Honda Odyssey (international)

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Honda Odyssey
Honda ODYSSEY ABSOLUTE EX (RC1) front.jpg
Honda Odyssey Absolute EX (RC1, Japan)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door station wagon (1994–2013)
5-door minivan (2013–present)
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive

The Honda Odyssey is a minivan manufactured by Japanese automaker Honda since 1994, marketed in most of the world and now in its fifth generation in Japan.

The Odyssey had originally been conceived and engineered in Japan, in the wake of the 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 the Honda LaGreat between 1999 and 2004.

First generation (RA1-RA5; 1994)[edit]

First generation (RA1/2/3/4/5)
Also calledHonda Shuttle (Europe)
Isuzu Oasis
AssemblySayama, Japan (Honda Sayama Factory)
DesignerMotoaki Minowa (1991)[3]
Body and chassis
RelatedHonda Accord
Transmission4-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length4,750 mm (187.0 in)
Width1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height1,645–1,660 mm (64.8–65.4 in)
Curb weight1,470–1,610 kg (3,241–3,549 lb)
SuccessorHonda Odyssey (RA6-RA9; International)
Honda Odyssey (RL1; North America)

The Honda Odyssey was a raised wagon from Honda that was launched in Japan and North America in 1994.[4] Based on the Accord sedan, it was offered with an optional 4WD (with RA2 and RA4 chassis), and from 1997 with a 3.0-litre V6 J30A engine with the RA5 chassis code (front-wheel drive only). L and Aero models were equipped with a sunroof. All the JDM Odysseys had a dual air conditioning system, separate for the front and rear seat rows. 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 its home market, the Odyssey competed with the Toyota Gaia, Toyota Ipsum and the Nissan Bassara. European sales were hampered by the absences of both a manual transmission as well as a diesel engine option.

The original 2.2-litre engine produces 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp). This was replaced by a slightly larger 2.3-liter version offering 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) in August 1997.[5] In October 1997, the 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) V6 engine became an option in the domestic market.[6]

Second generation (RA6-RA9; 1999)[edit]

Second generation (RA6/7/8/9)
2000 Honda Odyssey (Japan).jpg
AssemblyJapan: Sayama (Honda Sayama Factory)
China: Guangzhou (Guangqi Honda)
Engine2.3 L F23A I4
3.0 L J30A V6
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length4,770–4,835 mm (187.8–190.4 in)
Width1,795–1,800 mm (70.7–70.9 in)
Height1,630–1,655 mm (64.2–65.2 in)
Curb weight1,570–1,760 kg (3,461–3,880 lb)

In late 1999, a new, larger second generation Odyssey appeared in Japan and Australia and in a left-hand drive (LHD) format for 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 base models had slightly smaller dimensions and a smaller 2.3L engine, models with more options as well those with the 3.0L V6 engine featured slightly larger bumpers and chrome inserts, larger grille as well as an unique chrome number plate surround.

The base model continued to be sold with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (F23A) in RA6 (2WD) and RA7 (4WD) models. The 3.0-liter J30A VTEC V6 engine from the first generation, now producing 210 PS (154 kW), was available in the RA8 (2WD) and RA9 (4WD) Prestige luxury and Absolute sport models. The 2000 Odyssey was the first Honda to receive a five-speed automatic transmission, albeit with the 3.0-liter engine only as the four-cylinder versions rotate in the other direction.[4] All the second generation gearboxes also featured another first — a tiptronic-like manual mode, known as "Honda S-matic", in which a gearbox remains the classic Honda 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. A new touchscreen-based digital climate control system replaced the old manual controls, which worked in conjunction with Honda's new navigation system. Woodgrain trim was standard on all models, while in VG/VZ V6 models leather and velour seat and door materials were standard over the basic cloth trims. 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 respectively.

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, darker in Absolute trim), and a larger front grille with four chrome strips instead of three as well as new alloy wheel design options.

