The 2012 Honda Odyssey continues the 19-year history of the exceedingly popular family van. The current style — a larger and wider body, lower roofline and a more sleek and modern appearance — debuted at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.
Despite is “van” status, the Odyssey is a powerful and performance oriented for its class. It features a 24-valve, 248-horsepower engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Its has 0-60 mph acceleration in 7.9 seconds and comfortable seating for seven adults.
I drove the five-door Touring Elite, the most expensive of five available trim levels. In addition to the vast list of standard equipment on the LX, EX and EX-L models, the two Touring trims offer a bunch more.
The Touring trim includes: 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, memory settings for the driver, retractable third-row sunshades and a fold-down armrest for third-row passengers and both the navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems.
The Touring Elite model adds xenon headlights, a blind spot warning system, upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a 16-inch HD widescreen video monitor (with HDMI input) and a premium 650-watt, 12-speaker surround-sound audio system.
What’s immediately impressive is the Odyssey’s all-around spaciousness. There’s head room and leg room aplenty and comfort without compromise. It’s an ideal cruising car for a weekend getaway for three couples without having to worry about a gas-guzzler’s limitations. Likewise, it’s an ideal soccer mom’s transport vehicle or a makeshift camper.
Strong, aggressive driving experience.
Large, clear navigation system and back-up camera screen.
Comfortable seats . . . all three rows.
Functionality, maneuverability and functionality of all seats, particularly the forward and backward-facing option of the third row.
Smooth operation of sliding doors.
Easy entrance, exit.
Clean, large-numbered and lettered dials and gauges.
Interior space. Head and leg room, space between rows and cargo space is all impressive.
Strong overall vision, with “in-charge” driver’s positioning.
Base price too high.
Expensive options may deter buyers.
Facts & Figures: 2012 Honda Odyssey
Fuel economy: 19 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway)
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $43,675.00
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
A great family car that year after year keeps getting better as its price gets higher and higher.
Article Last Updated: January 2, 2013.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.