Enjoyably easy to drive, nicely appointed inside, and boasting a long list of clever new features and tech, the all-new, 5th-generation 2018 Honda Odyssey isn’t just the best minivan on the road, it’s the best family car ever.
You'll Like The 2018 Honda Odyssey If...
Do you tend to seek out the best car in a segment, or are you typically drawn to what’s new? Do you lean toward the most practical or the tech-savviest? Whatever your nature, you’re going to like the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
You May Not Like The 2018 Honda Odyssey If...
If you want an all-wheel-drive minivan, you’ll have to go with the Toyota Sienna. If you want a hybrid minivan, you’ll have to choose the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (a plug-in hybrid, no less). Otherwise you’ll want to do plenty of research before deciding the new Odyssey isn’t the right minivan for you.
The Honda Odyssey has been completely redesigned for 2018.To get a better idea of what it's like to live with the Odyssey day-to-day, check out our 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite Ownership Review.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey’s cavernous cabin isn’t just packed with practicality-enhancing features and technologies, it boasts a degree of fit and finish that transcends the typical soccer shuttle. All the requisite cup holders and cubbies are in place, but so are high-quality materials and smart, pleasing design. Featuring a digital gauge cluster and a big 8-inch touch screen that’s standard on all but the entry-level LX trim, the Odyssey’s digitally enhanced forward panel makes Honda’s minivan look and feel more like what we were hoping to be driving in 2018.
The 5th-generation Odyssey has a lighter look than the outgoing model, and we suspect it will prove a bit less polarizing without the previous model’s distinctive “lightning-bolt” design element. The top-line Odyssey Elite boasts 19-inch alloy wheels, power-folding exterior mirrors, LED headlights and more, while even the base LX model gets 18-inch alloy wheels, multi-reflector halogen headlights and rear privacy glass.
Good steering and pedal feel aren’t must-haves for many minivan shoppers, but responsive manners improve the day-to-day driving experience of any vehicle. And they help make the 2018 Honda Odyssey the best-driving minivan we’ve ever driven. The all-new Odyssey is smooth off the line and glides through gears. On city streets and in parking lots it changes direction with the ease and willingness of a smaller vehicle, and stops in the same manner. On the highway it is quiet, comfortable and confidently controlled. Granted, we’ve only driven the top-line Odyssey Elite with its all-new 10-speed transmission, but versions with the 9-speed (the same transmission found in the Honda Pilot SUV, among others) shouldn’t give up too much in the way of smart, silky power management.
The base 2018 Honda Odyssey has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $30,930 including destination, and climbs to $47,610 for all the bells and whistles of the Odyssey Elite. As the new version of a historically popular model, we don’t expect Honda to offer significant discounts for quite a while. But thanks to historically strong resale values and class-leading features and qualities, even at full sticker price the new Odyssey would be a terrific value. As always, be sure to check the Odyssey’s Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price before signing on any dotted lines.
Bonus Conent: Take a look at how the Honda Odyssey compares to its competitors
Honda Odyssey vs Honda Pilot
Honda Odyssey vs Toyota Sienna
The 2018 Honda Odyssey lineup starts at $30,930 (including destination) with the 7-passenger Odyssey LX. But Honda says the LX will account for less than five percent of sales, and we’d steer you toward the $34,800 Odyssey EX that includes many more safety and convenience features. In addition to the Bluetooth and USB phone connectivity, push-button start and rearview camera found on the LX, the EX features room for eight, Magic Slide 2nd-row seats, 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist and safety technologies, power sliding doors, remote-sensing keyless entry and heated front seats.
Stepping up to Odyssey EX-L (for Leather) will reward you with a power tailgate, moonroof and leather seats, while the EX-L with Navigation and Rear Entertainment adds, er, navigation and rear entertainment, plus the neat new CabinTalk interior PA system. The Odyssey Touring nets you the brilliant new 10-speed automatic transmission, hands-free tailgate, built-in 4G LTE wireless capability, clever new CabinWatch interior camera, the always popular -- and useful -- HondaVac built-in vacuum cleaner and more. For $47,610, the 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite adds a 550-watt, 11-speaker audio system, wireless phone charging and ventilated front seats, among other upgrades.
MAGIC SLIDE SEATS
The Odyssey’s new Magic Slide seating system features outboard 2nd-row seats that move up and back and side to side. Two friends can sit shoulder to shoulder without either having to sit on the middle hump, seats can slide to either side, or mom can bring baby within easier reach.
Minivans and vacuum cleaners are both about as far from sexy as it gets, but put them together and you have one of the coolest car features on the planet. With the Odyssey’s built-in vacuum you can clean up spilled Goldfish crackers or accumulated debris whenever and wherever the need arises.
Under the Hood
Every 2018 Honda Odyssey is powered by the same 280-horsepower V6 engine, and most manage that power with the help of a new-to-Odyssey 9-speed automatic transmission. Touring and Elite trims, however, offer a smart and smooth new 10-speed automatic transmission. In addition to improved drivability, the 10-speed auto bumps towing capacity from 3,000 pounds in the 9-speed models to 3,500 pounds in the Touring and Elite trims.
280 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 19/28/22 mpg
Even in its seventh model year the outgoing Honda Odyssey remained a top pick in the segment. And now that it’s been completely redesigned, Honda’s minivan is once again the very best minivan money can buy. It’s enjoyably easy to drive, nicely appointed inside, and boasts a long list of clever new features and tech that take family transportation to a new level. The best minivan on the road? Let’s call it the best family car ever.