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 (RB1/2; 2003)[edit]

Third generation (RB1/2)
Honda Odyssey (third generation) (front), Serdang.jpg
AssemblySayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Body and chassis
RelatedHonda Accord
Honda Elysion
Engine2.4 L K24A VTEC I4
Transmission5-speed automatic with 4WD and Absolute
CVT with 2WD-FF
Wheelbase2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length4,765 mm (187.6 in)
Width1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height1,550–1,570 mm (61.0–61.8 in)
Curb weight1,610–1,760 kg (3,549–3,880 lb)

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 October 2003, and in Australia and many other countries from early 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 PS (118 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, JDB S/B model as well as export models. The V6 engine was dropped completely. Instead, a 200 PS (147 kW) variant of the K24A engine was adopted for the sporty Absolute version (190 PS (140 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.

Fourth generation (RB3/4; 2008)[edit]

Fourth generation (RB3/4)
2009-2011 Honda Odyssey Luxury van (2011-04-28) 01.jpg
AssemblySayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Engine2.4 L K24A8 DOHC i-VTEC I4
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length4,780 mm (188.2 in)
Width1,800 mm (70.9 in)
Height1,545–1,565 mm (60.8–61.6 in)
Curb weight1,600–1,690 kg (3,527–3,726 lb)

Sales of the fourth generation Odyssey in the Japanese market began on 17 October 2008. The engine and transmission has fundamentally remained the same as the third generation, adding more power and better fuel economy. It is equipped with a 2.4-litre engine and CVT with a torque converter for the FWD, and 5-speed automatic transmission for 4WD and high-output 206 hp Absolute trim.[7] Two engines are offered in Japan: one with 173 PS output (i-VTEC is only for intake camshaft) and the other one with 206 PS output in Absolute trim (i-VTEC is for both camshafts).[8]

In many markets outside Japan like Australia and Indonesia, the Odyssey is also equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission.[9][10]

In Australia, the Odyssey was the best-selling people mover among private buyers.[11]

Fifth generation (RC; 2013)[edit]

Fifth generation (RC1/2/4)
Honda Odyssey V China 2015-04-13.jpg
Honda Odyssey (pre-facelift, China)
Also calledHonda Elysion (China)
AssemblySayama, Japan
Guangzhou, China (Guangqi Honda)
Wuhan, China (Dongfeng Honda) (Honda Elysion)
Engine2.4 L K24W DOHC i-VTEC I4
2.0 L LFA1/LFB1/LFA-H4 PGM-Fi DOHC i-VTEC I4 + 2 electric motors (hybrid)
Electric motorAC Synchronous Permanent-Magnet Electric Motor (Hybrid)
TransmissionCVT (7-speed manual mode for Absolute model)
e-CVT (hybrid)
Wheelbase2,900 mm (114.2 in)
Length4,830–4,845 mm (190.2–190.7 in)
Width1,820 mm (71.7 in)
Height1,685–1,715 mm (66.3–67.5 in)
Curb weight1,700–1,880 kg (3,748–4,145 lb)

The fifth generation Odyssey for the international market was launched on 26 September 2013, and went on sale in October 2013. The rear hinged side doors were changed to dual power sliding doors, much like most other minivans by Japanese automakers today. It's now bigger than its predecessors and for seven-seater variants, premium cradle seats with ottomans are offered on the second row. The new RC1 (2WD) & RC2 (4WD) models are available in either seven-seater or eight-seater. It's powered by Honda's newly developed 2.4L i-VTEC Earth Dreams engine which produces 175 PS (173 hp; 129 kW) and 225 N⋅m (23 kg⋅m; 166 lb⋅ft). Direct-injection is added in the range-topping Absolute variant which increases output to 190 PS (187 hp; 140 kW) and 237 N⋅m (24 kg⋅m; 175 lb⋅ft). The 2.4L Earth Dreams engine provides fuel economy of 14.0 km/L (40 mpg‑imp; 33 mpg‑US) as calculated from Japan's JC08 mode test cycle.[12]

In Japan, this model also replaced the Elysion to compete against Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand in the full-size luxury MPV category.

