Bigger isn’t necessarily better; what counts is the smarts. It’s a trend you see everywhere from toys to gadgets to houses. Now that trend has entered the automotive market, and in a segment you least expect: the premium MPV. In a world where gargantuan people carriers rule, Honda Cars Philippines is taking a bold, new direction; one that takes it to an undiscovered country. And there’s no better ride to take you there than the all-new Odyssey.
As a nameplate, the Odyssey has been around for two decades, actually triggering an MPV boom in Japan in the 1990’s. In the Philippines, it was re-launched alongside the Pilot SUV in 2012 to cater to upwardly mobile families who wanted nothing but the best when it comes to styling, space, comfort, and luxury. Three years and 250 units sold later, here comes the all-new Odyssey: an MPV that strives to balance the traits of a traditional MPV with that of an executive sedan.
Unlike the 2012 Odyssey which is built for the North American market, the latest Odyssey is actually the JDM or Japanese Domestic Model. Compared to its most immediate predecessor, the all-new Odyssey is 322-mm shorter (4,830-mm), 191-mm narrower (1,820-mm), and 42-mm lower (1,695-mm). Even the wheelbase has shrunk modestly to 2,900-mm from 3,000-mm. Visually, it looks like the love child of the CR-Z and Jazz subjected to huge doses of growth hormones. It incorporates both the wing face and three-bar grille upfront while LED headlights and daytime running lights cast a unique glow at night. The side is largely devoid of embellishments while the rear features a BMW-esque LED tail lamp cluster.
Despite the smaller stature, the all-new Odyssey takes Honda’s concept of Man Maximum, Machine Minimum to a whole new level. The dual power sliding doors, for instance, have the lowest step-in height making the loading of geriatrics much easier, while the lowest cargo step-in height at the back makes loading balik-bayan boxes much easier as well. Inside, it has one of the most flexible seating configurations seen in an MPV. The second row Captain’s Chairs not only slide fore and aft, but they can be made to slide side-to-side. The third row not only folds in a three-way 40/20/40 split, but they also can be reclined in various angles separately. The driver is also treated to an 8-way power adjustable seat.
The 2015 Odyssey is also aiming to be the most fuel-efficient premium MPV in the market. To achieve this, Honda enlists the help of its all-new 2.4-liter Earth Dreams DOHC i-VTEC engine which will propel the 1,851-kilogram 7-seater MPV. This 175 horsepower, 225 Nm engine is mated to the company’s Earth Dreams CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. It also comes with an idle start/stop system with a cold-storage evaporator that helps maintain a comfortable environment for occupants during idle start/stop. Of course, like all other Honda models, it has the ECON mode with the Eco Assist ambient coaching light.
Underneath, it rides on a uni-body platform with front MacPherson Struts with Amplitude Reactive Dampers. This mechanical system has two separate damping pistons allowing it to absorb both small and large road imperfections with ease. At the back, is a tuned H-shaped torsion beam axle. And each corner is filled with low rolling-resistance 215/45R17 tires. Excellent NVH is promised thanks to the use of thicker glass throughout the Odyssey as well as careful placement of sound insulating materials.
Aside from the 360-degree view camera, BLIS, and Cross Traffic Alert, the all-new Odyssey also comes with Honda’s complete suite of safety gear from 6 airbags to Active Cornering Lights, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), anti-lock brakes with EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), and Hill Start Assist (HSA).
The smarter premium MPV is now available at all Honda dealers nationwide at a retail price of P 2,298,000—a price that’s significantly cheaper than the outgoing North American Odyssey. It’s available in three colors: Premium Twinkle Black Pearl and White Orchid Pearl (though you need to cough up an additional P 20,000 for these colors) as well as Modern Steel Metallic. Four other colors are available on indent basis: Glamorous Mauve Pearl, Super Platinum Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl, and Crystal Black Pearl.
Finally, this wouldn’t be a true JDM minivan without some real JDM accessories, right? Honda’s got you covered there as well. It’s offering a Modulo Executive variant (fender garnish, door mirror garnish, rear license plate garnish, cargo tray and net) for an additional P 21,700 while the all-out MUGEN sports package goes for an additional P 91,200 (MUGEN sports front upper and lower grille, wing spoiler, door visor, and luggage mat). And celebrating the arrival of the all-new 2015 Odyssey, Honda Cars Philippines is giving the Modulo Executive package free of charge until March 31.