2005 Honda Odyssey

Honda introduced the third-generation Odyssey for the 2005 model year. It grew in width and weight but retained the previous generation’s length and interior space. It could be purchased with both navigation and rear entertainment systems, and the VHS-based i-VES system was dropped. There are four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring, a new model for the Odyssey lineup, incorporating features such as run-flat tires and power tailgate only on the Touring model.

Some notable features of the redesign were dual glove boxes and an in-floor Lazy Susan storage compartment, located where the spare tire went in the previous generation. It has a dashboard-mounted shifter, instead of a column-mounted shifter in the previous generations. The second row bucket seats do not fold into the floor. A ‘Plus-One’ jump seat was added on EX trims for use with an eighth passenger.

Engine power was increased to 255 (re rated to 244 by the new SAE guidelines, and used in 2006+model descriptions) and EX-L and Touring models received Honda’s VCM, or Variable Cylinder Management system. This enabled this van to receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/28 for the 2005 model year.(18/26 for non VCM equipped LX and EX models.) However, most drivers’ milage is lower. These numbers were re-rated in 2007 using the EPA’s new system, bringing numbers to 17/24 for VCM equipped models, and 16/23 for non VCM equipped models.
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Acceleration was slightly slower. Honda introduced the ACE body engineering which was later used on the eighth generation Civic, included side-curtain airbags and vehicle stability control in all models, and added a host of other features, such as integrated sunshades in the rear doors, windows that roll down in the second row, and the third row ‘Magic Seat’ was changed from a straight bench design to a split 60/40 design to allow for easier folding. The headrests could now be left in place when tumbling the rear seat.

Only the Touring model is equipped with run flat Pax tires that are designed to run 125 miles (201 km) with no air pressure. Pax was not sold on Canadian market vans for good reason. Availability of tires and service could not be assured. Pax consists of a unique tire with different rim diameters on the inside compared to the outside, a support ring which is a hard ring that is mounted on the proprietary Pax only wheel, a gel lubricant and the wheel itself. When flat, Pax runs on the inner support ring lubricated by special gel.

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It also included TPMS even before tire pressure measuring systems were required by the government. Pax run flats wear faster than other Odyssey original tires by design with thinner tread grooves at the edges and ride harder due to the lower profile which reduces the distance from the outside of the tire to the support ring when flat.

Pax tires cost about $1200 for a set of four or $1600 for 4 snow tires including mounting fee and the Gel pack. Pax requires special equipment and training to mount and do wheel alignment which many shops do not have. A proprietary gel pack is needed for mounting or overheating when running flat will occur. Some dealers and very few tire stores are able to mount or repair Pax.

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This makes prices high and availability reduced. Replacement or repair, especially on weekends and holidays is limited. The only Pax tires for Odyssey Touring are Michelin Energy LX4 or Michelin X-Ice snow tires. No other Odyssey Touring tire choices exist for 2005-2007 despite being on the market since late 2004. Pax become an option for 2008 models.
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This Odyssey has not had the rampant transmission problems of the last generation, and 2005-2006 overall reliability has been average according to Consumer Reports. Problem areas include body integrity, body hardware, audio system, brakes and suspension according to Consumer Reports, April 2007.

Crash test ratings have been five star in every test but the 2005 had a safety concern. “During the side impact test, the driver door became unlatched and opened. A door opening during a side impact crash increases the likelihood of occupant ejection.” Odyssey has won a spot on Car and Driver’s 5Best trucks for the past three years, as well as a host of other awards.

For 2008, the Odyssey received a mid-model facelift. All models are equipped with active front head restraints, daytime running lights, and a standard MP3 jack. The grill is now similar to that of the Accord and the taillights have been restyled. Also, Honda has announced that the backup camera, previously only included with navigation-equipped models, will be integrated into the rear-view mirror of the non-navigation EX-L, as well as full Bluetooth support on the Touring model for all Bluetooth-equipped devices. The Touring models are now standard with navigation and the Plus-One jumpseat on the EX and EX-L.

Scribbled on April 3rd 2008 in Honda, Honda Odyssey
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