Northwest NEWS

April 9, 2001



TEST DRIVE 2001 Honda Odyssey EX

The award-winning 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan is ideal for families, or as a commuter vehicle. With two automatic sliding doors, up to seven passengers can easily enter and exit this vehicle.
   I test drove a Starlight silver metallic with gray fabric interior.
   Powered by a 3.5 liter, 210-horsepower V-6 engine, this minivan is fun to drive. The engine has 229 foot-pounds of torque at 4300 rpm. The 4-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Honda's traction control system (TCS) and electronic brake distribution system (EBD) are standard on the EX.
   There is a feeling of open space in the vehicle. It is easy to get in and out of and has plenty of head room.
   The Honda factory navigational system is an option in the Odyssey EX. It uses Global Positioning System (GPS) data from satellites and a DVD-based map database coupled with an internal guidance system to provide both visual and audio driving directions. It was fun for my six-year-old passenger to watch the brint red arrow track our route.
   The driver's seat was 8-way power adjustable.
   Some of the standard features include power windows, power doors, AM/FM stereo with a CD player and six speakers, keyless entry and cruise control.
   There are convenient storage compartments in the Odyssey. There is a pull down drawer on the bottom center of the dash, front door side pockets, seat-back pockets, a side rear compartment and the back cargo area which can be expanded by folding down the bench seat in the third row. There is a back cargo net and a side cargo net to hold smaller items. And the minivan has cupholders for all passengers.
   Being fairly short, I appreciated the adjustable front and middle seat belt anchors. There are dual air bags, LATCH lower anchors and tethers for children.
   The privacy glass on all but the front windows is great. I loaded the vehicle with my computer and other stuff and noticed that it was not visible when you walked by.
   The rear door lifts easily and there is a recessed area for storage in the back. A handle lets you close the door with little effort.
   The Odyssey can tow a trailer but Honda cautions drivers to observe load limits. With two occupants (based on 150 lbs. each) you can tow 3,500 lbs. with transmission fluid cooler, or 2,000 lbs without transmission fluid cooler. There is a chart for other combinations of weight.