The 2013 Honda Odyssey can be equipped with some standout technology features such as a blind-spot system, auto-leveling HID headlamps, and a hard-drive-based music system. But all of those features remains the exclusive domain of top Odyssey Touring and Touring Elite models, and Honda's tendency to push some of the most desirable features to much more expensive trim levels (rather than part of packages or a la carte options) can be frustrating.
For 2013, the base LX no longer skimps on Bluetooth connectivity; that's now standard equipment on all Odysseys, and base LX models now also get the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and 8-inch TFT screen, in addition to 2 gigabytes of audio storage, and a USB audio port.
At the base level, air conditioning (with front and rear controls), cruise control, an eight-way power driver's seat, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and a 229-watt sound system with subwoofer are all also included in the LX.
EX models add alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, HomeLink, the removable front center console, a tri-zone climate control system, and second-row sunshades. EX-L models add to that leather upholstery and trim plus heated front seats, an eight-inch screen display, rearview camera, power moonroof, cooling box, an added utility tray, and many more extras.
At the very top of the lineup, Touring Elite models step up to a blind-spot system, a 650-watt sound system with hard-disk storage, the ultra-wide-screen system, theater surround sound, and HID headlamps.
EX and EX-L models include 15 GB of hard-drive space in navigation-equipped models. Honda says that this holds the contents of 175 CDs. Another standout is the new 16.2-inch wide-screen system, which provides entertainment and can even split the screen in half for two separate inputs (including HDMI).
The navigation system has an especially clear, intuitive display, and we like the controls better than the systems in some of Honda's other models; it has a built-in Zagat guide, a huge points-of-interest database, high-contrast VGA display, and free FM-based traffic information. You can also customize the system with a personal picture for wallpaper.