2015 Honda Odyssey
The 2015 Honda Odyssey is a minivan, but there is hardly anything "mini" about it. The vehicle features seating for up to eight passengers distributed along three rows with a spacious interior and excellent reliability and safety ratings. Judging from its shape and size, most would not expect the vehicle to deliver the performance, handling, and driving pleasure it actually does.
The 2015 Odyssey is available in five trims, LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Touring-Elite.
It is not easy to provide the utility of a minivan and then give the boxy shape an attractive style. Honda tried and succeeded in balancing the looks and utility on the 2015 Odyssey. Calculated chrome applications, premium-looking lights, and distinctive profile help the Odyssey stand out in the minivan segment.
We find that the 2015 Odyssey takes more design cues from Honda's sedans than its crossovers. The vehicle features an arched roofline and a lot of brightwork on its body. Small windows just ahead of the side mirrors add a drop of visibility for the front passengers and give the vehicle a futuristic look from the outside.
However, the hump between the second and third-row windows is the most noticeable feature, which makes the third-row window taller. It provides better visibility to the third-row passengers, gives the vehicle a modern look, and even blends the rear door sliding tracks with the body creasing. The sheetmetal below the hump is sculpted to provide the minivan with an aerodynamic edge and look sportier.
The 2015 Odyssey appears to have a lower riding profile due to its expansive width. The lower footboard also provides additional headroom for the occupants.
Step inside, and you find the Odyssey's cabin neatly laid out. It is more oriented towards utility above all else. The cabin feels very spacious and upright. The cluster of buttons on the dashboard is quite different from the cluttered layout found on other Honda crossovers and sedans; it is clean and straightforward with prominent and easily accessible knobs and buttons.
Most minivan buyers have little importance to handling and performance and do rightly so. Minivans are not designed to be taken for joy rides around tracks, nor are they built for evasive driving. Instead, they are focused on keeping the occupants safe and comfortable during short trips and hours-long cruises.
The 2015 Honda Odyssey, however, is slightly different. It surprisingly delivers a car-like experience as soon as you get behind the wheel. Starting from a stop, accelerating, cruising, braking, turning, changing lanes, or stopping all are fun on the Odyssey, which drives like a much smaller vehicle than it is.
The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 248 hp and 250 pound-feet torque. The engine is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that offers smooth shifting. For its size and category, the Odyssey is relatively fast. 60 mph comes in just 8.8 seconds from a stop.
One feature that is hugely responsible for Odyssey's sporty and agile handling is the Variable Displacement Power Steering. It is excellently weighted and performs much better than the standard electronic power steering on the other Honda vehicles like the Civic or CR-V.
Even with looks close to the bulky Pilot SUV, the Odyssey handles more like the V6 Accord. Honda has put in a lot of engineering in the chassis frame of the Odyssey, which allows the minivan to take corners with a lot of control without feeling harsh on the road. It makes this possible with the isolated subframes on the front and rear of the vehicle, which prevent unwanted secondary movements.
We have a slight issue with the transmission's lagging response at slow speeds. There is only an "L" position for the shift lever and an O/D off button, which prevents the driver from controlling the shifts on hilly terrain. However, the transmission is very quick, smooth, and decisive when accelerating rapidly.
Comfort and Space Features
The priority of all minivan shoppers is the comfort, interior space, and flexibility the vehicle offers. It does not matter if you have a large family with lots of kids or are a carpool driver for a large group; the Honda Odyssey's features will suit you well. The vehicle is equipped with abundant features making it an ideal vehicle that keeps the kids occupied. It can fit eight adults thanks to its sliding seats.
Thanks to the active engine mounts that suppress vibrations, the Odyssey is impressively quiet even when running at high speeds. The cabin is well insulated and comes with active noise cancellation to minimize noises entering the vehicle.
The front seats are comfortable and supportive. They are wide enough to comfortably seat individuals of all sizes. However, a little more back and lateral support could have been added.
A feature lets the second rows slide outboards from the center, allowing the seat width to be adjusted. This nifty feature makes the seat suitable for two adults, three adults, or adults with a child seat.
The third row offers ample space for average-height adults and even has an armrest on some variants. For really tall passengers, the second row provides enough space to lounge about all day. But they will have a slight issue sitting in the third row for longer trips.
The seats are very easy to fold and disappear into the floor by a firm tug at a single strap. It is so simple that we do not even miss the power-folding option. With both rows folded down, a flat cargo floor is revealed, which offers more than enough space to carry large building materials, including 8'x4' sheets of plywood.
