Honda's entry in the North American minivan market, the Odyssey, has been around since 1994. Built in Lincoln, Alabama, the new minivan was based on an Accord chassis with a four-cylinder engine, anti-lock brakes, and standard rear air conditioning.
In 1999, Honda began emulating Chrysler's sliding-doors format for its minivans and also bumped up the horsepower; the old four-cylinder was replaced with a 210-horsepower V6. Later, they would offer power doors, fold-into-floor rear seats, and satellite navigation beginning in 2000.
However, the Odyssey models between 1999-2002 had serious automatic transmission problems caused by bad bearings that could shatter. The four-speed transmissions were the subject of first a warranty extension by Honda, then a class action lawsuit. The five-speed automatic introduced in 2002 also had problems, with premature wear of the third-gear clutch pack causing either no shifts or sudden downshifts from fifth to second gear.
The third-generation Odyssey introduced in 2005 came with a standard 244-horsepower engine, a dashboard-mounted shifter, and offered options like rear entertainment systems and run-flat tires. In 2008 the minivan debuted with a redesigned grille, taillights, and dashboard.
The 2015 Odyssey's lone engine offering is a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, turning in a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. The eight-passenger vehicle comes with Honda's Variable Cylinder Management which shuts off cylinders for maximum fuel efficiency, power front seats, a third row of seats that folds away, a seven-speaker sound system and a built-in vacuum cleaner. U.S. News and World Report recently named it the 2015 Best Minivan for Families.