December 2015 Scholarship Winner Announcement

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail is pleased to announce the December 2015 winner of our $2,000 Bi-Annual Automotive Scholarship of America contest.


After receiving a multitude of scholarship entries we carefully took time to review each and every submission and after careful deliberation we are please to award $2,000 to Mason Daniel to further his university graduate goals. Mason is majoring in electrical engineering at West Virginia University.

If you know somebody who is studying at a college or university in the USA or Canada and that would benefit by receiving a scholarship award from please see the details of our scholarship contest here and let them know about that exciting opportunity.

Do I Have to Sit on a Cushion to Drive It?


My friend, Kristy, who stands at all of 5’ tall on a good day, in the morning, asked me to explore this topic. Being of average stature myself, this is one aspect of driving a car that I’ve never had to consider. I’ve yet to meet a car that had no possible combination of seat + steering wheel adjustment to enable me to reach the gas and brake pedals. I can always reach. Every time. But not so for everyone.

Tall and short drivers

It is with Kristy’s words in mind that I set out to explore this topic. Bearing in mind, all kinds of modifications and augmentations can be accomplished on a vehicle of your choice. From pedal extensions, hand controls, raised floor and special seat adaptations, a certified mechanic can help you fit your car to, well, you. But which vehicles are the best place to start in seeking something for a diminutive driver?

I wouldn’t want to be a designer for vehicle interiors. What, with the pressure for sleek to meet spacious to meet function to meet comfort to meet cost effectiveness…. I hope those designers are paid enough for their troubles. Add to that, an increasing amount of technology added to the dashboard, but in a way that must be functional- for those among us with short arms. Straining to reach anything is not fun and, especially when driving, can be very dangerous.

Visibility. Reach. Safety. These are the three keys to making sure a vehicle is the right fit, literally, for you. Visibility over the steering wheel and dash is obvious. Your eye level should be above the top of the wheel, not looking strategically through it. But also make sure that the beltline (this is basically the line along the side of the car where the metal of the door meets the glass of the car’s window) is not too high. In the last few years, as safety requirements have mandated thicker window pillars and more structural metal into the cabin of cars, it has meant that windows have gotten a bit smaller in most cars.

Reaching the gas and brake pedals are your next concern. Fortunately, there are a growing number of adjustments that can be made to positioning and comfort of the driver’s seats in cars today. It is critical to have proper positioning in order to react quickly in case of an emergency, where split seconds count. Positioning a good seat correctly will be of more value to you than having an amazing seat that isn’t set properly. Set it high enough, and reclined so that your back and shoulders bear some of your weight into the back of the seat. You should be sitting on the back of your thighs, not your tailbone- unless you want back pain. As for reaching the pedals, you should be able to pivot easily between the gas and brake, leaving your heel on the floor and not have to lift your whole leg to move between the two. Some newer models are even designed with moveable pedals, which sounds like something that my friend Kristy would be over the moon about.

When a driver is an ideal distance from the steering wheel, they are much safer. Experts say that anything closer than 10” puts a driver into an awkward and unsafe steering position, not to mention the damage that an airbag deployed at a speed of 300 km/hour towards would cause to your chin and face. Don’t think that you’ll outsmart that problem by disabling your airbag, because all that will do is compromise your safety even more. Ideally, a driver should be 10-12” from the wheel. Even better, look for telescoping steering wheel; they are becoming more popular in more than just the Audi A4s.

After a quick survey of a few “Top Ten Cars for Short People” lists online, there emerges a few makes of car that keep showing up as the best for short people- according to criteria around comfort and safety. You may want to test drive some of these gems:

  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Lexus ES & LS
  • Subaru Forester
  • Kia Soul
  • BMW 3 and 5 series

The Kia Soul deserves special mention. Its boxiness affords it a roomy interior, which suits taller folks and the need for space. It also has lots of glass to its windows, which means that it has higher visibility than the average vehicle.

Of course, your body needs to choose your car. A test drive or two is critical if you find yourself facing the same challenges that Kristy does. Add to the abovementioned items the following: Can I reach the back lift gate to close it? Does it have a back-up camera to help me see what’s behind me? Can I reach the touch screen? Is it easy to get up into the vehicle (especially a truck)?

