For those who like their minivans with an [H] badge, the lone choice would be the Odyssey. Let’s face it, it’s a pretty sad thing that it’s no longer being offered locally, especially since in its home country of Japan, it still gets a few good updates that make it stand out from the rest. Exhibit A: the e:HEV Absolute EX Black Edition. Wow, that’s a long name.
Honda gives Odyssey a new “variant”
The Odyssey e:HEV Absolute EX Black Edition, which we’ll refer to as the Absolute just to make it easier, is still the same minivan, but with some minor updated touches here and there.
As far as the front end goes, it gets a new look as well as the option to swap it out for the purpose-built Absolute grill. That takes on a more geometrical, honeycomb pattern that takes the place of the horizontal slats on the stock unit.
The rear end likewise gets a new look by way of smoked combination lamps with sequential turning signals, as well as a hands-free automatic power tailgate.
On the inside, you get a whole Christmas list of features: 2nd-row 4-way power seat with armrests on both sides (reclining/ottoman), 2nd-row seat center table (foldable, with drink holder), 2nd-row seat heater, a wireless charger, a USB charger (Type-A / with 2 fast charging compatible types) at the rear of the center console box and another USB charger (Type-C / 2 types for quick charging) for the 2nd-row seats, and an auto-dimming room mirror, among others.
Black genuine leather is the upholstery of choice for the Absolute.
Perhaps the biggest inclusions among the updates are that of the Honda SENSING safety suite (Close-range collision mitigation brake, auto high-beam, Sudden acceleration control function, etc.), Honda CONNECT (Honda remote control, in-car Wifi, Emergency Support Center, Automatic map update service, Honda digital key, Honda ALSOK rush service), as well as the fact that this Odyssey is a hybrid electric vehicle.
The e:HEV Absolute has both a conventional engine that recoups energy to charge the batteries, and conforming to driving needs and situations, is capable of switching between the engine and all-electric motor propulsion.
And with that, we greet this news with a little bit of a sigh. Do you think the Odyssey deserves another shot at the PH minivan market? Will the e:HEV Absolute EX Black Edition have what it takes to make that happen, and if so, will Honda be able to address the ultimate determining factor of its “demise” – price – and be able to lower it to more competitive amounts?