Category Archives: NEWS

Why the 2017 Honda Civic Type R Has Three Tailpipes

Source: http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a10032609/why-the-2017-honda-civic-type-r-has-three-tailpipes/

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is here, and it’s a knockout. The most hardcore Civic ever packs 306 turbocharged horses and claims to be the fastest front-drive car to ever lap the Nurburgring.

But what’s up with that triple-tip exhaust? Some folks seem to think it’s just an unnecessary styling feature, but it’s much more than that—it’s a precisely engineered, fully functional addition that’s crucial to the Type R’s aural experience. Road & Track spoke with Rob Keough, senior product planner for the 10th-generation Civic, to find out why a four-cylinder car is breathing through three tailpipes of two different diameters.

HONDA

“Traditionally with these big flow exhaust systems, when you get up into highway speeds, you can get a lot of droning, booming, buzzing—not very comfortable for high speed cruising,” Keough told R&T. Honda wanted to offer a sporty, engaging sound in aggressive driving, without punishing drivers on long commutes or highway trips. And the automaker wanted to do so without resorting to stereo-enhanced engine sounds or complex (and expensive) multi-mode muffler systems.

The solution is to split the single exhaust into three pipes just behind the rear axle. The two outer pipes include large straight-flow mufflers. The center, smaller diameter pipe is a resonator, shaped and sized to perform a particular aural trick.

HONDA

At low speed—say, as you’re full-throttle accelerating from a dead stop—some of the exhaust flows through the center resonator, generating a louder, more aggressive growl. “You’ll hear it both outside and inside the car,” Keough said. As you settle in to high speed cruising, the exhaust flowing through the center outlet hits a resonant frequency. The resonator gets stuffed with air, stalling the airflow; the resulting backpressure diverts the exhaust to flow exclusively through the larger outboard mufflers, reducing the cabin noise at highway speeds.

“It basically diminishes the resonator effect at that point, attenuating the sound inside the car,” Keough said. “You still get your big flow through the outboard pipes, but you get a more refined in-cabin experience at high-speed cruising. ” Under certain conditions, the center resonator can actually begin sucking air in, Keough said, creating a venturi effect flowing out through the outboard pipes.

“When it’s not flowing through the center resonator, it’s not generating that extra resonance. So it’s not like you have zero exhaust sound, but you’re not generating this extra sporty sound that comes from the resonator,” Keough told R&T. Additional insulation and aerodynamic tweaks to the Civic Type R help reduce in-cabin noise on the highway even further.

HONDA

While the exhaust system precisely manipulates sound and flow based on RPM and speed, there are zero moving parts and no electronics involved. That stays in line with the Type R’s identity as a raw, honest machine, not the type of vehicle where you’d expect to find faked exhaust notes coming through the stereo. It also helps keep the one-trim-level-only Civic Type R’s sticker price in the $34,000 range. “We didn’t build in servos or flap valves,” Keough said. “This is a very simply designed system where you’re getting the effect without additional moving parts. It’s a very durable, low cost and effective solution.”

Of course, the Civic Type R is the kind of car that aftermarket tuners love to fiddle with—especially now that it’s coming to the US market for the very first time. I asked Keough if he’ll be frustrated to see owners cutting out this painstakingly-engineered three-tip system and replacing it with a big, boomy exhaust.

“We kind of anticipate that,” he said. “We wanted to deliver a high quality, sporty, but refined experience for this customer, but we already know some kids are gonna want more noise. We’re not going to be particularly offended.”

Refreshed 2018 Honda Fit Launches This Summer with More Aggressive Styling, New Sport Trim and Available Honda Sensing

2018 HONDA FIT

• More youthful and emotional styling enhances Fit’s sporty character
• Honda Sensing® adds safety and driver assistive technologies to Honda’s
benchmark subcompact
• New style and features add to Fit’s best-in-class space, refinement,
practicality, fuel efficiency and affordability

MARKHAM, Ont., Jun. 12, 2017 – Honda today revealed the 2018 Fit with fresh new styling, the addition of a Sport trim and the availability of Honda Sensing® on its popular hatchback. Updated styling at the front and rear, and a splash of additional color add vibrancy and infuse the versatile Fit with an enhanced youthful, sporty and emotional character. The availability of Honda Sensing® brings the suite of advanced safety and driver assistive technologies to the subcompact Fit.

