One year ago, we drove home in a brand new 2015 Honda Odyssey EX.
We'll be keeping it, probably, for another three.
Long-Term Introduction: 2015 Honda Odyssey EX
U.S. & Canadian Monthly Minivan Sales By Model
To be truthful, we didn't really drive home. We acquired our Odyssey at Centennial Honda in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, roughly 300 kilometres from GCBC's HQ in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. We drove from the dealer to my in-laws' house, and then we drove home a couple of days later.
The GCBC Faithful will recall reading about the process of getting our van. Our previous vehicle, a Kia Sorento, was smashed while parked in front of our house by our neighbour in his Ford F-150. The insurance claim, nearly equal to the value of the vehicle, resulted in two whole months with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited rental. In our locale, the value of our Sorento plunged. One Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealer wouldn't even provide us with a trade-in appraisal after learning about the value of the claim. Our local Honda dealer made an offer, but it was an offer they knew would embarrass themselves.
We wanted big league space, six or more usable seats, reasonable fuel efficiency, and on-road behaviour that – though I'm not the typical Odyssey driver in our family – wouldn't leave me feeling like I was driving a minivan.
2015 HONDA ODYSSEY EX
Base Price: $32,145 *
As-Tested Price: $37,195 *
Michelin Primacy MXV4
Cargo Volume: 1087 litres
C/V Behind 2nd Row: 2636 litres
Max. Cargo Volume: 4205 litres
EPA City: 19 MPG
EPA Highway: 28 MPG
NRCAN OEE City: 12.3 L/100km
NRCAN OEE Hwy: 8.5 L/100km
June Observed: 23.5 mpg
June Observed: 10.0 L/100km
Lifetime: 10.0 L/100km
Monthly Mileage: 872 km
Total Mileage To Date: 14,631 km
* Canadian dollars, includes
$1795 in fees.
Crew cab pickup truck? We came close, but we weren't ready to mix a 70-pound dog in with the human occupants, rather than behind them.
Rival minivans? They drive like minivans. Ick.
Ford Transit Connect Wagon? Wildly overpriced.
Honda Pilot? Deals on end-of-the-line second-gen models weren't that great, and we wouldn't wait to buy the new Pilot (or any vehicle, for that matter) in its first model year.
Full-size SUV? Eventually, we will have a Chevrolet Suburban, I suspect. But not yet.
Volkswagen Golf GTI? It's the theoretical answer to all my automotive decisions except this one.
Meanwhile, the Odyssey's lease offer from our friends at Centennial Honda, which made the only fair offer on our trade-in, was almost too good to be true. Even stepping up from base LX through SE to EX hardly altered the payment. With our low-mileage lifestyle – remember, we always have a manufacturer-supplied press car in the driveway – leasing a really nice vehicle with high residuals saved us a lot of money.
We've been steadily pleased with essentially every major facet of the Odyssey, and still find ourselves saying, after driving some really nice stuff: "This is a nice van."
It's not perfect. The 6-speed automatic transmission wasn't great to begin with and isn't great now, but shift smoothness is much more consistent twelve months into its stay. The sunglasses holder is way too small. The armrests move with the seats and have no detents, so my shoulder is driven into my neck if my right arm utilizes the thin armrest. The dual-screen infotainment cluster isn't straightforward, but a year later, the only trouble we have is switching between audio from two iPhones.
We have not yet paid a penny for routine dealer maintenance. Our first service was completed at Centennial Honda free of charge. The only vehicle-related charges aside from fuel were tire swaps (winters on and off), a punctured tire repair, and the addition of Bosch Icon front wiper blades, to which I'm addicted.
Speaking of fuel, we've averaged a consistent 10.0 L/100km (23.5 mpg on the U.S. scale) for the last year, never straying too far above or below. Most of the driving occurs in an urban environment. Canada's Office Of Energy Efficiency rates the Odyssey at 12.3 L/100km in the city and 8.5 L/100km on the highway.
Reliability? The sliding doors developed some dreadful squeaks or groans or scrunches – call them what you will – that were quickly remedied under warranty by one visit to Portland Street Honda. There have been no other issues besides a recall which required changing one of the stickers inside the door panel, done during the first service.
We have a few years to go with the Odyssey and will likely switch to bi-monthly updates in the near future. There's very little to suggest we wouldn't be motivated towards acquiring another Odyssey when the lease on our 2015 model is up, though it remains to be seen what that vehicle will look like and how it will be equipped. We'd love to see Honda offer an all-wheel-drive option on the next-gen model and a smoother transmission as well as greater availability of sunroofs and power tailgates.
Hardly the complaints or wishes of a dissatisfied owner.
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.