News Releases 2003

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October 17, 2003

Honda Announces a Full Model Change for the Odyssey

October 17, 2003-Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the new Odyssey for the Japanese market, offering outstanding new value in a minivan. A 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine and newly developed CVT + 7-speed mode*1 transmission provide superior driving performance, while the new low-floor platform ensures a roofline of just 1,550mm, low enough to fit into standard multi-level parking facilities. The intelligently designed, spacious interior comfortably accommodates seven people in three rows of seats. The new Odyssey goes on sale October 24th at Honda automobile dealers throughout Japan. 

This third-generation Odyssey is a new benchmark in minivan innovation with its fusion of speed (lower center of gravity for improved ride and handling), elegance (elegant form thanks to its low overall height), and roominess (more headroom than the previous model thanks to the low-floor platform). 

The top-of-the-line Odyssey Absolute represents a new level of elegant design and dynamic performance. Its 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine boasts a maximum output of 147kW (200PS) and is matched with a 5-speed automatic transmission, DBW (Drive By Wire), and a specially tuned suspension and braking system. There is ample torque at all rpm ranges, and performance is powerful and sporty. The innovative, stylish exterior features custom aerodynamics and a low-slung profile, while the interior is finished in elegant black.

・Styling: A low, wide stance for a contemporary, intelligent appearance.
・Packaging: The low-floor platform ensures a low roofline for access to standard multi-level parking facilities and a spacious interior that comfortably seats seven people in three rows.
・Driving performance: The 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine delivers ample torque and outstanding environmental performance, and is offered with either a newly developed CVT + 7-speed mode transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission, depending on model type.
・Advanced functions: The new Odyssey is equipped with IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control)*2 vehicle speed and inter-vehicle distance control system to reduce burden on the driver during highway driving. It also features the voice-operated Honda HDD Navigation System + Progressive Commander*3, with rear camera, for significant improvements in functionality and operability.
・Safety performance: The new Odyssey is equipped with CMS (Collision Mitigation Brake System), and E-pretensioners (driver and front passenger seatbelts*4). In addition, the Odyssey's new crash-compatibility body combines increased self-protection with reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles.
・Environmental performance: All types have been certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as either Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles*5 or Excellent Low Emissions Vehicles*6 and have met emissions regulations for 2005, with some types already achieving a 75% reduction*7 with respect those levels. All types comply with 2010 government regulations for fuel economy.
*1 Available on S, M, and L type FF vehicles
*2, 4 Factory option on the Absolute
*3 Factory option on the M, L and Absolute
*5, 7 S, M, L types
*6 Absolute
Odyssey L Type (FF)

Odyssey L Type (FF)

Odyssey Absolute (FF, optional equipment)

Odyssey Absolute (FF, optional equipment)

Monthly domestic sales target: 5,000 units
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (consumption tax not included; units: ¥1,000)

◎ Indicates models shown in photos

Type Engine Max. Output Drive Wheels Transmission Price  
+ 7-speed mode
4WD 5AT+S-matic 2,420  
+ 7-speed mode
4WD 5AT+S-matic 2,520  
+ 7-speed mode
4WD 5AT+S-matic 2,970  
Absolute 147kW
FF 5AT+S-matic 2,600
4WD 5AT+S-matic 2,820  

Body colors

  Premium White Pearl*; Satin Silver Metallic; Nighthawk Black Pearl; Grayish Mauve Metallic (custom color for M, L types); Indigo Blue Pearl (M, L); Desert Mist Metallic (M, L); Meteor Silver Metallic (M, L); Royal Ruby Red Pearl (M, L); Black Amethyst Pearl (custom color for Absolute); Milano Red (Absolute)
* Premium White Pearl: +¥30,000

Factory Options

Side curtain airbag system (covers 1st~3rd-row seats):
(1st-row seat i-Side airbag system (equipped with passenger positioning detection system for
front passenger seat) set option. Available on S, M, and Absolute. Standard equipment on L Type)
IHCC + multi-information display + CMS (Collision Mitigation Brake System) + E-pretensioners:
(Available on Absolute)
AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System, with auto-leveling function):
(Available on M, L, Absolute)
Voice-operated Honda HDD navigation system with rear camera + Progressive Commander
(with 8-inch wide display and Inter Navi Premium Club. Available on M, L, Absolute)
    M Type: +¥345,000
L Type: +¥300,000
Absolute: +¥340,000
Rear entertainment system (9-inch wide display, 2 sets of wireless headphones):
(Available on M, L, Absolute)

