People moving in Hondas
Honda. As I say it out loud here in my home office, I can't help but feel confused, sad and partially frustrated. In my so far brief 12-year career as an auto critic, I have still managed to evaluate nearly three dozen Hondas. In that period of time, I've test driven three generations of the Civic, two of the Accord, CR-V, Pilot, Fit, Insight and Odyssey and one of the Ridgeline, Element, CR-Z and Crosstour.
Every time I complete a week-long or more road test in a Honda, I come away with a sense of general satisfaction. Yes, Honda deserved the reputation of building good, reliable and fun cars. To this day, this remains partially true as the dedication for quality and engineering from Honda still shines through in all of its products.
However, the fact is that Honda made some mistakes in the last decade and they are really feeling it today. Their sales are in a freefall with no end in sight, at least until the 2012 Civic arrives. I'll tell you more about it shortly.
Recently, I was called upon to review two Hondas back to back. One is the well-established Odyssey which, despite being a minivan, adheres to Honda's credo of sporty driving and engaging styling (for a minivan). The other is, well, the family member you do not want around when company's over, the Crosstour. A mistake?
I've decided to roll these two cars into one review because, although they are different on the outside, like siblings, they share much of the same DNA.
It's a well-known fact that tastes and preferences cannot be discussed. Fine. But when countless people say that a car is "not pretty", to put it kindly, and it does not sell, it is safe to assume that a majority of the buying public is not a fan of the Crosstour's styling. The Odyssey, on the other hand, has never looked as focused and sharp.
We can thank Honda's interior designers for keeping most of their cabins business-like and well appointed, crafted and always well assembled.
Commonalities in both cases are large living spaces, great big seats for all butt sizes for the first two rows and modern sweeping dashboard designs. In both cases, the sheer width of the pane of plastic makes for some controls that are difficult to reach from the driver's position. A minor headache, but one nonetheless.
Other Reviews Available For The 2011 Honda Odyssey
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2011 Honda Odyssey Specifications
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