Honda introduced a hybrid version of the Odyssey. I then immediately did a comparative test drive with both the Odyssey’s gasoline version and hybrid version.
It basically uses the i-MMD system with a 2L Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine and two motors, which has been adopted in the Accord, but the Odyssey hybrid has newly-downsized motors, some major improvements, and it has been designed as a minivan with bigger weight.
Now, as for its hybrid system. It is basically a parallel hybrid, but almost all of its parts work through a series hybrid. In other words, its engine functions as an electric generator in many cases.
The engine can be used up when cruising on the highway, and it runs with either EV or hybrid mode from departure to acceleration. Therefore, when, for example, you step hard on the accelerator, the engine would absolutely roar, but it would generate electric power as a generator through this process. I basically started driving it in EV mode. Depending on the remaining energy in the battery, the engine starts at a different timing and the engine could relatively start and generate electric power.
The correlation of its increasing engine sound and acceleration is that even though its engine creates a very loud noise just like a bad CVT, its acceleration gently follows after that, so I was somehow uncomfortable about it.
On the other hand, when I drove it silently, it had a balanced level of quietness. Yet even though it is quieter than the gasoline version, I can’t say that it was quiet when I just drove it in a normal way. But when it comes to a more powerful performance, I would personally go for the 2.4L gasoline version Odyssey. Even though it is said to have a motor assist, it doesn’t have a big difference with the 2.4L gasoline version from its partial to full acceleration. Besides, its increasing sound and adherence when I stepped on the accelerator felt even better with the gasoline version.
How about its fuel consumption? I couldn’t uniformly compare both models, but I was able to test it in full throttle acceleration on the highway, and I was also able to test its departure and acceleration on public roads. Therefore, I couldn’t compare it with numerical value, and I also passed different routes so I had to just do a rough estimation, but it consumed 12km/L with the gasoline version for the first half of the test driving. Then, the hybrid version consumed around 15km/L.
Certainly, the hybrid version has a more excellent fuel consumption. However, although this is also a rough comparison, it is said that the price difference of the gasoline version and the hybrid version is at around 500,000 yen. In taking the fuel consumption difference with 500,000 yen, you need to drive it for a very long distance. Therefore, the price of the hybrid version has been decided according to how high its level of quietness is when driving around city streets.
What I’m surprisingly happy about is that it has a really good ride quality. Basically, if I’m going to rate its riding quality according to the seating location, its third row seat has the most unpleasant ride quality. In a car with a long wheelbase, moreover in a model that has a huge cabin space, microvibrations easily enter inside the second row, which is inevitably the center of the wheelbase. The Odyssey is definitely not an exception, but I thought this car really controlled it very well. As long as there are no extreme obstacles, it would still be comfortable to sit on the third row seats.
The hybrid version that I test drove can be equipped with various parts as options, including the Honda Sensing, and it costs over 4.5 million yen. In other words, its price starts at approximately 5 million yen. In terms of size, it is larger than that of its rival car, the Toyota Estima, but it’s not likely comparable. But it can be a rival to the Alphard and the Vellfire in terms of its huge size. Of course, for non-hybrid standard models, it is still below middle grade. Because of that, the price of the Odyssey hybrid somehow has a regrettable point. Same thing also goes when you compare its cost-effectiveness to the gasoline version.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Takahito Nakamura | AJAJ Member
Born in 1952. He loves cars that adorned the pages of car magazines, even at the young age of four. He started working part time at a Super Car shop. He also has experience being an apprentice mechanic for Nova Engineering. After that, he went to Germany to continue his pursuit of knowledge about cars. He entered the journalism industry in 1977, and has been a fixture in it for the last 36 years. He continues to be active as a freelance journalist.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)