The best minivan you can buy
Nothing - new vehicle.
Adults can fit comfortably in the third row. We traded in our Honda Pilot because the third row is really not intended for use by normal-sized adults. Kids are OK - no adults. The Odyssey is a different story. I was able to sit in the third row with the second row seats in their rear-most position, and my knees were still 2-3 inches away from the seatbacks. There would be ample room if the second row passengers moved their seats forward even slightly, which they can easily do without compromising their comfort as there is a huge amount of legroom for the second row.
The engine is the same as offered in the Pilot - 255 HP, 3.5L. However, the EX-L and Touring models have a new variable cylinder management system. At cruising speeds, it shuts off three of the six cylinders to conserve fuel consumption. This allows it to achieve a reported 28 mpg for highway driving. We haven't taken it on any extended trips, so I can't confirm this, although Honda is pretty accurate (in my experience - this is my/our fifth Honda) in their mpg estimates. The activation and deactivation of the three cylinders is imperceptible, and the only hint that the system is working is the "ECO" light on the dashboard. However, this light doesn't necessarily mean that the system is active, but rather than the engine is running at its most efficient.
The DVD system is much more valuable than I anticipated. I wanted to consider some aftermarket DVD installation, but my wife wanted it integrated. Other than fighting over what to watch, our kids are mesmerized by the system. The DVD loader is up front at the bottom of the center console. The system has a removable remote control that is very handy. It also includes two wireless headphones that have very, very good sound quality. They allow the kids to watch/listen while we listen to the radio over the regular speakers.
The cargo room is huge. Even with the third row seats up, there is still a large and deep well at the rear. We have a stroller and other stuff back there and haven't had to fold down one of the rear seats yet for extra cargo room. We routinely drove our Pilot with the third row seats folded down because there wasn't enough usable cargo room when they were up.
The dual power sliding doors are great. They can be opened or closed from buttons on the dashboard or via the remote. The kids can also open and close the doors without having to slam them.
The ride quality is near-luxury. Our Pilot had a good ride for an SUV, but the Odyssey is much smoother.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th March, 2005