2008 Honda Odyssey Manchester NH
The 2008 Honda Odyssey lineup includes four models, LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. All Odyssey models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it's a good powertrain. Four trim levels make it affordable to a wider group of buyers, yet all deliver car-like ride and handling and a comprehensive set of safety features, including electronic stability control and side curtain airbags for head protection. For 2008, the Odyssey receives several updates. On the outside, the front grille and front fascia get a new look closer to that of the new Honda Accord. Under the hood, Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system is updated. Standard on EX-L and Touring models, the new VCM system allows the V6 engine to run on six, four, or three cylinders, depending on driving conditions. The last version used only six or three cylinders. Also for 2008, the Odyssey gets an audio auxiliary input jack and a CD player that can play MP3 or WMA files. Finally, four new premium features are offered: Bluetooth cell phone link, a four-way power passenger seat becomes standard on EX-L and Touring models; a rearview camera display is integrated into the mirror on the EX-L, and the Touring gets memory-linked side mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature. Honda Odyssey has it all: great road manners, easy passenger and cargo flexibility, a full array of safety equipment and better fuel economy than most SUVs.
Honda Odyssey Power for '08
All models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve timing. In LX and EX, the engine makes 244 horsepower at 5750 rpm and 240 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm. In EX-L and Touring models, the engine makes 241 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque at 4900 rpm, and it is equipped with the latest edition of Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system that shuts down two or three cylinders in light engine load conditions to conserve fuel. Both versions of the engine are equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. The Odyssey belies its size on the road and handles like a sedan. It's not as dynamic as a European sports sedan, by any means, but it handles better than a traditional SUV. It's best compared to any of the newer crossover SUVs. Parking is easy. The turning radius is among the tightest of any minivan, making it an easy to make U-turns and maneuver in parking lots. The park-assist system, with beeping tones that warn the driver of other bumpers front and rear, helps considerably when parallel parking.
2008 Honda Odyssey Design
The 2008 Odyssey boasts Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. The vehicle's crush zones have been engineered to provide good protection for occupants while minimizing damage in a collision with smaller vehicles and pedestrians. Its body structure is rigid, which contributes to crisp handling and a smooth ride. A low drag coefficient helps improve fuel economy and high-speed stability. Large headlights flank its big grille, which is slightly more angular for 2008. The air intake in the lower front fascia is also slightly larger and more rectangular in shape on the 2008 models. The hood is sculpted with curves that lead naturally back to the windshield and emphasize the big fender flares. Honda has not hidden the sliding door channels at the base of the window but left them partially obscured by a crease that runs the length of the vehicle.
Inside the 2008 Odyssey
Inside this minivan the driver's seat is designed to hold the driver firmly and is positioned in a car-like setting. The tilt/telescoping wheel and the various manual/power adjustments create a comfortable driving position, which is even easier in the Touring model thanks to power-adjustable pedals. The shift lever is mounted on the dashboard, and while it looks odd at first, it's easier to use than a column-mounted shifter. A handy drink tray is provided between the front seats, and it can be folded down to allow walkthrough access to the second row. The second-row bucket seats are roomy and comfortable. Eight people can fit in the Odyssey with the available PlusOne seat that fits between the two captain's chairs in the second row. If it's not needed as a seat, it can be turned into a table or stowed in the floor in place of the Lazy Susan bin. If the PlusOne seat is not being used, the right-hand seat can be slid across to allow easier access to the third-row seats. This flexibility makes the Odyssey a versatile people hauler.
2008 Honda Odyssey Lineup
The LX comes with cloth upholstery, seating for seven with second-row caption's chairs and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seats. It also has manual sliding side doors, manual seat controls, front and rear air conditioning, air-filtration system, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows, power exterior mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack, theft-deterrent system, and P235/65R16 tires on steel wheels with hubcaps.
The EX adds power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power driver's seat, a storable second-row PlusOne seat, in-dash six-disc CD changer, steering wheel audio controls, heated exterior mirrors, universal garage door opener, conversation mirror, second-row sunshades, roof rails, rear spoiler, and alloy wheels.
The EX-L adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a four-way power adjustable front passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power moonroof, XM satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Honda's active noise reduction, and the iVTEC engine with Variable Cylinder Management.
The Touring is what Honda's Acura luxury division would sell if it sold a minivan. It has a slightly stiffer suspension for improved handling and a 350-watt audio system with six-disc CD changer, seven speakers and a subwoofer. It also gets the navigation system, front and rear park assist, a power tailgate, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, 17 cupholders, outside mirror tilt-down backup aid, Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, trip computer, compass and outside temperature display, automatic headlights, fog lights, the DVD rear-seat entertainment system, and P235/60R17 tires. The Touring comes with the iVTEC engine with VCM.
Safety equipment that comes standard on all models includes dual-stage front airbags, front side-impact airbags, curtain-style head-protection airbags for all three rows of seats and deploy in case of a rollover, active front head restraints, a tire-pressure monitor, antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, and electronic stability control. A rearview camera, run-flat tires, and front and rear park assist are also available. For information on the latest version of this model, visit the official Honda Odyssey website!
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com