“With sporty new styling and additional feature content, the 2018 Honda Fit ups the ante with new styling and sophistication not typically found in the subcompact segment,” said Jean Marc Leclerc, Senior Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Honda Canada Inc. “Fit has always represented a great value for subcompact customers and the addition of available Honda Sensing® to its fun-to-drive performance and unmatched versatility will keep the Honda Fit as the industry’s benchmark subcompact.”

The 2018 Honda Fit features new, sportier styling, starting with a horizontally layered, two-piece chrome and piano black grille with a larger, more prominent “H” mark. The more integrated and sophisticated headlights blend into the side edges of the upper fascia’s wing creating a unified yet more aggressive design. The front bumper sports top chrome accents and features a full-width splitter, along with more angular fog lights pods.

At the rear, the Fit’s low and wide sporty styling continues with a redesigned bumper featuring a full-width character line in piano black and a splitter-shaped lower section. A newly styled taillight combo completes the Fit’s sharper looking rear.

Positioned between the LX and EX trims, the new Fit Sport trim features an even more aggressive and sporty look with aero form features at the front, sides and rear, and a low and sharp front splitter highlighted in bright orange. An exclusive black finish on the 16-inch alloy wheels further adds to the sporty look. At the rear, a three-strake diffuser with bright orange upper trim line, chrome exhaust finisher and Sport badge complete the Fit Sport’s aggressive exterior styling.

A new vibrant color –Orange Fury – join an expanded color pallet that includes White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Milano Red and Aegean Blue Metallic.

Standard on all CVT trims is the Honda Sensing® suite of safety features that includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Brake Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Road Departure Warning (RDW). The Fit comes with the most robust suite of available advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies in its class in Canada.

This is the third-generation Fit’s first update since the launch of the 2015 model in 2014. More in-depth information about the upgrades to the 2018 Fit, including expanded feature content will be provided in the near future.

About Honda
Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. The company has produced more than 7.8 million cars and light trucks since 1986 at its two manufacturing facilities and builds engines at a third manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario. Both manufacturing facilities are extremely flexible and currently build Honda Civic and CR-V models. Honda Canada has invested more than $4.7 billion in Canada and each year it sources nearly $2.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than four million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada.

And the winning bid for the first Honda Civic Type R auction is …

Written by: Greg Rasa

Jun 15th 2017 at 6:01PM

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2017/06/15/honda-civic-type-r-auction-results/

2017 Honda Civic Type R VIN 1

 

We told you a few days ago that the first US Honda Civic Type R was going to be auctioned online at Bring-a-Trailer. Two days later, we reported that the bidding had already hit $200,000 – and noted that it was a curious strategy to drop such a big bid so early in an auction. Well, maybe it wasn’t: Apparently it drove all the other bidders away, as $200,000 takes the car.

That’s a handsome sum for a car with a base MSRP of $34,775. But this isn’t just any Honda Civic, nor any Type R. It’s the first one to enter the US, with VIN No. 01, in an Aegean Blue paint that oh-so-smartly complements its red Type R badging. Above all, the proceeds benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. And even though no one could outbid the as-yet-unnamed lucky winner, people are making contributions to the foundation nonetheless as a result of the auction.

 

2018 Honda Accord set to debut next month

by  NICK TRAGIANIS  | 

Source: http://driving.ca/honda/accord/auto-news/news/2018-honda-accord-set-to-debut-next-month

2018 Honda Accord

Honda promises the next-gen Accord will be the most stylish and premium one to date – and the most fun to drive, too

Honda‘s 10th-generation Accord is officially set to debut in less than a month.

