The Odyssey is into its fifth week here at wheels, and so far it’s been quite an impressive run for the Japanese MPV. From technology features and practicality to ride quality and refinement, the Odyssey has proven its credentials as a people mover beyond doubt. But that also means its dimensions are quite generous, measuring 5,161mm in length, 1,994mm in width, 1,735mm in height and a 3,000mm wheelbase. Add to these a kerb weight of nearly two tonnes, it literally poses an enormous challenge for any engine.
The good old 3.5-litre V6, with its output now bumped up to 280bhp and 355Nm, faces up to this challenge commendably. It does not feel underpowered or struggling in any possible scenario you would find yourself in while driving a large MPV. Power delivery is smooth, and it accelerates effortlessly and fluently. Whether you are revving it up to highway speeds or trying to overtake a couple of of other cars, it’s always up to the task.
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At a time when many other models from Honda, including the Accord and the Civic, are going the CVT way, it’s heartening to see that Honda has upgraded the Odyssey’s previous transmission with a new 10-speed automatic gearbox. Despite those many cogs, the Odyssey’s gear shifts are spot on, and it seems to find the right cog every time. Honda has done away with the traditional shifter in favour of a push button setup on the centre console. It might seem a bit weird initially, and will take a good few weeks for you to get used to. But it has helped free up lots of space in the cabin.
One minor design flaw I noticed this week is that the rear left door cannot be opened while the Odyssey is being refuelled, as it slides all the way over the fuel lid. While a rear passenger having to get down while the car is being refueled is a rare situation, it’s something worth keeping in mind if you’re an Odyssey owner.