Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Van in Masquerade; Honda's People-Mover Manages to Blend Functionality and Style

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Van in Masquerade; Honda's People-Mover Manages to Blend Functionality and Style

Article excerpt

PEOPLE-movers are not the most inspiring vehicles.

Yet Honda's Odyssey breaks the mould somewhat. Lower and with a sleeker more car-like appearance, the Odyssey abandons the van styling in favour of what looks more like a stretched hatchback.

Many mums and dads scoff at the thought of going with a people-mover, opting for the allure of an SUV. But these mini troop carriers make sense for families. There are enough child seat anchorage points and space to handle a tribe of little ones and their gear, they are easier for entry and exit, while running costs are often cheaper.

The previous Odyssey was a four-time winner of its category in Australia's Best Car Awards, and this fourth-generation comes with improved power and space, but most importantly safety.

Stability control is standard and all seven seats have three-point seatbelts.

The range starts from $43,990, but our test was the Luxury model which starts just under under 50 grand.

The Odyssey designers have created a console with a range of stepped features, blending various textures, including a unique gawdy orange wood-style trim across the door armrests and dash.

There's a 3D feel to the gauges in front of the driver, yet everything is easy to read and basic in operation.

Both front pews have a captain's armrest, along with in-built heaters. They are flat, but comfortable enough to carry passengers for long distances.

The back five seats are also pretty good, although the centre seat in the second row is firm.

Adults can find comfort in both rear rows and access is good in a spacious cabin. A pair of roof-mounted air-conditioning ducts help to improve comfort for those in the back.

On the road, you don't feel like you're at the helm of a seven-seater. Corners aren't daunting and you can head for the country roads without fearing a bout of motion sickness. …

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