Mini vans in the UAE have been relegated to private transport companies which shuttles passengers between hotels and corporations for their internal usage. In the US, however, a mini van is the epitome of a family vehicle made to a cult status in a family genre by Dodge’s Caravan. However, times are changing and the new 2018 Honda Odyssey is set to turn the tides.
2018 Honda Odyssey Review in Dubai A Perfect Family Package
The biggest rival to the Odyssey would be from Toyota but there are strong contentions from Kia as well. For 2018 the Honda Odyssey comes with a complete transformation. The Odyssey of years before have always catered to the family and this year it goes beyond the conventional approach and offers much more than we are accustomed.
For a start the new Odyssey gets the same 3.5L V6 found in the Accord Sport and delivers 280Hp and a healthy 355Nm of torque and a Honda first 10 speed automatic transmission. The suspension is tuned for comfort and high speed tango as it smoothened out the occasional road ripples and bumps at low speed while keeping its composure during high speed turn ins. Normally we would expect a compromise, but the engineers at Honda seems to have found a magical balance in all around driving condition settings.
This is great for the family. What we tested was the top of the line “Touring” model. It is a 7-seater where the two middle seats can be set apart or together by the use of a lever. Our road trip to Abu Dhabi and back, with a little detour to Yas Islands gave us straight highways and some turns. It’s true that a mini van is not the ideal vehicle for dynamic driving but why not. It would be nice to take the family out to the mountains as well, rather than just go to the malls.
The interior is all new and there are some trickeries which we shall explain further. First we get an intercom system which is connected via the speakers. This allows for the driver to easily converse with all passengers without the need to raise one’s voice. There is also a camera which allows the front passenger and driver to monitor the occupants behind, ideal for monitoring babies and toddlers.
The cargo space is huge. It’s literally a cave once you fold the rear two rows of seats. They not only fold in flush to the floor but can be easily done so with the use of one hand. Anyone can do it and you do not need to be an avid gym rat to achieve this feat.
The conventional gear lever has been replaced by buttons which had actually debuted in the all new Pilot in the US first for Honda. It makes way for more storage space. From cup-holders everywhere and storage compartments, a center screen for movies and wireless headsets, the new Odyssey has it all.
The front of the Odyssey looks like the new Pilot, it’s bold and handsome at the same time. The sides have lines and the door rails are cleverly hidden below the glass. You cannot but admire the total package of the Odyssey. It looks robust while soft enough to be liked by almost everyone.
The Odyssey aims to bring back customers who have been buying SUV’s in the UAE as their primary family mover. You can do the same thing with the Odyssey while paying for much less. The V6 is actually efficient enough to give out mileage reading similar to that of a 2.5L 4 cylinder engine. Let’s face it how many of us actually buy an SUV because we want to go off-roading. The Odyssey and its AWD system would at least take your family to almost anywhere in the UAE in comfort.
Price and Specs: 2018 Honda Odyssey Review in Dubai A Perfect Family Package
|2018 Honda Odyssey|
|Displacement||3.5L V6, AWD|
|Gearbox||10 Speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||280 Hp|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||7.2 seconds claimed|
|Fuel Consumption||10.6L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)||Starts from AED 139,900|
|As tested AED 174,900|
Images by Charn Kamal: 2018 Honda Odyssey Review in Dubai A Perfect Family Package