I don’t pretend to understand the issues that my short friends deal with when it comes to driving. But at least, I am a little more aware now. Thanks, Kristy, for speaking up. Best of luck on that next car purchase.

Can I Have the Keys? – Things That Parents Should Consider When Buying a Car for Their Teen Driver


It’s something to take seriously; the leading cause of death among teens in North America is by accidental injury. Handing the keys over to my 16-year old daughter has become increasingly easier as she gains experience. Each time I drive with her, I notice improved skills- smoother turns, lane changes that aren’t jerky anymore, lots of advance warning to other drivers about what her intentions are, and an overall increasing sense of calm behind the wheel. She is proving herself to be a great driver- better than both her parents, as far as safely following the rules of the road go, to be sure. As a family, we need to purchase a new, (used) car. I’ve been exploring issues around teenage drivers and here is what I’ve found. I thought you should know.

Teenage Drivers

First of all, safety has to be the number one criteria in the car that we purchase for our teenage drivers over the next few years. I refuse to get something with more than 5 seat belts, as I want to limit the number of friends she is able to transport. As much as I am a cheapskate who loves to bargain shop for my next pair of jeans, I plan to look into purchasing, no- investing in a newer model that has up-to-date safety features, especially Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Known by a few different names, according to the make of vehicle you’re talking about, ESC is the single-most effective safety improvement in vehicles over the last several years. It originated in Germany, and is now widely standard in many newer makes and models. Essentially, it is a set of sensors and controls that prevents things like side-skidding and fishtailing— which, for an inexperienced driver, usually result in over-steering or, even worse, rollovers. These controls are set to engage the brakes on specific wheels, based on the tilt, speed, etc. of the vehicle through a turn, say. And I was impressed with ABS when it came on to the scene! ESC covers for my teenager’s impulsive reaction to an emergency; the split seconds where it engages before she does could mean the difference between her life and her death. That’s worth a few hundred dollars as an added option onto the MSRP.

Additional features of an ideal vehicle for teenage drivers include things such as:

  • maneuverability- it has to be easy enough to be maneuvered through parking lots and back alleys, but not too small that it compromises crash protection, as many sub-compacts and compacts are infamous for
  • make sure it’s a large enough car with sufficient bulk, which affords crash protection- such as with a midsize sedan
  • low center of gravity to prevent rollovers- being low to the ground will build in protection for the chance that your teen takes a corner a little too fast
  • acceleration with not too much “muscle”- your teen has to be able to easily merge onto a highway, but shouldn’t be given more horsepower than is necessary as it’s just too tempting to speed or drive recklessly
  • side curtain airbags- these gems can not only cushion and protect, but also act to keep occupants safely inside of a crashed car, as opposed to being thrown out of it
  • communications features such as Bluetooth connectivity and iPod interfaces to reduce distraction as it relates to entertainment and communication

Here Are Two Authoritative Resources For Parents of Teenage Drivers

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has excellent resources on teens, driving and safe vehicles for you to explore. Their 2016 Top Safety Picks is a great listing of recommendations for your next vehicle purchase for your teen. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration is another good place to start your research. Look into crash test results for yourself; valuable information for consumers is available.

I have already begun to involve my daughter in researching this very important topic with me, for us. I imagine that her list of must-haves will look significantly different from what I’ll be looking for in our new vehicle. But, I can rest assured knowing that she’ll have a pretty good shot at being able to safely enjoy her wish list if I make sure that I get mine.

The Future of Autonomous Driving: Five Vehicles That Will Be Watching Out For You


Today’s vehicles have a lot of technology in them that we would call driver assist technology. This is the precursor to fully autonomous driving vehicles that completely drive themselves and you around safely from point A to point B. Here are five vehicles that are in or beyond the prototype stage of producing a fully autonomous driving experience.

Tesla Model S 90D

Tesla Model S autonomous driving vehicle

The Model S is not quite an autonomous car…yet. Recently though Tesla unveiled a new software update that will enable the Model S cars to automatically steer, change lanes and even park themselves. Tesla calls this new update ‘autopilot’ because it has capabilities of autopilot but some features will occasionally require input from a human driver, such has putting hands on the steering wheel. The Model S has an entry level price point of $95,300 and a ceiling price point of $133,000.