Key Features

<Packaging and utility>

  • The new Odyssey's new low-floor design results in a roofline 80 mm lower1 than the previous model, allowing access to standard multi-level parking facilities. It also offers 5 mm more headroom than the previous model for far greater roominess than the vehicle's external appearance would suggest.
  • Under-floor storage for the 3rd-row seats and a variety of seating arrangements provide a voluminous luggage space of up to 1,052 litersk*2. A handy 100 V AC outlet3 is also provided.
  • The 2nd-row seats are equipped with a double folding mechanism that allows them to be stored flat.
  • The 3rd-row seats feature a power under-floor storage mechanism*4, allowing them to be easily stowed away at the press of a switch.
  • The power tailgate*5 can be opened and closed using the keyless entry remote control, a switch on the dashboard, or the switch on the inside of the tailgate (closing only).
  • *1Compared to previous FF model
  • *2According to Honda measurements using VDA formula
  • *3Available only on vehicles equipped with power utility package
  • *4Standard equipment on L Type, factory option on M Type and Absolute
  • *5Factory option on M and L types


Exterior design

  • Designed around the motif of a black panther, with its low-profile form speeding swiftly and smartly over a grassy plain, the Odyssey presents fresh new styling and a distinctive presence.
  • Centered on a floating grill, the slim-profile headlights and front bumper are integrated and positioned low. The front fenders are flared wide to emphasize the feeling of breadth and strength.
  • The side view features an elegant, unified silhouette that connects smoothly from the low, short front nose to the roof end.
  • The rear view design is dynamic and has a solid feel.

Interior design

  • The high-quality interior combines a functional, fashionable cockpit with an elegant, relaxing passenger space. Controls are concentrated in the center panel, with the dashboard spreading out to either side and blending with the doors for a unified look all the way to the rear.
  • Blue LED lights* illuminate the foot areas of the 1st- and 2nd-row seats and the cup holders for the 3rd-row seats when the small lamps are turned on.
  • The shift lever is positioned as close as possible to the steering wheel. This significantly reduces the distance the driver's hand must travel to operate it, resulting in more ergonomic shifting. The advanced design features a gun-grip shift knob and a ball-shaped metallic slider.
  • *Standard equipment on the L type

<Driving performance>

Interior design

  • The DOHC i-VTEC engine combines Honda’s VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift
    Electronic Control) with VTC (Variable Valve Timing Control), which optimizes intake
    valve timing in response to engine load. Two engines are available depending on the model
    type, both of which achieve a combination of high torque, high fuel economy, and low
    2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine: 118kW (160ps) / 218Nm (22.2kg-m)*1
    2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine: 147kW (200ps) / 232Nm (23.7kg-m)*2
  • All types have high levels of environmental performance, and are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as either Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles or Excellent Low Emissions Vehicles.
  • *1Net values (S, M, L types)
  • *2Net values (FF Absolute)


  • Newly developed CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) + 7-speed mode transmission*1 The torque converter’s powerful off-the-line performance and the smooth acceleration unique to the CVT combine to deliver robust responsiveness at all speeds. Transmission lockup at nearly all speeds except startup contributes to higher fuel economy. In the D position, driving conditions are determined according to gas pedal and brake operation, vehicle speed, and other parameters, and the appropriate gear ratio is selected. During cornering, the vehicle’s lateral G-force is calculated to determine whether it is being driven in a sport way, and cornering G-shift control maintains engine revs at a higher level when the driver eases off on the gas pedal. Also available is the Econ mode feature, which saves fuel by reducing engine rpms at idle.
  • 5-speed automatic transmission + S-Matic*2 
    Delivers powerful acceleration and linear shift response, while contributing to improved fuel economy. The expanded range of lockup during deceleration also helps save fuel.
  • *1Available on FF S, M, and L types
  • *2Available on 4WD S, M, and L types, and the Absolute

Newly developed real-time 4WD

  • The newly developed real-time 4WD combines a dual-pump-system clutch mechanism with a one-way cam unit and pilot clutch. This transmits drive force without any feeling of time lag and enhances stability during startup and cornering on snow-covered roads and other slippery surfaces.


  • In the front, a double-wishbone suspension ensures straight-line stability and outstanding ride comfort.
  • In the rear, the compact design of the rear reactive-link double-wishbone suspension contributes to the Odyssey's low-floor, flat form.
  • In addition to enhancing bending and twisting rigidity, extensive efforts were made to improve dynamic rigidity, for improved handling responsiveness and a more comfortable ride. High-tensile steel is also used in all major body frame components, for a 16kg weight saving compared to use of conventional materials.
  • A more compact powertrain and Variable-steering Gear Ratio (VGR) give the new Odyssey a minimum turning radius of just 5.4m---top in its class*.
  • *Over-2000cc minivan class

