The highest trim levels of Honda’s redesigned 2011 Odyssey, the Touring and Touring Elite, bring unparalleled sophistication and flexibility to the minivan segment.
2011 greets the top level Odyssey trims with a handsome, modern exterior. The Touring and Touring Elite see a more aggressive, more aerodynamic body style this time around, complete with a bold Honda grille and fenders, a rear roofline spoiler and an athletic, lightning bolt design marking its flanks. Both trims come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, which complement the minivan’s broad stance. Remote operated power sliding doors come standard, as do some body colored parking sensors, though the Elite’s add a set of sculpted high intensity (HID) headlamps (it is, after all, Elite).
Beneath the hood, both models dispel with conventional minivan minutia in favor of a 3.5-liter, 24-valve i-VTEC engine. Honda’s not-so-mini V6 makes an impressive 248 hp and 250 lb/ft of torque through a standard six-speed automatic transmission, so it has ample power when called upon. When you don’t need the Odyssey firing on all six cylinders (say, at cruising speed), the both trims utili
ze Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) system, which allows the minivan to run on four or even three cylinders to conserve fuel. The Odyssey Touring and Touring Elite deliver class-leading fuel economy to the tune of an EPA estimated 28 highway mpg, a rarity for an eight-passenger mobile command unit like this one.
Underneath the Odyssey’s reinforced ACE body structure you’ll get a number of standard safety features: antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution, five child seat safety anchors and front, side and three rows of side-curtain airbags, for starters. The Odyssey complements its powerful engine with the superior handling confidence liberally doled out by a revised suspension and Honda’s standard Vehicle Stability Assist™ with Traction Control. All of this (and, well, quite a bit more) earned the minivan a top-of-the-heap five-star overall score in government crash tests.
Sandwiched by its dual sliding doors and power tailgate is a cabin more spacious and refined than that of the outgoing model. With ample room for eight, this year’s Odyssey sees more legroom in the second and third rows as well as a handful of convenient new amenities. Features like a removable front center console with trash ring (an indispensable dispensable dispenser), an integrated cool box (big enough to keep up to six cans chilled) and an easy-folding third row Magic Seat® boost Odyssey’s flexibility in big way. In fact, Odyssey’s versatile second and third rows can be configured any number of ways, allowing for ever-changing ratios of passengers to stuff and stuff to passengers.
Up front, in between a pair of heated leather seats and slicing through the center of the Odyssey’s dash, is a bevy of technology features that would make Silicon Valley blush. Touring Elite provides a 12-speaker, 650-watt audio system, and both see the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with voice recognition. Since they’re hooked up with Nav, both models also get Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, a multi-view rear camera and Honda’s newest concoction, Song By Voice® (SBV). SBV grants voice control over your entire music library (either through the in-dash hard drive or a connected iPod); say a song, hear a song, it’s that simple.
Touring Elite trims up the technological ante with a Blind Spot Information System (BSI), an integrated 15 GB hard drive, 5.1 Surround Sound audio and the high-definition Honda Ultrawide Rear Entertainment System with HDMI connectivity (Touring trims get a DVD rear entertainment system).
Don’t look now, but it’s entirely possible that the 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan is far cooler than the crossover SUVs it leaves in its impressively environmentally-friendly wake.
Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $780.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary