Honda's Odyssey Hybrid Minivan Goes On Sale In Japan, But Not In U.S.

Feb 05, 2016 03:26 PM EST | John Nassivera

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Honda fans in America will be happy about a new Odyssey Hybrid arriving this week, but no so much about the vehicle currently only being available in its home country of Japan.

The new Odyssey, which hasn't been redesigned since 2013, will come with same powertrain as the Accord Hybrid, and it is the Japanese automaker's first minivan to have what it refers to as its Sport Hybrid i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system, according to Hybrid Cars.

The Japanese-market Odyssey is much smaller than U.S. models, fitting up to 7-8 occupants. However, it may have a greater mileage than the older Hybrid Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna and other six-cylinder minivans in the U.S., as there's a possibility that it will be in the 30s, maybe even in the 40s.

Features of the front-wheel drive minivan include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, dual motors and a lithium-ion battery mounted under the first-row seats, Green Car Reports noted. Honda said that the drive motor is 23 percent smaller than previous versions thanks to a new winding method and other improvements.

The i-MMD powertrain uses one electric motor as a generator to collect power from the gasoline engine and no transmission, Autoblog reported.

Honda is making the hybrid Odyssey available in a standard and "Absolute" version, and the minivan starts at $31,235 and has a top price of $34,725, which the automaker refers to as "affordably-price."

The company has yet to confirm if it would ever make the 2016 hybrid Odyssey available in the U.S. In the meantime, Americans will have to wait until the Accord Hybrid returns in an updated version in 2017 if they want a Honda vehicle with an advanced full-hybrid powertrain.

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