<Safety performance>

  • AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting System)*1 works in coordination with steering wheel angle to change the direction of the headlight unit and illuminate the vehicle’s path when negotiating curves or turning.
  • Four-wheel VSA (ABS + TCS + side-slip control)*2 combines with DBW (Drive By Wire) *3 for engine torque control to ensure precise control over vehicle stability.
  • Brake assist is standard on all types, with the Absolute featuring an electronic brake assist system. A learning function automatically adjusts the assist operation point to conform to the driver's braking habits.
  • The Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMS)*4 uses millimeter-wave radar to gauge distance to the vehicle ahead, providing the driver with audio and tactile warning of a possible collision, while also applying light braking pressure. If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it applies strong braking pressure to enhance the effect of the driver's own braking, thus mitigating damage in the event of a collision.
  • E-pretensioners (driver and front passenger seat)*5 work in concert with the CMS, pulling lightly on the seatbelt if there is a danger of a collision and more forcefully if it is determined that a collision is imminent, for increased restraining effect.
  • Honda's original G-CON (G-force Control) technology is incorporated to create a body with a crash safety design that is among the best in the world. It can withstand a 55 km/h full-frontal collision, a 64 km/h front offset collision, a 55 km/h side collision, and a 50 km/h rear collision. Furthermore, in addition to a high level of self-protection, the vehicle's crash compatibility body reduces aggressivity toward other vehicles.
  • Equipped with a side curtain airbag system*6 for the 1st to 3rd row seats that helps reduce head injuries in the event of a side collision.
  • Front-row seats are fitted with 3-point, load limiter-equipped, pretensioner ELR seatbelts. The driver's side belt is equipped with a lap pretensioner on the outer end of the lap belt, in addition to the shoulder belt pretensioner, for improved occupant retention in both the pelvic and thoracic regions.
  • *1Factory option on the M, L, and Absolute types
  • *2Standard equipment on the Absolute
  • *3Standard equipment on the Absolute
  • *4Available as a set with E-pretensioners and IHCC as a factory option on the Absolute
  • *5Available as a set with CMS (Collision Mitigation Brake System) and IHCC as a factory option on the Absolute
  • *6Standard equipment on the L Type. Available in a set as a factory option on the S, M, and Absolute types

<Environmental Performance>

  • Use of a rear-port exhaust system, high-density catalytic converter, and other innovations result in Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport certification as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle for the S, M, and L types, and as an Excellent Low Emissions Vehicle for the Absolute. All types clear emissions regulations for 2005, with the S, M, and L types achieving a 75% reduction with respect to those levels.
  • Compliance with 2010 government regulations for fuel economy for all types has been achieved through weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements. The S, M, and L types are all eligible for tax incentives under the Japanese government's Green Tax program.
  • Honda has worked to eliminate PVC (polyvinyl chloride) from interior and exterior plastic components wherever possible. Meanwhile, the use of highly recyclable plastics has resulted in over 90%*recyclability.
  • Use of lead has also been reduced to less than 1/10 that of 1996 levels.
  • *According to Honda's own measurment standards

Odyssey ALMAS

The M Type is also being made available as an Odyssey ALMAS with a lift-up front passenger seat. The new Odyssey ALMAS will be available starting December 5th at Honda automobile dealers throughout Japan.

The Odyssey ALMAS allows the electrically operated passenger seat to be rotated and raised or lowered with the press of a switch, for superior ease of vehicle ingress and egress and reduced burden on caregivers. A wheelchair net and protective cover are also provided as standard equipment, allowing a wheelchair to be folded and stored neatly away in the luggage space without the need to fold down the 3rd-row seats. All outfitting is handled by Honda Tokuso Co., Ltd.

Odyssey ALMAS (FF, optional equipment)

Odyssey ALMAS (FF, optional equipment)


The ALMAS derives its name from 'alma', the Spanish word for heart, signifying that Honda has poured its heart
into this vehicle.

Odyssey ALMAS—Manufacturer’s suggested domestic retail price

(consumption tax not included; units: ¥1,000)
◎ Indicates model shown in photo

Type Engine Max. Output Drive Wheels Transmission Price  
+ 7-speed mode
4WD 5AT+S-matic 2,963*2  
*1, 2   Price includes CD player with AM/FM tuner, as the Odyssey ALMAS is not available without audio.

Body colors

  Premium White Pearl*; Satin Silver Metallic; Nighthawk Black Pearl; Grayish Mauve Metallic; Indigo Blue
Pearl; Desert Mist Metallic; Meteor Silver Metallic; Royal Ruby Red Pearl

* Premium White Pearl: +¥30,000

Principle factory options


· AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System, with auto-leveling function): +¥50,000
· Voice-operated Honda HDD navigation system with rear camera + Progressive Commander
(with 8-inch wide display and Inter Navi Premium Club):
· Front power glass sun roof: +¥80,000
· Power utility package (Honda Smart Card key system, AC 100V outlet,
driver-side 8-way power seat (sliding, reclining, height front and rear)):
· Comfort package (triple-zone control, fully automatic air conditioner; auto light control;
electrically heated front window):