I have always enjoyed cars, especially small fast ones with big engines. There is something about a slightly noisy engine with lots of power that puts me in a happy place. A sports car is my sanctuary, mostly because I can’t fit my family in it.
I do love my family, honestly. But, if I need some me time, I can find that in my car. Plus, my wife really doesn’t want the little ones getting a ride in Dad’s car.
Alas, I finally caved and started checking out minivans. Yes, I used the word no guy EVER wants to have come out of his mouth “minivan”. I have 5 kids, so it was inevitable that the day would come when I needed a family car. It is basically a tiny school bus.
Honda Odyssey Elite
My goal was to ultimately get a larger car that still looked masculine and had a powerful engine and impressive wheels. If I was going to make the transition, it had to be to a car that is a workhorse.
I was able to test drive a few. The one that really impressed me was the brand new Honda Elite Odyssey. This car is a blast to drive and has some impressive features that work for both me and my antsy little passengers. And, it has a super quiet ride.
The body of this minivan is nicely sculpted, giving it a more sleek appearance than others I looked at. The rear lift door is completely hands free. The alloy wheels are large at 19 inches with 235/55 R19 all-weather tires.
The interior has luxury, padded seats with lots of leg room. There are 3 rows of seats. The front 2 are bucket seats that feel like first class on an airplane. These are heated and ventilated. The middle row can slide in different directions for ease of getting in and out of the car. The back row seats can be unlatched and lifted out for more cargo space.
There is a three zone climate control feature. The audio system is awesome with 11 speakers. There is an entertainment system for the kids that has the ability to play DVDs or to stream content via 4G LTE. There is also a wireless phone charger. This baby is loaded with technology.
Elite Performance and Safety
OK, so I said I still wanted some power. This minivan has that. It’s not quite the V8 of a performance sports car. But is does have a 3.5 liter V6 direct fuel injection engine. To be honest, this is not the gas guzzler of an older high speed vehicle. That is pretty nice on my wallet.
The Honda has all the safety features, such as a rain sensing wiper system, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) via camera, and Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™). There is also the ability for passengers to input navigation points. All of these are great for keeping me in check if the kids distract me.
I think the coolest features are the Toyota CabinWatch™ rear seat camera and the CabinTalk™. Both of these allow me to keep an eye on and communicate with my kids without having to turn around.