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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering replacing our '03 EXL Navi with an '11 EXL (won't ever again pay $1,500 for nav that requires $$ to upgrade.) I'm also considering the Touring for the extra MPG and smoother 6 speed.

We often tow a Popup and I'm wondering if the 6 speed migh hinder towing performance.

Any thoughts?
 

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if anything the 6 speed will help, it has more gears to choose from, so I would see it as a better choice. Though it has not been 'tested' for as long as the 5 speed.

I have not towed anything with our van (6spd), look in the real world fuel econ page to see if the 6spd is really better, I don't think it improves very much, if at all. The only thing it really gives the van is a bit more 'go'.
 

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if anything the 6 speed will help, it has more gears to choose from, so I would see it as a better choice. Though it has not been 'tested' for as long as the 5 speed.

I have not towed anything with our van (6spd), look in the real world fuel econ page to see if the 6spd is really better, I don't think it improves very much, if at all. The only thing it really gives the van is a bit more 'go'.
Agreed, the 6spd should be slightly better for towing as it has lower ratios in 1st, 2nd, etc. Although I wouldn't consider any front drive vehicle for towing on a consistant basis or larger weights.

The 6spd gives the van 1mpg EPA rated (28 vs 27) due to better top gear ratio, in addition to being about half a second faster 0-60mph.
 

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6spd is the way to go, or you need a truck, or the best is a truck with a 6 spd.

Good luck.
 

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Actually i read somewhere that 'according to Honda' the extra mpg on the touring and touring elite is due to to a few aerodynamic enhacements not the 6spd transmission... I read this in mid / late september (just before they were released).
 

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Actually i read somewhere that 'according to Honda' the extra mpg on the touring and touring elite is due to to a few aerodynamic enhacements not the 6spd transmission... I read this in mid / late september (just before they were released).
There are no aerodynamic differences between the models. The 6 speed has a lower 1st gear and a taller top gear. It gets the van moving with less "effort" from the engine and has lower revs at highway speeds because of the taller gearing. All of that results in slightly lower fuel consumption.
 

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We often tow a Popup and I'm wondering if the 6 speed migh hinder towing performance.
I guess you already got the answer above, but bottom line, you need the more effective torque at different speeds so it is likely that the 6sp will get there more frequently than the 5sp (the engine delivers 250lb-ft @ 4800rpm for both)
 

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Actually i read somewhere that 'according to Honda' the extra mpg on the touring and touring elite is due to to a few aerodynamic enhacements not the 6spd transmission... I read this in mid / late september (just before they were released).
There are no aerodynamic differences between the models. The 6 speed has a lower 1st gear and a taller top gear. It gets the van moving with less "effort" from the engine and has lower revs at highway speeds because of the taller gearing. All of that results in slightly lower fuel consumption.
I read the claim as well, but unless the side skirts help :D I have no idea what else they did to the van. Oh, and they also added the low-resistance tires to the case...

The mechanical difference between the trim lines is now the transmission. Most 2011 Odysseys have the same five-speed automatic as in the last van. But the top Touring and Touring Elite trim lines feature the six-speed automatic first seen in the Acura MDX. You'd think that would help fuel economy, and indeed these top trim levels get the best EPA estimated numbers—19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. But Honda claims that low-resistance tires and aero tweaks on these models are the actual cause for that difference; the extra gear helps more with acceleration and drivability. Either way, the Odyssey's powertrain remains smooth and willing, with minor improvements in horsepower and torque.

Consumer Reports
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gear sense

Thanks for all of the comments and related discussions!

Here are my thoughts on the 5sp Vs 6sp for towing.

I too feel as though the lower 1st gear would be nothing but beneficial in beginning to move a heavy load. My concern comes with the additional gear creating the potential for more 'hunting & surging' which many automatic tranny's suffer from when towing. This is why they introduced overdrives when 5sp tranny's made there way to trucks.

Does anyone have the gearing ratios for both transmissions? I'm curious to see the difference and wonder how the overdrive works in the 6sp. I know there have been some transmissions built for heavy duty trucks which can actually lock out 4th AND 5th.

I don't think it would be right to lock out 6th and 5th on an Odyssey but I am curious to know the ratios of 4th gear in the 5sp Vs. 5th gear in the 6sp. If 5th in the 6sp were too high, I could imagine having trouble tapping the right amount of power to navigate small hills without hunting and packing with a huge detriment to MPG's.

