The 2016 Honda Odyssey SE Review: The last time I drove the Honda Odyssey minivan, I fell in love with its newest feature: a built-in vacuum cleaner called the HondaVac. I just had one gripe about it. You could only get the HondaVac if you bought the pricey, fancy-pants Touring Elite trim level for around $45,000. And if I bought a brand-new, top-of-the-line luxury van like that, I’d be mortified to think of my kids spilling messy crumbs and grinding up Cheerios into the carpet with a ferocity that required a permanent vacuum. “I’m hoping Honda makes it an option on more affordable trim levels in the future,” I wrote at the time. Well, wish granted.
For 2016, Honda has introduced a much more affordably priced trim level that’s perfect for families with young children. It’s called the Special Edition, or SE, and is priced around $34,000 to make it much more attainable for average-income families.
It comes with what I consider the three must-have features for a workaday family van: the vacuum cleaner, rear-seat video screens and a 115-volt outlet to power your electronics. And because it doesn’t come with some pricey, high-end amenities like leather seats, a navigation system and power lift gate, it costs a whopping $11,000 less than the loaded-up Touring Elite luxury van.
It just makes sense and was exactly what I asked for. So, in case any other car companies are listening to me: Ferrari, please make a two-seat roadster that competes with the Boxster and Z4. I would love you forever. Alfa Romeo, please make a minivan that has some personality design-wise. A track-day suspension package would make it Daddy Heaven. Nissan, please bring back a modern version of the 240Z. And Ford, for heaven’s sake, please stop teasing us and bring a new Bronco to market. And when you do, let OJ Simpson do the unveiling.
As for the Odyssey, the biggest surprise of my week-long test drive was just how quiet it’s gotten in comparison to the previous generation. My wife drives a last-generation Odyssey, and compared to this new one, it sounds like a bass drum line playing Stravinsky in a hurricane.
Until Alfa comes out with my dream van (fat chance), the Odyssey remains the sportiest driving minivan on the market. It offers good acceleration, braking and steering feel in a segment that, for whatever reason, seems to assume drivers don’t care about that sort of thing.
It’s got some stiff new competition, though, in the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan that just came out. The new Chrysler is such a step up from the old Chrysler vans that it’s worth taking a look at, and I think the Chrysler is the best driving van on the market right now, something I’ve never been able to say before this year, although considerably smoother riding than the sportier Honda.
If you’re buying based on reputation, though, it’s hard to top the Odyssey. Honda’s van has long stood for longevity and dependability, and that translates into crazy-high resale values on the used-car market. That’s something to think about in the long term.
Overall, I think making the HondaVac available in a more affordable trim level is the perfect move for the Odyssey. This new Special Edition has the best features most families want and comes at a price families can actually afford. You’ve got to love that combination.
What was tested? The 2016 Honda Odyssey SE with a base price of $33,650. Options on the test minivan: None. The total MSRP price as tested including the $900 destination charge cam to: $34,550
Wheelbase: 118.1 in.
Length: 202.9 in.
Width: 79.2 in.
Height: 68.4 in.
Engine: 3.5-liter V6 (248 hp, 250 ft.-lbs.)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 19 city, 28 highway
Why buy it? The new Special Edition 2016 Honda Odyssey is perhaps the best value on the minivan market right now. It offers a built-in vacuum cleaner and rear-seat entertainment system for around $33,000, and it has a stellar reputation that translates into high re-sale values on the used-car market when it’s time to trade it in.
By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2016 Honda Odyssey SE Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: Honda has rolled out a new Special Edition Odyssey minivan that offers value pricing and extra content for 2016. It has several features popular with families, including a rear-seat video system, for around $34,000. Honda’s hottest new family-friendly feature, a built-in vacuum cleaner called the HondaVac, and it’s included in the affordably priced SE Special Edition Odyssey for 2016. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”.
This Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: Honda Van Grants Wish
Topic: 2016 Honda Odyssey SE
Word Count: 882
Photo Caption: 2016 Honda Odyssey SE
Photo Credits: Honda Internet Media
Series #: 2016 - 22
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2016 Honda Odyssey SE
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2016 Honda Odyssey SE