For 2009, the Honda Odyssey upgrades the EX-L trim level, expands the application of Bluetooth, and adds a power tailgate to the Odyssey EX-L. The look of the Odyssey isn't startlingly good or bad, but it doesn't matter because people don't buy minivans based on looks and emotion.
Car and Driver appreciates the updates, saying, "Now there's a minivan we don't mind driving." MotherProof agrees, describing the Honda Odyssey as "elegant, poised, smooth ... [with] sleek lines and subtle accents." Autoblog says, "Honda has dressed up the Odyssey with some styling tweaks, including ... front bumper fascia." Cars.com notes that the Honda Odyssey "continues its trend of exterior and interior changes."
The interior design is clean and functional. However, the center stack of controls are scattered around and it takes some time to get accustomed to the arrangement. Cars.com, for example, points out the Odyssey's “gearshift lever sits on the instrument panel." ConsumerGuide finds "it's easy to reach but obstructs some controls when in park." Elsewhere, ConsumerGuide likes the "large, clearly marked main gauges." MotherProof says "subtle backlighting creates an elegant view of the instrument panel," and Autoblog points out the "interior has received new colors, textures and fabrics, as well."