Thanks to its solid reputation for reliability, capable handling, long features list and highly practical cabin, the 2011 Honda Odyssey is once again a top choice in the minivan segment (along with the very well regarded Toyota Sienna). Other appealing qualities include its good fuel economy, easy to fold third-row, conveniently configurable second-row and impressively quiet interior.
What's more, the Odyssey was totally redesigned for 2011, benefiting with a more spacious interior, a sleeker design, improved fuel efficiency and new available features such as a chilled storage box and a rear entertainment system with a high-definition display and surround-sound.
In addition, a revised suspension provides a smoother ride while still preserving the Odyssey's better than average overall handling. The top-trim Touring model also now comes with a new 6-speed automatic transmission which provides both quicker acceleration as well as improved gas mileage performance.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Honda Odyssey is available in five trims: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite.
Standard features on the already fairly well-equipped base LX include power windows, power mirrors, power doorlocks, 17-inch steel wheels, a power driver seat, cruise control, keyless entry, air conditioning, automatic headlights, a 60/40-split-folding third-row seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 5-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Odyssey EX then adds power-sliding side doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a removable front center console, a multifunction second-row seat, a conversation mirror, heated outside mirrors, retractable second-row sunshades and an upgraded 7-speaker audio system with 2GB of digital music storage.
Moving up to the Odyssey EX-L adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power liftgate, a chilled storage box, a sunroof, a power front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB audio input. Optional features for the EX-L include either a voice-operated navigation system and a rearview camera or a rear entertainment system and a 115-volt AC household-style power outlet. This is a one or the other pick as they can't come together on the EX-L.
Added standard features on the top-of-the-line Touring and Touring Elite models include both the navigation system and rear entertainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels, driver memory functions, front and rear parking sensors, retractable third-row sunshades, foglights and a fold-down armrest for the third-row.
And the new Touring Elite model also includes an upgraded rear entertainment system with a 16-inch HD widescreen, a blind spot warning system, xenon headlights and a 650-watt 12-speaker surround-sound system.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the front-wheel drive Honda Odyssey is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission in the LX, EX and EX-L models, while the Touring and Touring Elite models are equipped with a new 6-speed automatic.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for 5-speed automatic models stands at a respectable 18 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway. The 6-speed models get a gas mileage boost to 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Standard safety features across all 2011 Odysseys include electronic traction and stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for all three rows and active front head restraints.
Government crash testing for the 2011 Odyssey had not yet been completed at the time of this writing. However, the 2010 model earned the highest possible ratings of five stars for all frontal and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The most noticeable redesign changes were made inside. While the Odyssey's cabin remains attractive and well-built with comfortable and supportive seating, its now roomier interior provides a 4-inch wider second-row seat that can actually accommodate three children's car seats side by side. Plus, the center section can slide forward 5.5 inches (not on the LX) for easier access from the front seat.
Comfort has also been added to the third-row seat area thanks to an additional 1.1 inches of legroom. The rear seat folding mechanism has also be revised to make for still easier folding into the deep well just inside the rear liftgate. And by removing the second-row seats, the total cargo capacity is a very generous 148 cubic feet.
Also added were several innovative and useful items, including a "cool box" for beverages built into the bottom of the dash's center section as well as a removable center console with a convenient flip-up trash bag holder.
Most drivers will likely be satisfied with the Odyssey's overall performance thanks to its capable engine and responsive handling. Performance is enhanced still further in the Touring models thanks to the smooth and quick shifting 6-speed automatic transmission.
The new Odyssey's reworked body structure that's both more rigid and lighter, along with a retuned suspension, provides a well-balanced combination of comfortable ride quality and confident road manners. Braking ability has also been improved via larger brake discs this year. And also particularly noticeable is just how quiet the 2011 Odyssey is, every bit as quiet as a luxury sedan.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Wholesale Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
2011 Honda Odyssey:
LX: list price: $27,800, invoice price: $25,196
EX: list price: $30,950, invoice price: $28,042
EX-L: list price: $34,450, invoice price: $31,205
Touring: list price: $40,755, invoice price: $36,903
Touring Elite: list price: $43,250, invoice price: $39,157