Let's say you want a small, frugal little minivan that surprisingly luxurious and nice to drive? Honda has the answer for that. It's called the Elysion, and it's amazing. And prepare some popcorn since this quickride is a bit, uh, long.
The story of Elysion is kinda unique. First off, Honda Japan used to sell the USDM Honda Oddysey in Japan and it's called the Honda LaGreat. But the problem is, the Japanese costumer thinks that LaGreat is too big, so Honda took the LaGreat blueprint, photocopied it in 90% scale, change some styling cues, and call it a day. So this thing is smaller than USDM Oddysey but bigger than JDM Oddysey. Man Japanese is weird.
And it's also very, very clevery designed. Although the car may look large, the actual dimension is actually modest. At 4840 mm, the length is actually about 1 cm longer than current Camry. The 1830mm width is about 3 cm wider than the RA6 or about 2 cm wider than Camry. So it's about the same size as a Camry, but it seats 8.
To make things even better, this car has the same engine as the top of the line JDM Oddysey. So, instead of 3.5l V6 in the "Freedom" version of Oddysey, this thing has 3.0l V6. But it's a very clever one since it features cylinder deactivation. If the car thinks you carries a small load, the car will shut half of it banks and runs as a small 3-cylinder. And that's pretty awesome.
And there's more. The car has something called Active Noise Control so you won't even hear the engine noise of this thing, whether if it runs as a 3-cylinder or full fat V6. That's pretty remarkable. Too bad it's FWD.
And then there's the interior. The Japanese love a really big captain chair and big headroom, and of course Elysion has them. The chair also moves and swivels about, powered by magic called electronics.
It doesn't stop there. Electronics on this car includes a radar guided cruise control, night vision, satnav, rear-view camera, and something that honda called 3D holographic blue illumination which is basically a blue speedo. And because it's honda all of this stuff is still working!*
*Except the satnav that thinks all the world outside Japan is a huge sea. It's still got your coordinate correctly though.
How is it to drive then?
It's...uh... Not bad. The problem is all those electronic bits makes this little car weighs a bit more than your house. Seriously, it weighs a massive 2.02 tons, or 4,450lbs if you prefer some freedom units. So understeer is something you'll expect. But unless you do a corner in insane speed you wouldn't really feel it. But other than that it's a bit.. boring. There's no engine noise, minimal engine noise, and this thing only goes up to 180, and it has CVT. Perfect anti-jalop machine.
But as something for the wife to sent the kids to the school, it's not a bad car. I'ts realy good. And it's quite a looker as well. The only antoher problem is this car is a bit expensive for a used car. Since the Elysion has been discontinued since 2013, and replaced by the a bit ugly Oddysey, you can only get this thing from used market. And even the old 2005 model like this one could fetch about 25k USD. It was about 75k when it was new here in Indonesia. To put that in perspective, 25k is also what you paid for the bigger, similarly equipped Nissan Elgrand from 2007. Or brand new Fiesta Ecoboost.
I like this thing. It's an official car for somebody who has given up in life but he wants to do it in style. And it's pretty awesome little minivan on it's own rights.