A first hand review of the 2011 Honda Odyssey, THE minivan

Introducing the 2011 Honda Odyssey – a test drive and review

by Alicia on September 14, 2010 in Car Reviews, Travel

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I LOVE to drive. When we go on road trips I drive.
Before I had a bad car accident in 2001, I would get very sleepy after driving for about an hour but since the accident I prefer to drive so I guess my body has trained itself to be cool with driving long distances and stay awake! Good thing, huh?

2011 Honda Odyssey

2011 Honda Odyssey

I’ve always loved looking at and exploring cars. When I was younger I wanted a Jaguar.. I’m not sure why, now. I’m over the Jaguar thing, and I’ve moved on to bigger and better cars like.. mini vans. I bet you weren’t expecting that.

I drive a Nissan Quest and am generally happy with it BUT I would absolutely love to drive a 2011 Honda Odyssey on a daily basis.
Yes, I feel bad saying that when I’m about to hop into my Quest to tote the kids to basketball practice and Boy Scouts but the Honda Odyssey’s ride is smoother and the seats are much more comfortable than in my 2006 Nissan Quest. I’m pretty unhappy with the comfort level of my Quest but it’s been a good car for us. I bought the Nissan Quest a few years ago because I wanted the convenience and space of a minivan without the minivan look and the Quest fit the bill.
All minivans used to look the same, right? Until the newer Nissan Quests came out. And now the 2011 Honda Odyssey. You won’t find another minivan that looks like the Odyssey. I think the 2011 Odyssey looks a good mashup of two vehicles, an SUV and a minivan.

I was recently invited to join a few other bloggers/journalists in San Diego to experience and test drive the brand new 2011 Honda Odyssey. I was thrilled to meet the lead engineers of the 2011 Odyssey and learn about the Odyssey directly from them. Between them I think they’ve owned 23,659 Honda Odyssey’s. Just kidding… not that many, but a lot.

Me standing beside the 2011 Honda Odyssey

Mom and Dad, here are a few features of the 2011 Odyssey that you’ll appreciate:

  • Less road noise – there are technical reasons for this that I won’t get into here (a-pillars, cheating wind, etc..you get it, right?)
  • Special acoustic windshield glass - Touring
  • Front and rear parking sensors - Touring
  • Blind spot information system (BSI) – Touring Elite
  • Holds 8 passengers
  • Five (5) LATCH positions for child restraint seats (four positions LX)
  • MPG: 19/28/22 Odyssey Touring (best in class), 18/27/21 Odyssey LX, EX, EX-L
  • 3-mode second-row seating enhances comfort and convenience (EX and above)
  • 15GB memory Hard Disk Drive (HDD)-based audio system digitally holds approximately 175 CDs, replaces 6-disc changer (EX-L Navi and Touring)
  • 2GB memory CD-Library digitally holds approximately 18 CDs, replaces 6-disc changer (EX and EX-L)
  • FM traffic data (EX-L Navi and Touring)
  • 16.2-inch Ultrawide Rear Entertainment System (RES) and HDMI port (Touring Elite)
  • Cool box maintains coolness of beverages (EX-L and above)
  • Multi-view rear-view camera with parking aid lines (EX-L Navi and Touring)
  • Removable front floor console (EX and above)
  • Flip-up trash bag ring (EX and above)
  • Blind spot information system (Touring Elite)
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • 8-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen with customizable features (EX-L and above)
  • Personalized wallpaper using a JPEG-format photo can be added via the USB Audio Interface
  • The 2011 Honda Odyssey is available in 8 colors including Smoky Topaz.. I don’t remember which engineer it is that loves to say Smoky Topaz but he cracked me up!
  • Auxiliary input for MP3 players and other digital devices (all models)

Kids, here are a few features of the 2011 Odyssey that you’ll appreciate:

  • The lower body makes it easier for young kids to get in and out of the Odyssey than other minivans
  • The sliding door handles require less force/energy to open making it easier for kids to open the doors of the Odyssey
  • The 16″ dual screen DVD player – need I say more?
  • Wireless headphones
  • Cool box – keeps drinks cold
  • Did I mention the 16″ dual screen DVD player?
  • All sorts of ipod/mp3 player hookups all over the car

Babies, here are a few features of the 2011 Odyssey that you’ll appreciate:

  • The quiet ride (minus brothers and sisters)
  • 5 LATCH positions so Mom can put you just about anywhere
  • Movable middle seat so you can be closer to Mom and Dad

Not to mention..

  • The ride is amazing. I spent a day test driving the 2011 Odyssey with Deb from Just a Moms Take on Things. We drove through the hills, valleys, and sharp turns of San Diego. During the test drive Deb and I pushed a lot of buttons, called our husband’s via the Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® (way to put them on the spot, huh?), and chatted about the smooth ride, beautiful scenery, kids, and life. It was a great day.
    Honda saw to it that during our test drive we encountered all types of terrain including mountains, sharp turns, cliffs, and at the end of the test drive we got to drive on a performance course at Qualcomm Stadium during which we got to ride with professional drivers through intense performance and safety courses so that we could experience the full capabilities of the 2011 Odyssey. We took turns in the Odyssey at speeds faster than I drive to get to the kid’s schools but the ride was smooth even through all the turns. We were also shown how the Odyssey can avoid lane change accidents during which the professional driver (then myself) drove a very short distance then swerved to the right very fast and slammed on the brakes to make the ABS go off which it did. That was quite a feeling. I couldn’t believe how fast we were able to stop the Odyssey and that it handled the swerving/changing of lanes at such high speeds, so well. My husband has noticed a difference in my driving since the Odyssey test drive in San Diego.. I’m a little more aggressive. Ok, so I just take turns a little faster.. I’m such a nerd!

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for right?

2011 Honda Odyssey* pricing:

  • Odyssey LX $27,800
  • Odyssey EX $30,950
  • Odyssey EX-L $34,450
  • Odyssey EX-L Rear Entertainment $36,050
  • Odyssey EX-L Navi $36,450
  • Odyssey Touring $40,755
  • Odyssey Touring Elite $43,250

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $780 destination charge and options.

Ok, I have to stop now. I might talk myself into selling some appliances to buy a 2011 Honda Odyssey if I keep this up. No, not my Frigidaire appliances!

Visit your local Honda dealer to learn more about and test drive the 2011 Honda Odyssey. Seriously, you will love it!

Learn more about the 2011 Honda Odyssey:

Here are links articles about the amazing new Honda Odyssey written by other bloggers who attended the Honda event in San Diego with me:

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission when you buy something. If you'd like to know more about the links featured in my posts, how I do and choose reviews, or choose advertisers, check out The Mommy Insider editorial policy.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Antonw September 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Nicole, i believe that is the smokey topaz.

Reply

2 Nicole February 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Alicia Hagan,
In the picture of you standing beside the Honda Odyssey, do you happen to know the name of the color on that vehicle?

Thank you,
Nicole:-)

Reply

3 Alicia February 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I will try to get that for you. :)

Reply

4 Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom November 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I absolutely loved the Honda Odyssey. You wrote such an excellent review! I will be doing a couple more posts shortly :)

Reply

5 Alicia November 23, 2010 at 12:45 am

Thank you Jennifer! I loved the Odyssey.. the ride was fantastic and the fact that we test drove the 2011 Honda Odyssey through scenic San Diego was pretty fabulous too! :)

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