Google Self-Driving Car Project

Google's self-driving car

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Google’s pioneering foray into the autonomous driving arena. Google has built a prototype vehicle that looks not unlike a clown car. Their vehicle is packed with sensors and software that helps the vehicle to answer four important questions. Where am I? What’s around me? What will happen next? What should I do?

While not available to buy yet and we don’t know the expected price, we are excited for what Google will eventually offer to consumers in this field.

Audi A7

Audi A7

This is Audi’s A7 Sportback piloted driving concept, a fully functioning test vehicle that’s currently running on the German autobahn. While still in development stage and not commercially available yet, Audi has set a release date of sometime during the year 2020. Audi is in fact poised to release this vehicle within the next 2 years, however the legalities of self driving vehicles are causing a delay.

Mercedes Benz F 015

Mercedes Benz F 015

The actual price of the Mercedes Benz F 015 has not yet been revealed by Mercedes, but it is expected to cost around $300,000 to $500,000.

Powered by a hybrid electric fuel cell with the range of 900 kilometers, or about 559 miles, and a battery with a range of about 200 kilometers, or about 124 miles, the luxurious F 015 is uniquely designed with cameras, sensors and displays for monitoring the road ahead.

The interior contains four swiveling lounge chairs that serve as Mercedes’ ideal basis for impact-protected comfort. The self-driving car’s door concept makes getting in and out a cinch, while the seating allows passengers to have comfortable face-to-face conversation.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Expected cost is not known at this time. Self-driving cars are not a thing of the future – the technology is already working today. Despite that, Nissan has tentatively set a release date availability at sometime during the year 2020. This is because infrastructure and legislation need to catch up. Nissan has been working to develop this technology alongside teams from some of the world’s top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

What Does This Mean For The Future Of Autonomous Driving Vehicles?

All of these companies are working hard to bring autonomous driving technology closer to reality and to make it safer. Many of these companies are ready to release their autonomous driverless cars to market by 2017. That is likely not going to happen though. The technology has been so rapidly improving that legislators and law makers are having a difficult time keeping up. Here’s a table that summarizes SAE International’s levels of driving automation for on-road vehicles. With criteria such as is found in that table it’s no wonder lawmakers are taking time to consider things carefully. While California and Texas allow autonomous vehicles on their streets, those are the only two States that have laws allowing that. We just hope that lawmakers don’t take too much longer to enact laws that make autonomous vehicles legal on the rest of our streets.

Finally, a Battery for Electric Vehicles that Doesn’t Suck


Today, aluminum is quickly gaining popularity with major producers of electric vehicles. It is a vital element in a new electric vehicles type of battery that is deemed to be so green that it partially runs on air!

Besides that, this new aluminum-air battery could greatly extend the electric vehicle range by nearly a thousand miles. Aluminum, which is available widely, contains huge levels of energy (8kWh/kg). What makes it even more attractive is that it can easily be recycled, making it suitable energy systems material.

The Power of Air

Owing to the revolutionary components, the aluminum-air energy systems from Phinergy use the energy that gets released by the reaction between oxygen and aluminum in generating electric power. Phinergy’s proprietary air electrodes are used in transforming the aluminum-air energy systems into energy sources that are reliable, robust, clean and highly effective.

Aluminum Air Battery

Put simply, the technology:

  • Harnesses the chemical reaction between oxygen and aluminum
  • The aluminum serves as the anode and the oxygen (together with a solution made of water electrolyte) becomes the cathode, which gets depleted as you drive the vehicle.
  • A large surface area of porous electrode captures the needed oxygen.
  • A silver-based catalyst is contained in the electrode that stops any unnecessary interaction with the present carbon dioxide.
  • To recharge the aluminum-air battery drivers, simply have the aluminum cartridges replaced.

It must however be noted that aluminum-air batteries possess more energy, although their energy release is much more slowly. This makes it impractical to have the aluminum-air battery as a main source of power in the car.

For that, the aluminum-air battery has to work along with a lithium-ion battery through recharging, effectively giving the electric vehicle the capacity of extending their range by a previously unimagined 1,000 miles per each charge!

  • Besides extending the electric vehicles range, aluminum-air batteries are even friendlier to the environment.
  • These aluminium batteries don’t generate any carbon dioxide; hence leave nil negative carbon footprints.

It is hoped that if additional ongoing tests proceed positively, the aluminum-air battery could help in solving a major hurdle that faces electric car makers today; range anxiety.

