Honda 2015 Odyssey L review

Honda 2015 Odyssey L review

The Odyssey used to be a car, but now it’s a minivan. It was one of the very few 7-seat cars you could buy back in the mid-2000s. We last tested one in 2009 (read here) when it was a mere 1545mm tall, and was still ostensibly a car. Now the Odyssey has grown up and is 150mm taller. This average growth rate of 30mm per year is 10 times faster than the world’s fastest mountain is growing (Mount St. Elias grows at around 3mm per year).

honda odyssey 2015 sideAnd, risking a mountain-related pun onslaught, the new 2.4-litre 129kW petrol engine (down 4kW on our previously tested model), won’t help you Rushmore [sic]; the Odyssey is a comfortable cruiser more suited to sedate motoring, even though it does feel quite car-like in its handling.

The power is delivered through a CVT gearbox with auto stop/start for better fuel economy, and paddle shifters if you honda odyssey 2015 ottomanwant to take control. Fuel consumption is much improved, down to 7.8 litres per 100km and it takes 91 octane petrol.

The Odyssey’s main party trick is its twin automatic sliding rear doors that reveal a space large enough to walk a yak through. There is a huge amount of legroom even with the middle row of seats quite far forward. If you put the third row down and slide the middle row as far back as they go, you could carry two stilt walkers in the back (without them taking off their stilts), and they even have their own air conditioning controls.

The third row of seats folds down very quickly and easily creating honda odyssey 2015 boota sizeable boot of up to 1332 litres. In fact, despite being about the same size as an inner city apartment inside, the only major let-down with the Odyssey is the dearth of storage options. There’s no central binnacle (just a fairly small tray) and no cargo blind in the rear. Everything you carry is on show to potential thieves and the only thing you can do is put the blinds up on the middle row windows to try to hide things just behind the front seats. It’s not ideal.

The ottomans on the captain’s chairs in the middle row are a gimmick.

They’re only useful for people short in stature (e.g. children) although if it helps the little buggers sleep on a long journey, I guess that’s a good enough reason for them. A more practical solution would have been to have storage trays underneath the seats.

The base model S has 8 seats and not quite so much seating flexibility, but if you have one less child you’re bound to have more money (because children are expensive), and therefore you can get the 7-seat L version for $52,500 rather than $45,900 which has leather seating, the aforementioned captain’s chairs in the middle row and a bunch of extra safety and luxury features including:

  • Smart parking assist with 360-degree camera – very useful as it simulates a bird’s eye view of the car using multiple cameras
  • Blind spot monitoring – it doesn’t have huge blind spots, but this feature is always welcome
  • Cross-traffic warning – definitely helpful on a vehicle this long (it warns you if another vehicle is coming as you are backing out of a parking space)
  • Keyless start/stop – convenient in that you don’t have to take the key out of your pocket
  • Heated front seats
  • Active cornering lights – they turn towards the direction you are turning
  • Electric sunroof
  • Exterior courtesy lamps and aero sports kit

The general level of spec is as impressive as you would expect for a luxury level model from a Japanese manufacturer. Everything works and is ergonomically excellent with the exception of the touchscreen air conditioning controls which are difficult to operate without taking your eyes of the road – conventional dials/buttons would work better.

The media options are controlled via a 7-inch touchscreen which doubles as the reversing camera and navigation display. The interface is icon/apps-based and you can connect a Bluetooth phone, and input HDMI to display on the screen. There are 2 USB charging ports which is ever more useful for the number of devices we have.

On the outside, there is a lot of chrome at the front, and each corner features some thin-spoked 17-inch Mugen alloys shod with 215/55R17 tyres. However, the main drawcard is the Odyssey’s overall space inside. It could almost move a mountain – as long as you fold those rear seats forward.

Price: as tested (L): $52,500; base model (S): $45,900


  • Loads of room for people
  • Plenty of luxury spec options
  • Heaps of safety technology


  • No cargo blind, so your possessions are on show to potential thieves
  • Limited storage options
  • Touch sensitive air con panel difficult to operate

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