Ahead of the full reveal on July 14, Honda also dropped a glimpse at the new Accord’s front end, promising the most “dramatically styled” model yet. Honda is also keen to point out the new Accord will be the most premium to date, as well as engaging to drive.

While we can’t speak for the finished product, we did recently get a sneak peek at the next-gen Accord and, yes, it lives up to Honda’s fun-to-drive promises. Part of this has to do with the engine; Honda has already confirmed two new turbocharged engines will be available, including a detuned variant of the Civic Type R’s turbo-four pegged as a replacement for the V6. Certainly sad news for some, but the boosted engine should put out around 295 horsepower – more than the outgoing V6, but less than the Type R.

Honda has also already confirmed the new Accord will come with three transmission options – a 10-speed automatic transmission, a CVT and on some trim levels, a six-speed manual. Along with the two new turbocharged engines, the 2018 Accord will also gain a two-motor hybrid powertrain.

We’ll have more details on the 2018 Accord following its debut.

First Look: 2018 Honda Accord

The 2018 Honda Accord

All-new sedan and coupe aims for the Germans with more power and style

by  GRAEME FLETCHER  | 

Source: http://driving.ca/honda/accord/reviews/road-test/sneak-peek-2018-honda-accord

TOCHIGI, Japan – Another of the highlight of the Tech session at Honda’s Tochgi proving ground was the opportunity to get the very first drive in the next-generation 2018 Honda Accord — it will be offered in both coupe and sedan.

The Accord is a new-from-the-road-up revamp that changes every facet. It will also be the first of many future products to bear Honda’s new design language. While the tester was completely wrapped in camouflage (with Accord in the design!), it was not difficult to see the new look is focused and very coupe-like for a sedan.

Up front it has sharp LEDs, while the side silhouette, long wheelbase and arch-filling P235/40R19 tires add to its presence. At the back, the truncated nature of the decklid almost hinted at a hatch — it’s not, but it does bear more than a passing resemblance to Audi’s A5 Sportback from some angles. It promises to be a good-looking sedan when revealed later this year.

Beneath the sheet metal sits Honda’s Global platform. It is scalable, so it underpins everything from the Civic and CR-V to the new Odyssey and now Accord. The format can be made wider and longer, with the front and rear architectures being scalable as well.

The focus of the drive was to test the new top-level powertrain. The base Accord will run a 1.5L turbocharged four married to either a six-speed manual or Honda’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). There will also be a hybrid based around a 2.0L naturally-aspirated engine.

The boss engine, which replaces the current V6, is based on the same 2.0L turbocharged four that makes the Type R such a raucous ride. In this case it has been retuned to suit a larger family-oriented sedan. No spec numbers were given, but it will have more horsepower than the outgoing V6 (278 hp) and less than the Type R (306 hp) — the smart money says around 295 hp. The new engine drives an equally new Honda-designed-and-built 10-speed manumatic transmission that comes complete with paddle shifters. It replaces the six-speed automatic in the outgoing car. As with the base engine, there will be a manual (could this spell a Type R Accord Coupe?)

The new box is slick and well sorted, resisting the urge to hunt for the right gear when driven at city speeds or when an incline is encountered. There are different modes — Eco, Normal and Sport. In Eco the upshifts come fast and early to promote fuel efficiency. Normal balances the shift strategy, while Sport stretches them out to delve into the meaty part of the power plateau. On the drive, I got into 10th gear on the long back straight of the track when in Comfort. Sport locks out some of the gears to emphasis better performance — at 200 km/h the highest gear I could access was seventh.

The new powertrain pairing brings surprising performance. There was the merest hint of lag off the line (the lower gear ratios do a good job of masking it) and a strong mid-range — hammering the gas pedal at 120 km/h saw it drop a couple of cogs and pull to speed quickly.