Metal-Air Technology

For years, metal-air technology has remained at the forefront of ongoing research into energy due to its huge potential. The technological breakthroughs by Phinergy in this sector have made it possible to efficiently tap into this potential for a variety of applications, outperforming standard batteries.

A typical battery is composed of:

  • A cathode and an anode in which the cathode’s weight is about 70% of the total battery weight.
  • The cathode gets utilized as the holder for a reactant, such as Oxygen, which is needed for releasing the required energy in the anode made if metal (this is usually close to 5% of the battery).
  • The end outcome is that the bigger portion of a standard battery’s weight gets utilized poorly.

The metal-air battery by Phinergy comes with an air-electrode that injects oxygen from the surrounding air, rather from the standard cathode. What this means is that the battery is using the needed oxygen from the ambient air, instead of having heavy materials holding down the oxygen inside.

Therefore, metal-air batteries have a huge potential in terms of delivering higher energy capacity but at weights that are lower.

Air Electrodes

The proprietary air electrodes from Phinergy are turning the dream of metal-air battery into an actuality. The metal-air battery key component is the air-electrode, and is very vital in regard to its performance.

In order to absorb the needed oxygen, the air electrode structure is porous with an extremely large surface area. Besides their durability, the air electrodes from Phinergy exhibit enhanced performance leading to:

  • Flexible mechanical structure
  • High electrochemical performance
  • Aluminum-Air
  • Complete recyclability.

Aluminium which is a widely available resource has high levels of energy (8kWh/kg). In addition, it’s easily recyclable which makes a very appropriate material for usage in energy systems.

Phinergy’s proprietary anode production process leads to enhanced usage of aluminum energy, while at the same time cutting down on unwanted chemical reactions.

  • The company in addition uses a superior battery management system to boost the energetic battery utilization.
  • The aluminum-air energy systems from Phinergy are more advanced compared to standard batteries when it comes to specific energy and energy density. The systems are loaded mechanically, hence circumventing long charging duration’s.

When it is being employed in an aluminum-air battery, the aluminum substance converts into aluminum hydroxide. This can then get recycled, enabling a sustainable life cycle.


Previously, zinc air car batteries got seriously limited by the air electrodes short lifespan, plus destructive processes like the formation of dendrite between the cathode and anode. This usually led to very early destruction of the battery cell and air electrodes.

The company Phinergy has come up with zinc-air batteries that are electrically rechargeable. These batteries outperform the standard batteries in terms of energy density and specific energy.

Phinergy has in addition developed a zinc anode, which avoids cell damage because it doesn’t suffer from the formation of dendrite. This breakthrough combination of innovations has made it possible for Phinergy to manufacture zinc-air batteries that are electrically rechargeable which are also extremely durable.


Whether its aluminum, solar, converting seawater, or Free Energy (zero-point), it’s clear that there is potential for improvements. For instance, the aluminum-air battery as it is now only a vehicle range extender, not yet the car’s primary battery.

It worth noting that three European automakers have continued to carry out testing and are continuing to doing so in the days ahead, which is a good pointer. We are not yet fully there but we certainly are on the right direction towards a reliable battery that doesn’t really suck.

Can Cars really Run on Water?


A couple of years ago, if somebody told you it’s possible to have a car fueled through feeding it with saltwater, you probably would have called them a proponent of a conspiracy theory.

Just try and visualize that instead of your car spewing out a continuous outflow noxious mixtures of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, benzene, particulates and hydrocarbons, the exhaust of your car emits only water.

It’s now not too hard for us to envision a future where all our motor vehicles are electric, but for us to imagine a future where electric cars are being powered by water; yes, salt water!

The Toyota Mirai


It could sound more like a science fiction theory, but this is now a reality. Rather than having your car fuel tank filled up using diesel or petrol, the Mirai (Japanese for ‘future’), from giant car maker Toyota is getting powered by one of the most widely available element in the world, hydrogen

  • Hydrogen gets introduced into the tank of the Mirai’s tank just as petrol would be injected at a petrol pump.
  • Then, using the fuel cell wonders — which trigger a chemical reaction that takes place between oxygen in the air and the hydrogen — this gets converted into electricity that in turn will power the auto.
  • Amazingly, the only by-product that comes from this process is pure drinkable water.
  • The Toyota Mirai can in a mere 9.6 seconds hit speeds of 111 mph (62 mph)
  • Most significantly, the car has a huge range of approximately 300 miles.
  • The Mirai’s tanks made of ultra-strong carbon-fibre can get filled up in about 10 minutes.

