Minivan shoppers may not care much about performance, but even so, the Odyssey has all the power necessary to accelerate strongly, change lanes with confidence, pass quickly, and even climb mountain roads with a full load of passengers. Put shortly, the Odyssey performs almost like a sporty car, rather than a lumbering SUV.
It's powered by Honda's 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, capable of producing 250 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is now standard.
The Odyssey isn't flat-out quick, but it feels fast for this kind of vehicle; it takes about 8.8 second to get to 60 mph.
The Odyssey handles much more like a V-6 Accord, even though its looks align more closely with a Pilot. Thanks to some expert chassis engineering, this minivan corners with poise and control but not much harshness as a tradeoff; that's because of well-tuned, isolated front and rear subframes that help avoid the queasy secondary motions that plague many big, family-friendly vehicles.
While either of the transmissions deliver decisive, quick, smooth shifts when you're accelerating rapidly, we've noticed in both cases that shifts can be balky when things aren't as urgent--when you're getting gently back on the gas out of a corner, or accelerating lightly, for instance. And with an 'L' mode and an O/D-off button on the gearshift selector, there's no straightforward way to simply control shifts when you're on a mountain road.
Although the Odyssey isn't tuned for performance driving, its variable-displacement power-steering system has great weighting and even a little road feedback, and it's far better than the electric power steering systems that Honda has installed in its smaller CR-V or Civic.