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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I currently have an 05 EXL (without a RES) and I've generally been really happy with it. It does have some shortcomings, though, and based on reading about the 2011 model as well as looking at the car first hand at the dealer (haven't test-driven yet, but will this week), it appears the 2011 model fixes most of my complaints. Specifically:

- The ability to get 3 car seats in the second row. We've got three kids - two in boosters now and a baby and the ability to get all three in the second row would be great in terms of cargo and convenience. The spare tire in my 05 is on the side of the third-row and it's been moved to the floor in the 2011. This appears to make the third-row seat a bit wider. Is this the case? I intend to measure to make sure. In my 05 I'm unable to get three booster seats in the third row - if there's a few extra inches in the 2011 to allow for that, then that would be a great feature for us.

- Tilt/Extending steering wheel. The 05 tilts but doesn't extend - this is my biggest comfort complaint about the 05.

- Rear RES. We didn't get a RES with our 05 Ody and that's a decision I now regret. We've gone through lots of different portable systems, none of which lasted, are are inconvenient and a hassle with all the wires along with the ability for a parent to control the unit. So, how reliable are the factory units? Our friends who have them don't seem to have any issues, but they don't own Hondas.

- Those are the big ones, but there are many minor improvements.

Regardless of whether these improvement for us are worth the cost of a new purchase (a calculation we're still evaluating), we do have some questions regarding our specific situation for anyone who might be able to provide an opinion or answer:

1. Towing. We frequently tow a pop-up with our 05 and it works pretty well. I understand the capacity, engine power, etc. of the 2011 is comparable to what I already have, so I wouldn't expect a huge difference here, though I do have a bit of a concern about the less-crisp handling of the 2011 model. What I'm mainly wondering, though, is how much of a difference the 6 speed tranny would make if we opted to go for the touring model? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Gas mileage towing our popup is pretty poor (13-14mpg) - how much of an improvement, if any, could we expect with a 6 speed?

2. Cargo capacity. It looks the same - is it still possible to get full 4X8 sheets of plywood in the ody (with the rear hatch closed) by removing the 2nd row seats?

3. Any other issues or recommendations for things to look closely at when we test drive?

Thanks in advance!

-Andy
 

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2. Cargo capacity. It looks the same - is it still possible to get full 4X8 sheets of plywood in the ody (with the rear hatch closed) by removing the 2nd row seats?
According to Honda's brochure, 4x8 sheets do fit in the 2011 Odyssey. I haven't actually done it yet, but there was a picture in the brochure specifically showing this capability.
 

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Hello!

1. Towing. We frequently tow a pop-up with our 05 and it works pretty well. I understand the capacity, engine power, etc. of the 2011 is comparable to what I already have, so I wouldn't expect a huge difference here, though I do have a bit of a concern about the less-crisp handling of the 2011 model. What I'm mainly wondering, though, is how much of a difference the 6 speed tranny would make if we opted to go for the touring model? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Gas mileage towing our popup is pretty poor (13-14mpg) - how much of an improvement, if any, could we expect with a 6 speed?

-Andy
6 Speed is a dramatic improvement over 5 speed. When towing however, no matter what you do expect bad mileage. Also, depending on the weight of the trailer, you probably shouldn't be towing in OD, which can be locked out on either transmission.

Happy Hunting.
 

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6 Speed is a dramatic improvement over 5 speed. When towing however, no matter what you do expect bad mileage. Also, depending on the weight of the trailer, you probably shouldn't be towing in OD, which can be locked out on either transmission.

Happy Hunting.
I've driven both extensively in road tests. I'd say if you never drove the 6 speed, you wouldn't miss it. If you have driven it, you'd be impressed with the peppier acceleration, although the transmission is a bit "busy" shifting, compared to the 6 speed in the Sienna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies so far all! Still hoping someone can provide some direct experience towing with a 6 speed.
 

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Wait for 2012?

Thanks for the replies so far all! Still hoping someone can provide some direct experience towing with a 6 speed.
I broke my own “don’t get a car in its first model year” rule this time, but if I was in your shoes, I’d consider waiting until the 2012 comes out. I absolutely love the 2011 design, and we needed a minivan *this* year, otherwise I would have waited. There are enough kinks that are driving me nuts, but hopefully would be resolved in the 4th generation’s second model year. Good luck!
 

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Hello!

1. Towing. We frequently tow a pop-up with our 05 and it works pretty well. I understand the capacity, engine power, etc. of the 2011 is comparable to what I already have, so I wouldn't expect a huge difference here, though I do have a bit of a concern about the less-crisp handling of the 2011 model. What I'm mainly wondering, though, is how much of a difference the 6 speed tranny would make if we opted to go for the touring model? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Gas mileage towing our popup is pretty poor (13-14mpg) - how much of an improvement, if any, could we expect with a 6 speed?
Who says the 2011 handling is less crisp? All the road tests I've seen show it to be the same or better than the previous generation. You might be thinking of the steering which I felt they over-bossted on the 2011, but it's not as bad as the 2011 Sienna. In my opinion the 2011 Touring handles/drives better than the 05 to 10, specifically my 05 touring. The brake feel is night and day, advantage to the 2011. The 2011 drives even more car like, with less floatiness in the turns.
 

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Agree with the previous post. Our 2011 Touring handles far better than our 2008 Touring. In general it feels much tighter and is quieter. We've had ours two weeks... and love it!
 

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I broke my own “don’t get a car in its first model year” rule this time, but if I was in your shoes, I’d consider waiting until the 2012 comes out. I absolutely love the 2011 design, and we needed a minivan *this* year, otherwise I would have waited. There are enough kinks that are driving me nuts, but hopefully would be resolved in the 4th generation’s second model year. Good luck!
I feel the same way and had the same situation.
 

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6speed auto should be good to tow

Honda tested the 6speed in death valley while towing.

 

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We got a 2011 Touring, mainly for the ability to fit the 3 car seats in the 2nd row. A very nice feature that gives us a lot of flexiblity and maintain the proper safety. The Touring in particular for the 6 speed , the integrated sunshades in the 3rd row, and the tech. I could have done without the RES as a couple of ipads can fix that issue pretty easily without the wires.

Sorry, I can't comment on the towing.

Otherwise, we are happy so far.
 
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