Quant e-Sportlimousine


The technology that uses electrolyte flow cell has in fact been around for quite a while, although it is just recently that several auto manufacturers got the green light to begin producing cars running on the electrolyte flow cell technology.

German company Quant recently announced that their new Quant e-Sportlimousine, a salt water powered car, has received certification to be used on roads in Europe. This is a sure and very positive indicator that the powerful Oil Cartels have began to lose the protracted energy war.

  • The German makers have gone on to produce an electrical car that is powered using salt water. The Quant e-Sportlimousine has 4 electric engines.
  • It is a fast car that comes with some excellent fuel savings for any worthy sports car.
  • To put it correct technically, the salt water is not used as the fuel, but rather the medium of storage.
  • Using two tanks that can hold 50-gallon water and 4 electric motors, the car is run using the electrically charging salt water (ionic liquid) to store the generated energy.
  • This boosts energy efficiency that permits for a higher range compared to the standard electric car batteries.

This new form of alternative energy technology is possibly going to finally make gasoline powered cars to become obsolete. This based on the fact that using electrolyte flow cell technology for powering cars is much more cost effective and by far cleaner compared to using gasoline.

How Quant Works

The Quant e-Sportlimousine gets powered through a power system known as electrolyte flow cell. This an element of the innovative technology referred to as NanoFlowcell technology. The electrolyte flow cell power system works similar to the working of a hydrogen fuel cell; the difference being that it is salt water that is being used in the storage of power.


  • 2 liquids that have metallic salts, acting as the electrolyte, get mixed in such a manner to lead to an electrochemical reaction.
  • Subsequent to that, electric motors make use of the ensuing reaction in producing electric current.
  • The electricity is stored first and then distributed using super capacitors.

Quant Unique Features

Different from the standard cars that are running on gasoline, the German made Quant e-Sportlimousine operates on a system made by NanoFlowcell known as electrolyte flow cell power system.

  • Has the capacity of generating an incredible 920 horsepower (680 kW).
  • This car that powered by salt water can go in 2.8 seconds from a 0 speed to 100 km/h (62 mph) with a top speed of 350 km/h (217.5 mph).
  • The system efficiency reaches 80% because the car has literally got no moving parts and the waste heat produced is insignificant when contrasted against cars that are powered by standard batteries made of lithium-ion.

The sleek design of the Quant e-Sportlimousine makes it quite competitive among electric and sports cars alike. However, beyond the great aesthetics, this car is also proving its worth in terms of performance.

Phinergy-Renault-Nissan Aluminum-Air Battery

The Company Phinergy has produced a car battery that is carbon-neutral electricity which consumes slices of aluminum slowly to yield more energy density in comparison to the best batteries made of lithium-ion.

  • The aluminum-air battery from Phinergy’s mixes de-ionized water (drinkable) into a solution of alkaline electrolyte.
  • It then injects air to trigger a chemical reaction which dissolves the aluminum plates to generate electricity.

If the plans remain on schedule, Phinergy is optimistic their aluminum-air battery will prove itself as the greatest innovation in recent years for the transport industry.


Emerging alternative energy technologies like the efficient electrolyte flow cell system are certainly going to become more main stream in the days ahead. Alternative new energy technologies are going to assist us in solving our perennial “energy crisis” and possibly usher in a new modern age.

With a single stroke, our entire economy and environment would be radically transformed. This is a new era where worries about accessing clean and cheap energy become a thing of the past.

Top Five Reasons Why Hybrid Cars Are Not Environmentally Friendly


While hybrid cars have been on the motor vehicle market from the late 1990s, before you think of placing a hybrid on the shopping list, there are still several peculiarities worth considering. The motivations why you would want to own and drive a hybrid car are quite numerous.

Some include:

  • Those fewer gas station stops
  • The feel good thing about being green
  • Saving the environment
  • Being trendy

Hybrid Cars

However, in the long run, not all the above reasons will hold out. While Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) continue to gain popularity as greener and more efficient alternatives, several points need to be brought to the fore:

  • First off, hybrid cars basically remain internal-combustion; they are still gasoline powered vehicles and they still contribute to emissions as you drive them around.
  • Most of the Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) still tap into the national grids. In the US for example, much of the existing power grid comes from coal with its well known environmental impact.

