December 4, 2012

10 Segments in 10 Days: Mnivan

Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Base Price: $28,375
As Driven: $43,825
Engine: 3.5L V6, 248hp
Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic
MPG Rating: 19 city/28 hwy 

This is my least favorite segment of the auto industry.  I will drive anything before I will purchase a minivan.  That wasn’t hyperbole.

The Odyssey, Town & Country, Quest, and Sienna were all considered for the best of the worst.  There is no good solution here for petrol heads, but the Honda Odyssey is probably the one with the least self-hate involved. 

This minivan handles well and has a solid 3.5L V6 power plant. The Odyseey doesn’t feel sporty, but it also doesn’t feel underpowered.  Honda has been known to race Odyssey’s in the One Lap of America competition.  None of the other manufacturers do that with their minivans. 

While in the Odyssey, the quiet, calm interior was noticeable.  There was very little road noise and I didn’t have any kids in it, so there was no screaming as well.  I did notice that the overall sound was quieter than I expected, but I’m assuming that’s because every little nook and cranny hadn’t been filled with orange fish-shaped crackers, miscellaneous parts of action figures, circle grain cereal that rhymes with O’s, and raisins.  There are always raisins. 

The backseats were readily accessible. The keyless remote not only has a lock, unlock, and trunk button, but has two buttons for the sliding rear doors.  You can open them while you’re running at the car through the rain with kids in arm.  Handy, but not manly. 

Since I’m not a supporter of the minivan, this was a hard pick.  The Odyssey turned out to be the least objectionable option.  That won’t endear me to minivan enthusiasts, but let’s be honest, they are too busy chasing kids to read this.

Thank you to Frank Ancona Honda ( for letting me punish myself with a minivan.  It almost convinced me that I don’t not like minivans.  Almost.


  1. Aw, why hate on the minivan, Chris?

  2. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama campaigned a last-generation 2004 Odyssey with a manual transmission swap from an Acura, a fully built turbo engine, and a full HKS coilover suspension.

    They took a couple-year hiatus during the industry slow down, but they were back at it for 2012 with a current-generation Odyssey. The 3.5L V6 is now up to 535hp!

  3. I can't believe you hate mini vans with two kids. I love my mini van but need better gas mileage.