2016 Honda Odyssey SE Test Drive

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“2016 Honda Odyssey SE Minivan”
Special Edition set to Entertain and Clean Up
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Long recognized for its innovation in packaging, responsive handling attributes, comfortable occupant accommodation, state-of-the-art safety features, long lasting residual value, high build quality and refinement, the Honda Odyssey represents what the Japanese manufacturer is referring to as its vision of the “ultimate in family transportation”. I guess that really depends on one’s family values along with taste in design, and vehicle needs and requirements. Admittedly, the mere mention of the term minivan tends to “turn off” many individuals, but there are also devout fans of the multi-purpose craft, and I happen to be one of them.

Once a seemingly fading vehicular segment, the minivan is without a doubt making a resurgence in popularity. Forget the Soccer Mom label, the minivan is perhaps the most versatile vehicle on the planet for anyone who has no intention of venturing off-road and who has a concern for the environment, and disdains SUVs. Besides, the 2016 Honda Odyssey SE (Special Edition) minivan represents an outstanding value.

With the competition in the minivan market segment continuing to grow at a rapid pace, which is evidenced by several newly designed entries from various manufacturers. Improvements abound and the majority of them have become more appealing in terms of design, content and functionality.
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The 2016 Honda Odyssey continues with an aerodynamic form, that displays a low roofline, while sacrificing little, if any vertical interior space. The vehicle’s profile is distinguishable by its unique “lightning-bolt” beltline that serves to deliver a sportier look, but also happens to benefit outward visibility for third row occupants. The overall form tapers rearward in an all-encompassing mono-volume shape, and body-to-wheel proportions tend to reduce the perception of vertical height, with pronounced fender flares accenting the Odyssey’s purposeful, low, planted and aggressive stance. Projector-beam headlamps and form-fit fog-lamps are available for an even more upscale flavor and appearance on certain models.
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The new Honda Odyssey now comes in eight levels of trim: the base model LX; the EX; an EX-L; the Touring; and the top-of-the-line Touring Elite. All levels of trim provide eight-passenger seating except for the LX, which only accommodates seven. The new high value SE Special Edition Odyssey falls in between the EX and EX-L trim levels, and provides such premium features as a Rear Entertainment System, SIRIUSXM® Radio and HondaVAC™ and a 115V power outlet incorporated into the rear entertainment system. There’s also a wiper-linked headlight system that automatically turns on the headlights when the front windshield wipers are activated.
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The power source for all Odysseys comes from a 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management and electronic multi-point fuel injection. The engine is positioned transversely up front making 248 horses at 5,700 rpm while producing 250 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Power is now delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission on all models, with the shifter mounted in the upper console.
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Major highlights of the 2016 Honda Odyssey include the distinctive exterior Styling; functional seating that offers a second-row wide mode and easier operation of the 60/40 split 3rd Row Magic Seat; the class-leading five LATCH positions for child restraint seats on most models and the admirable fuel economy.
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Standard safety features include: front, front-side and side-curtain airbags with roll-over sensor; Vehicle Stability Assist™; ABS; EBD; BA; Tire Pressure Monitoring System; Daytime running lights; Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure; active front head restraints; Blind Spot Information System; front and rear parking sensors; and more.
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For the 2016 model year, the Odyssey offers more technology than ever before, with a rearview camera, 8-inch, full-color i-MID display and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® as standard on the entry-level LX model.
My 2016 Honda Odyssey came in SE trim finished outside in Lunar Silver metallic, with the cloth interior was executed in Grey and Charcoal tones. The base sticker read $34,425., which, with the Destination and Handling charge, came to a total of $34,255. after the Special Edition discount. The inventory list of standard equipment was most impressive – obviously not up to the same level as the Touring Elite, but certainly extensive and satisfactory.
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SUMMARY: The Honda Odyssey SE serves up an impressive menu of desirable qualities, not the least of which is the ideal height for ease of ingress and egress. Gear storage is optimum, with cubbies and bins galore. Cupholders are both plentiful and sensibly placed. Seating is easily reconfigurable, stowing and repositioning without a hassle, and providing maximum versatility to deal with a variety of passenger/cargo needs, and the addition of the Rear Entertainment System and HondaVAC add to the value.
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Seating is readily configurable to adapt as necessary – 2nd row seats are split 40/20/40 and the third row features a 60/40 split – all foldable.
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In terms of performance, the Odyssey SE delivers satisfying acceleration, smooth shifting, a comfortable ride quality and sedan-like handling characteristics with Variable Assist rack-and-pinion steering, delivering virtually more than enough amenities necessary for a rewarding cross-country sojourn. Features such as: the multi-view rear camera; USB interface, Bluetooth connectivity; SIRIUS/XM satellite radio; dual power sliding side doors; heated power door mirrors with turn indicators; and remote entry with security system, make for ideal family transportation.
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Bottom-line, if you’re not able to enjoy a long trip in the 2016 Honda Odyssey SE, then you probably ought to consider staying close to home, because you’re likely difficult to please, and you probably don’t enjoy extensive travel.


 

SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Honda Odyssey 5-Door SE


  

Base Price: $33,375. With Special Edition Discount.
Price as Tested: $34,255.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 with Variable Cylinder Management, electronic multi-point fuel injection and Drive by Wire™ Throttle system.
Horsepower (bhp): 248 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 250 @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Grade Logic Control.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut with 25.4 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multilink Double-wishbone with trailing arms.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs )vented front) with ABS, VSA, BA, and EBD.
Tires: Michelin Primacy MXV4 – P235/65 R17 mounted on 5-twin- spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 118.1 inches
Length Overall: 202.9 inches
Width: 79.2 inches
Height: 68.4 inches
Curb Weight: 4,528 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 21.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19-mpg city / 28-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

  


 

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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