximately 23% smaller and lighter than the previous version and yet realizes high torque and high output. Moreover, by compactly emplacing the lithium-ion battery underneath the floor of the first-row seats, these hybrid models realize outstanding fuel economy as well as high-quality and powerful driving without compromising the unique features of the Odyssey such as a spacious cabin and ease of use.

As for the gasoline-powered version, each model was made more attractive to more customers through the enhancement of comfort features such a large-sized armrest for the driver's seat and a full automatic air-conditioning unit that adopts Plasmacluster®*4 technology.

In addition, the Honda SENSING™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies is now available for all grades. Making it easier for customers to select from the lineup, gasoline-powered models now have a new grade which features Honda SENSING as standard equipment.

*1i-MMD stands for Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive
*2Honda internal research (as of February 2016), 7/8-seater, category of engines size 1.8 L or above, minivan models with the vehicle height more than 1,600 mm
*3HYBRID / HYBRID Advanced package / Hybrid EX package [except Hybrid EX package (7-seater), and Hybrid Advanced package equipped with rear-entertainment system (7-seater)] was tested by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan.
*4Plasmacluster is a trademark of Sharp Corporation.

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