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STYLING | 7 out of 10
That "lightning bolt" window line is meant to improve third-row visibility and make Odysseys easier to spot in the soccer-field parking lot.
Car and Driver
can appear bloated and overwrought in pictures but in person comes off as fresh and upscale.
doesn't camouflage the sliding door track as do Toyota and Chrysler
"The interior, on the other hand, is far from controversial. It features an expensive and upscale Acura-like look and feel"
In pursuit of benchmark fuel-economy figures, the slippery new skin boasts a far more rakish windshield, reviving the first-gen's triangular peepholes ahead of the front doors.
While the Odyssey's space-efficient, box-on-wheels intent is unmistakable, from straight ahead and behind, the Odyssey's look is surprisingly conservative, with strong influences from Honda's cars rather than trucks.
From the side, it's more interesting; the Odyssey gets a sleeker look, with a slightly more arched roofline, brightwork accenting all around, and most notably, the "lightning bolt" hump along the rear window—complemented by a sculpted (aerodynamically functional) rear fender. While the Lincoln MKT has a comparable beltline rise, the Odyssey's drops down, to give the third row more glass. In front, the small front windows, ahead of the doors, are a functional cue shared with Honda's small cars.
Inside, the changes are evolutionary at first glance. Although materials are completely new, the instrument panel hasn't really changed much in structure. Honda kept to a "cool and intuitive" theme and aimed to make the Odyssey a little easier to operate. That, officials said, meant keeping knobs and buttons large, as well as high enough.
The 'lightning bolt' adds a little flair, and perhaps a little controversy to the styling of the 2011 Honda Odyssey, but overall its design is evolutionary.