The 2018 model year comes to a blowing start for Honda. The 2018 Honda Odyssey will the fifth generation of their popular people carrier, or more condescendingly: mini van. However, the negative connotation of the mini van seems quite out of place with the 2018 Odyssey. Although the fourth generation was only just introduced for the 2017 model year, that didn’t hold the ladies and gentlemen at Honda HQ back to provide a full range of brand new features in all areas concerning the upcoming Odyssey. We guess they took inspiration from the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica mini van, which grandly succeeded in removing at least part of the “soccer mom car” stigma that clings so ferociously to the people carrier. That means you can expect new safety and tech features, a polished exterior and a recently touched up interior to feast your eyes on.
We promised new features on the 2018 Honda Odyssey exterior. Starting at the front, the headlights are much sharper and feature a sort of lightning bolt make-up, providing the Odyssey with a more aggressive first impression compared to the 2017 version. This impression is supported by the presence of the new, deeper creased hood. The grille runs further down and ditches the cheap black plastic outline and returns with an upscale chrome line pattern. The fog lights have a new more contemporary casing, which would not seem out of place on a luxurious SUV.
Around the side, the profile of the 2018 Odyssey makes quite the appearance. The new hood makes for a pointier front and an interesting crease line pattern on the doors updates the whole nicely. The finishing touch is the body line decreasing subtly towards the rear of the car, which is a step forward from the more blocky design of the 2017 Odyssey.
First thing you’ll notice on the rear are the tail lights, which are very reminiscent of those of the 2017 Honda Accord. Instead of the dull square-shaped ones on the fourth generation Odyssey, you’ll find two pincers left and right, holding on to a chrome strip that meets the Honda logo in the middle. The rest of the rear had its creases dented and then smoothed out, making for a tighter appearance.
We hope the 2018 Honda Odyssey design team got a fair bonus after delivering this van!
Even more differences can be found inside the cabin, with the dashboard being a brand new unit. It’s rounder, smoother and overall more in line with the modern taste for wrap-around dashes. The center stack comes with a new 7 inch infotainment screen and a cockpit-like collection of buttons.
The stick shift is replaced by an up to date knob under the infotainment screen and there’s a start/stop button closer to the steering wheel.
The second row of seats comprise of two full individual seats and a removable middle seat. The Honda Magic Slide system makes it easy for these seats to be slid back, forth left and right and replaces last model’s system, with which the seats could be folded flat into the floor. The Magic Slide system makes for easy access to the third row seats, which can still be folded into the floor for additional cargo space.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey comes laid out with a 3.5 liter V6 engine that is able to produce 280 horsepower. This is 32 HP more than the 2017 model and only 10 HP under the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica output. The advantage of a slightly lower output is that the EPA fuel economy goes up, and according to Honda the Odysseys’ is leading in its class.
Two automatic transmission systems will be available on the 2018 Odyssey. The first is a redesigned nine speed automatic and comes standard on the lower trims. The higher trims will be provided with a transmission coming up to ten gears. The Odyssey will be the first ever people carrier to sport a ten speed transmission and it makes it easy to understand Honda’s fuel economy claims. Besides, the Odyssey had a terrific weight cut, due to the use of lighter materials and a new, lighter chassis.
The infotainment system will either be paired with a seven or eight inch infotainment screen in front. The system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a rear seat entertainment package is optional. This will provide the rear seat with a separate 10.2 inch screen, a USB-port and 4G LTE WiFi internet connectivity. Moreover, when opting for the eight inch screen the driver will have a view of the back seat due to a number of cameras directed at the second and third row.
In terms of driving experience, Honda added a “Snow” and “Eco” button on the center stack. The Snow button changes traction control when driving in snowy or icy conditions and the Eco button makes sure the mini van drives in the best possible fuel economy settings.
The HondaLink app makes it possible to remotely check the fuel status, lock and unlock the doors and start the engine, for example with the app on your smart phone.
Honda’s renowned Sensing Suite offers a wide range of safety features and is available on the 2018 Honda Odyssey as well. Unfortunately, Honda missed the opportunity to make it a standard feature on all trims, which is a terrible shame since only the lowest trim comes without it. Traffic safety is of the utmost importance and seeing that Honda went so far in all other areas to create a top of the bill vehicle experience, but left the safety department a little underwhelmed.
The Honda Sensing Suite consists of indispensable semi-autonomous features. There are several features to help the driver maintain the right lane. Then of course there’s Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking and Forward Collision Warning to finish the standard Sensing Suite range. Additional Sensing features are Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitor and Automatic High Beam Headlights.
Also available are backing up sensors and a rear view camera, which help the driver with parking the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
Price & sale date
Pricing for the lowest trim LX starts at $29,990. One trim higher is the EX, which is $33,860. Then comes EX-L at $37,360 and EX-L Navi Res at $39,360. The highest trims, Touring and Elite come at a price of $44,510 and $46,670 respectively.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey is on sale now all across the United States. Since Europe has a minimal market for people carriers or mini vans, the Odyssey won’t make the jump across the Pacific.