Review by Jacob Black, photos by Jacob Black and Madeline Wallcraft
Sometimes car names make no sense, sometimes car names work perfectly. I reckon if that Greek bloke had had one of these he wouldn’t have spent 10 years trying to get home. Of course, if he hadn’t taunted that one-eyed fella with the powerful friends he probably would have been home earlier too.
“Odyssey,” therefore, fits perfectly.
And so I chose my wagon. Of the three minivans in our office that week, this is the one I most wanted to take down to the Indianapolis 500 for a glamping (glamour camping) weekend with my family. Why did we have three minivans? For an upcoming minivan shootout – but that’s another story. The reasons I wanted to take this specific tank were many.
First, it’s a Honda. Honda has a strong affiliation with IndyCar racing and was the sole engine supplier for a long time. These days Chevy is in on the action too, but Honda’s ties to the sport are strong, so taking a Honda seemed like the smart plan.
Second, it has a cool box. A small box in the base of the centre stack that gets super-cold air pumped into it and keeps drinks and things cool. Pro tip though – the cool box is only on when the car is on and the button is on. No, you can’t store cheese strings in it for three days. Luckily, I knew that beforehand and remembered to remove them.
Third, it has a removable centre console in the first row, so if we were on the road and we wanted to get in the back to attend to some sort of emergency with my daughter, we could walk through to the back and deal with it before I even stopped. Of course, this is illegal and unsafe and we didn’t do it, but if we had needed to, we could have.
There’s also a removable second-row middle seat, but we left Maddie in that one. She had a better view of the road, better view of the DVD screen and was in a safer position within the car. Win, win, win.
Fourth, it has a DVD screen, and we have a four-year old. Yes I know, when you were kids you entertained yourself on road trips by kicking your parents’ seat backs, picking your nose/ears and eating it, and playing Punch-Buggy-Pinch-Mini. Myself? I used to read books and then projectile vomit. The DVD seemed like a better solution.
Fifth, there is plenty of USB power and a 115V household power outlet in the third row, so either I or my wife could work on our computers as we drove if needed. 10 hours of unproductive time is really too much for both of us in this hell-for-leather rat race of a world we live in.
Sixth, it has a vacuum cleaner on board. A vacuum cleaner?! And, as I discovered on the trip, it really is powerful enough to be useful. It reaches every orifice in the car and using it is a breeze.