2009 Honda Odyssey Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 Honda Odyssey If...

If you'd rather be driving a nice sedan but you have a family, a dog and a load of luggage to haul on vacation, the 2009 Honda Odyssey makes for a livable compromise. With all its nifty features, some of your friends may even think it's cool.

You May Not Like The 2009 Honda Odyssey If...

If you don't like the traditional minivan look, about the only choices left are Nissan's spacey Quest or the sporty Dodge Grand Caravan. Bargain shoppers put off by the high price tag should look toward newer competitors, such as the Hyundai Entourage.

What's New

The EX-L trim receives the Touring's power rear lift gate, while the optional satellite navigation system gains Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Interior Features

There are plenty of innovations worth noting inside the Odyssey, as well as a couple of surprises. Honda engineers have made the third-row seat more accessible, thanks to sliding second-row seats. The third-row seat is also split on a 60/40 bias and very easy to fold flat into the floor. The second row features power windows plus optional twin captain's chairs and a clever in-seat storage compartment (dubbed the PlusOne Seat by Honda). There are three sets of LATCH child safety seat anchors: Two on the outboard second-row seats and one in the middle third-row seat.

Exterior Features

Rather than pushing beyond the expected limits of minivan styling, the 2009 Odyssey emerges as a refined version of its former self. Honda's designers have conceived an Odyssey that is both sleeker and more sophisticated than previous generations. The Odyssey's wide stance gives it a more secure visual stance. Appealing features such as available power sliding side doors and a power rear liftgate bolster the Odyssey's desirability.

Driving Impressions

One of the goals of every minivan is to deliver a car-like driving experience. If the car in that comparison is a large sedan, the 2009 Honda Odyssey succeeds on some levels and comes close on others. With plenty of horsepower and usable torque, the Odyssey moves quickly from a stop and easily merges with traffic. Once moving, the ride is smooth and well-controlled, even if rougher roads don't go unnoticed. While few will call its performance inspiring, the Odyssey brakes and corners with a capability some may find surprisingly good for a vehicle of its proportions, and the strong engine can get you quickly back to cruising speed.

Pricing Notes

The least expensive 2009 Honda Odyssey is the LX, which has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $27,000. The EX with leather, DVD and navigation runs close to $38,000, while a Touring with navigation tops out just over the $40,000 mark. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid by consumers in your area, so be sure to check it out before you buy. The Odyssey's pricing may seem high, but keep in mind that over a five-year period it holds its value better than the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Hyundai Entourage, Nissan Quest and even the Toyota Sienna.

Notable Equipment

Every 2009 Honda Odyssey (LX, EX, EX with Leather and Touring) includes the disappearing third-row seat, in-floor storage, CD player, dual-zone air conditioning (tri-zone in EX-L and Touring), power windows, keyless entry and cruise control. Standard safety features include frontal and side airbags up front, three-row side-curtain airbags and Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. The standard 3.5-liter VTEC engine gives way to a similar, higher-mileage i-VTEC engine with variable cylinder management (VCM) in the top two models.

Notable Options

Features available only on select trim levels or as stand-alone options include the stowable eighth seat, leather seating, power sliding doors, four-way power passenger seat, six-disc in-dash CD player, 360-watt stereo, Bluetooth hands-free communication link, memory-linked tilt-down side view mirrors (standard on Touring), more fuel-efficient i-VTEC engine with VCM, power moonroof, nine-inch rear DVD entertainment center, plus a navigation system with voice recognition and an integrated rearview camera (models without navigation display an image in the rearview mirror). Available only on the premium Touring model are a memory driver's seat, power-adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors and a run-flat tire system.

Favorite Features

In-Floor Storage

A carpeted panel in the floor in front of the second-row seat lifts to reveal a compartment big enough to swallow the available eighth seat. When you need the room for something else, an optional Lazy Susan makes it easy to access items that might otherwise require a reach.

Comprehensive Safety Features

From Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution, Anti-Lock Brakes and Tire Pressuring Monitoring (to help keep you out of trouble), to the Advanced Compatibility Engineering Body Structure, Active Front Head Restraints and a full complement of airbags (to help protect you if trouble should occur), the Odyssey offers its occupants an extremely comprehensive set of safety features.

Under the Hood

Until someone drops a V8 into a minivan, the Odyssey's 244-horsepower V6 is the most powerful engine in the class. The Odyssey's 3.5-liter V6 is a solid piece of work. Strong, quiet and fairly fuel-efficient, its performance attributes are only enhanced by its bulletproof service and repair history. On EX-L and Touring trims Honda adds its Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) which, depending upon load, deactivates some cylinders for improved fuel consumption.

3.5-liter V6

244 horsepower @ 5750 rpm (LX and EX)

244 horsepower @ 5700 rpm (EX-L and Touring)

240 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm (LX and EX)

245 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm (EX-L and Touring)

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (LX and EX), 17/25 (EX-L and Touring)

Editors' Notes

Dads will tell you the best vehicle to transport the wife and kids is a big, burly SUV, but Moms know better. Despite its less-than-macho image, the minivan is still the best family transport ever invented. Large sliding side doors make for quick and easy entries and exits, while a low and level cargo floor means minimal muscle is required when loading. If a minivan is in your future, there are a number of makes to choose from, and at the top of that list is the 2009 Honda Odyssey. Renowned for its spacious interior, powerful engine, comfortable ride and exceptional safety rating, the Odyssey leaves little room for criticism. About the only deterrent to purchasing an Odyssey may be its high price and limited ability to pick and choose stand alone options.

