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As the minivan segment continues to shrink, those left fighting it out don't have to be quite as innovative. Evidence of that came with the new Toyota Sienna, and now with the reveal of Honda's new 2011 Odyssey we're starting to see a pattern. Perhaps, however, the minivan has reached its pinnacle and the only things left to do are polish off the rough edges and add on new minor features here and there.

Along with a partially new look, that features the "lightning bolt" design first shown on the Odyssey concept at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, the 2011 Odyssey is both lower and wider, delivering added driving dynamics and even more space inside. Also aiding in the overall driving experience are new 18-inch wheels and even larger front brakes.

While not necessarily a great engineering breakthrough, the 2011 Odyssey does include a new three-seat second row system that allows the bench to be pulled apart, making room for three baby seats. We also like the 16.2-inch widescreen entertainment system that can operate as a split screen with two videos as once.

Other features include optional HID headlights, a power tailgate and 15 cupholders.

No engine specs are yet available, but Honda has already said the van will feature a 3.5-lier i-VTEC V6 with segment leading 19-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.

More: 2011 Honda Odyssey Breaks Cover on AutoGuide.com
 

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Thanks for posting...

A better than decent way to carry people and stuff still. Quick thoughts from lookingat a few of the pics and notes:
- That is one HECK of a cut line for the sliding door on the rear quarter panel. Hard not to look at it first as it disturbs the lines to me.
- Like: wider stance and wider interior space, 18" wheels a nice touch, kept the utility from past versions and upped it marginally, lotsa space to do lotsa stuff in a midsize package, that's some video screen!
- Not enthused on: Fairly mundane face piece but in line with Honda I guess (conservative and unoffensive), that sliding door cut line again, interior panels may suffer from that cost cutting thing a bit still but remain functional, assume road noise will be a bit higher than Toyota's Sienna as in previous models

Good if not big step in evolution overall I guess. I gotta believe as hybrids would move forward that a minivan would be a great target market to go greener...maybe at the 2 year update mark? Anybody else notice how mother nature's smooth designs are ever more present for aerodynamics (think egg)?
 

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I don't think making it lower and more aerodynamic is an improvement at all. Screw aerodynamics, I want to be able to put my bike in the back without having to take the wheels off.

The Gen2 Oddy was the pinnacle of the breed, IMO. Honda is messing up the Odyssey exactly the way it did the CR-V. It's a symptom of "outside-in" decision-making: You spend 99% of your time with a vehicle on the inside looking out, yet all people seem to care about is how it looks from the curb. I can't blame the automakers for giving people what they want, even if it's foolish.
 

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I don't think making it lower and more aerodynamic is an improvement at all. Screw aerodynamics, I want to be able to put my bike in the back without having to take the wheels off.

The Gen2 Oddy was the pinnacle of the breed, IMO. Honda is messing up the Odyssey exactly the way it did the CR-V. It's a symptom of "outside-in" decision-making: You spend 99% of your time with a vehicle on the inside looking out, yet all people seem to care about is how it looks from the curb. I can't blame the automakers for giving people what they want, even if it's foolish.
99% of the auto-buying public follow the "form before function" school. They want someone that appeals to them emotionally far greater than they care about the functional details. IMHO it's a horrible way to buy anything except jewelry.



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Just saw the new Odyssey pics - yuck!

With Honda supposedly coming up on a major redesign of the Element in 2012 0r 2013, the "shape of things to come" as shown by the new Odyssey has me reeling. It's everything I was afraid of and nothing we'd hoped to see.

Here's my feedback to Honda: The new Odyssey was a contender when my E wears out but it isn't any longer. If I'm buying a van, I expect to GET a van and not a sedan with a hatchback. The general styling and appearance? -> :shock:<-

For pity's sake, Honda, get a new design team! Wasn't the Crosstour fiasco enough of a disaster? You no longer make -anything- that I'd consider buying in the future to replace my Element.
 

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well said. There are some features I like about the Odyssey but the overall look is not at all what I want. One thing I really liked about the older Ody was the more or less flat rear end that gave you a little extra rear cargo space. I logged some time in a Sienna and that had the steep slope rear glass that compromised cargo.

Please give us a van option with van capabilities somebody!!!
 

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you could have at least posted a link to the pics you saw? At any rate, here is a link to some pics of it.

I actually like it. But not as an Odyssey. I think mini van and i think higher roof line. Although there are some pics that you can tell this is NOT a station wagon and is a pretty big vehicle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/auto_bird/4346819959/
The pics on flickr are the old concept vehicle. The actual product looks 10X worse.

http://automobiles.honda.com/2011-odyssey
 

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With Honda supposedly coming up on a major redesign of the Element in 2012 0r 2013, the "shape of things to come" as shown by the new Odyssey has me reeling. It's everything I was afraid of and nothing we'd hoped to see.

Here's my feedback to Honda: The new Odyssey was a contender when my E wears out but it isn't any longer. If I'm buying a van, I expect to GET a van and not a sedan with a hatchback. The general styling and appearance? -> :shock:<-

For pity's sake, Honda, get a new design team! Wasn't the Crosstour fiasco enough of a disaster? You no longer make -anything- that I'd consider buying in the future to replace my Element.
I'm a loyal Honda guy, but truth be told, I've always preferred the look and versatility of the Nissan Quest over the Odyssey.
 

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I'm a loyal Honda guy, but truth be told, I've always preferred the look and versatility of the Nissan Quest over the Odyssey.
My neighbor had a Quest. Nothing but trouble. He sold it after 3 years just get froom underneath it....
 

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Jeremy Clarkson once wrote, "I've seen more balance and cohesion at a stag party and more aesthetic merit in a Prague housing project." He was reviewing the '03 Accord Tourer (with characteristic hyperbole), but that fairly sums my feelings about Honda/Acura design work of late. The clean, taut designs of the '80s, '90s and early '00s have given way to such eccentric expressions as the Crosstour, the current Pilot and CR-V, and now the Odyssey.

A part of me "gets it". Honda wants to evoke engineering prowess and unconventional thinking, which these designs effectively do. But for $25-30k I want a vehicle that is emotionally engaging as well, or at least reasonably pleasant to look at -- something that is more than a technical exercise, even if a bold one.

:|
 

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Jeremy Clarkson once wrote, "I've seen more balance and cohesion at a stag party and more aesthetic merit in a Prague housing project." He was reviewing the '03 Accord Tourer (with characteristic hyperbole), but that fairly sums my feelings about Honda/Acura design work of late. The clean, taut designs of the '80s, '90s and early '00s have given way to such eccentric expressions as the Crosstour, the current Pilot and CR-V, and now the Odyssey.

A part of me "gets it". Honda wants to evoke engineering prowess and unconventional thinking, which these designs effectively do. But for $25-30k I want a vehicle that is emotionally engaging as well, or at least reasonably pleasant to look at -- something that is more than a technical exercise, even if a bold one.

:|
I understand the flowery way that Jeremy Clarkson said he was unimpressed, but here in Indiana, we'd look at your review and sum it up in simpler words. "The new Odyssey is overpriced and ugly. Uh-huh."
Honda seems to be having a LOT of problems with those two things lately and I'd sure love to know if they really don't understand Western aesthetics or was their design section sabotaged by rivals.
 
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