Honda produces two different vehicles that compete in the wheelchair mini van market. They are the Odyssey, a traditional mini van, and the Element, which is actually a small SUV or “crossover” vehicle. Both have achieved some level of popularity with those in the wheelchair van marketplace.
The Element doesn’t “officially” qualify as a mini van. However, it is often grouped with minivans like the Odyssey and Toyota’s Sienna in conversations regarding wheelchair mini vans. That’s because the modifications usually applied to the vehicle are comparable to those used in mini van conversions. For the purpose of this article, we’ll include the Element in our overview of Honda’s products.
Let’s look at the Odyssey and the Element and why they’ve become recognized forces in the wheelchair mini van market.
Honda wheelchair mini vans are popular for at least two reasons.
Initially, they are solid performers. Both the Odyssey and Element provide a pleasant driving experience and are quite mechanically sound. Honda traditionally receives high marks for reliability and even high-mileage vehicles often continue to function without incident or substantial increases in regular maintenance and repair costs. If you’re interested in a mini van with staying power, Honda delivers two credible options for you.
Second, Honda wheelchair mini vans are among the more attractive options on the markets. While appearance is not as important as safety and performance when choosing a vehicle, it is a consideration. Honda’s Odyssey is one of the more attractive mini van options, displaying unique lines and sleek profile. The Element is a distinctive, yet inoffensive small SUV that provides wheelchair users with an alternative to traditional mini van design.
The Odyssey and Element are both free from any major drawbacks. They score well in safety testing and provide their users with a full range of options and a sufficient level of comfort. While some model years have had recalls, none of the problems discovered could be considered major or a reason to avoid a Honda. Their annual operating costs consistently come in under those of many other competing makes.
They are both well-suited for conversion, as well. Most popular modifications can be easily managed with either vehicle. The additional space available with an Odyssey provides a greater degree of overall flexibility, but the Element can be transformed into a very functional side-entry wheel chair mini van. In most cases, the Odyssey makes for a better conversion. However, those who are interested in a vehicle with the look and feel of more popular SUVs will undoubtedly find the Element quite attractive.
Other popular conversions, including floor lowering and the installation of automatic entry systems are readily available for both versions. Adaptive controls including low- and zero-effort steering and braking, hand controls and other modifications are supported, as well.
Anyone looking for a wheelchair minivan should consider Honda‘s options. Buyers and critics consistently offer favorable reviews of the Odyssey and the crossover Element. If you purchase either vehicle, you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of a practical, efficient, sturdy and reliable mini van with style to spare.