2015 Honda Odyssey

The 2015 Honda Odyssey is unchanged.

While its name may bring to mind tales of epic sailing adventures penned by an ancient Greek poet, the 2015 Honda Odyssey isn't really designed to go exploring uncharted waters. It will, however, take you and your valiant crew members pretty much anywhere else you'd care to go in comfort and style.

Fresh off last year's makeover, this best-selling minivan offers seating for up to eight passengers in three rows. The cabin is full of innovative features, including second-row seats with sections that can be spread apart to keep sparring siblings at arm's length or rearranged to create a middle or side aisle. On upper trim levels, the center portion of the seat can even be scooted forward to keep high-maintenance young'uns close at hand. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass and side-window sunshades do their part to help backseat passengers keep their cool.

Perhaps the Odyssey's most notable attribute, however, is a driving experience that feels a good bit more engaging than what you get from other competing minivans. Though the Odyssey -- like virtually all modern minivans -- long ago outgrew its "mini" dimensions, it rides and handles like a smaller vehicle. The 3.5-liter V6 engine complements this with quick acceleration and respectable EPA fuel economy ratings.

Exterior Highlights
Available in LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite trim levels

The 2015 Honda Odyssey is offered in five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite.

The entry-level seven-passenger LX is well-equipped with 17-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, rear privacy glass, a rear spoiler, keyless entry, manual two-zone air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a four-way power front passenger seat, a 60/40 split-folding third-row seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, cruise control, an 8-inch multi-information display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, text-to-speech functionality and a seven-speaker audio system with a CD player, Pandora compatibility, an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB/iPod interface.

Moving up to the eight-passenger EX model gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, power-sliding side doors, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power lumbar adjustment for the driver, a multi-adjustable second-row seat, a removable front center console, retractable second-row sunshades and a conversation mirror. The EX also features Honda's "LaneWatch" blind-spot camera system (built into the passenger-side mirror) and an additional 7-inch touchscreen with HondaLink smartphone app integration.

EX-L versions add a sunroof, a power liftgate, forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, leather seating (front and outboard second row), heated front seats, a chilled storage box, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio. Options include a choice of a voice-operated navigation system with a rearview camera or a rear-seat entertainment system. These two systems can't be ordered together on the EX-L.

Move up to the Touring model and you gain 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, driver memory settings, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, retractable third-row sunshades and a fold-down armrest for third-row passengers. Additionally, both the navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems are standard. The Touring Elite model adds xenon headlights, a regular blind-spot warning system, an integrated vacuum cleaner, an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system (with a widescreen video monitor and HDMI input) and a premium 12-speaker surround-sound audio system with HD radio.

Multifunctional second-row seat, flip-up trash bag holder, removable center console, large touchscreen, rearview camera

As befitting a purpose-built people mover, the engineers who created the 2015 Odyssey's interior put a lot of thought into its seating arrangements. Particularly noteworthy is the multifunction second-row seat that can be adjusted to create a middle aisle or side aisle for easier third-row access. On EX and higher trim levels, the center portion of the second-row bench can slide forward more than 5 inches to put the youngest passenger's car seat within easy reach of mom or dad.

Further proof that the Odyssey's design team sweated the details can be found in the passenger cabin's many clever features, like the handy flip-up trash bag holder built into the removable center console, and the cooling compartment that means a refreshing beverage is always close at hand. The large touchscreen included on all but the base LX model serves as a rearview camera display and provides access to audio system controls, including popular apps like Pandora. The remaining controls are sensibly arranged and clearly labeled in a way that makes everything very user-friendly.

Buyers who simply must have all the toys will gravitate to the Touring Elite model, which includes a rear-seat entertainment system built around a widescreen monitor that can play two different sources -- a DVD and a video game, for example -- at the same time. This top-of-the-line model also comes equipped with Honda's unique built-in vacuum with a 10-foot hose capable of reaching crumbs in every corner of the cabin.

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