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3/4 Front Glamour 1996 Honda Odyssey

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For many years Honda buyers could start with a small Civic, then graduate to a larger Accord as their need for room grew and their incomes increased. But once they began having larger families and required vehicles with even more room, there was no place for them to go within the Honda family. And there were plenty of places for them to go outside of Honda--specifically, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota or Mazda. From a business point of view, this was a situation that Honda could not allow to persist, something that dealers, as well as loyal owners, pointed out regularly to the parent company. To meet their needs, Honda introduced in 1995 its first minivan, the Odyssey, based on the front-wheel-drive Accord platform. Coming late to the party, Honda decided to make its own variations on the minivan theme. Unlike minivans from domestic manufacturers, the Odyssey has four conventional doors, like a sedan. The only other minivan to employ sedan-style doors is the rear-drive, truck-based Mazda MPV. Likewise, Honda took an innovative approach to seating in the Odyssey. The rear bench seat folds flat into a small well in the floor for increased cargo-carrying capability. For 1996, Honda has made no changes in its appealing formula (other than to make the Odyssey available to Isuzu dealers, who will call it the xxxx). The Odyssey continues to be available in two trim levels: The well-equipped LX and fully-loaded EX. Each carries a long list of standard equipment, including front and rear air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks, 4-wheel antilock brakes, tilt steering, rear window wiper/washer and an AM/FM/cassette stereo sound system. The EX adds alloy wheels, power sunroof, remote entry and a more powerful stereo with six speakers. The Odyssey price is on the high side, however, particularly considering that it is powered by only a 4-cyl. engine. The base price of the cheapest LX is $23,560 and the base price of the top-of-the-line EX is $25,550. Unless you feel an uncontrollable urge for a sunroof, the LX is probably the best bet, and it was our choice for this review.

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