Road Test Video Reviews

2009 Honda Odyssey Owner Reviews

148 Reviews
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Odyssey is great for the driver and the kids!!

I love my Odyssey! It has built in GPS, XM radio and a DVD player for the kiddos. The headphones are wireless but there are also AUX hookups for additional headphones. I wish the audio hooked up with Bluetooth but it does have hands free calling. It front has heated leather seats and the side doors open and close with a push of a button. The middle windows go almost all the way down but the back windows don't open at all which is unfortunate. The back seats fold down all the way into the floor which is great but the middle seats do not. They do come all the way out but it's kind of a pain. The middle seat can sit 3 or you can put down a console in the middle. The van itself fits 8!! Overall it's a great vehicle with great gas mileage!!

- April R

Honda hands down. Comfort and reliability without the exorbitant prices.

The biggest issue are the power sliding doors. I've taken them in to be fixed but to no avail. When it rains or snows the doors don't work for about a day after the rain/snow. As a parent of multiples and pets the size and comfort is great. As far as issues with performance Honda has never let me down. I do make sure to do a thorough yearly maintenance of course. The year I have isn't very modern so the Bluetooth/ navigation is a downside. Also that you can't get to the AUX is really annoying so you are forced to get a new radio system. When I do upgrade it will definitely be to another Honda. The last 5 cars we have had have been Honda. They are the most reliable by far.

- I S

Honda Odyssey Van - parents and children both love it.

The Odyssey is very spacious. We love the built in DVD with Bluetooth headphones. The kids can watch movies and we have quiet. Repairs have not been terribly expensive. Our van is good on gas over the road and actually not bad in town. The seating is very comfortable. The mid-seat windows actually work which is great. Vans we purchased in the past did not have this feature. Some of the things we wish it had include heated seats and stow and go seats in the back. Another improvement would be an automatic hatch door in the back. Having to open and close it while trying to load things is difficult.

- Patricia S

Great van! Lots of room for everything!

My Honda Odyssey has been a very reliable vehicle. It has well over 250k miles on it and I still wouldn't hesitate to take it on a road trip. The van will seat up to 8 passengers and still has a good amount of room in the back for groceries, luggage, sporting gear, or whatever you need. My kids love that they can control the heat/ac from the backseat. There are so many cup holders!! The only issue that I have had is the sliding doors stick and need to be greased. This is not something that we feel comfortable doing at home, so it has to be taken to the mechanic if they start acting up.

- Susan A

Lots of space, lasts a long time, drives well in many conditions.

It is a car that I love a lot. First off, the space is amazing. It can seat 7 people with all the seats up, but all seats can be put down or removed to maximize space. Even with all the seats up there's still room and space in each seat. Even though the car has been owned for many years, it hardly breaks down or needs work down, and it functions very well. The only issues with it in the past have been minor and have not affected the drivability. It drives very smoothly, and turns well. It also works well on mountain roads despite being such a big car and not meant for such roads.

- Audrey V

The odyssey is a great car for transporting 8 people or a room full of supplies.

My odyssey is wonderful. I have had almost no problems with my car. It fits 7 and has an additional seat that can be added to seat 8. We use that feature so that we do not have to take an extra car and pay for extra parking, etc. The back seats fold flat and the middle seats can be removed to create a very large space. I can drive my daughter to college without having to make extra trips. The back doors open with the push of a button. This makes it so easy to load car seats of sleeping infants or arm loads of groceries. The back windows even come with built in sun shades.

- Elise C

Roomy and comfy family van.

This van is super roomy and comfortable. Controls are ready to use, especially when I am driving. The steering wheel has radio controls and the driver's seat is easily moved forward and backwards. Tons of storage behind the seats, under the floor, and in the dashboard and doors. It has a sunroof, which I love. That is also easily controlled. The van drives smoothly and provides a small back up camera within the rear view mirror (no big screen in the dashboard). It is XM radio capable if you have an account. The third row seats fold and recess into the floor.

- Casey V

The only vehicle for me is a Honda odyssey.

I love the Honda odyssey. This is the second I have owned. I bought both used at about 80, 000 miles. My latest is a 2009 that I purchased in 2016. It drives like a dream. I am a hobby antique dealer and use it on short road trips. The back is large and roomy with or without seats. At the moment I have the seats out. It is comfortable for me to drive and I feel very safe in it when on the road. I have owned three Hondas in my adult life and the first two went over 220, 000 miles with very little maintenance. It is my vehicle of choice always.

- Barbara B

I love the space, the interchangeable seats and the storage compartment.

This vehicle is very roomy, seats are interchangeable and can fit up to 8 people! Has a rear view mirror backup camera, heated seats, 8 air vents, automatic back doors and the back passenger windows go down and include a blind to help block sunlight from little ones eyes. There is also a storage compartment on the floor inside to hide away blankets and snacks for kiddos. Also included is an audio jack to connect your music to automatically and has XM radio. This vehicle is very convenient for parents or traveling.

- Sarah M

Honda does great carrying family through life.

There have been several issues across the years with the headlights going out pretty frequently. Additionally, we had to have the power steering replaced because it was nearly impossible to safely make required turns. It just took a whole lot more effort than was necessary. It is pretty comfortable for our family of 5, and especially does well on our annual cross-country trips to Canada compared to a lot of other vehicles. The trunk is spacious and the individual air conditioning vents are extremely helpful.

- Martine F

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