The ride is equally well balanced. It is smooth at speed, but hunkers down and limits body roll through corners. The steering follows this lead. It has good feedback, but, as with many family sedans, it felt a little light at speed.

Final specs and pricing will be revealed closer to the release in late fall, although Honda Sensing will be part of the package. Asked which car was the benchmark Honda aimed for, the engineer said “ Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class. Lofty competition indeed!

The 2018 Honda Accord

The 2018 Honda Accord

AccordEngine

The 2018 Honda Accord

The 2018 Honda Accord

A cutaway of the 10-speed automatic available in the 2018 Honda Accord.

The 2018 Honda Accord

 

 

Simcoe man ‘rolls up’ a Honda Civic

By Chris Abbott, Tillsonburg News

Source: http://www.tillsonburgnews.com/2017/06/14/simcoe-man-rolls-up-a-honda-civic

Simcoe's Jerry Antoszek won a Honda Civic during this year's Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win promotion. The official presentation was made Wednesday morning in Tillsonburg where Antoszek bought the winning large regular double-double. From left are Sheila Klassen, manager of the Simcoe Street Tim Hortons; Randy Salverda, owner of the Tillsonburg Tim Hortons franchises; Antoszek; and Darryl Lazowski, owner of Simcoe Honda.Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News

Simcoe’s Jerry Antoszek won a Honda Civic during this year’s Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win promotion. The official presentation was made Wednesday morning in Tillsonburg where Antoszek bought the winning large regular double-double. From left are Sheila Klassen, manager of the Simcoe Street Tim Hortons; Randy Salverda, owner of the Tillsonburg Tim Hortons franchises; Antoszek; and Darryl Lazowski, owner of Simcoe Honda.Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News

TILLSONBURG –  It might have been a coffee. Maybe a donut or muffin.

Simcoe’s Jerry Antoszek was not expecting to win a car when he ‘rolled up the rim’ on March 2.

“I was on my way to work, stopped, grabbed two coffees, large double-doubles,” said Antoszek, who was in Tillsonburg Wednesday morning for the official presentation of a 2017 Honda Civic he won from a purchase at the Simcoe Street Tim Hortons. “I was working at those horse barns (west of Tillsonburg), I think it was in Putnam. I rolled up the rim and it said ‘Win / Civic.’ It was pretty surprising. You don’t expect to roll up a rim and win a car.”

Tim Hortons introduced Roll Up the Rim promotion 30 years ago, and over the years Antoszek has won free coffee, donuts, and potato wedges.

“I drink a lot of coffee,” said Antoszek. “I was winning all kinds of things.”

But nothing like the 2017 Honda Civic EXT Coupe.

It was the first Roll Up the Rim car won at a Tillsonburg Tim Hortons franchise, owned and operated by the Salverda family for the past three decades, including current owner Randy Salverda.

“We’ve been in Tillsonburg for 34 years, and it’s been 30 years for Roll Up the Rim,” said Salverda, noting the last major prize in Tillsonburg was a boat won at the Broadway location.

“This was the first car.”

“This is the second year Honda has teamed with Timmy’s,” said Darryl Lazowski, owner of Simcoe Honda. “And this is my first win. Probably the first (Honda) win in Norfolk County – I would have been contacted if there was a winner in Simcoe, Port Dover, Delhi, Tillsonburg… that’s my area.”

The two-door, turbo-charged Civic EXT Coupe, which Antoszek planned to pick up in Simcoe Wednesday night after work, was fully loaded.

“It’s got everything,” said Lazowski. “Air, it’s got all the safety features, cameras…”

For now, Antoszek said it will be used mostly on weekends and road trips.

“I’ve got a daily driver… a ’98 Chev truck.”

 

Honda Says It’s Focusing on Rolling Out Self-Driving Cars by 2025

Jun 07, 2017

Japanese carmaker Honda Motor on Thursday spelled out for the first time its plans to develop autonomous cars which can drive on city streets by 2025, building on its strategy to take on rivals in the auto market of the future.

