February 21, 2005

New Honda Odyssey ranked top minivan by Consumer Reports

Yonkers, New York – The redesigned 2005 Honda Odyssey regained the top spot in Consumer Reports’ minivan ratings following tests of four minivans for the March 2005 issue. The Odyssey edged out the Toyota Sienna, CR’s previous Top Pick in this category.

2005 Honda Odyssey EX
2005 Honda Odyssey EX. Photo: Grant Yoxon. Click image to enlarge

The Odyssey and Sienna finished in a near tie in CR’s tests; both have “Excellent” overall scores. The two other vehicles tested as part of this group, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Saturn Relay, were both rated “Good” overall.

The Odyssey and Sienna are leading an evolution in the minivan category, according to Consumer Reports. In addition to being comfortable, space-efficient vehicles that are ideal for family use, they now offer many of the attributes of mid-level luxury cars, including smooth, quick powertrains; well-constructed interiors; good driving dynamics; and an array of the latest features and technology.

Consumer Reports’ auto engineers have found minivans to be a good alternative to large SUVs. They’re less expensive, get better mileage, generally ride and handle better, and provide easier access to the third-row seat. (Some minivans also come with all-wheel-drive systems for improved traction on ice and snow.)

Consumer Reports recommends three of the four vehicles in this test group, the Odyssey, Sienna, and Grand Caravan. CR will only recommend vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s annual surveys of its subscribers, and have performed adequately if crash-tested or included in government rollover tests. The Saturn Relay cannot be recommended at this time because CR doesn’t have reliability information on it yet.

Full tests and ratings of the four minivans appear in the March issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale February 8th. The complete report is also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.

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