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07 Julai 2010

Aku dan Honda Odyssey

"When myEstima is sick, I am dreaming of someone else..."

Honda Odyssey – Sometimes it’s a car.

In the quest for a larger market, Honda has broken away from tradition with the latest Honda Odyssey, recently launched as a fully imported MPV model for Malaysia. MPV’s as we all know them, are large and bulky, and look like modified vans. The Honda Odyssey’s Malaysian tagline says boldly, “Sometimes it’s a car”. Why? Just take a gander at it; it is low slung, it is sleek, getting in and out of it is about the same as getting in and out of a car. With a roofline that is only marginally higher than most medium saloons, the Odyssey looks much more refined; bet the customs guys are having to go back to the drawing board to check vehicle definitions!

Honda believe that in today’s contemporary society, there is a market niche that has a desire for this type of vehicle; an MPV that looks and drives like a car. Of course, in Japan, they hedge this bet with an alternative model that looks like any other conventional MPV, using the new Odyssey as a ‘niche’ market

Looking at the Odyssey from directly in front of it, if you cannot see the tail end, you can easily mistake it for a very large car. There is nothing MPV about this MPV, except perhaps for a slightly thicker waist, and the tail; I might even venture to call it a station wagon if not for the fact that it is a little taller than the Accord. It is low, it is sleek, and it is mean-looking….just what some people I know want in an MPV! The large, aggressive looking grill, bound on each side by smoked combination headlights, and accentuated with a thick, bumper with a built-in air dam and a large air scoop underneath give the Honda Odyssey a ‘mean machine’ kind of demeanor. It is macho, yet is refined at the same time.

Although the roofline is lower than the older Odyssey, the new Odyssey is actually roomier than the model it replaces. Interior width is 5 mm more, interior height is increased by 5 mm, and the cabin length is 50 mm longer than the old model. The interior height is achieved through some very clever engineering on the lower platform, including some very flat exhaust parts, and moving the fuel tank from under the rear seat to another location under the front seats. Moving the gearshift lever to the dash panel also helped to reduce the clutter in the centre tunnel. Those old enough to have seen the first Honda Life (360cc) about 40 years ago would remember this set-up.

As a happy consequence of putting everything low down, the roll centre is also lowered, making the Odyssey a very stable machine. The seats are also low, and headroom is good.

Powered by a 2.4 litre, DOHC (Double Overhead Camshaft) I-VTEC engine, the Odyssey has an output of 160ps at 5500. Torque is 218Nm at 4500 rpm. This engine is identical to the one in the Accord 2.4 litre model. This power is transferred to the road through a 5-speed, electronically controlled automatic gearbox, using the front wheels. Tyre size is 215/60 R16, fitted on 6.5-inch wide alloys. The gearbox also has a ‘Sport Shift’ function that allows one to select gears manually. The I-VTEC features variable valve and ignition timing; this increases the engine’s flexibility, giving it good torque at low engine speeds, yet allows it to ‘breathe’ freely at high engine speeds. It is like having two engines in one. Needless to say, the Odyssey engine is free revving, and has a wide power band.

The Odyssey can seat seven people, but in reality it is a 5-seater. The third row seat folds away neatly at the rear to provide a flat cargo space. One very thoughtful feature is that the rearmost seats are deployed using a motorized mechanism, making it very easy and convenient to use. In addition, the second row seat splits and folds in numerous combinations to make the Odyssey a very versatile vehicle.

Suspension is built very strong in the Odyssey. It is 4-wheel independent suspension, with double wishbones and coil springs all round. Tipping the scales at 1675kg, the Odyssey is 220 kg heavier than the 2.4 litre Accord.

We did have a very short test drive in the Odyssey, courtesy of Honda Malaysia. Unfortunately for us, it rained cats and dogs shortly after we started out, and in deference to Mr. Seiji Kuraishi, the CEO and managing director of Honda Malaysia’s request for us ‘not to test the airbags’, we drove safely and slowly through the route. It was rumoured, however, that one of the motoring journalists hit 220 kph while it was still dry. (We will confirm this when we get one for a longer test.). Anyway, all was not lost. The three of us in the car, each from a different publication, took turns to drive the Odyssey, and are unanimous that the vehicle itself is quite impressive, comfortable to be in, and is a pleasure to drive. It handles very well through the twisty roads in and around the Dengkil/Banting area, and would serve many a family well. The gear ratios seem to favour a more sedate style of driving, but if pushed, the Odyssey does have good ‘get-up-and-go’ behaviour. The tall gearing is obviously for good fuel economy. Moving a 1.6 tonne vehicle that carries another 400 to 500 kg of cargo and people can burn a lot of fuel if the ratios are short.

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The price? RM230K for brand new and RM140K for re-cond 2005. Ada berani?

5 ulasan:

  1. sexy dashboard curve!!!
    kecik dari estima ko tapi....

  2. awak pun sesat sampai sini jugak?
    apa2pun terima kasihlah atas pandangan.
    salam perkenalan.

  3. Saya pun jatuh cinta selepas beberapa kali pandang.Perghhh... drive like sedan. Apatah lagi seorang rakan lama telah pun memiliki ODC type L.

  4. salam tuan..boleh tahu Ini ODC RB1 type S , M or L?
    ada jumpa sama semuanya tp tak tahu type dia. adakah ini yg paling basic?
    Terima kasih..

  5. Salam tuan.
    Tumpang tanya gambar ODC posted kt atas ni RB1 S,M or L?
    sebab ada jumpa yg sama sebijik tp tak tahu jenis mana. adakah ini yg paling basic?
    Terima kasih!