Honda Odyssey Engines

Published: 31st January 2011
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It was in 1994 that the Honda Odyssey was launched. Two generations of this minivan have already catered to the needs of thousands of satisfied users and it is third generation time in North America. Likewise, it has crossed three generations and entered the fourth generation phase in Japan. Conceived and engineered in Japan during the peak economic crisis that prevailed in the country during the 1990s, there were many serious constraints faced by the company while deciding the size of the vehicle and even in conceptualizing the vehicle. Because of these constraints, only a smaller minivan that belonged to the MPV class could only be launched. Nonetheless, this minivan was received very well in Japan and in North America, the response was slightly less.

Several market variations took place after that and Honda could also produce larger models. After the model year 1999, Honda started marketing these large model Odyssey vehicles in the North American market and small models in Japan and various other markets. The first generation Odyssey was called the Shuttle in the European market. The large model Odyssey which was being sold in North America was offered in the Japanese market as Honda LaGreat during the period from 1999 to 2004.

The company imparted sleekness and modern appearance into the fourth generation Odyssey vehicles and hence the fourth generation models are different from the models of the previous generations, minivans, SUVs and other concept cars. The fourth generation cars were released during September, 2010 for the model year 2011.

Same models of the first generation cars were offered to both the US and Japanese markets but from the second generation, the North American market was offered the typical North American minivan layout.

The first generation of the Honda Odyssey vehicles started from 1995 and lasted till 1998. It was said to be based on the Honda Accord platform with a 4-cylinder engine. The transmission was also a four-speed automatic transmission. These first generation vehicles were marketed in two trim levels, the LX and the EX. The LX could accommodate 7 passengers whereas the EX, 6 passengers. In 1996, a cooperative agreement was entered into between Honda and Isuzu, according to which Isuzu produced a new rebadged version of this vehicle during the period from 1996 to 1999 and this version was called the Isuzu Oasis. This led to another agreement by which Honda and Acura produced the rebadged versions of Rodeo and Trooper with the names Passport and SLX respectively.

Another major and interesting development that took place in 1996 was that the New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission, while approving an expansion in the number of licensable vehicles, approved Odyssey to be used as a city taxi.

If you see the happenings during the development stage of Honda Odyssey, it was Kunimichi Odagaki, the chief engineer of the R&D department of Honda, who engineered the vehicle with the help of his 20 team members. The team made small changes in the vehicle to circumvent the then-prevailing tariff restrictions. Odagaki took a small bunch of his team members to the US and studied the minivan market there. The team worked underground and designed a vehicle that could be produced on the same assembly line with an increased productivity. The Honda management was convinced about the viability of production of this vehicle and permitted development of a prototype. It was in October 1994, the vehicle was launched.

Even at its debut, the vehicle won the Japan Car of the Year Award and the RJC New Car of the Year Award. By 1997, it was the Honda's fastest selling new car. Even Consumer Reports Magazine lauded the vehicle for its highest reliability.

For North America, the second generation Odyssey was manufactured in Canada and the second generation period was between 1999 and 2004. In Japan, these second generation vehicles were called LaGreat. These vehicles were quite bigger and a few experts opined that the company adopted the style of the Chrysler minivan. The engine used was a 210 horsepower V6 engine and this was a replacement to the previous four-cylinder engine.

Another feather in the cap of these vehicles was that the 2004 model year received reliability ratings of five out of five. These ratings were given by the Automotive Information Systems. The vehicle got the highest marks from Consumer Reports Magazine also. Even the V6 engine got a lavish praise from users.

The power of the vehicle was increased from 210 hp to 240 hp in the year 2002. The same year, a five-speed transmission was also added. In fact, the 4-speed automatic transmission developed snags related to durability. Even the five-speed transmission was included as far back as in 2002, the reliability started improving only in 2004. But, again, this 5-speed transmission also had a different type of problem which was known as the third gear clutch problem under some conditions.

The model year 2005 was the first year of the third generation Odyssey vehicles and this generation lasted till 2010. The company decided to introduce the ACE body engineering to the vehicles of this generation. Much later, the same engineering was adopted on the eighth generation Honda Civic.

The power of the engine also increased to a level of 255 and a few models like EX-L and Touring got the the newly introduced Honda's Variable Cylinder Management system. Because of this system, even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave fuel economy ratings of 20 MPG and 28 MPG for the model year 2005. The fuel economy was 19 MPG/25 MPG for non VCM equipped LX and EX models. The Consumer Reports 2005 Annual issue rated Odyssey as the top pick in the minvan category. The United States had four trim levels, LX, EX, EX-L and Touring.

During the year 2005, there were slight safety concerns. The vehicle won many awards and was ranked the top minivan in the US News charts.

The company gave a mid-model face-lift to the vehicle in 2008. For the Canadian market, during 2008 and 2009, a new trim called DX trim was also added to the existing trims of LX, EX, EX-L and Touring.

It is in 2011, the fourth generation of Honda Odyssey starts.

There were a few differences between the Honda Odyssey of North America and that of Japan Domestic Market. For example, in the first generation vehicles, the right-hand drive version came with a 4WD transmission and a 3.0 liter J30A engine. In the second generation vehicles, the base model had a 2.3 liter 4 cylinder engine. In the second generation vehicles, the 3.0 liter VTEC V6 engine J30A which was originally used in the first generation vehicles, produced a horsepower of 210.

In the same manner, in the third generation Odyssey vehicles in Japan, a Honda K24A i-VTEC 2.4 liter engine that could produce a horsepower of 160 was used. The 4WD version used an automatic transmission whereas the 2WD version came with a variable transmission. The V6 engine was shown the doors and in its place, a 200 hp variant of the K24A was used on the Absolute version. On the fourth generation Odyssey vehicles, a four-cylinder engine is being used.

In your eagerness to acquire a suitable engine for your Honda Odyssey car, you may commit the mistake of approaching a wrong dealer who may not guide you properly or misguide you to choose a faulty engine. So, you should do a careful research and choose a dealer from whom you can get a good new or used or rebuilt and remanufactured engine. With the guidance of the dealer and by taking the suitable advice from your mechanic, you can choose a good engine that will take you to your destinations comfortably.

Visit us for Used Honda Engines .Speak to one of our LIVE automotive engine experts at: 1-877-268-0664. They'll be happy to help you find the new, used or remanufactured engine you need today!

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