Honda surprised us today by teasing the first photos of the all new Honda Odyssey. With the new generation, the Odyssey’s formula has been significantly tweaked – it now has a taller roofline and gets sliding doors for the rear.

UPDATE: The Honda Odyssey has been launched at KLIMS13, full launch report and local spec pics here.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a tall Japanese market Honda Odyssey – the first two generations followed this ‘van’ formula, then the third gen and fourth gen became ‘low riders’, very much like 7 seater wagons. Note that the JDM market Odyssey and the American market Odyssey are different cars.

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I guess Honda figured out that the successful Toyota Estima formula worked better and has decided to compete directly against it, instead of offering an alternative.

Honda’s other JDM MPVs all have tall rooflines – the Elysion which competes against the Alphard, the Stepwgn which goes against the Noah, and the Honda Freed. A tall roofline certainly does wonders to ease movement within the cabin, and I suppose it also makes makes the cabin feel roomier.

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You have the option for two reclining captain seats in the second row or a proper 3 seater bench. You can have it in either 2WD or 4WD forms, with a CVT transmission. That’s all Honda has revealed so far.

The new Odyssey will probably be available with a 2.4 litre engine like the generation before it, but since it has a larger body now will Honda offer a 3.5 litre as well?

Honda Malaysia sold the third generation Honda Odyssey here, but skipped the fourth generation. But good news to car buyers with families – the Odyssey is coming back. This fifth generation will be coming to Malaysia by the end of the year through official channels, so you won’t have to buy grey.