2001 Odyssey New Car Test Drive
The Honda Odyssey does everything a minivan is supposed to do well. Nifty features such as a disappearing rear seat, a deep storage well in the floor and optional power sliding doors allow it haul to groceries home, kids to school, adults to dinner and plywood to the shop - all with equal convenience. Throw in Honda's hallmark levels of design, engineering and quality, and you get a vehicle that is a joy to live with on a daily basis. It gives the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, the acknowledged benchmarks of the minivan category, a run for their money.
Odyssey comes in two trim levels, $23,900 LX and $26,400 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.
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, upgraded sound system with a CD player, a keyless remote entry and security system, and handsome alloy wheels. Both models get standard traction control.
A factory-installed navigation system is available as a $2000 option on the EX. It uses a satellite-linked Global Positioning System working in conjunction with a DVD-generated map to give 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. New for 2001 are child safety seat anchors on the second- and third-row seats. NHTSA awarded the Odyssey five stars for occupant protection in frontal collisions, the highest government rating. Side-impact air bags are not available.