Odyssey turns sporty

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Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

HONDA Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) last week debuted the refreshed iteration of its popular minivan, the Odyssey. The revelation coincided with the company’s thanksgiving party held in Taguig City, where HCPI President and general manager Noriyuki Takakura reported a 26% spike in sales for the Japan-headquartered automaker from January to October 2017, compared to the same period last year.

Mr. Takakura then presented the new Odyssey. An immediately conspicuous change is in the front fascia of the EX-V Navi variant, whose grille is now rendered in dark chrome. The bumper also has a sportier appearance, and bears integrated LED fog lights; the door handles are also finished in dark chrome.

Meanwhile, the EX receives a so-called “Aero” exterior styling — new front and rear bumpers, halogen fog lights, and a platinum-finish front grille. Aside from aforementioned changes, the EX-V Navi is bestowed smoked-LED guide type tail lamps.

Honda gives the new Odyssey redesigned 16-inch and 17-inch wheels in both the EX and EX-V Navi variants, respectively.

“(The) refreshed exterior styling and added convenience features… aim to further satisfy customers’ need for luxurious and comfortable mobility,” said the company in a release.

HCPI maintained that the new Odyssey still banners a “flexible and elegant interior.” The customizable seven-seat (2-2-3 layout) EX-V Navi boasts a full-leather interior, and now gets black wood and silver trim panels, plus a large armrest with center console for added first-row storage. In the second row are captain’s seats with ottoman and holders.

In the case of the eight-seat EX (2-3-3 layout), the Odyssey has soft fabric-covered seats, and employs a 60:40 split bench to accommodate three in the second row. The third row for both variants has “magic seats” to take passengers and additional cargo with a three-way-split reclining structure. This allows portions of the seats to be independently folded, reclined, or stowed into the floor.

Smart entry and a push-button start system now come standard for both Odyssey variants; same with a seven-inch touch screen display audio system with Bluetooth to offer hands-free functionality. The EX-Navi is provided navigation and a nine-inch rear entertainment system with DVD and HDMI playback capability.

Both are equipped with six air bags, an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability assist, hill-start assist, speed-sensing auto door locks, and multi-view reverse cameras. The EX-V variant additionally features a multi-view camera system, blind spot information, cross traffic monitor, and an improved smart parking system with sensors.

Still powered by Honda’s fuel-efficient Earth Dreams Technology 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a CVT with paddle shifters, the Odyssey has access to 173hp at 6,200 rpm, and to 225Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The Odyssey EX is priced at P2.039 million, while the EX-V Navi variant goes for P2.449 million. Four colors are available: Platinum White Pearl (for an additional P20,000), Premium Twinkle Black Pearl (only for the EX-V Navi, plus P20,000), Super Platinum Metallic, and Crystal Black Pearl (only for the EX-V Navi).