Unveiling its mid-term Vision 2030 strategy plan, Honda said it would boost coordination between R&D, procurement and manufacturing to tame development costs as it acknowledged it must look beyond conventional vehicles to survive in an industry which is moving rapidly into electric and self-driving cars.

Honda has already spelled out plans to market a vehicle which can drive itself on highways by 2020, and the new target for city-capable self-driving cars puts its progress slightly behind rivals like BMW.

“We’re going to place utmost priority on electrification and advanced safety technologies going forward,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said.

Developing new driving technologies, robotics- and artificial intelligence-driven services and new energy solutions also would be key priorities for Honda in the years ahead, the company said.

LEVELING UP

Honda established a division late last year to develop electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its long-held goal for lower-emission gasoline hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to account for two-thirds of its line-up by 2030, from about 5 percent now.

By 2025, Honda plans to come up with cars with “level 4” standard automated driving functions, meaning they can drive themselves on highways and city roads under most situations.

For more on self-driving cars, watch Fortune’s video:

Inside One of the Self-Driving Cars at CES
Fortune took one for a test drive

Achieving such capabilities will require artificial intelligence to detect traffic movements, along with a battery of cameras and sensors to help avoid accidents.

BMW has said it would launch a fully autonomous car by 2021, while Ford Motor has said it will introduce a vehicle with similar capabilities for ride-sharing purposes in the same year. Nissan Motor is planning to launch a car which can drive automatically on city streets by 2020.

Honda has been ramping up R&D spending, earmarking a record 750 billion yen ($6.84 billion) for the year to March.

Source: http://fortune.com/2017/06/08/honda-self-driving-cars/

Honda to auction off first Civic Type R for kids with cancer

by Andrew Krok
June 7, 2017 8:00 AM PDT
@andrewkrok

Source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/honda-will-auction-off-the-first-civic-type-r-to-benefit-kids-with-cancer/

Acura auctioned off the first NSX to roll off the production line, and now Honda is going to do the same thing with the first 2017 Civic Type R.

Honda will auction off the first 2017 Civic Type R to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Why? Necause it’s a nice thing to do. Honda has supported this organization since 1991, and it’s helped fund nearly $30 million in research to date.

This true enthusiast’s machine will be auctioned on another enthusiast favorite: Bring A Trailer, a website that features a wide variety of interesting and notable cars. This will be the first new car auctioned on the site, which traditionally favors buyers and sellers of vintage machinery. Here’s the Honda Civic auction.

The auction will begin today, June 7, and end on June 15.

“The Civic Type R has long been forbidden fruit for enthusiasts in the US, so we thought it would be fun to offer one lucky customer a shot at owning the first of its kind in America while benefitting the leading nonprofit solely dedicated to finding a cure for childhood brain tumors, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor’s automobile division, in a statement.

Don’t expect the first Civic Type R to fetch anywhere near its alleged starting price of $33,900. When Acura auctioned off the first NSX, race team owner Rick Hendrick paid the princely sum of $1.2 million, all of which also went to charity. I doubt the first Type R-badged Honda in the US will go for that much, but the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation will still likely receive a large chunk of change.

It doesn’t go on sale until later this summer, but the Honda Civic Type R is already making its mark. The 306-horsepower hot hatch captured the Nurburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars, and it might be the most hotly anticipated Honda debut in years. With adaptive dampers, a six-speed manual transmission and Brembo brakes, it’s ready to party right out of the box.

