Like its mythological Greek namesake, the Odyssey from Honda is
one heck of a trip. Totally re-engineered, it adds a wealth of technology features
that are firsts or rare for minivans. Advanced engine management, Satellite nav
system with voice recognition, rearview safety cameras, and room for eight are
some of them. DVDs get personalized surround sound. A "One-Motion" third
row seat flips out of the way as it sounds. A gutsier 255 hp VTEC V-6 boosts performance,
but remains stingy with fuel and emissions. For hiding things, a lazy Susan console
is hidden under the floor.
In its third trip to the minivan plate, Chevy has hit a comfortable, smack-down-the-center
homerun. The new Uplander, labeled a front drive-based sport van, comes on the
secne with a solid stance, trendy lines and practical roofrails while necessities
(traditional sliding side doors, seating for seven) carry over. Satellite entertainment
and security are among high tech adds on the road. Truly invisible rear cargo
hideaways keep prying eyes from spotting stored treasures, whatever the value.