Honda’s Odyssey has always been among the ‘aristocrats’ of the minivan world with its wide range of features, even in base configuration, plus the company’s acclaimed fit and finish quality and numerous luxury touches.
The 2018 model brings even more features, some of them hard to find on a vehicle in this class. Minivans may not sell in the numbers they once did, but for many buyers, there’s simply nothing else that could tackle the roles they are faced with. Everybody knows the huge role minivans play among ‘soccer moms and dads,’ but I’ve always thought they were underestimated as ultimate road trip vehicles. Having driven various makes from Vancouver to Southern California and back over the years, I can vouch for the fact that on long drives, there’s nothing to beat having vast amounts of passenger and cargo space in a vehicle.
The 2018 fifth-generation Odyssey made its debut earlier this year and is now available at the Richmond Auto Mall. Highlight improvements include advanced connectivity and entertainment with new display audio, cabin watch, cabin talk and streaming video plus 4G LTE Wi-Fi. On long family trips, it’s features like these that really keep everyone happy. There’s also a new app enabling smartphone control of key vehicle systems, audio and rear entertainment features. The second row seat cleverly slides so everyone can get comfortable – all part of Honda’s aim to create what it calls ‘family friendly design.’
The Odyssey is a beautifully styled minivan and for 2018, Honda adopted the automaker’s signature ‘flying wing’ front grille flanked by (available) LED headlights. The Odyssey’s trademark ‘lightning bolt’ beltline is now an enhanced design element and it certainly makes for a very attractive van, given the limitations stylists have with this kind of vehicle. As is common in this class, there are three rows of seats and Honda has gone to great lengths with this product to make them all even more accessible.
A new chassis features responsive dual pinion electric power steering with fewer turns lock-to-lock for better response and to make the vehicle more maneuverable. A new rear suspension makes for better handling and increased ride comfort. Power for the new Odyssey comes from a peppy 3.5-litre i-VTEC Honda V-6 engine mated to a 10-speed transmission.
This exciting new Honda minivan is the second to be designed and developed in North America and the fourth generation to be manufactured exclusively in North America. It’s a highly versatile, exceptionally well-made vehicle that a family could really grow up with. It’s safe and comfortable, but driving enthusiasts will like the enhanced handling and the power and flexibility of the V-6.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four door (two sliders). Eight occupants
ENGINE: 3.5-litre V-6
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic (available)
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 10-secs
FUEL ECONOMY: 12.6-litres/100 km city, 8.4-litres/100 km hwy.
PRICE: $34,890 (base MSRP)