|LX||3.5-liter V6 Gas||9-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$27,429||$29,990|
|EX||3.5-liter V6 Gas||9-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$31,050||$33,960|
|EX-L||3.5-liter V6 Gas||9-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$34,242||$37,460|
|Touring||3.5-liter V6 Gas||10-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$40,764||$44,610|
|Elite||3.5-liter V6 Gas||10-Speed Automatic||Front Wheel Drive||$42,734||$46,770|
by John Tallodi
The Honda Odyssey is completely redesigned for 2018 and now adds updated styling, technology and an even more comprehensive specification list to its strengths. With additional power and improved handling dynamics it promises to combine the best qualities of a minivan with the sharper drive of an SUV.
The thoroughly updated interior features much higher quality trim than the outgoing model and the buttons and controls feel solid and hard-wearing. The new touchscreen system is a big step up from before too.
Leather, upholstery and ambient cabin lighting depending on trim level make the Odyssey ideal for longer family trips. The base trim level offers seating for 7 while all other trim levels can seat 8 occupants.
Seating is comfortable in all three rows and unlike in most crossovers the rear headroom and cargo space is not compromised by a sloping roofline. The centre seats can be folded down or moved into various positions with the Magic Slide seating system. These as well as the third row can also be completely removed for additional cargo space.
The sharp driving dynamic of Honda’s more sporting models is also evident in this family-friendly minivan. It turns and handles with the verve of a much smaller car and with the standard wheels it rides over bumpy roads very well too. The larger 19-inch wheels on the Elite trim enhance the already capable handling but at the cost of some harshness over bumps. For a minivan capable of carrying 8 occupants the Odyssey is truly impressive in the corners, with accurate steering and good body control it is at the top of its class in the handling department.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey comes equipped with a 3.5-liter 280 horsepower V6, torque is rated at 262 lb-ft and there is either a 9 or 10-speed automatic transmission available depending on trim levels. Either transmission is a good option and the Odyssey’s acceleration is up there with the fastest vehicles in its class. Overall fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg for all trim levels and transmission options which is in-line with other minivans.
The Odyssey is available in 6 trim levels, standard equipment is generous and even the base LX is well-equipped coming standard with features like a rearview camera, ambient interior lighting, power front seats, 7-speaker audio system with USB ports and Bluetooth.
The EX trim adds power-sliding doors, keyless ignition, enhanced second row seat functionality, 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and, commendably for this class, includes a range of advanced safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The EX-L further increases the convenience with sunroof, power liftgate and leather upholstery among its features. You can opt for the EX-L with Navigation and RES (Rear Entertainment System) which adds these features too. The RES comprises of a 10.2-inch fold down rear display, Blu-ray player and auxiliary input. A cabin intercom system enables parents to dispense advice to their children from the front too.
Touring trim adds a hands-free liftgate, vacuum cleaner system, parking sensors all-round, rear cabin monitoring system for even more parental control and a Wi-Fi hotspot is also part of the package. It is also fitted with a 10-speed transmission in place of the 9-speed unit on lower trim levels.
The Elite trim pack adds 19-inch wheels, upgraded audio system, heated and ventilated front seats and wireless phone charging.
The Honda Odyssey enters 2018 as a completely new model, a more powerful engine, engaging chassis and a whole host of standard equipment mark it out as a strong competitor in the minivan segment. The EX trim is great value while the top Elite variant packs in just about every conceivable extra.