Honda Odyssey Performance
Many reviewers think that first-time minivan buyers will be pleasantly surprised with how well the Honda Odyssey performs. While they say it's no sports sedan, most reviewers say the Odyssey had enough power for most situations and isn't plagued by the ponderous handling that afflicts most minivans.
- "The 2013 Honda Odyssey is a pretty easy vehicle to live with." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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 (2011)
- "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 (2011)
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 Honda Odyssey has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 248 horsepower. A five-speed automatic is standard on LX, EX and EX-L models while Touring trims get a six speed automatic. With the six speed, the Odyssey gets an EPA-estimated 19/28 mpg city/highway.
Overall, reviewers say that the Odyssey has plenty of power and that both the five- and six-speed transmissions work well. However, some reviewers complain that the five-speed can be slow to downshift to deliver more power, and wish that the six-speed was available across the line.
- "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 power from the engine is exactly what you would expect from a six-cylinder eight-passenger minivan." -- Autoblog (2011)
- "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 (2011)
- "Honda's 3.5-liter V6 engine works as well in the Odyssey as it does in the brand's other vehicles. Both transmissions upshift smoothly. The 5-speed is reluctant is downshift when more power is needed; this is not an issue with the 6-speed. We question Honda's rationale for only putting the 6-speed on the top two trim levels." -- Consumer Guide
Handling and Braking
Many reviewers say that, for a minivan, the 2013 Honda Odyssey handles very well. They're impressed at how the Odyssey tackles corners and at how direct and well-weighted the steering is. Keep in mind that the Odyssey's handling is excellent for a minivan; several reviewers point out that its height and weight mean that the Odyssey is no sport sedan. Still, nearly all reviewers say the Odyssey is up for a long cruise on the highway or a somewhat spirited jaunt down a back road.
- "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 (2011)
- "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 (2011)
- "Sporty for a minivan. Odyssey suffers from some body lean in fast turns, but it's not excessive. The steering feels very light at all speeds but maintains good response. The Touring and Elite have slightly better grip, owing to their 18-inch tires." -- Consumer Guide
- "To prove the worthiness of its design, Honda engineers invited us to take the 2013 Odyssey minivan to a small enclosed track where we were able to push it in a way not possible on public streets. To our surprise (and delight) the Odyssey handled everything we threw at it, doing quite well in emergency maneuvering, performing multiple rapid stops and remaining on course even through some exceptionally fast turns." -- Kelley Blue Book