Honda has completely redesigned their minivan for 2018. It has more tech, more power, more gears, and, Honda hopes, more appeal for buyers.
The styling gets a little bolder than last year. It has the same stepped beltline but adds more creases, more grooves, and a floating-look roof. The nose gets a bigger family resemblance to the Pilot SUV.
The Odyssey's V6 is the same 3.5L displacement as the last-generation but now makes 280 hp. It also has a nine-speed automatic with a 10-speed standard on top trims.
But more power isn't where minivans live and breathe. It's interior versatility. Inside, the Odyssey offers seating for up to eight passengers. And unlike most SUVs, that third row can seat adults, not just kids. The third row can fold flat into the floor, completely disappearing. Or you can reverse it to give a tailgating bench. The middle row has its own tricks. The middle seat in the middle row is removable. With it out, the two full-size seats can slide side to side. So separate them for comfort or push them together to make third-row access easier.
What the middle seats won't do is fold flat or stow into the floor. Only the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Caravan offer a middle row that can do either. The Odyssey's middle seats are removable, but weigh in at around 43 kg, making removal a tough task.
Honda has added some neat tech to bring back seat passengers to the front of the action. Like CabinTalk. It will broadcast voices from the front to the rear seat through the speakers, headphones, or both. Great for announcements to keep it down back there. There is also an available monitor that uses a night-vision camera to let the driver see what passengers are up to. The Odyssey offers up 15 cupholders to make sure everybody stays hydrated.
Honda Sensing, an active safety suite that adds collision warning and braking, lane guidance and departure warnings as well as adaptive cruise control, is standard on all trim levels.
The Odyssey drives much more car-like than the minivans of old, especially compared to similarly sized SUVs. It gets better fuel economy than most of those three-row crossovers as well, rated for 12.6 L/100 km city, 8.4 highway with the nine-speed and 12.2/8.5 with the 10-speed.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey is available in six trim levels, starting with LX. LX has 18-inch alloys, capless fueling, LED taillights, heated front seats, and automatic high beams. The 8.0-inch display audio system has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
EX Trim adds LED running lights, outside. Inside, it adds Honda's LaneWatch blind spot monitor. EX gets a power moonroof, power sliding doors, and the HondaVac built-in vacuum cleaner. It also has sunshades and armrests for the middle row.
EX-Res adds a 110-volt power outlet, CabinTalk, heated steering wheel, and a rear-seat TV screen with Blu-ray player. EX-L Res adds leather seats and an acoustic front windshield. EX-L Navi adds navigation to that but doesn't have the rear-seat TV.
Finally, the top Touring trim adds LED headlights and fog lights. It has a hands-free access tailgate and ambient lighting. Touring has the CabinWatch monitor, third-row sunshades, and a 550-watt audio system upgrade. The front seats add ventilation to the warming.