Reviews

2018 Honda Odyssey Walk Around


The Odyssey has presence, with its chrome beltline suggesting a bolt of lightning. However, it’s not the prettiest minivan in the parking lot. That would be the Chrysler Pacifica.

The face of the Odyssey shows a family resemblance to the Pilot crossover and Civic sedan. Behind the big chrome grille there are shutters to improve the aerodynamics and increase fuel mileage a bit; at the edges of the grille there are LED running lamps. LED headlamps and foglamps come on the Touring model.

The redesign to styling features a deep swoop carved into the front and side doors. The channels for the sliding rear doors are relocated under the third-row glass, to better conceal them.

A chrome-bar design in the rear matches that in the front, and is framed by LED taillamps.

Interior

The new Odyssey brings softer materials into the cabin, including a new stain-resistant leather on EX-L and above. The center console is massive, functional if not pretty, with two main storage areas, one of them deep and the other wide and flat. There’s a digital instrument display and clear touchscreen on the dash.

The new optional CabinWatch appears on the screen, a running video feed of the rear seats, so parents can literally keep an eye on them. Mom and Dad become Big Brother. And get this: it’s infrared, and can zoom in, so Dad can play sniper.

But wait, there’s more. CabinWatch combines with CabinTalk, which plays the driver’s voice over the sound system. The kids haven’t a chance. Sitting quietly back there in the dark, scarcely thinking about being naughty, when suddenly in their headphones: “Stop that! Right now! I see you!”

The rear seat entertainment system is upgraded. The 10-inch screens have 4G LTE, with apps like PBS Kids, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and more. There’s even an app called “How Much Farther,” that maps the van’s path to the destination.

Another app allows passengers to use their smartphones to control their entertainment screens and climate control, and send music to the sound system and destinations to the navigation system.

Honda’s Magic Slide seating system was re-engineered for the new Odyssey. The second row is composed of three sculpted and roomy seats that can be moved separately. The middle seat can be removed to create captain’s chairs, and a path to the third row. The two outboard seats slide up, back, left, right; or they could be pushed together. And they can be moved with a child seat remaining attached.

But what if you sometimes need a flat floor and cargo space? You remove the second-row seats that weigh 70 pounds each, and store them in your garage, or somewhere.

Not quite like the Chrysler Pacifica’s Stow ‘N Go system, whose rear seats fold flat into the floor.

If you do get those seats out of there, the Odyssey has the most cargo space in the class, 144.9 cubic feet. Better than that, it has mucho cargo space behind the second row, 86.6 cubic feet. That’s with the third row folded flat, which it easily does with a tug on a strap and a flop.

Behind the third row there’s still 32.8 cubic feet, which is twice the size of a trunk of a full-sized sedan. And the third row can actually fit an adult.

With its many configurations, you can custom tune your family minivan to be what you need for each trip, project or adventure.

The new Odyssey has been silenced, by acoustic foam sprayed into 14 spots were noise might leak through, then a barrier carpet, thicker glass all around, triple door seals, and noise cancellation under the hood.

I'm Interested