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2008 Honda Odyssey Test Drive Review

The Honda Odyssey excels among minivans with a versatile, high-quality interior and a refined ride.

8 /10
Overall Score

Though the minivan segment was pioneered by Chrysler, Toyota and Honda fine-tuned the concept with the Sienna and Odyssey, respectively. The Honda Odyssey, in particular, has raised the bar for the minivan in many new ways. The 2008 Honda Odyssey is comfortable, extremely versatile, and offers safety and reliability—top priorities for families.

The Odyssey has been sold in America since 1994. In 2005, it was completely redesigned, and it enters 2008 with a mild facelift.

Look and Feel

8/ 10

Style updates to the Odyssey are modest and include a new grille and headlight design. Inside, the dash updates are more noticeable. The small cluttered button assemblies have been replaced with larger, easy-to-operate dials. The cabin has fantastic fit-and-finish and has a near-luxury feel on the top-level trims.

Honda offers the Odyssey in LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring Trims. Standard features on the LX include steel wheels, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, front- and rear air conditioning, and cruise control. Moving up to the EX adds alloy wheels, tri-zone climate control, second-row sunshades, a conversation mirror, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and a six-disc CD changer.

The EX-L adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power moonroof, and heated front seats. The Touring adds an upgraded stereo, navigation, memory seat, power-adjustable pedals, and 17 cup holders.


7/ 10

No matter the trim, Honda provides the Odyssey with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It features Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which can shut down three cylinders when full power is not required. This V6 sends 241 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. The clever dash-mounted shifter placement is easy to locate and frees up space.

This drivetrain provides strong acceleration and feels quicker than other minivans. When not punching it, the VCM system is imperceptible and helps conserve fuel.

The Odyssey is built on a platform that is shared with the Honda Accord. This is relevant in that it provides the minivan with a car-like ride. Handling is composed in most scenarios, and ride quality is smooth, both around town and at highway speeds. There’s no escaping the weight of a minivan, and some bumps and potholes will simply be too much for the suspension to smooth out. The Touring trim has a slightly stiffer suspension.

Form and Function

10/ 10

The Odyssey provides plenty of flexibility for passengers and cargo. The standard setup on the LX provides seating for seven, utilizing second-row captains chairs. The space between the chairs provides a small passageway to the rear seats. They can also flip forward easily and are removable. The LX only has manual sliding doors

The EX offers power sliding doors and the PlusOne jump seat that fits between the two captain’s chairs. This is a clever solution, but this eighth seat is really small and is best for kids. The Touring model adds a helpful power rear hatch.

Tech Level

9/ 10

The base LX comes with an AM/FM/CD stereo with an input jack. The EX adds a six-disc changer and steering-wheel audio controls, as well as a universal garage door opener. Moving up to the Touring adds a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, a DVD entertainment system, and a 350-watt audio system with seven speakers and a subwoofer.


7/ 10

The Odyssey comes standard with dual-stage front airbags, side-curtain airbags, and side-impact airbags. Daytime running lights and active front head restraints are newly standard safety features for 2008. Other standard safety features include traction control, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.

The Odyssey is available with a backup camera. The Touring trim adds front- and rear park assist, as well as automatic headlights. The Touring trim can also be had with run-flat tires.


7/ 10

The 2008 Honda Odyssey returns fuel economy of 17 mpg city, 25 highway, 20 mpg combined. EX and LX trims are slightly less efficient. These models return fuel economy of 16 mpg city, 23 highway, 18 combined.

Base MSRP for the 2008 Honda Odyssey is $25,860 for an LX trim. The EX starts at $28,960, and an EX-L starts at $32,210. The Touring trim starts at $40,010. Sicking with the lower trims provides the best value. The quality and comfort of the Touring trim are undeniable, but that price also makes it one of the most expensive minivan configurations on the market.

Updated by George Kennedy

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Honda Odyssey Questions

Can I Use 265/70r16

I have a 2008 Honda Odyssey, can I put 265/70r 16 on it? I have 235/65r16 now

I Have A Car I Want To Sell Privately

I would like to sell my car privately

Is Drl Led Conversion Bad If Light Goes On Dash

Is it bad if my drl lights goes on and off on my dash if not i can deal with drl light going on off

Potential 2008 Honda Odyssey Purchase

I'm looking at a 2008 Honda Odyssey with 100k miles on it. Should I assume that the timing belt should be replaced? And are there head gaskets that should be replaced along with the belt? What shoul...

Right Side Sliding Door

My right side sliding door will NOT open or close when I push the button. The button on my key fob does not work either. I have replaced every fuse that pertains to the sliding doors. I have tried...