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