The Odyssey Hybrid RC4 was launched in Japan on 4 February 2016 with a 2.0L petrol hybrid engine.[13] Honda has given the Sport Hybrid i-MMD name to the new hybrid system. Improvements to the new hybrid system include reduction of the size and weight of key components such as the battery and power control unit from the existing two-motor hybrid system used in the Accord Hybrid and Accord Plug-in Hybrid that were introduced in 2013. The power control unit is 23 percent smaller and 27 percent lighter than the one in the Accord Hybrid. The Odyssey Hybrid went on sale in Japan on 5 February 2016, but is unlikely to be exported to the US as the US-market Odyssey utilizes a larger platform than the Japanese market Odyssey.[14]

In Australia, the Odyssey went on sale in February 2014 and is available in two trim levels: VTi, which is based on the JDM G trim, and VTi-L, which is based on the JDM Absolute trim.

In the Middle East, the JDM Odyssey was introduced in 2015 as Honda Odyssey J, while USDM Odyssey continues with its original name.

The fifth generation Odyssey is also a basis for the second generation Honda Elysion for the Chinese market, but with a different front fascia, and adopts a design resembling the Honda Legend. The Odyssey-based Elysion was launched in China on 9 January 2016.


On 16 November 2017, the fifth generation Odyssey was given a facelift with new bumpers and LED fog lamps and was refreshed with a range of driver’s assistances featuring adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation system, lane-keeping assist system, rear-cross traffic monitor and blind-spot monitoring system in the top of the range model. It also has a new chrome front grille fascia, an improved NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) and a plusher captain's chair in the second row.[15]

The first facelift of the fifth-generation Odyssey was introduced in the Chinese market in July 2018, updating the front end with a redesigned front bumper.[16]

The second facelift model for the 2021 model year went on sale in Japan in November 2020, featuring redesigned bumpers with a two-piece grille, headlamps and taillamps with a thin chrome bar across it. In the interior, it receives a 7.0 inch info display replacing the previous 3.5 inch found on the speedometer cluster, and motion detection sliding doors using hand gestures.[17][18]


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.[19] 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".[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Developing a Car with a Roomy Interior". Honda Worldwide.
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Greg (1999-01-01). "First Drive: 1999 Honda Odyssey". Insideline.
  3. ^ "USD362831S". Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Yamaguchi, Jack (March 2000). "Global Viewpoints: Honda's Japanese Odyssey". SAE International. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "オデッセイをマイナーモデルチェンジし発売" [Minor model change of Odyssey released]. (in Japanese). 1997-08-22. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  6. ^ "オデッセイ・プレステージを新発売" [New Release: Odyssey Prestige]. (in Japanese). 1997-10-02. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  7. ^ "Honda Announces the All-New Odyssey". Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  8. ^ "New 2009 Honda Odyssey unveiled in Japan!". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Honda Odyssey specifications". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Honda Launch All New Odyssey 2014 in Indonesia". Archived from the original on 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  11. ^ "Honda Australia lays out plans to late 2015". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  12. ^ Honda to Release All-New Odyssey and Odyssey Absolute Premium Minivans in Japan Archived 2013-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^
  14. ^ ""Honda debuts upgraded 2-motor hybrid system", Automotive News, February 18, 2016".
  15. ^ ""New Odyssey to feature intelligent driver-assist", Honda Media Centre, December 12, 2017".
  16. ^ "7月15日上市 广汽本田新款奥德赛官图".
  17. ^
  18. ^ "2021 facelift Odyssey launches in Japan". CarAdvice.
  19. ^ "Honda Odyssey Minivan". Retrieved 2010-02-12.
  20. ^ "Honda SHUTTLE (1995–2000)". Yahoo Cars, UK, Jonathan Crouch.

External links[edit]