Monday, June 08, 2020

Honda Odyssey First Trip

About two weeks ago, I bought myself a brand-new 2020 Honda Odyssey.  It's the EX version, second from the bottom of their line, but it has a lot of bells and whistles that I was not familiar with and didn't know if they would be useful.

To set the stage, for my whole life I've bought used vehicles for myself.  I bought more than a few vehicles for the family ( translate: wife) but I drove used vehicles.  This time I decided that I wanted brad-new.  And, I wanted a few bells and whistles, but didn't need a moon roof.  I traded a 2015 Kia Sedona.  We got a lot of use out of the Sedona as a traveling vehicle.  To be a gunfighter means that we pack a lot of gear beyond luggage and the extra space in a van is wonderful.

It's not sporty, it's not stylish, it's a people hauler. 

Loaded for a gunfight
I had watched some videos about the safety features on this vehicle.  Since 2015, the various manufacturers have made great upgrades in technology, but let's talk about one in particular.

Adaptive Cruise Control.

My dad once said that he wouldn't buy  roller skate if it didn't have cruise control, and I understand his thought.  It's a great tool to set the speed and go, except when you are on a  crowded highway, like the interstates between cities, and you get stick behind a big truck who goes slower uphill and faster downhill.  You can fiddle with the cruise control, or just turn it off and use your right foot.  It's frustrating and tiring.

Adaptive cruise control lets you set a speed, and there is a radar on the front of your vehicle that senses traffic.  If you run up on a slower moving vehicle.  It maintains a set distance and when you feel that it is safe and convenient, you can go around the slower vehicle.  Once you change over to a clear lane, the cruise control brings you back up to your set speed.

When I left DFW metro yesterday, headed east on 1-20, I set the cruse at 80 and tried to put Texas behind me.  Before long, I came up on some trucks trying to pull up a hill, and the van settled in behind them, maintaining a safe distance.I never made 80 mph, all the way to Shreveport, but the vehicle kept us safe and we went with the flow of traffic.  Belle and I chatted, and I still had to drive the vehicle, but I wasn't constantly fiddling with the cruise control.

When we hit Shreveport, headed south on I-49, it was the same deal.  It was getting dark, but the radar sees things that we can't.  I believe that if I had rolled up on a vehicle without lights, the radar would see it and slow me down before a catastrophe.

Adaptive cruise control is da-bomb. Driving was a whole lot less stressful and when I got home after a sold eleven hours on the road, I wasn't exhausted.  Tired for sure, but not exhausted as I though I'd be.

We'l go over some of the other safety features later.  This van is just about as close to a self-driving vehicle as I'm liable to see.


Old NFO said...


Peripatetic Engineer said...

I love the adaptive speed control. It's really great in heavy traffic. You can set it and you can creep along with the traffic without touching the gas or brake.