From the November 1998 subject of Automobile and Driver.
Ever since Chrysler invented this factor known as the minivan in 1983, completely different variations of it have popped up as automakers tried to seek out the proper mixture of dimension, versatility, and look that might win new prospects.
As mannequin 12 months 1999 is upon us, it is obvious that Chrysler’s minivan system nonetheless guidelines the roost. Not solely have the Chrysler autos outsold all others, however every new minivan in the marketplace previously two years has been a Chrysler clone.
The primary indication of the cloning got here when Toyota dumped its distinctive Previa minivan with its mid-mounted engine in favor of a standard front-engine design. Now Honda is the most recent producer to chime in with a Chrysler drivalike.
The 1999 Odyssey rectifies the outdated Odyssey’s greatest flaw—its small dimension. Honda now concedes that its earlier household hauler, based mostly on a 4-cylinder Accord, didn’t provide sufficient area or energy. The Honda of us additionally discovered that Accord and Civic homeowners have been doing a no-no: shopping for Chrysler minivans as a substitute of Odysseys.
With no platform bigger than the Accord within the lineup (keep in mind, of us, the Passport sport-utility automobile is a repackaged Isuzu Rodeo), Honda was compelled to supply a wholly new platform for the 1999 Odyssey. With a clear sheet, the engineers thought large.
The wheelbase grew 6.7 inches longer than the outdated Odyssey’s to 118.1 inches. The size went up 13.6 inches to 201.2, the width elevated 5.0 inches to 75.6, and the peak by 5.1 inches to 69.7. These dimensions are inside two inches of a Grand Caravan’s.
A much bigger outdoors meant a much bigger inside. The inside quantity of all three seating rows is not less than on par with Chrysler, and behind the third seat, there may be 19 cubic ft of area. As within the previous-generation Odyssey, behind the third seat is a deep effectively into which the rearmost seat can fold, leaving a flat cargo area. With the third seat up, we may put 19 of our customary beer-case bins behind it, yet one more than we may slot in a Dodge Grand Caravan.
For the reason that indentation for the folding rear seat occupies the area usually reserved for the spare tire, the Odyssey’s spare resides beneath the ground between the primary and second rows (within the outdated Odyssey, the spare hugged a rear aspect wall). Whereas we’re on the second row, it is value mentioning the 2 separate bucket seats and their two-position function. There are two units of flooring anchors for the right-aspect center bucket. One set positions it behind the passenger’s seat and about 12 inches from the opposite center bucket. The opposite set places it subsequent to the left-side bucket, making a bench.
To extend the Odyssey’s energy, the four-cylinder engine is changed with a 3.5-liter model of the aluminum SOHC V-6 used within the Accord. Though incorporanking Honda’s VTEC system, the engine makes use of an intake-valve scheme not seen because the 1992 Civic VX’s VTEC-E engine. Beneath 3300 rpm, just one consumption valve is opened absolutely, and the opposite valve is opened a smidge to forestall gasoline from pooling on the valve. Honda says this promotes consumption swirl and higher combustion, decreasing emissions (the engine achieves LEV standing for mild vehicles). Above 3300 rpm, each consumption valves open for higher respiratory. Output is 210 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 229 pound-feet of torque at 4300 rpm. Placing that energy to the entrance wheels is a four-speed computerized. On the monitor, the Odyssey EX accelerated to 60 mph in 10.0 seconds, 0.1 second faster than the Grand Caravan ES, however 0.6 second behind the Ford Windstar LX and Toyota Sienna XLE we in contrast final February.
Honda says it went to nice pains to maintain the Odyssey’s heart of gravity low and to make the minivan a assured handler. A strut suspension up entrance and a rear multi-link setup do the job, and the Odyssey would not really feel as tall as it’s. Final grip, at 0.74 g, betters the 0.71 g achieved by each van in our final comparo.
Two fashions of the Odyssey can be provided, the bottom LX and the EX. Commonplace on all Odysseys are anti-lock brakes, twin sliding center doorways, the folding third seat and the nifty movable center seat, air-con entrance and rear, and shoulder belts for all passengers. The step-up EX minivan will get you traction management, twin power-sliding doorways, alloy wheels, and a CD participant. Costs haven’t been launched, however count on the LX to price about $23,500 and the EX to come back in at about $26,000.
Total, the Odyssey combines the virtues we have come to like in Hondas—a commanding view of the highway, excellent high quality, and benign, assured dealing with. Now with a flexible, roomier inside, the Odyssey has a shot at knocking the minivan crown off Chrysler’s noggin. We would not guess towards it. Search for an upcoming comparo with all the most recent minivan gamers.
1999 Honda Odyssey EX
Automobile Kind: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 5-door van
As Examined: $26,000 (est.)
SOHC V-6, aluminum block and heads, port gasoline injection
Displacement: 212 in3, 3471 cm3
Energy: 210 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: 229 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm
Suspension, F/R: strut/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 11.8-in vented disc/10.1-in drum
Tires: Michelin Symmetry
Wheelbase: 118.1 in
Size: 201.2 in
Width: 75.6 in
Top: 69.7 in
Passenger Quantity, F/M/R: 61/60/50 ft3
Cargo Quantity, seats up/folded: 19/79 ft3
Curb Weight: 4387 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 10.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 17.6 sec @ 81 mph
100 mph: 30.0 sec
Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 10.3 sec
Prime Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.4 sec
Prime Gear, 50–70 mph: 6.6 sec
Prime Velocity (gov ltd): 117 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 203 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.74 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Metropolis/Freeway: 18/26 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED