What Changed for 2009:
- EX-L model adds a power rear liftgate as standard equipment
- Navigation system now comes standard with Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
First introduced in 1995, the Honda Odyssey minivan got a major redesign in 2005. After the 2008 model year saw a host of improvements to both the Odyssey's function and form, with the most noticeable change being a front-end facelift designed to give the minivan a closer resemblance to the Accord sedan, the 2009 model gets only minor changes. The Odyssey has seating for 7 or 8, depending on the model, and comes standard with dual sliding side doors. The third-row seat folds into the floor, while the second-row seats flip up and can be removed. With the second row removed and the third row folded, the Odyssey has a cavernous 147.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Additional storage space can be found under the floor in front of the second-row seats. Unlike minivans from Chrysler and Dodge, however, the second-row seats don't fold into this space.
The 2009 Honda Odyssey is available in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring models. The 7-seat LX includes such standard features as cloth upholstery; remote keyless entry; power windows with an auto-down driver's window; second-row power windows; power mirrors; rear privacy glass; independent front and rear air conditioning; a 60/40-split folding third-row \"Magic Seat;\" in-floor storage for the second row; cruise control; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; AM/FM/CD stereo; auxiliary input jack; and 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. The EX adds seating for 8 with Honda's removable PlusOne second-row center seat as well as power sliding doors; heated front seats; 3-zone automatic climate control; upgraded audio system with controls mounted on the steering wheel and a 6-disc CD changer; 8-way power driver's seat; heated exterior mirrors; universal garage door opener; conversation mirror; second-row sunshades; roof rails; rear spoiler; and alloy wheels. The EX-L adds leather seats; 4-way power front passenger seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel; XM satellite radio; power moonroof; auto-dimming rearview mirror; and a power rear liftgate. A rear DVD entertainment system and a navigation system are available for the EX-L. The Odyssey Touring gets those features, plus front and rear park assist; Bluetooth phone compatibility; power-adjustable pedals; 360-watt premium audio system with subwoofer; 2-position memory for the driver's seat and side mirrors; trip computer; compass; automatic headlights; fog lights and 17-inch wheels. Run-flat tires are available for the Touring model.
All 2009 Honda Odysseys are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The version in LX and EX models produces 244 hp at 5750 rpm and 240 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway. The EX-L and Touring models employ Honda's i-VTEC system with the latest version of Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). VCM can run the engine on three, four or six cylinders depending on power demands. A green \"ECO\" light on the dashboard indicates when the system is operational. Engine output is 244 hp at 5700 rpm and 245 lb.-ft. of torque at 4900 rpm, with EPA fuel-economy estimates of 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway. All Odysseys drive the front wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The 2009 Honda Odyssey features dual front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting 3-row curtain side air bags with rollover deployment; tire-pressure monitor; active front head restraints; anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution; traction control; and electronic stability control. Front and rear park assist and a rearview camera are available.
The Odyssey aced National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests with a best-possible 5-star rating for front and side impacts; rollover rating was 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Odyssey \"Good\" ratings (the best possible score) for front-, side- and rear-impact protection. Those ratings, plus standard electronic stability control, earned the Odyssey the Institute's \"Top Safety Pick\" rating.
The Odyssey's available run-flat tires employ Michelin's PAX system. The PAX system uses a solid plastic ring that wraps around the center of the wheel like a rubber band. When deflated, the tire presses against it and uses it for support. The special tires have an odd size that Honda lists as P235/710R460A, and the wheels are about 17.5 inches in diameter.
Another technology counteracts noise associated with the Variable Cylinder Management system, as well as some road noise, on EX-L and Touring models. Honda's Active Noise Control technology uses the audio system to analyze the sound waves entering the cabin, then sends an out-of-phase sound through the speakers to cancel out engine noises. An Active Control Engine Mount System also uses electrically activated dampers to minimize engine vibration.