Flagship Odyssey meted safety upgrade

Active safety features have been added to Honda’s people mover, but only in the more expensive of the two variants.


ONE of the few brands still working the people mover sector has just updated its entry.

The primary change affecting the Honda Odyssey affects the highest-spec $53,900 LS edition, which picks up the suite of driver assists that is corralled under the Honda Sensing mantle.

However, there are also exterior design changes, interior updates and NVH improvements that also apply to this model as well as the $43,900 S edition.

Honda New Zealand has not explained why only the more expensive edition currently takes the Honda Sensing package, which provides adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane depareture warning, road departure mitigation and lane keep assist.

However, it has indicated that the S will  not permanently remain bereft of aides that safety organisations rate highly.

Marketing general manager Nadine Bell saying the introduction of these feature on the LS “represents another step in our plan to introduce the full suite of intelligent driver-assist features and active safety technologies right across the Honda vehicle range over the next few years.”

“ … while it will take some time before the Honda Sensing system is standardised across all models and all grades, we are committed to supporting the safe and comfortable driving of our customers with Honda’s driver-assist technologies,” she has added in supplied comment.

Honda says its suite of assists – which already available on the Civic range and on the most expensive CR-V - helps provide greater awareness of driving conditions around the vehicle, providing warnings to the driver and, under certain conditions, aiding the driver in avoiding or mitigating the severity of a collision.

Visually, both Odyssey variants gain a number of exterior enhancements to mark them out as 2018 cars. The entry-level Odyssey S has adopted the full Odyssey family-look, picking up the ‘aero’ front fascia design previously reserved for the top-of-the-range L, along with chrome surrounds for the new front fog lights.
The Odyssey LS now showcases the latest evolution of Honda’s ‘solid wing face’ design, with a new premium aero package comprising enhanced bumper shaping, pronounced aero forms, LED fog lights and a dark chrome finish on upper and lower grilles. The same dark chrome finish has also been applied to the door handles, while new design two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels and revisions to the rear fascia, badge and tailgate applique set the new LS apart from its predecessor.

Inside the LS, the second row captain’s chairs are now fitted with larger, more luxurious headrests and additional seat-mounted storage compartments, while the driver will notice new trims on instrument panel and doors, new engine start/stop button and electric door mirrors that now retract automatically when locking the vehicle.

From the luxury of the second row captain’s chairs, pull-up sun shades and tri-zone climate control air conditioning, to the conversation mirror and one-touch remote sliding doors for effortless access to the rear cabin, the needs of every family member have been accounted for in the Odyssey.

Two new paint colours have also been introduced as part of this model, Cobalt Blue Pearlescent and Platinum White Pearlescent.

Motor Industry Association sales statistics for 2017 suggest Honda sold 73 Odyssey last year, for a 9.8 percent share of the MPV sector which now contains just half a dozen players, and includes a seated version of the Hyundai iLoad van, which has the highest popularity.