Honda Canada has been promoting their staycations with the 2013 Honda Odyssey, and offered my family and I to take a staycation here in the city and enjoy all there is to enjoy in Toronto with this minivan.

2013 Honda Odyssey. Photo By Sandy Caetano.
2013 Honda Odyssey. Photo By Sandy Caetano.

Before I begin, I must confess that I have never been a fan of vans or minivans. Growing up, my parents had a Dodge Caravan Sport, and I didn’t like it all. It was so big, it seemed challenging to drive, and I just didn’t like it. I was happy when they traded it in for an SUV.

When my husband and I got pregnant with our first child, we talked about vehicles, and I was dead-set against ever getting a minivan. I was quite happy with his Pontiac Grand Prix, and after having our second born son, when discussing getting a second vehicle, I was adamant about not getting a minivan. So instead, we purchased a 2011 Ford Escape SUV, and it’s been a great ride.

So when Honda invited me to take part in this Honda Odyssey Staycation, I figured ok why not at least try driving a minivan? Honda gave us passes to Ripley’s Aquarium Canada, so my hubby and I took our boys out for dinner and then to the aquarium.

We picked up the Odyssey from Honda Headquarters, and I was surprisingly impressed – it didn’t seem so big when I was actually sitting behind the steering wheel. The 2013 Odyssey drove extremely well, it was a smooth ride on the highway, it accelerated beautifully, gave me no trouble when passing, and was quite powerful for a minivan. When merging onto the highway it hit 100km/hr in no time.

2013 Honda Odyssey. Photo By Sandy Caetano.
2013 Honda Odyssey. Photo By Sandy Caetano.

My boys sat comfortably in the back with lots of space in-between them, and the third row-seating was also really comfortable with lots of leg room. In fact, I had one son wanting to sit on his own in the third row, while my youngest sat in the second row. “It’s like an airplane,” they called the minivan. It was hilarious.

For the past couple of years, we’ve taken the Honda Pilot camping to algonquin for a week, and it’s been amazing with storage, especially considering everything we needed to pack to go camping. Now, I’m wondering how much more space we would have with the Odyssey. Something definitely to consider.

That week, we took the boys to Ripley’s Aquarium and we had a blast. The ride down was great, and I quickly learned that the Odyssey was great for stop-and-go city driving too. It was also very easy to park, whether it was backing into a spot or parallel parking. Of course, the rear-view camera made that task a little easier.

The aquarium was amazing, we had so much fun seeing all those sea creatures, especially the jellyfish. The entire walkthrough took us about an hour and a half, and then we headed out to have dinner as a family.

Jelly fish at Ripley's Aquarium Canada. Photo by Sandy Caetano.
Jellyfish at Ripley’s Aquarium Canada. Photo by Sandy Caetano.

We also wet to the movies that week, and again the Odyssey was a pleasure to drive. I quickly found myself really enjoying this minivan, as did my family. My mom couldn’t believe that I was driving and really liking a minivan, and quite frankly neither could I.

Honda says the Odyssey will be “the ride of your family’s life,” and they are right. It definitely changed my perception of a minivan. It’s a gorgeous machine to both drive and look at, it’s very sleek and stylish both inside and out.

Like every Honda I’ve test-driven to date, it also features the driver-assisting LaneWatch, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. Each of these features complement what is already a responsive, powerful and safety-focused ride.

So if you were like me, someone who strongly disliked the minivan, don’t give up on it just yet. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Thank you Honda for making me a believer of minivans, especially the 2013 Honda Odyssey – this is one vehicle I really would love to own.

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