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#2

in 2011 Minivans

Avg. Price Paid: $17,997 - $29,827
Original MSRP: $28,075 - $43,525
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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2011 Honda Odyssey Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

With a car-like ride and handling that’s responsive for a minivan, reviewers agree that that 2011 Honda Odyssey is the best driving minivan on the market. While a few point out that the 2011 Toyota Sienna has more power in its V6, others don’t notice a difference on the road, thanks to the Honda’s refined transmission. While saying that no minivan is truly invigorating to drive, reviewers  note that of the bunch, the Odyssey is the most enjoyable.

  • "Performance and handling may rank pretty far down on the list of mommymobile priorities, but Honda strove to improve these areas, too. Acceleration feels considerably brisker with the six-speed, and stopping distances are improved by upsizing the rotors an inch all around." -- Motor Trend
  • "On the other hand, for your bucks you get a van that drives like a premium sedan, with the slightly sporty edge that's always made Odyssey more fun than the other minivans." -- USA TODAY
  • "For all intents and purposes the new fourth-generation 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan is a buffed version of the third-generation machine which itself was a refinement of the second. So, no surprise, the new Odyssey is a somewhat better version of what was already the best handling and riding minivan." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "If we were to pick a single attribute of the Odyssey that most impressed us, we would have to go with how little the Odyssey drove like a traditional minivan of yesteryear. A quick spin won’t make you forget that there’s a huge people-and-junk-hauling cabin behind you, but the Odyssey’s agility is remarkable." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Honda Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 248 horsepower. LX, EX and EX-L trims have a five-speed automatic transmission, while Touring models have a six-speed automatic.  Reviewers say the powertrain works well, delivering adequate power for all situations, but a few complain that there’s no manual shift mode with either transmission.

Models with the six-speed automatic transmission get an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.  With the five-speed automatic, those numbers drop to 18/27 city/highway.

  • "Touring models are a bit more responsive thanks to their six-speed automatic transmission that executes shifts quickly and smoothly. Even though the Odyssey is outpowered by the Toyota Sienna's 266-hp V6, this new powertrain feels just as lively, with either minivan able to confidently merge onto the highway or pass slower moving traffic." -- Edmunds
  • "No matter which gearbox, Odyssey lacks the useful and well-done manual-shift mode that rival Sienna provides. Manual mode makes it easy to control a vehicle in hilly terrain, challenging traffic or when toting or towing extra weight." -- USA TODAY
  • "The V-6 moves the van -- which has dropped 100 pounds from last year -- with pep. The six-speed transmission is smooth, but even the five-speed does the job superbly. I recommend against making a trim-level decision based on the transmissions; there simply isn't a big enough improvement when moving up to the six-speed. If you opt for the Touring, it should be because of all its added gizmos and features." -- Cars.com
  • "A slight press on the throttle sends the Odyssey off the line with confidence. Around town, there is more than enough torque to move around smartly and weave between the tourists who obviously aren't under any type of schedule. We spent about 15 minutes on the surface streets, never bumping much over 50 mph. The transmission shifts smoothly, the brakes work as expected and outward visibility is just fine. The power from the engine is exactly what you would expect from a six-cylinder eight-passenger minivan." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2011 Honda Odyssey is the best-handling minivan on the market. Of course, that’s not saying much. Still, critics can’t find fault with how the Odyssey feels on the road.  They say it’s as smooth and stable as a sedan, and while it doesn’t invite spritied maneuvers, it can still hold its own on the twisting corners.

  • "The ride is as comfortable and poised as before, with body roll remaining minimal for a minivan. A new variable-displacement power-steering pump reduces effort slightly, but a bit of steering feel has been lost along with it; the average minivan buyer likely won’t mind, and the Odyssey remains the driver’s choice in the segment." -- Car and Driver
  • "Complementing this extra oomph is a retuned suspension that delivers a comfortable ride and excellent handling." -- Edmunds
  • "What’s more, Honda has now developed the ride and handling of its front-drive minivan to such a high level that I speculate how far back in history we have to go to find sports cars that didn’t handle this well. Probably not all that far." -- Road and Track
  • "The power steering is designed so that it takes less effort to maneuver at low speeds in parking lots, while being firmer at high speeds. That theory proved true during my test drive, but at speeds around 35 mph the steering seemed a bit sloppy for a Honda. I took an EX-L trim for a shorter trip, and the steering seemed better-tuned." -- Cars.com
  • "While not exactly a joyride, it's safe and predictable (not sketchy and sloppy, as we had predicted). We refuse to call it sporty, but "impressively competent" seems like the best description." -- Autoblog

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