In terms of numbers, the cargo space behind the third-row seat of the Odyssey is 38.4 cubic feet. With the third-row seat folded down, the space increases to 93.1 cubic feet, and with both second and third-row seats down, the volume rises to a whopping 148.5 cubic feet. This space is more extensive than any SUV offers, including the gigantic Chevrolet Suburban!
There are plenty of storage bins and containers around the cabin for small items. There is a media drawer with a damped lid, a cooled compartment that can hold multiple cans and bottles, and even a simple ring to hang a trash bag – it makes us wonder how we have survived without these features.
The materials inside the cabin are of good quality, but we will not term them luxurious. However, they are well suited for their purpose and are easy to wipe and clean.
It is safe to say that the 2015 Honda Odyssey is one of the safest vehicles. It comes with a lot of standard and advanced safety features. The following features come standard across all variants of the 2015 Odyssey:
- Six airbags around the cabin, including frontal, side, and overhead airbags.
- Electronic Stability Control ensures the vehicle does not cross its handling and performance limits. This system can reduce engine power to ensure that the vehicle remains under the driver's control.
- Antilock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up, which helps maintain traction and control during hard braking.
- Electronic brake assist can add more pressure to the brakes to stop the vehicle quicker
- Traction control senses any traction loss on any wheel and can balance the power to regain traction.
- Daytime running lights make the vehicle more visible from a distance.
- A Rearview camera, which is an absolute requirement on the giant Odyssey.
More advanced features are available on higher trims. These include:
- The Sideview LaneWatch camera displays the car's passenger side on the center screen when the turn signal is turned on. This feature is available on all trims, except the base LX.
- The forward-collision warning system is found on trims EX-L and above. It alerts the driver of any obstacles along the vehicle's route and can trigger emergency braking to avoid the object.
- Similarly, Lane Departure Alert is also available on EX-L and higher trims. This system senses the road markings and can alert the driver if the vehicle veers off toward the lane edge.
- Blind-spot monitors alert the driver of any vehicles in the Odyssey's blind spots when changing lanes. However, this feature is only available on the top trim, Touring Elite.
The 2015 Odyssey achieves five stars for its overall safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The vehicle gets five stars for frontal crashes and side impacts. Due to its tall structure, the federal testing body rates the rollover resistance at four stars.
From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2015 Odyssey receives the top "Good" score for every crashworthiness test. It bags the Top Safety Pick award and misses out on the Top Safety Pick+ due to the Frontal Crash Prevention system not meeting the "Superior" requirements set by IIHS.
Trim Level Features
The 2015 Odyssey is available in LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite trims. Each variant comes with different features, but even the base LX comes equipped with the following:
- Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with USB support, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 2GB storage space
- Audio system with a subwoofer
- Rearview camera
- Power door locks, windows, and mirrors
The EX-trim is one step above the LX, and it adds the following features:
- Heated side mirrors
- Three-zone automatic climate control
- Second-row sunshades
- LaneWatch camera system to display the passenger-side blind spot on the center screen
- Conversation mirror for better communication between front and rear passengers
The EX-L goes on to add:
- A cooled compartment for storing beverages
- Power moonroof
- Utility tray
- The infotainment system is equipped with Navigation, and 15 GB of storage space
- Power tailgate
- Lane departure warning system
- Forward collision warning system
The top-of-the-line Touring and Elite variants add more advanced features:
- Auto adjustable HID lamps
- Theater surround sound with 650-watt sound system and hard disk storage
- A 16.2-inch widescreen display for rear-seat passengers can be used by one device or split between two connected devices.
- Blindspot detection
- HondaLink allows users to connect to additional entertainment over the internet and also listen to Facebook and Twitter updates
One feature worth pointing out is HondaVAC, which is found on the Touring Elite variant. It is a vacuum cleaner that sits neatly on the left side of the cargo compartment. It can be attached with different nozzles and features a hose long enough to reach all nooks and crannies located at the front of the vehicle. It is powered by the car battery and can run for up to eight minutes with the ignition switch turned off.
Fuel Economy Features
The 2015 Honda Odyssey offers excellent fuel economy, given its size and utility. It is equipped with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which allows the vehicle to deactivate up to two or three cylinders when running at low speeds. This helps save a lot of fuel in the long run.
The EPA ratings for all variants of the Odyssey stand at 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.
Price Range of 2015 Honda Odyssey
The prices of the 2015 Honda Odyssey start at $18,000 and go up to $28,000, making the average price sitting at around $23,000. However, location, trim level, vehicle condition, and mileage can cause the prices to vary.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding