The 2018 Honda Odyssey is on a quest.
Just when we thought that every possible family-oriented convenience had been plugged into the world of minivans, Honda has delivered a new minivan with every imaginable feature, with one big rival in mind.
With the redesigned Odyssey, Honda’s translated its Civic-on-steroids styling in its quest to take down the flashy minivan newcomer—the Chrysler Pacifica, which we named our 2017 Best Car to Buy.
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The Odyssey’s biggest highlight may be a camera that lets the driver watch passengers in the second and third rows without the distraction of having to look back, but the Odyssey is positively packed with new features.
We give the 2018 Honda Odyssey a 8.0 out of 10. It offers great space, features to rival the Chrysler Pacifica, comfortable seating for up to eight, and dynamics and power that top the segment. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Other new features include sliding second-row seats with a removable middle section and outboard seats that slide fore and aft and side to side. Also new are 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot capability that can power the rear entertainment system, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an app that lets passengers set the rear temperature and send songs to the radio. That’s in addition to the carryover in-van vacuum that comes on the top two models.
Honda offers plenty of luxury features, too, including heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free tailgate, ambient lighting, and an 11-speaker sound system.
Honda made performance changes to improve the way the Odyssey drives. The new structure is stiffer, the steering is quicker, and there are new 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions.
Under the hood lies a new 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 280 horsepower, 32 more than last year. Fuel economy improves, making the Odyssey the most efficient minivan in the class, aside from the plug-in Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. More effort was also made to block noise in the cabin.
On the safety front, the new Odyssey adds such features as automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. All but the base model get all of these features, but all models get knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. Crash-test scores are nearly perfect.