Honda Odyssey (international)

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This article is about the Honda minivan model. For the Honda all-terrain vehicle, see Honda Odyssey (ATV).
This article is about the Honda Odyssey (international). For the Odyssey sold in North America, see Honda Odyssey (North America).
Honda Odyssey
2010 Honda Odyssey (MY10) Luxury van (2015-08-07).jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1994–present
Body and chassis
Class Minivan
Body style 5-door minivan

The Honda Odyssey is a minivan manufactured by Japanese automaker Honda since 1994, marketed worldwide, and now in its fourth & fifth generation in North America and Japan, respectively.

The Odyssey had originally been conceived and engineered in Japan, in the wake of country's economic crisis of the 1990s – which in turn imposed severe constraints on the vehicle's size and overall concept, dictating the minivan's manufacture in an existing facility with minimal modification.[1] The result was a smaller minivan, in the Compact MPV class, that was well received in the Japanese domestic market[1] and less well received in North America.[2] The first generation Odyssey was marketed in Europe as the Honda Shuttle.

Subsequent generations diverged to reflect market variations, and Honda built a plant in Lincoln, Alabama, incorporating the ability to manufacture larger models.[2] Since model year 1999, Honda has marketed a larger (large MPV-class) Odyssey in North America and a smaller Odyssey in Japan and other markets. Honda also offered the larger North American Odyssey in Japan as Honda LaGreat between 1999 and 2004.

First generation (RA1-RA5 chassis) (1994–1999)[edit]

First generation (JDM model)
1996 Honda Odyssey van (2015-08-07) 01.jpg
Also called Honda Shuttle (Europe)
Isuzu Oasis
Production 1994–1999
Assembly Sayama, Japan (Honda Sayama Factory)
Body and chassis
Layout FF layout
F4 layout
Related Acura CL
Acura MDX
Acura TL
Acura TSX
Honda Accord
Honda Avancier
Engine 2.2L I4
2.3L I4 VTEC
3.0L 200 hp (149 kW) VTEC V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
1998–2000 Honda Odyssey (Australia)
1998–2000 Honda Odyssey (Australia)

The Honda Odyssey was a raised wagon from Honda and was launched in Japan and North America in 1994.[3] It was offered with an optional 4WD (with RA2 and RA4 chassis), and 3.0L J30A engine with the RA5 chassis (Prestige version). L and Aero models were equipped with a sunroof. All the JDM Odysseys had the double-air conditioning system, separate for the front and rear seaters. Since the first generation all the models have been six or seven seater versions.

In 1995, it won the Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference Car of the Year award in Japan.

In Japan, the Odyssey competed with Toyota Gaia, Toyota Ipsum and the Nissan Bassara.

Second generation (RA6-RA9 chassis) (1999–2003)[edit]

Second generation
2000-2002 Honda Odyssey van (2011-11-17) 01.jpg
Production 1999–2003
Assembly Japan: Sayama (Honda Sayama Factory)
China: Guangzhou (Guangqi Honda)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Front-engine, four-wheel drive
Engine 2.3 L I4
3.0 L 210 hp (157 kW) V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
2000–2002 Honda Odyssey, Australia

In the late 1999, a new, larger "second generation" Odyssey appeared in Japan and Australia and as a Left hand Drive (LHD) in China. However, this new Odyssey was a major upgrade of the first generation Odyssey rather than a completely new model. As a result, its overall shape and appearance were similar to the first generation Odyssey. Still, it was 85 mm (3.3 in) longer and 10 mm (0.4 in) wider than the previous model; while the saloon's length was shortened.

The base model continued to be sold with a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine F23A RA6(2WD) & RA7(4WD), however, the a 3.0-liter VTEC V6 engine J30A (from the first generation, producing now 210 hp (157 kW)) was available with RA8 (2WD) and RA9 (4WD). The 2000 Odyssey was the first Honda to receive a five-speed automatic transmission (with the 3.0-liter engine). All the second generation gearboxes also featured another first—a tiptronic-like manual mode, known as "Honda S-matic", in which a gearbox remains to be a classic Honda's hydro-automat, but the driver is able to manage the shifting moment (if electronically allowed) with the selector's "+" and "-" positions. The interior was completely new. The old automatic column shifter was moved to the centre console. Digital climate controls replaced the old manual controls, and were situated near the audio system controls. Woodgrain trim was standard on all models, while in V6-L models leather was standard. The interior configuration was also changed (second and third row), and the spare wheel was moved to a new position beneath the third row. With L and Absolute versions, an additional third-row heater was added. The sunroof was no longer available.

A sporty "Absolute" version with all the chassis for the first time has appeared. This co-Mugen tuned version differs by the modified suspension of the European-like car's behavior, 17-inch wheels and some exterior/interior changes.

In 2002, the Odyssey was given a mild restyle. It received new, larger Honda emblems for the front and rear, clear-lens tail-lights (replacing amber), and a larger front grille with four chrome strips instead of three.

