The Road Ahead : June July 2010
PHOTOS, FROM LEFT: Exiga takes honours for on- road performance. WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 44 THE ROAD AHEAD JUN/JLY 2010 MOTORING ROAD TEST The features list is impressive on both vehicles. Standard items include cruise control, 17-inch alloys, power mirrors and windows, front fog lights, halogen headlights, cup and bottle holders, cargo luggage hooks, front and rear seat armrests, remote locking, map lights and multiple power jacks. But the real difference is in the manufacturer's list price, where Exiga Premium at $41,990 is some $6000 cheaper than its rival. DESIGN & FUNCTION An immobiliser is standard on each, but while Odyssey has an alarm, Exiga is only pre-wired for its installation. It does, however, boast DataDot theft recovery identification. Both achieve their passenger carrying brief fairly capably -- as they should. Each looks after its driver by offering tilt and reach steering and eight-way power seat adjustment, including tilt and height, although neither has lumbar support. The Honda's front seats are heated and fully reclinable and boast flip-down armrests. By pulling a lever, Exiga's second row 60/40 split-fold seats are able to be slid into up to 13 positions. The third row can also be split folded flat, 50/50, by lever, and pulled back into an upright position with straps. Odyssey also offers its second row passengers a 60/40 fold and slide function, but when down leaves a gap into which luggage and gear can fall. The third row is power retractable, conveniently activated by a switch in the cargo area, to flat fold. Being externally taller pays a dividend in real terms inside the vehicle, where the Subaru driver enjoys nearly 100 mm more head room. Second and third row passengers benefit by 20 mm over the Honda. However, Odyssey is wider across the second and third row of seats, by 40 and 30 mm respectively. There's more leg room too. With all seats in place, the Honda offers more length and height for load space, whereas the Subaru has a wider cargo area. Youngsters are well catered for by Odyssey, with five child restraint anchor points available to Exiga's two. However, three are located on the ceiling at the rear -- not the ideal place if row three is taken up with passengers. Neither vehicle has a full size spare wheel, with a space-saver the norm. In terms of build and finish quality, both rate well, although we reckon the Honda has the smarter designed, more appealing interior. ON THE ROAD Despite Odyssey being 9 kW more powerful (132 kW V 123), Exiga took the honours convincingly in all six of our acceleration tests. Lugging 132 kg more, the former seems doughy away from a start and down low but is far happier at higher revs, in true Honda fashion. Drive like you do every day, though, and Odyssey impresses with the way it goes about its business. The engine is smooth, ditto the automatic transmission which swaps its five cogs glidingly and intuitively thanks to computer mapping called Grade Logic. But, unlike its predecessor, this new generation lacks tiptronic (manual change option). Exiga's CVT is capable too, and should you want to ^NEW CAR PRICES WHERE QUOTED ARE MANUFACTURERS' LIST PRICES AND DO NOT INCLUDE STATUTORY AND DELIVERY CHARGES. PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF PRINTING. SEE RACQ.COM/NEWCARS FOR MORE NEW CAR REVIEWS. RACQ CAN HELP WITH FINANCE, INSURANCE AND VEHICLE INSPECTIONS. CALL 13 1905 OR VISIT WWW.RACQ.COM.AU.