1. More Heavy Metals Mined

Besides the nickel used in the batteries, most HEVs and PHEVs utilize huge quantities of copper in their extensive wiring and electric drive motors. Similar to nickel, these have to be mined, either from underground mines or from open pits. This has the potential of degrading the environment further.

When using the strip mining method, miners are known to clear everything from the earth surface as they seek the heavy metals, rather than dig deep. This has a huge negative impact on the environment that can last for many decades to come.

In addition, this method of mining contributes to significant amount of air pollution, besides destroying grass and plants as well as drying up streams. The impact of what goes into producing that perceived eco-friendly hybrid car may, in fact be triggering untold environmental havoc elsewhere.

2. Promoting Usage of Unclean Energy

If electricity productions sources that are environmentally friendly are at full capacity, then extra needed power would need to come from sources that are less clean such as coal. This increases our consumption of energy sources known to have negative environmental impact, despite using Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

Particularly when the extra electric power is being generated from coal sources, the impact is greater; the net carbon footprint is bigger. Toxic waste will find its way into our water systems and when these gets combined with careless disposal of the toxic batteries materials, the net contribution of PHEVs could be negative in terms of environmental impact.

3. Production of Batteries Harms the Environment

Conventional motor vehicles utilize lead-acid batteries. This has for a long time been a major source of contention within the auto industry. This is because lead is a known toxic chemical which when released into our environment, can cause long-term damage.

The majority of Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) use lithium-ion and nickel-hydride batteries which are deemed to be better for their environmental impact, although that may not necessarily be true.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) point out that nickel is likely to be a human carcinogen, and when improperly disposed, the nickel-hydride batteries could pose a potential human and environmental hazard.
  • In addition, the production of nickel batteries requires much more energy in production compared to lead batteries.
  • The minerals used in hybrid cars batteries depend on mined materials such as cobalt and lithium. The mining process for these minerals can be extremely destructive. In its wake, it has been known to leave entire mountains leveled.

4. Electric Cars are not that Eco-friendly

Simply because your car is getting plugged into a power source, it doesn’t necessarily mean that automatically you’re utilizing clean energy. Different states, cities and nations produce electric power via a diversity of energy sources.

If where you are located is tapping into hydroelectricity grid of your city, then perhaps you are contributing positively into conservation of the environmental with your PHEV. However, if the source of your states electricity is fossil energy based, then your electric car may not really be that eco-friendly.

This is because the electricity to charge your PHEV must have an energy source which probably is:

  • Often burning coal or oil
  • Using chemical-laden batteries which cannot be said to be particularly eco-friendly.

Essentially, electric vehicles could merely be shifting environmental problems to other areas away from the road, where they are contributing to significant increases in levels of human toxicity due to their manufacturing process.

5. Hybrids Aren’t Totally Emission-Free

It’s a fact that most hybrid cars do contribute towards the reduction of smog-forming emissions, although that might not be as high as many assume. When contrasting a conventional compact car to the hybrid counterpart, it can be expected that the emissions could come down by about 10%.

More smog-forming emissions reductions can be witnessed in hybrid SUVs, although the total effect in terms of reductions in emissions ranges between 10 to 15%. Though helpful and significant, but don’t however assume that because you’re acquiring a HEV you are not contributing to the pollution of the air.

If widely accepted, Hybrid electric vehicles and Hybrid Electric Vehicles do have a huge potential of improving the total environmental impact, although that doesn’t necessarily mean their technology can be said to be 100% green. Nevertheless, understanding the known facts regarding the potential negative environmental impacts of hybrid cars will help you towards making a decision that is more informed as you plan for your next car. Before you buy your next car read our new car buying tip sheet here.

A Review Of The 2016 Honda Odyssey


This post, a 2016 Honda Odyssey review, was written by guest author Brendon Turner. If you enjoyed reading this post please use the social share buttons above to share it with your friends.

I wasn’t a fan of Honda until I married into a family of Honda owners. My wife’s parents both drove a Honda and always spoke favorably about the brand. I myself was always a fan of domestic’s and had only ever owned GM vehicles. While today I still drive a GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickup truck, my wife up until last week drove a Honda Civic model with DXG trim.

