Musings of a Minivan Mom

After owning the Honda Odyssey for about six months, I would have to say that it is the best minivan I have driven. And no, it is not the only minivan I’ve owned. I became a minivan mom shortly after my second child was born, more than 13 years ago–starting with a Dodge Caravan for six years, followed by a Toyota Sienna for about six and a half years and finally the Odyssey.

Let’s start with what I like about the Odyssey:

Car-like build–It is the most car-like minivan out there which makes for easier maneuverability and parking. It still has the height that I appreciate without the need of a step stool like some trucks and SUVs.

Automatic doors–Another feature I enjoy is the automatic doors. Granted, other makes have this feature, but this is first time I have owned a vehicle with this feature. Before, the kids couldn’t close the doors if we were parked on a hill because of the force needed to shut them.

Second row jump seat—Having the flexibility of 2 captain chairs or a full 3 seater row is very handy. With 4 kids, I usually leave it out, but when hauling around friends, making room for the grandparents or packing in Cubscouts—it’s nice to be able to seat 8.

Fold-down back seats—The back row of seats folds easily into the storage well to accommodate larger items. It is just as easy to pop them back up—very little effort required.

Console with storage—The top of the console between the front seats flips up to provide ample storage—more than other vans I’ve owned.

Cool box—This won’t cool things down, but will keep them at a constant temperature—great for chilled drinks or anything that will melt in sunny Las Vegas where I live.

Of course there are a few minor things I would change:

No real vent button—Sometimes you just want the vent, not heat or air, but trying to adjust the temperature so it’s cooler than the outside air for venting takes too much calculating.

Seat Adjustment—Even on the top of the line EX model why don’t the power seats do not have memory position. This is annoying as my husband adjusts the seats when he drives, and then I have to readjust them (#frowny face).

Article originally written October 2013.