The full 2015 Honda Odyssey lineup includes LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite models. The Odyssey offers some standout technology options like auto-leveling HID headlamps, a hard-drive-based music system, and blind-spot detection. Unfortunately for those on a budget looking only for certain features, those items are only available on the Touring and Touring Elite models. This can be frustrating, as there are no a la carte options.
That said, the base model does represent good value. Bluetooth is standard on all Odysseys, as are 2 GB of audio storage, USB audio connectivity, a rearview camera, and an eight-inch TFT information display. Air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; and a stereo system with a subwoofer all come standard on the base LX model, too.
The mid-trim EX models add tri-zone climate control, heated mirrors, Homelink and second-row sunshades. Honda's LaneWatch camera system, which displays an image of the right-hand blind spot whenever the right turn signal is activated, is included on EX models and higher. The EX also adds a mirror to help aid conversations between front- and rear-seat occupants.
Heated leather seats are standard for EX-L models and above, as are features like the cooling box, power moonroof, and utility tray. EX-L models equipped with navigation include 15 GB of hard-drive space, which Honda says is enough to hold the contents of 175 CDs. 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 point-of-interest database, a high-contrast VGA display, and free FM-based traffic information. You can also customize the system with a personal picture for wallpaper. Navigation is standard on both the Touring and Touring Elite.
EX-L trims and above include advanced safety features, including active lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems. A power tailgate is also included at this level and beyond.
At the very top of the lineup, Touring Elite models add to a blind-spot detection system, a 650-watt sound system with hard-disk storage, theater surround sound, and HID headlamps. Those in the back for long car rides will appreciate the 16.2-inch wide-screen entertainment system, which can show one source or split the screen in half to display two separate inputs (including HDMI). The top model also gets HondaLink, which allows owners to use a smartphone app to access Aha Internet-based entertainment, or hear Facebook and Twitter updates via text-to-speech.
Perhaps the most enticing Touring Elite feature is the HondaVAC system, which was added last year. Co-developed with Shop-Vac, this powerful integrated vacuum cleaner is located on the left side of the cargo compartment. Accessories and nozzles are included and can be attached to the pull-out hose, which reaches all the way to the front of the van. Because it is hardwired to the vehicle's battery, the HondaVAC never needs to be charged or plugged in; it acts as a normal vehicle accessory, capable of running for up to eight minutes with the vehicle turned off.