Also, regarding 'improved aerodynamics,' I wonder if by that, they mean the 6sp tranny itself and it's cavity is aerodynamically designed? Most 6sp tranny's find there way into performance vehicles and are often flat bottomed or close to it when comparred to a regular transmission which can have a very craggy surface all the way around.
 

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Thanks for all of the comments and related discussions!

Here are my thoughts on the 5sp Vs 6sp for towing.

I too feel as though the lower 1st gear would be nothing but beneficial in beginning to move a heavy load. My concern comes with the additional gear creating the potential for more 'hunting & surging' which many automatic tranny's suffer from when towing. This is why they introduced overdrives when 5sp tranny's made there way to trucks.

Does anyone have the gearing ratios for both transmissions? I'm curious to see the difference and wonder how the overdrive works in the 6sp. I know there have been some transmissions built for heavy duty trucks which can actually lock out 4th AND 5th.

I don't think it would be right to lock out 6th and 5th on an Odyssey but I am curious to know the ratios of 4th gear in the 5sp Vs. 5th gear in the 6sp. If 5th in the 6sp were too high, I could imagine having trouble tapping the right amount of power to navigate small hills without hunting and packing with a huge detriment to MPG's.

Also, regarding 'improved aerodynamics,' I wonder if by that, they mean the 6sp tranny itself and it's cavity is aerodynamically designed? Most 6sp tranny's find there way into performance vehicles and are often flat bottomed or close to it when comparred to a regular transmission which can have a very craggy surface all the way around.
Here you go, one of my favorite links. Gear ratios and transmissions' summary at the end. I believe the 6spd design is more efficient (i.e. weight) but not more "aerodynamic" per-se :)

Honda Media Newsroom - Odyssey - 2011 Honda Odyssey: Powertrain
 

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Thanks for all of the comments and related discussions!

Here are my thoughts on the 5sp Vs 6sp for towing.

I too feel as though the lower 1st gear would be nothing but beneficial in beginning to move a heavy load. My concern comes with the additional gear creating the potential for more 'hunting & surging' which many automatic tranny's suffer from when towing. This is why they introduced overdrives when 5sp tranny's made there way to trucks.

Does anyone have the gearing ratios for both transmissions? I'm curious to see the difference and wonder how the overdrive works in the 6sp. I know there have been some transmissions built for heavy duty trucks which can actually lock out 4th AND 5th.

I don't think it would be right to lock out 6th and 5th on an Odyssey but I am curious to know the ratios of 4th gear in the 5sp Vs. 5th gear in the 6sp. If 5th in the 6sp were too high, I could imagine having trouble tapping the right amount of power to navigate small hills without hunting and packing with a huge detriment to MPG's.

Also, regarding 'improved aerodynamics,' I wonder if by that, they mean the 6sp tranny itself and it's cavity is aerodynamically designed? Most 6sp tranny's find there way into performance vehicles and are often flat bottomed or close to it when comparred to a regular transmission which can have a very craggy surface all the way around.
D3 on the 5spd and D4 on the 6spd all almost the same identical gear ratio, very close...
 

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Actually i read somewhere that 'according to Honda' the extra mpg on the touring and touring elite is due to to a few aerodynamic enhacements not the 6spd transmission... I read this in mid / late september (just before they were released).
6th gear (6spd) has a better ratio for fuel economy than 5th gear (5spd)

5th gear 0.612 on 5spd auto
6th gear 0.556 on 6spd auto, better for fuel economy.

I've read about aerodynamic enhancements on the touring vans as well, but I would suspect it's more to do with the gear ratio and the touring 18" tires might have less rolling resistance.
 

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So where are these aero tweaks?
 

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The front bumper parking sensors and the noise reduction windshield cut through the wind much more efficiently, like knife and butter
Are you joking?? :huh:

The front bumper sensors are flush buttons mounted on the bumper = zero effect. The laminated wind shield is exactly the same as the non touring model with respect to shape, size, slope and everything else that would affect aerodynamics. The only difference is that it is made with in a lighter (thinner glass) assembly with two pieces laminated together to reduce wind noise while not weighing more than the standard wind shield.

Some days you really have to sift through the opinions on this forum ...
:frown:
 

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The front bumper parking sensors and the noise reduction windshield cut through the wind much more efficiently, like knife and butter
I thinking more of those "kickouts" at the rear of the rocker panels. Helps the airflow over the rear wheels. :DD
 
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