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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.
The Odyssey has a space-efficient, box-on-wheels design that still manages to look good from the side. Yet while the side profile is distinct, the Odyssey's front and rear styling is conservative and unremarkable.
Both in front and in back, the Odyssey borrows more design details from Honda's cars than it does from its crossovers like the Pilot. Last year the Odyssey got its sleeker look, with a redesign that included a slightly more arched roofline, brightwork accenting all around, and most notably, the "lightning bolt" hump along the rear window—which adds much-needed design flair and helps, ever slightly, with visibility. Likewise, in front, the small front windows, ahead of the doors, are a functional cue shared with Honda's small cars. Moving around to the back, the rear fender is also a bit more (aerodynamically) sculpted than you might expect for a minivan.Last year's redesign brought changes inside that were more evolutionary. The instrument panel hasn't changed all that much, remaining somewhat swoopy and space-maximizing, while a "cool and intuitive" theme keeps the control layout simple, with large knobs and controls, and less of the sea-of-buttons look that other Honda and Acura dashes have resorted to.
A minivan is by nature an aerodynamically sculpted box on wheels, but the 2012 Honda Odyssey has a little more flair than most.