2013 Honda Odyssey Styling

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Styling

Minivan designers face a particularly tough task--of trying to make these boxes on wheels attractive and stylish, without giving up space efficiency. And they get it right with the Odyssey in some respects. While it's quite generic from the back, it fits right in with the Honda family from the front, and from the side its profile is quite easy to pick out in a crowd.

Overall, the 2013 Honda Odyssey continues to borrow more design details from Honda's cars than it does from its crossovers like the Pilot. A couple of years ago the Odyssey received a redesign that brought it a slightly more arched roofline plus more brightwork accents throughout. But the most significant new design trait was the addition of a "lightning bolt" hump along the rear window; it's a cue that serves to add much-needed design flair as well as aid outward visibility, slightly.

The Honda Odyssey makes the most of the standard minivan constraints—and actually stands out from other vans at a distance.

Other design cues of note, on the outside, are the small front windows ahead of the side mirrors, which also help with visibility but help the design stand out as more rakish, and the rear fender sheetmetal below and behind the "lightning bolt"--it's more exciting and aerodynamically sculpted than you'll find in other minivans.

Inside, the Odyssey is more ordinary, and that last redesign brought only evolutionary changes. The instrument panel design is familiar and upright, remaining somewhat swoopy and space-maximizing. In stark contrast to the sea-of-buttons look that's offered up in the dashes of some Honda and Acura passenger-car and crossover interiors, what's here is a refreshingly simple control layout containing large knobs and controls.

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