Redesigned 2011 Honda Odyssey Emphasizes Functionality over Form

The new 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan will be available for purchase this fall. The newly redesigned Odyssey has more room and is wider, lower, roomier and more aerodynamic than the current model. Honda says the third row has room for three adults to sit comfortably due to a repositioning of the sliding door motor to below-the-shoulder height. The third row is still collapsible, and will fold and stow away easily using a strap.

The price of the new Honda Odyssey is expected to remain roughly the same as the 2010 model, but the 2011 model will offer more standard features for buyers, while the exterior design remains largely unchanged. Chief engineer Art St. Cyr says, “Functionality is still the main reason people buy minivans.” The exterior is not considered of optimum importance, and the lightning bolt signature at the base of the side window glass has been carried over on the new model.

Some of the standard or optional features offered in the Honda Odyssey are power lumbar driver’s seat adjustment, high-intensity headlights, front-door puddle lights and a center console that is large enough for the average purse. The “coolbox” will hold up to six 12-ounce or four 20-ounce beverage cans, and fifteen cupholders in the vehicle can accommodate everything from a small Red Bull can to a Big Gulp drink. There is also a media tray for holding and hiding mobile phones and MP3 players.

The second row’s middle seat has six inches of fore-aft travel, and the second row also is equipped with an entertainment system complete with a 16.2-inch screen.

In addition to the added third row room, with all seats down, the new Odyssey can accommodate a 4’X8’ piece of plywood.

The front row has two 110-watt accessory outlets for powering electronic devices. The cargo area has an additional 110-watt outlet, and the third row seat is equipped with a 150-watt AC outlet for more power-hungry devices.

The engine of the 2011 Honda Odyssey is a redesigned 3.5-liter V-6 with variable cylinder management. Fuel consumption is estimated at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive is not currently available.

The new minivan will be approximately one inch longer than the current model. Higher-strength steel will be used to a greater extent, meaning less weight. An exact weight for the vehicle was not given by Honda. Price has also not been announced, but the company predicts that there won’t be a great difference from the current model, which costs around $27,585.

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