The iconic Honda Elysion is a JDM-model MPV that was originally built as a foil for auto-giant competitors the Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand. The Elysion was for the Japanese domestic market when first built, but has since become popular with UK enthusiasts of Japanese import cars.
A version of the Elysion did exist in the export market, namely the Honda Odyssey, which was a well-liked US specification. The Odyssey was certainly part of the family, but it couldn’t be said to be the export “twin” of the Elysion. There were some key differences, such as the Odyssey being larger (in true American fashion).
Key Stats for the Honda Elysion
Wheelbase: 2,900mm (114.2”)
Length: 4,920mm (193.7”)
Width: 1,845mm (72.6”)
Height: 1,810mm (71.3”)
Curb Weight: 2,020kg (4,450lb)
Fuel Efficiency: 27.7mpg for the Elysion 3L VX
2014 to present
The current generation (made in the Chinese market from 2015) is almost the same, except for a slightly longer length (4,940mm; 194.5”) and shorter height (1,710mm; 67.3”).
The Elysion was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2003, and then released the following year. At the time of the motor show, it was dubbed the “ASM” before it underwent some minor changes, namely its headlights, front grille and parts of the interior. Some feared that the ASM was too niche and it needed to be made more universally appealing.
In 1997, Nissan released the first generation of their Elgrand MPV. The year 2002 brought Toyota’s Alphard to the marketplace. Honda needed an MPV with the same kind of appeal, which became the initial driving force behind the creation of the Elysion. The grand-sounding name was picked for its allusions to the classical notion of heaven or “Elysium.”
The JDM Elysion was ultimately offered with three engine options:
• 2.4L K24A straight-4 (Power: 160 PS)
• 3.0L J30A V6 (Power: 250 PS)
• 3.5L J35A V6 (Power: 300 PS)
Your engine choice would determine which other innovations you could gain, such as the then quite ground-breaking “Variable Cylinder Management” (VCM) technology. This was available on both of the V6 models. It used the i-VTEC system to disable some cylinders in the engine under certain driving conditions with the goal of increasing fuel efficiency.
The 3.5L model was also available with AWD, but equipping with this feature did mean the engine power was reduced somewhat. All models were also fitted with ventilated 4-disk brakes with ABS and EBD as standard.
UK Elysion Owners
JDM enthusiasts looking to import a Honda Elysion to the UK should know that there are 6 possible trim levels to look for, as well as two special editions known as AERO HDD. If you opt for the 2.4L engine, then your trim choices include the M, G and X. If you’re looking for extra power and want the 3.0L model, then your choices include the VG, VX and VZ.
One of the biggest factors behind the popularity of the Honda Elysion JDM import is its timeless good looks and pleasing aesthetic. The sweep-back headlights, sporty front bumper and strong, aerodynamic lines make for an attractive build that helped to set the Elysion apart from its competition.
The interior, too, is furnished with a simple yet refined finish, and can seat either seven or eight depending on the exact specification. The space inside the car is extremely well utilized, with around 70% of total space as cabin space. This was always a great selling point compared to competing models like the Camry, which was about 2cm narrower in frame.
The Elysion was among the highest-ranked cars for safety (6 stars from Japan’s NASVA) owing largely to its high-rigidity steel frame. The materials in this frame boasted up to 30 percent increased strength compared to previously used materials. In addition to the superb materials, the Elysion was built with a unique feature, namely a double platform, the floor of which helped to lower the car’s centre of gravity. At the time, such a design had only been seen on the Mercedes A-Class cars.
Drivers are also frequently taken aback by how agile the car is despite its relative size. As you handle it on roads you might expect an MPV to struggle with, the Elysion astonishes with its stability and lack of unwelcome strain noises that were characteristic of some much earlier Honda models traversing tough roads. You can also get ABS, vehicle stability, TCS, sideslip protection and adaptive front lighting. Some particular features may depend on model and year, of course.
The Elysion: A JDM Dream
In the end, for anyone looking to source any of the wide range of JDM import MPV’s available, the Honda Elysion should quickly come to the forefront. Its efficiency, handling, aesthetic and other great features make it the ideal choice for a family car or commercial people carrier. Talk to us today and find out about Honda Elysion models we have in stock.