In the Australian market, the new Odyssey proved more popular than its predecessor, at least initially. However, in 2002, sales hit an all-time low, and in 2003, sales of only 649 units were almost one-third of the total in 2000.

Third generation (RB1-RB2 chassis) (2003–2008)[edit]

Third generation (JDM model)
2006-2008 Honda Odyssey.jpg
Production 2003–2008
Assembly Sayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Body and chassis
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Related Honda Accord
Honda Elysion
Engine 2.4L 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) or 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) I4
Transmission 5-speed automatic with 4WD
CVT with 2WD-FF
Wheelbase 111.4 in (2,830 mm)
Length 2004–05: 188.2 in (4,780 mm)
Width 2004–05: 72.0 in (1,829 mm)
2006–08: 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height 61.0 in (1,549 mm)

The third generation Japanese-built Odyssey was the first full redesign of the Odyssey since its introduction in 1994. Going on sale in Japan in late 2003, and in Australia and many other countries in 2004, it continued with a 5-door body style, with a much sleeker, lower, and more car-like appearance. For the first time cruise-control appeared on the JDM Odyssey. The 4WD version has received the new DPS system. The seat folding mechanism was changed again. The height of the new Odyssey was lower than ever – designed with multi-level parking in mind, particularly for Japan. The new Odyssey came with the Honda K24A i-VTEC engine, a 2.4 L unit producing 160 hp (119 kW); this was the same engine used in the CR-V and Accord. A 4WD version (RB2) came only with an automatic transmission, while the 2WD version came only with a continuously variable transmission, except Absolute. The V6 engine was dropped completely. Instead, a 200 hp (149 kW) variant of the K24A engine was adopted for the sporty Absolute version (190 hp (142 kW) with 4WD), which was only equipped with an automatic transmission – both the 2WD & 4WD variants. Moreover, this new engine had the same fuel consumption as the old 2.2 engine. All this resulted in the new Odyssey becoming a sales success. In Australia, the Odyssey achieved its best-ever sales year in 2005, and outsold the Toyota Tarago for the first time.

2004-2006 Honda Odyssey Luxury van (Australia)
2007 Odyssey interior

Fourth generation (RB3-RB4 chassis) (2008–2013)[edit]

Fourth generation (JDM model)
2008 Honda Odyssey 01.JPG
Also called Guangzhou-Honda Odyssey
Production 2008–2013
Assembly Sayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine 2.4 L K24A8 DOHC i-VTEC I4
Transmission CVT / 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length 4,780 mm (188.2 in)
Width 1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height 1,550 mm (61.0 in)

The sales for the fourth generation of the Odyssey in the Japanese market started October 17, 2008. It is equipped with a 2.4 L engine and CVT with a torque converter.[4] Two engines are offered in Japan: one with 173 PS output and the other one with 206 PS output in Absolute trim.[5]

In many markets outside Japan like in Australia and Indonesia, the Odyssey is equipped with a five-speed auto transmission.[6][7]

In Australia, the Odyssey is the best-selling people mover among private buyers.[8]

2009–2011 Honda Odyssey (Australia)
2008 Odyssey interior

Fifth generation (RC1-RC2 chassis) (2013–present)[edit]

Fifth generation (JDM model)
2014 Honda Odyssey (MY14) VTi-L van (2015-08-07) 01.jpg
Production 2013–present
Assembly Sayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine 2.4 L K24W DOHC i-VTEC I4
Transmission CVT (7-speed manual mode for the Absolute)
Wheelbase 2,900 mm (114.2 in)
Length 4,830 mm (190.2 in)
Width 1,820 mm (71.7 in)
Height 1,685 mm (66.3 in) to 1,715 mm (67.5 in)
Predecessor Honda Elysion, JDM
Honda Odyssey VTi-L (Australia)

Launched at the end of October 2013 and on sale at the start of November 2013, the fifth-generation Odyssey for the Japanese market is the first ever Odyssey to feature dual sliding doors. It's now bigger than its predecessors and for seven-seater models, premium cradle seats are offered on the second row. The new model is available in either seven-seater or eight-seater. It's powered by Honda's newly developed 2.4L i-VTEC direct injected engine which, in the range-topping Absolute variant, provides class-leading fuel economy of 14.0 km/L as calculated from Japan's JC08 mode test cycle.[9] In Japan and some Asian markets, the fifth-generation Odyssey replaced the large MPV Honda Elysion which ceased production in 2013 for JDM and some Asian markets but continues to be sold in China. This current model also replaced Elysion to compete against Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand in the full-size luxury MPV category. Plug-in hybrid launched in 2016 in Japan.[10]


At its debut, the Odyssey won the Japan Car of the Year Award (Special Category) and the RJC New Car of the Year Award. By September 1997, the Odyssey had sold more than 300,000 units, becoming Honda’s fastest-selling new car and breaking the Civic’s record.[1] The Odyssey was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1995.[11] At the Odyssey's European launch, where it was marketed as the Shuttle, British ex-Grand Prix driver Jonathan Palmer described its handling as equal of any "executive saloon".[12]


  • Issue of Nov 2003 of Car and Driver HK

External links[edit]