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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Honda Odyssey Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Honda Odyssey Overview

Where To Go When You've Outgrown Your Accord

As minivans go, the Odyssey is a big one—and we're not just talking about size. The Odyssey is big in other areas that count, like value, power and reliability. That last point, reliability, may be the most compelling reason to buy an Odyssey. After all, in today's world of skyrocketing home prices, tuition fees and everyday expenses, the last thing you need is a series of costly repairs to a vehicle you've not even paid off. Of course, no one can guarantee perfection, but with the Odyssey, the odds are heavily in your favor.

Honda designed the Odyssey to satisfy customers whose needs have outgrown the abilities of the average family sedan. By outgrown, we mean that the family and all their possessions no longer fit harmoniously in the confined rear quarters of a single bench seat—especially if part of the family now includes teenagers. Shouting matches and punching contests will become a thing of the past once you place your family inside an Odyssey. Through the use of creative seating arrangements, Honda has created a series of mini-spaces designed to give each passenger as much "personal space" as possible. With a set of captain's chair bucket seats at the front and second sideways-sliding set at the mid-row, the Odyssey provides more than enough ways to configure your crew and their cargo so they won't conflict.

The Odyssey's tall roof line and low step in height provide easy access in and out. The large front doors are matched by a set of equally large sliding side doors that are power operated on EX and EX-L models. Rear seat passengers also have an easy time as they enter and exit due to the center pathway created by the mid-row seats which eliminates squeezing between the door and seatback. Rear seat passengers also enjoy a set of power-operated vent windows that serve to improve airflow when the rear A/C is switched off.

When not in use, the rear bench seat can be stowed away with little effort. You simply pull on the release strap, fold the seat forward and then flip it back into its own carpet-lined well. Once in place, the rear seat becomes one with the floor, creating a large level platform for piling on cargo. Remove the mid-row seats and you have a loading area large enough to fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood or months worth of camping supplies.

Speaking of storage areas, the Odyssey is loaded with them; they appear on either side of the rear seat, in the sliding doors, on the front seat backs, in the overhead console and in the form of a retractable center tray table. The Odyssey includes six cup holders; the most clever are found integrated into the mid-row seat bottoms.

A fully-loaded Odyssey carries quite a bit of weight, so Honda has given both the LX and EX the same 240 horsepower V6 engine. The VTEC 3.5-liter V6 is one of the most advanced engines you can buy. It combines impressive power and towing abilities with a remarkably frugal appetite for fuel. Thanks in part to the velvety five-speed automatic transmission, the EPA rates the Odyssey at an impressive 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway, and that's burning regular unleaded!

Once underway, you'll barely hear the engine working; in fact, you'll barely hear much at all. The Odyssey's cabin is remarkabley hush at highway speeds, with very little noticeable tire or wind noise. You'll find that Honda has assigned the Odyssey a rather firm suspension that is not as cushy or floaty as some competitors. That's because the Odyssey is equipped with a set of stiff struts up front and double-wishbone independent rear suspension. The trade-off in ride comfort is more than made up for by the Odyssey's amazingly stable handling characteristics. With precise steering and terrifically flat cornering, the Odyssey feels far smaller than it actually is, making it easier to park and maneuver.

If you elect to save some money and go with the LX, you'll still get quite a bit of Honda for your money. Standard features include rear window wiper, power mirrors, front and rear air conditioning, anti-theft deterrent system, manual driver's seat height adjustment, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, AM/FM stereo with cassette and four speakers, map lights, tilt wheel, sliding sun visor extensions and front side-impact airbags. The EX trim adds automatic climate control, dual power-sliding side doors, alloy wheels, auto-off headlights, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and a CD player with six speakers. Options for the EX include heated leather seats, a satellite navigation system and a DVD rear-seat entertainment unit.

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