Wednesday, October 8, 2014


This all-new Odyssey comes with a price rise but also an increase in standard gear. Leather seats, a 7-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth, smartphone app integration You can run the maps program from your smartphone through the car’s screen but that will use your mobile data. six-speaker stereo,Siri Eyes Free,two USB and one HDMI inputs, in-built second row window blinds and both reversing and surround view parking cameras are all included. One noticeable absence is in-built navigation.

Cheaper by $3630 but doesn’t feel it. an 8GB music storage Jukebox, keyless entry and ignition, Standard gear includes the surround view camera, Park Assist (self-parking), front and rear parking sensors, blindspot monitoring, dual-zone aircon panoramic glass roof, in-built window blinds in the second row and 17-inch alloy wheels. Missing from both cars are rear seat entertainment systems.

This is Odyssey is larger in every dimension compared to the previous generation. It’s more van-like rather than wagon in style. And that gives it a narrow advantage here. It has a slight advantage on space across all three rows. Especially the third row where there is a bit more headroom and legroom that makes it more usable as a genuine seven-seater.

Still a comfortable car with good space in the front two rows. Offers up better interior style than the Odyssey. The cabin feels very spacious thanks to the windscreen extending high up into the roof. The dashboard has a 12-inch high-definition instrument screen positioned top and centre that looks classy and there’s a second 7-inch touchscreen lower down for the infotainment system.

It gets the job done most of the time but the combination of peak torque not kicking in until 4000rpm and a CVT gearbox makes the Odyssey’s powertrain a noisy affair. The lack of low rev range pulling power means the Odyssey can feel sluggish from take-off and when overtaking. It also doesn’t help fuel economy, even with auto stop-start.

Petrol versus diesel is a straight fight but these brands have opted for different solutions to the same problem. And the Citroen’s turbo diesel does a better job in most respects. It has good low rev pulling power thanks to more torque that kicks in from just 2000rpm. That also makes it quieter too. Fuel economy is way ahead of the Odyssey.

The old Odyssey was one of the best people movers to drive thanks to its lower body, which made it more car-like than van-like. But Honda has decided to move away from that with this new bigger, taller model. It still drives well for the class but lacks the supple yet responsive ride of the previous model.

The Picasso sits on Citroen’s new modular underpinnings and it is feels like a modern car with a comfortable ride and handling near the top of the class. The steering is nicely weighted for getting around town, and makes parking easy.

You can tell a lot of thought went into making the new Odyssey a comfortable and user friendly people mover. One of the most practical features of the VTi-L are the automatic sliding rear doors. They can be operated via the key fob or open/close with a touch of the door handle. It makes loading rear passengers much easier, especially in car parks. The second row seats are a pair of reclining captain’s chairs which are very comfortable. The boot is also deep and wide with the third row in place.

Different layout than the Odyssey with the second row made up of three individual seats, rather than a bench, which is more practical but less comfortable than the Odyssey. The downside of the Picasso are conventional swinging doors which aren’t as convenient as the Honda’s sliding set-up. The boot is slightly smaller too, particularly with the third row seats in place.

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