Honda has just released the Odyssey facelift in Japan, and this second refresh for the fifth-generation MPV is a bigger one compared to the nip/tuck that surfaced in 2017. This RC generation has been around since 2013.

As mentioned, this facelift is a big one, and the front end of MPV is now more upright and bold, besides looking more in sync with the rest of Honda’s current range. Flanking the wide grille are new “jewel eye” LED headlamps, and the chrome “wings” of the H logo extends into the clusters. There’s also a square jaw of a lower intake to match the bluff nose.

As with all new releases in Japan, the Odyssey facelift comes with a catalogue of original accessories, and here’s the Modulo range of optional kit for the Absolute. Looks like a CR-V, doesn’t it? The grille’s horizontal slats have been swapped for a honeycomb insert and the above-mentioned chrome wing is in black. It’s not a full blackout though; there’s still one line of chrome and the shiny lip has been maintained. There’s also an Absolute badge on the grille.

The rear of the Odyssey facelift sports tail lamps that are more horizontal compared to the slanting clusters of old. There are also new LED graphics that see a thick line intersect with a few fine ones. A slim chrome strip bridges the lights. A smooth rear spoiler is standard on the Absolute, but the Modulo option wing is a larger and more elaborate unit. There are also chrome strips for the wing mirror caps.

Inside the much-improved new dashboard, Japanese owners can specify door sill plates, all sorts of ambient lighting (footwell, door handles, door bins), a leather cover for the gear knob, steel pedals, additional USB charging ports (inside the dash top cubby, on the door cards), AC socket, storage solutions and Honda Dog accessories for pooch owners.

There’s also a 10-inch Gathers navigation infotainment system with Diatone Sound speakers, and an 11.6-inch Full HD TV/DVD roof-mounted screen.

In Japan, the latest Odyssey gets two powertrain options. One is the familiar 2.4 litre NA engine with 175 PS and 225 Nm of torque, paired to a CVT, with front- and all-wheel drive available. The second option is an Intelligent Multi Mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid system – dubbed e:HEV – as seen on the JDM StepWGN.

This system consists of a 2.0 litre Atkinson cycle four-pot with 145 PS/175 Nm that acts as a generator for a lithium-ion battery. The battery is used to power a front-mounted electric motor rated at 184 PS/315 Nm, which provides drive for most situations. However, the engine can provide direct drive at higher speeds, using a lock-up clutch and a single-speed transmission, as it is more efficient than an electric motor at high speeds.

The new Odyssey starts from 3.495 million yen (RM139,208) in its homeland, and goes up to 4.58 million yen (RM182,429) for the top e:HEV variant. What do you think of this squarer and bolder Odyssey compared to the usual luxury MPV suspects from Toyota?

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Odyssey facelift with Modulo accessories

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Odyssey facelift