2000 Odyssey New Car Test Drive
Launched last year, the Honda Odyssey is a big minivan with innovative features and well-designed ergonomics that make it a joy to live with on a daily basis. It's as large as the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, the acknowledged benchmarks of the minivan, and it carries Honda's hallmark levels of design, engineering and quality.
A rear seat that quickly hides away, a deep well in back for loading groceries and optional power sliding doors all serve to make the Odyssey a superior vehicle for running errands while comfortably transporting four children. In the evenings, it can carry six adults in comfort. It's safe, it's roomy, it's convenient, it's easy to drive and it's a Honda.
Odyssey comes in two trim levels, $23,400 LX and $26,000 EX.
A 3.5-liter 24-valve V6 powers the front wheels, generating 210 horsepower when fed premium-grade fuel. (Regular unleaded can be used, but output suffers about 5 horsepower.) A four-speed automatic transmission comes standard.
The LX offers almost every feature most buyers want, including air conditioning, antilock brakes, cruise control, adjustable steering column, and power assists for windows, mirrors and door locks.
The EX adds power sliding side doors, automatic climate control, electronic traction control, upgraded sound system with a CD player, and handsome alloy wheels.
A new factory-installed navigation system that uses a satellite-linked Global Positioning System is available as an option that brings the price of the EX to $28,000. The DVD-based system generates an appropriate map and route instructions within major cities in the continental 48 states.
Safety features include dual front airbags and a three-point seatbelt/shoulder harness for each of the seven seating positions. NHTSA awarded the Odyssey five stars for occupant protection in frontal collisions, the highest government rating. Side-impact air bags are not available.