Minivan shoppers aren't usually concerned with straight-line performance, nor should they be. It's more important that a people carrier such as this be comfortable and safe, but some modicum of safety can be had with a vehicle that will accelerate smoothly with traffic. The 2015 Honda Odyssey's carlike attributes extend to its driving dynamics, inspiring confidence when it's time to brake, turn, accelerate, change lanes, or stop.
The Odyssey is powered by Honda's 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6, which generates 250 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is now standard.
The Odyssey isn't flat-out quick, but it feels plenty fast for this kind of vehicle; it takes about 8.8 second to get to 60 mph.
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 and Civic models.
The Odyssey handles much more like a V-6 Accord, even though its looks align more closely with the larger Pilot SUV. 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-hauling vehicles.
While the Odyssey's six-speed transmission delivers decisive, quick, smooth shifts when you're accelerating rapidly, we've noticed that shifts can occasionally 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 only 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.