The first Honda Odyssey was launched in 1994 by Honda Motor Company Ltd. It is kind of minivan manufactured by Honda that has already seen the three generations and now running its fourth generation in the Japanese and North American markets.
The Odyssey was completely designed and developed in Japan at the time when Japan was recovering from the severe economic crisis on 1990s. The Honda Odyssey is a kind of small minivan that falls in the Compact MPV class. Honda Odyssey got a huge appreciation in the Japanese domestic market. However, in North American market, it failed to do the business.
In order to make larger vehicles, Honda setup a facility in Lincoln, Alabama. After the release of model year 1999, Honda has been involved in manufacturing and selling larger Odyssey in North American market and relatively smaller Odyssey in Japanese and neighboring markets. However, Honda occasionally offered larger Odyssey in Japan as Honda LaGreat.
First Generation (1995–1999)
Although, the first generation Odyssey offered in Japanese market was similar to North American Odyssey in large extent but they were not completely identical. The Japanese Odyssey was a right-hand drive, powered by a 3.0L J30A engine with the RA5 chassis (Prestige version) mated to a 4WD transmission. Sunroof was offered in L and Aero models. Double air-conditioning system was used in the whole lot of JDM Odysseys – one for front seats and one for rear seats.
Toyota Gaia and Nissan Bassara were the main competitors for the Odyssey in Japan. In Europe, the Honda Odyssey was sold under the name Shuttle.
Second Generation (1999–2003)
The second generation Honda Odyssey launched in 1999 in Japan and Australia. The same year, the second generation Odyssey made its debut in China as left-hand drive. The second generation Odyssey received some major upgrades based on first generation model. It was a hint longer than the previous counterpart, i.e. 85 mm (3.3 inch) longer and 100 mm (0.4 inch) wider. It also received the same 2.3-L 4-cylinder engine F23A RA6 (2WD) and RA7 (4WD). The 3.0-L VTEC V6 engine J30A was also offered with RA8 (2WD) and RA9 (4WD). The 2000 year model of Odyssey received the same 3.0-L engine mated for the first time to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Third Generation (2003–2008)
Third generation Odyssey was regarded as the completely redesigned model of the Odyssey since it was first appear in 1995. In Japan, this model was offered for sale in 2003, while in Australia along with many other countries it went on sale in 2004. The third generation Odyssey was much sleeker, lower and looks like a car. It still got the 5-door body style. In Japanese domestic market Odyssey, the cruise-control system was introduced for the first time. New DPS system was introduced in the 4WD version.
Fourth Generation (2008–Present)
On October 17, 2008, the fourth generation model of Odyssey was launched in Japan. Honda announced that it will make the 2009 and 2010 Odyssey on 2008 platform, i.e. with 5-door body style and a four-cylinder engine.