Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot

Only $245 separate the base prices of the 2011 Honda Odyssey and $28,825 Pilot, but the differences in interior space are huge. The Odyssey has more cargo space behind its second row than the Pilot has behind the first row. That says more about the Odyssey than the Pilot, but however you look at it, it's clear the minivan maximizes its dimensions. The same is true for legroom. The Odyssey has a startling 42.4 inches of legroom in the third row, far more cavernous than the Pilot's 32.1 inches.

But life is about more than just cargo capacity and space for eight passengers, so how do these Hondas drive?

When the latest generation Pilot arrived, we were impressed for the most part: "Those who genuinely prefer comfortable, controlled cruising to high-intensity corner-carving will love the 2009 Pilot's even more surefooted demeanor and improved ride."

The Odyssey and Pilot use a 3.5-liter V-6 making 248 horsepower in the minivan and 250 horsepower in the crossover. Both offer a five-speed automatic transmission, though high-end Odysseys offer a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy falls in the Odyssey's favor. A five-speed Odyssey is rated 18/27 mpg city/highway, while the front-wheel-drive Pilot gets 17/23 mpg.

From behind the wheel of the 2011 Odyssey, "the news is mostly good," we said in our recent first drive story. "Steering feels overly weighty at low speeds, making the van seem heavier than it is, but at speed it's just right...The brakes apply with a reassuring firmness, and the van corners with less roll than the Sienna or the 2010 predecessor and with surprisingly little fuss from its eco-friendly tires."

Second/Third Row Legroom
Honda Odyssey: 40.9/42.4 in.
Honda Pilot: 38.5/32.1 in.

Cargo Space Behind Third/Second Row
Honda Odyssey: 38.4/93.1 cu.-ft.
Honda Pilot: 18.0/47.7 cu.-ft.

Turning Radius
Honda Odyssey: 36.7 feet
Honda Pilot: 38.6 feet

Bottom Line
For all-wheel drive: the Pilot. Maximum space: Odyssey by far.