Y'know, I'm waiting to get a 2002 Ody and part of the reason I waited is that more HP, 5 gears, and rear disc brakes are things that matter to me.
Of course, its clear that the engine & tranny is coming over from the Acura MDX.
Now deep in my heart, I wanted an SUV, but also wanted the seating capacity that a minivan has. For that reason, I initially looked at the Dodge Durango (used) because of a 3rd row seat, but ultimately...I'd prefer a Honda's reliability & fuel efficiency.
Which made me think...gee, if the Ody is so great and I really want the new '02 features...then what about that MDX?
Okay, so its something like $6 or $7K more for even the base model over an Ody EX.
I currently drive an (old--1986--first year made) Acura Legend which I have really loved. I like Hondas, but I also rather like the extra "sweetness" in the Acura line.
I can't help but wonder right now...aside from the lower price...what would make me want an Ody over an MDX?
If I had to sum it up in a few bullet items, I'd list these reasons for the Ody over the MDX:
usable third row seating
"Some people say you can't take it with you... I'm taking it with me."
Future: 2002 EXL-NAV, TW (with RES wanted!)
Current: 2001 Civic EX, silver
Leaving: 2001 Volvo V70 T5, white/graphite
I have both. Here is my summary - comparing a 00 Odyssey with a 01 MDX:
MDX is quieter, has a smoother ride, a better shifting transmission (which also seems more intelligent). The AWD is amazing in the snow and wet. The horn sounds much better and the stereo also sounds much better. The 1st and second row seats are more comfortable. The luxury features in the MDX like the self dimming rear view mirrors, the power memory seats and leater are nice pluses. The added power is nice and the engine sounds better too.
The Odyssey is less expensive, carries more, drives more like a car but has a harsher ride and is noisier. the 4 speed auto is not as refined as the 5 speed auto in the MDX. The engine feels like it runs out of breath past 5000 rpm. (both the transmission and engine in the '02 should solve these issues). the Odyssey's 3rd row seating is more conducive for hosting adults than the MDX.
Ideally, I'd like to have both - but the Odyssey is going to be traded for a '02 RSX-S.