Last weekend we took delivery of a brand new 2016 Honda Odyssey from Calgary Honda for my wife. We purchased the EX-L trim. I would say that she’s rather enjoying her new ride since I’ve barely seen her in the three days since she took delivery of the vehicle because she’s been out driving.

2016 honda odyssey

Available Trim

The 2016 Odyssey is available in six different available trim packages with an MSRP* as follows.

  • LX – $29,275
  • EX – $32,425
  • SE – $33,375
  • EX-L – $35,925
  • Touring – $42,180
  • Touring Elite – $44,750

Available Colors

We purchased our EX-L with a White Diamond Pearl paint color, however the 2016 Odyssey is available in 7 different colors from the factory.

  • White Diamond Pearl
  • Smoky Topaz Metallic (EX and above)
  • Crystal Black Pearl (EX and above)
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Deep Scarlet Pearl
  • Obsidian Blue Pearl



Although the 2016 Odyssey already has a sharp look and style to it, there are a lot of accessories available for the Odyssey. I won’t list them all here but they include roof rails, door guards, wheels, locking wheel nuts, towing equipment, lighting, body side molding, all weather floor mats and even a Honda camping tent that attaches to the rear open hatch. There are no shortage of add-ons that can be purchased for the Odyssey.

Standard Features

2016-Honda-Odyssey-vacuumStandard features that vary by model include the HondaVAC, which is essentially a built in vacuum. Handy if the children are throwing Cheerios around.

2016-honda-odyssey-entertainmentAlso the kids can enjoy a rear entertainment system with wireless headsets. In the Touring model you’ll find an HDMI port on the side panel interior of the 3rd row of seating. And a 115V power outlet. This is great if you want to plugin a gaming console. Did I mention that the Odyssey also features an air conditioned cooler box too?


The Odyssey features a 6 speed automatic transmission and a very smooth powertrain. The engine also has a cylinder-deactivation switch on its 248 horsepower 3.5 liter V6 block, making it quite fuel efficient. The EPA rating on the 2016 Odyssey is 19/28 MPG. The engine can produce 0-60 MPH in 7.5 seconds. And has a top speed of about 120 MPH.

Spacious Interior


The 2016 Honda Odyssey is an 8 passenger minivan that has 5 doors. It features dual sliding doors for the second and 3rd row seating. The sliding doors can also be remotely opened and closed with the key fob. We found that with two boys ages 2 and 6 years old it’s quite easy to lean into the vehicle and buckle them up into their car seats in the second row without actually having to step into the vehicle. This is a definite plus. The second row of seats can be removed from the vehicle completely. The third row of seats easily fold down into the trunk area creating a flat cargo space behind the second row of seats.

Other Highlights of The 2016 Honda Odyssey

This vehicle drives well and handles most road conditions with agility and grace. I test drove a 2016 Honda Odyssey Touring model a few weeks ago in very heavy rain conditions and the vehicle held the road very well. What surprised me the most was the Lane Departure Warning feature. Even in very heavy rain when I could not see the painted lane lines on the road ahead the vehicle’s camera mounted at the top center of the windshield was able to accurately warn me when I was departing my lane without using my turn signal. Clever technology!


The dashboard features easy to read gauges and has a central display mounted lower that shows audio and phone functions apart from the upper central display screen – on EX models and up.

The second row of seating offers built in retractable sun shades on the side windows. There are two external view cameras. One rearview camera mounted on the rear hatch of course and one right adjacent lane view camera mounted on the right side external mirror. Activated when signaling right the right side mirror camera is a nice touch enabling you to see what’s directly in the lane to the right of you.

The headlights on the 2016 Honda Odyssey’s have a dark trim housing HID, High Intensity Discharge, bulbs. They also feature LED lit taillights too.

With a roomy interior, an exterior length of 202.9 inches, width of 79.2 inches and height of 68.4 inches most families would agree that the Odyssey has more than enough space to accommodate their needs.

The 2016 Honda Odyssey outperforms most any three row crossover and looks a lot nicer than some of its direct competitors.

If you’re considering purchasing a new Honda Odyssey click here to get a price quote.

*MSRP is noted in US dollars.