 

All-New 2018 Honda Odyssey Minivan Arriving At Dealerships June 8 2017

Source: Honda Canada Press Release, http://www.honda.ca/newsdetails/nca/en/news/release/AllNew-2018-Honda-Odyssey-Minivan-Arriving-At-Dealerships-June-8-2017

Delivers Ultimate in Family-Friendly Performance, Comfort and Connectivity

• More powerful engine, advanced new transmissions and extensive body redesign combine to deliver top class performance and cabin quietness
• Odyssey provides ultimate family flexibility and connectivity with available new
Magic Slide™ seats, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, CabinWatch™ and CabinTalk™ technologies
• Standard Honda Sensing® technology 
• First application of new Honda-developed 10-speed automatic transmission

MARKHAM, Ont., June 2, 2017 – The completely redesigned 2018 Honda Odyssey will be arriving at Honda dealerships June 8, 2017 with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $34,890. This fifth-generation Odyssey continues its evolution to meet the needs of changing Canadian families, raising the bar for performance, cabin quietness, family-friendly interior space, comfort and connectivity in the minivan segment.  
Offering customers greater value than ever before, the 2018 Honda Odyssey prices increase modestly, despite the substantially increased comfort and convenience features such as standard Honda Sensing® technology, new Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, and new Magic Slide 2nd-row seats™. The line-topping Odyssey Touring rounds out the Ody ssey lineup with a long list of available new premium features and technologies, including CabinWatch™ day/night video monitor, CabinTalk™ in-car PA system, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, new Rear Entertainment System (RES) with Blu-ray and streaming video, hands-free power tailgate, ventilated front seats, LED accent lighting and more. 
With its new 3.5-liter SOHC direct-injected i-VTEC® V6 engine, offering 32 more horsepower than before, and new 9-speed and available 10-speed automatic transmissions with standard paddle shifters, the 2018 Honda Odyssey offers top class performance and improved NRCan fuel economy ratings of 12.6/8.4/10.7 city/highway/combined on trims LX to EXL Navi and 12.2/8.5/10.6 on the Touring Trim. The new Odyssey also adds the Honda Sensing® suite of driver-assistive and safety technologies as standard on all trims.

LX

$34,890

EX

$38,090

EX-RES

$39,590

EXL-RES

$44,590

EXL-Navi

$44,590

Touring

$50,290

About Honda
Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada.  The company has produced more than 7.8 million cars and light trucks since 1986 at its two manufacturing facilities and builds engines at a third manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario.  Both manufacturing facilities are extremely flexible and currently build Honda Civic and CR-V models.  Honda Canada has invested more than $4.7 billion in Canada and each year it sources nearly $2.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than four million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada.

Review: New features keep 2018 Honda Odyssey at top of its game

MARK RICHARDSON

CHARLOTTETOWN

SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JUN. 01, 2017 10:07PM EDT

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/reviews/new-cars/review-new-features-keep-2018-honda-odyssey-at-top-of-itsgame/article35185441/

The new Odyssey may deliver an unassuming drive, but it’s perhaps the most luxurious vehicle Honda sells.

I’d like to tell you about the new, fifth-generation Honda Odyssey’s more powerful engine, and its stiffer body and suspension, and the all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox, but I can’t remember a thing about them.

Even Honda, quick to throw around buzzwords like “stunning” and “easy” and even “ultimate family hauler” found it a challenge.

“This is a minivan, yes, but this is a minivan that’s been designed to take on an apex while moving people around and keeping everything quiet,” said Hayato Mori, Honda Canada’s senior manager of product planning, hopefully.

“A minivan is a box, and there’s no way around the box of this vehicle. It’s about cargo space and people space. Adding style to a box is quite challenging.”
It’s easier than before to get in and out of the third row because the floor is now 35 mm lower for stepping into, and the second-row seats now slide away sideways from each door to make better room for access behind.

COURTESY HONDA CANADA
There’s the rub. A minivan is eminently practical and supremely comfortable, but its reputation for suburban complacency precedes it everywhere it goes. The very best thing to be said by a minivan owner about the vehicle is that it’s essentially harmless. No rapper or rock star ever drove a minivan and admitted to it. Ultimately, it’s very Canadian.

The new Odyssey, however, may deliver an unassuming drive, but it’s hardly unremarkable. It’s perhaps the most luxurious vehicle Honda sells, with much more space than the Pilot SUV (though the same new engine that now makes 280 horsepower, up 30 from last year). It seats eight people as standard and there’s plenty of room in the third row for two full-grown adults, or three flexible teenagers.

