Honda has put a lot of work into the latest versions of most of its vehicles in a bid to put a shine back on a brand whose offerings had become a bit dull in recent years. And that goes even for vehicles competing in some of Canada’s less lucrative segments, like that of the minivan.
Having completely redesigned the Odyssey for 2018, Honda’s avant garde people mover carries over into 2019 with no changes.
As before, power comes from a 3.5L V6 that makes 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, which is fed into a nine-speed automatic in all but the top-end Touring model, which gets a 10-speed automatic.
The 10-speed gearbox and an engine idle-stop system help keep the Touring’s fuel consumption estimates to 12.2/8.5 L/100 km (city/highway), while lesser trims are rated 12.6/8.4.
The rest of the range comprises LX and EX, the latter of which can be optioned into sub-trims with leather, navi and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Odyssey is among the more recognizable minivans on the market, its styling being either distinctive or polarizing depending on who you ask. What’s easier to agree on is that Honda has once again created the best minivan for drivers, having endowed the Odyssey with a more engaging driving feel than anything else in this small segment.
Among the Odyssey’s neater features are middle-row seats with a removable centre position that allows the outer chairs to move side-to-side. There’s also a built-in vacuum cleaner, a camera built into the headliner that lets the driver see what’s going on in back and, if you don’t like what you find, a public address system (called CabinTalk) so you can quash offspring uprisings.
The Honda Sensing suite of active safety features is standard in all trims with its forward collision warning/automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and guidance and adaptive cruise control.
Other features standard in LX trim include 18-inch alloy wheels, a capless fuel filler, LED tail lights, heated front seats, automatic high beam headlights and an 8.0-inch display audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Move up to the EX to add LED running lights, LaneWatch blind spot monitor, power sunroof, power sliding doors, middle row sunshades and armrests and the vacuum cleaner.
EX-Res brings to the party a 110-volt power outlet, CabinTalk, heated steering wheel, and a rear-seat TV screen with Blu-ray player. EX-L Res builds on that, adding leather seating. EX-L Navi piles on navigation but can’t be combined with the entertainment system.
Finally, Touring adds LED headlights and fog lights, hands-free tailgate, ambient lighting, CabinWatch, third-row sunshades, a 550-watt stereo and front-seat ventilation.