Shopping for a new Honda Odyssey?
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
The Odyssey is more fun to drive than most minivans, but that's not because of its acceleration.
sharp, accurate steering
satisfying acceleration in virtually all situations
VCM improves fuel economy
Shoppers might become a little confused about powertrains; there are two different engines listed for the Odyssey, but rest assured they're virtually the same. Top EX-L and Touring models of the 2010 Honda Odyssey come with a 241-horsepower, 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), while LX and EX models get a 244-hp version without the fuel-saving technology. With VCM, you'll save a little bit of fuel on the highway; the engine gets 25 mpg on the highway, instead of 23 mpg, but fuel economy remains relatively unimpressive with either powertrain, at just 16 or 17 mpg.
The 3.5-liter V-6, no matter which one you have, moves the 2010 Honda Odyssey very respectably, especially in a class that isn't known for performance. ConsumerGuide is impressed by the Odyssey's acceleration, describing it as "ample around town and when merging onto highways, even with a full complement of passengers." Edmunds also beams that the "V-6 complements the van's likable road manners, providing satisfying acceleration in virtually all situations."
Reviewers report few faults with the way the five-speed transmission responds, although ConsumerGuide notes that the gearbox "doesn't always downshift promptly in passing situations." Autoblog states that "VCM improves fuel economy of the 3.5L from 16/23 to 17/25, which isn't a huge jump, but may be appreciated by parent-run chauffeur services."
The 2010 Honda Odyssey remains one of the best-steering, best-handling minivans, in the opinion of TheCarConnection.com's editors, who believe it's more engaging from the driver's seat than many crossovers that might look more exciting from the outside. Edmunds calls the Honda Odyssey "the most car-like minivan on the market today, thanks to its tight turning radius, responsive steering and athletic tuning." ConsumerGuide praises the Odyssey's "sharp, accurate steering," but cautions potential buyers about the Honda's ride over rough roads, "where sharp bumps and highway expansion joints sometimes jab through—especially to rear-seat riders." With regard to braking, ConsumerGuide notes that "stopping control is good even with a full passenger load."
Once you're inside the 2010 Honda Odyssey, you'll probably forget you're in a minivan—and that's a good thing, right?