That third row is a big deal for the Odyssey. It’s easier (there’s that buzzword) than before to get in and out of the third row because the floor is now 35 mm lower for stepping into, and the second-row seats now slide away sideways from each door to make better room for access behind. They’ll only do this if the centre second-row seat is removed because they slide into that space, but it’s a very simple thing to do. The other advantage is that car seats can be left in place in the second row, while older passengers climb in and out of the third row with no complaints.

There are five different trim levels, starting at $34,890 for the LX and rising up to $50,290 for the fully-kitted Touring edition. The fabled vacuum cleaner that was previously only available with the most expensive trim is now fitted to all but the most basic edition, so can be had for $38,090 with the cloth-seated EX. Rightly so – it’s always been a bit of a gimmick, anyway.
The CabinTalk feature lets the driver speak through the rear speakers and the van’s headphones.

COURTESY HONDA CANADA
This time around, the gimmick is the CabinWatch rear seat monitor, which uses a fish-eye camera above the second row to show an image of the entire rear cabin on the central display screen, for keeping an eye on your kids. It’s an infrared camera, too, so even works in the dark. There’s also a CabinTalk feature that lets the driver speak through the rear speakers and the van’s headphones, which Toyota debuted in the current Sienna. And there’s a “How much farther” app that shows a cool animation to the rear passengers on the drop-down movie screen of how close they are to the destination.

More useful in the Touring edition is the new 10-speed automatic transmission, which Honda plans to eventually fit to many other models. It helps the more powerful engine use roughly the same amount of fuel as the previous generation, though it’s not much different from the 9-speed on all the other trims. Gears are now selected with electronic push-buttons on the centre console, like with Acuras, and this frees up space, though there are also paddle-shifters behind the wheel.
These are the features that will attract attention in advertising and showrooms, but Honda is proudest of the electric steering and redesigned suspension that improves the Odyssey’s handling and … meh … no minivan owner buys the van for the handling. It’s all about safety, convenience, connectivity and practicality.

All trim levels come with HondaSensing, which is the full gamut of lane detection, assisted steering and sensors to warn of other traffic. Surprisingly for a vehicle of this size, it does not offer automatic parking, though the rear camera does have guidelines that help with this, like most cars these days. Apparently, customers have never asked for it.
All trim levels come with HondaSensing, which is the full gamut of lane detection, assisted steering and sensors to warn of other traffic.

COURTESY HONDA CANADA
Honda wants to lead the “premium minivan” market because the segment creates exceptionally loyal customers who will stay with the brand for decades, says Jean Marc Leclerc, the maker’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. There’s stiff competition from the Sienna and the new Chrysler Pacifica, as well as Kia’s Sedona. The Odyssey can’t offer Chrysler’s patented Stow’n’Go second-row seats that fold flat into the floor, but it can offer more comfortable seats that remove simply, as well as just about everything else possible to fit into a vehicle.

So forget about the (apparently) improved drive – I did. It’s all the other features that your kids will remember that keep the new Odyssey at the top of its game.

TECH SPECS:
Base price/as tested: $34,890/ $50,290
Engine: 3.5-litre V-6
Transmission/drive: 9- or 10-speed automatic/front-wheel
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 9-speed: 12.6 City, 8.4 Hwy., 10.7 comb. 10-speed: 12.2 City, 8.5 Hwy., 10.6 comb.
Alternatives: Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Sedona
RATINGS:
LOOKS: It looks sharp, for a minivan.
INTERIOR: Very well thought-out, and luxurious if you want to upgrade the trim.
PERFORMANCE: Not fast, but you don’t want fast. Plenty powerful enough for towing, though.
TECHNOLOGY: Whatever Honda owners said they wanted has been fitted.
CARGO: Loads of space for everything, and now a little more room behind the third row.
THE VERDICT:
8.0

The Odyssey really is as good as a minivan gets.