2012 Honda Odyssey Review Photo:
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_01 Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_05b Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_02 Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_05a Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_03 Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_05c Photo: tmr
2012_honda_odyssey_australia_01a_1 Photo: tmr
What's Hot
Dynamic handling with a car-like feel, stretching space for up to seven passengers.
What's Not
Engine lacks torque, rear headroom tight.
A driving experience no SUV can match, plus a unique sense of style for the MPV class.
Kez Casey | Mar, 22 2012 | 9 Comments


Vehicle Style: People mover
Price: $37,100 (plus on-roads)
Fuel Economy (claimed): 8.9 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 10.5 l/100km



Honda has sharpened the pencil on pricing and added to the equipment list to sweeten the deal on the already-impressive Odyssey.

With the biggest value-gain concentrated on the base model, the news is good for Australian families who want SUV space but a much better driving experience.



Quality: Across the dash and door trims the Odyssey has a premium feel. Material quality is pleasant to touch, robust and very well put-together.

We think the fold away tray between the front seats is a little awkward, but it’s handy and will withstand the rigours of family use and abuse.

Comfort: Starting with a plush-feel velour trim, the Odyssey makes a cozy impression, and exploring the possibilities of the sliding middle row means that no passenger is robbed of space.

Finding the sweet spot of the driver’s seat though can be frustrating - the backrest sits either too upright or too reclined for this reviewer.

Rear-most passengers will appreciate genuine legroom, particularly with the middle row edged forward slightly. Headroom is tight there but not unacceptably so, and rear ventilation ducts mean everyone can keep their cool.

Equipment: Standard features include climate control with rear ventilation, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls on a leather-wrapped wheel with shift paddles, folding front-seat armrests, sat-nav with reversing camera and DVD playback, six-speaker audio, CD/MP3/USB and aux inputs, six cup-holders and four bottle-holders, LED tail lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Storage: With the third row in place, there’s 259 litres of storage space. This grows to 708 litres with the rear seats folded away. Loading is simple with a low boot floor, but the lowered roof of the Odyssey limits its utility slightly.

Lidded storage spaces for the front seats are quite small, but there’s a healthy-sized door pocket in each door and a variety of spots for phones, wallets and keys.



Driveability: With 132kW of power available the Odyssey looks good on paper, but the 218Nm of torque leaves it feeling slightly anaemic on the road. As a result the Odyssey needs a good rev if you want hustle along with any verve.

Once rolling, the Odyssey feels much more lively. You’ll find the the automatic transmission adapts well to your driving style, and generally has the right gear underfoot when needed. And, if ever caught off-guard, you can change manually with the steering wheel paddles.

On test, with a bit of ballast on board, we found the fuel consumption started to sneak up. We couldn’t match the claimed 8.9l/100km, resting at 10.5l/100km on an even mix of highway and urban driving.

Refinement: Interior refinement in the Odyssey is top class, with none of the booming or rumbling that can affect big wagons. The engine is well balanced and rarely intrudes, even when pushed hard.

Suspension: Riding on double-wishbone suspension at each corner endows the Odyssey with very nimble handling, with minimal body-roll and high levels of grip. Comfort isn’t compromised either with a well cushioned ride.

Its dynamic ride and handling is certainly an Odyssey strong point.

Around town, a tight turning circle of just 10.8 metres makes the Odyssey the envy of SUVs in shopping centre car parks, and the wheel is light and easy to twirl to the benefit of manoeuvrability.

Braking: The large front and rear disc brakes have no problem stopping the Odyssey, and the pedal has a nice, progressive feel to it.



ANCAP rating: Not rated

Safety features: Six airbags (front, front side and full-length curtain), three-point seatbelts on all seats with frint height adjustment and pre-tensioners, anti-whiplash front headrests, ABS, EBD, stability control and traction control are standard.



Warranty: Three years/100,000km

Service costs: Service costs may vary from dealer to dealer. Before purchase, contact your local Honda service agent for servicing costs.



Dodge Journey SXT ($37,500) - Following a similar low-roofed style, the Journey adds the oomph of a V6 and a six-speed automatic.

Fuel consumption isn’t as low, but there’s less struggle with a load on board and more innovative use of interior storage. (see Journey reviews)

Toyota Tarago GLi ($52,490) - For many, the Tarago is still the first people mover to spring to mind, but the high price of entry has now pushed it out of the reach of many families.

It has a definite size advantage, an airy interior and seating for eight - but lacks some key equipment. (see Tarago reviews)

Holden Captiva 7 CX ($38,490) - The closely-priced Captiva adds the commanding ride-height of an SUV, all wheel drive and a V6 engine.

The latter item however makes it comparatively thirsty, and it’s not as agile on road and nor does it offer the third row seating space of the Odyssey. (see Captiva reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.



Honda’s Odyssey offers a genuine alternative to bigger thirstier SUVs with a more flexible interior than most, better handling and lower fuel consumption.

And, adding to its appeal, Honda has packaged it all up in a swoopy wagon shape with - to these eyes - quite handsome lines.

Now with added satellite navigation and reversing camera, plus a price cut, the Odyssey makes even greater sense.

We think it offers superior value to its key competitors, and, though occasionally lacking in torque on the road, we’d highly recommend the Odyssey as clever, stylish family transport.



The base-model Odyssey is now priced at $37,100, down by $2000 compared to the previous model-year.

The Luxury variant remains unchanged in its specification, but is now priced at $44,920, a reduction of $1000.

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

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