By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 9.3
Nobody dreams of growing up one day and driving a minivan, well nobody that we know, anyway. But, like so many things in adult life sometimes circumstances simply dictate need. If you've transitioned from swinging single to swinging a baby basinet, it's time to put away the sports car and climb into a 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan. Why? Because in the world of minivan cool, the Odyssey minivan ranks near the top of its class, and with an excellent reputation for safety, resale and reliability, choosing an Odyssey over a Dodge Caravan or Toyota Sienna won't have you second-guessing your decision. Of course, there are plenty of alternatives to Odyssey, from the value-packed Kia Sedona to the funky and possibly more hip Nissan Quest, but few are as well regarded by the public or long lived as the Odyssey. From its non-traditional design language (we dig the "lightning-bolt" beltline design) to its impressive rear-seat entertainment system (12 speakers connected to a 650-watt 5.1-surround sound system), the 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan has something for everyone, which always makes long family outings a bit more enjoyable.
If you need a comfortable, roomy and reliable family wagon that is also slightly cool and holds it value like gold in a bear market, the 2012 Honda Odyssey is the minivan for you.
If the family budget is tight, the Kia Sedona offers much of the same equipment found on the 2012 Odyssey minivan for a lot less money. Those searching for an all-wheel-drive (AWD) minivan have only one choice: the 2012 Toyota Sienna.
Once exclusive to the EX-L trim, the 2012 Odyssey EX minivan now includes Bluetooth hands-free phone technology, an 8-inch Multi-Information Display (MID), a USB audio interface, and a 2-GB CD library.
Driving Impressions Feeling somewhat like a slightly overweight Accord Sedan, the 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan is a well-rounded vehicle that is easy to live with on both urban and rural...roads. The Odyssey's 3.5-liter V6 provides impressive power and even more impressive fuel economy, especially on the Touring trims which gain an extra sixth gear in their transmission. The Odyssey's suspension is designed to return maximum comfort even with a full complement of passengers and cargo. To prove the worthiness of their design, Honda engineers invited us to take the 2012 Odyssey minivan to a small enclosed track where we were able to push it in a way not possible on public streets. To our surprise (and delight) the Honda's Odyssey minivan handled everything we threw at it, although not always with the poise of a Porsche. Our Odyssey minivan did well in emergency maneuvering, performing multiple rapid stops and remaining on course through some crazy fast turns. If your doubts about owning a minivan center around thoughts of poor handling and acceleration, the 2012 Odyssey will put your mind at ease.
60/40 Split Third-row Magic Seat
The "Magic Seat" system in the Odyssey allows you to effortlessly and quickly fold the third-row seats into the floor with the simple pull of a strap. While other minivans offer a power-folding third row, Honda's manual system is faster and more satisfying in a do-it-yourself kind of way.
Ultrawide Rear Entertainment System with 5.1 Surround-sound and HDMI port
As if a widescreen with dual-screen capabilities and an HDMI port for gaming consoles wasn't cool enough, when paired with the surround-sound system, the back of the Odyssey becomes a home theater system on wheels.
The 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan knows how to make the most of its interior space, and puts every inch to good use. Take the second-row seat design, for example, that can slide outward by 1.5 inches permitting three child safety seats to be placed side-by-side. How does 42.4 inches of legroom in the third row sound? If you're a lanky teenage boy who constantly gets relegated to the last seat, it probably sounds like heaven. In total, the Odyssey minivan can accommodate up to 8 passengers, with a center-row seat that can be moved forward allowing a child to be closer to the parents in the front seats. Once everyone is packed in for the journey, the 2012 Honda Odyssey 's 16-inch widescreen entertainment system and 5.1 surround sound speakers should have no trouble keeping even the most rambunctious child transfixed. The 650-watt system sounds amazing and includes an HDMI port for external hookup of video games or other devices. The wide screen also features a split-screen feature that allows two sources to be viewed simultaneously. Storage bins are peppered throughout the Honda Odyssey's interior, including an available "cool box" front storage area to keep beverage cold.
In an attempt to make the 2012 Odyssey minivan appear more than just a rolling breadbox, Honda designers gave their minivan a low, wide appearance, with more angular lines in the sheet metal and a cool "lightning bolt" side beltline that should have special appeal for San Diego Chargers fans. The sleek design does more than enhance the Odyssey's visual appeal; it actually serves to improve aerodynamics while reducing wind noise inside the cabin. And, despite the presence of stylish but big 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels and tires, better fuel economy and quieter ride can also attributed to the Odyssey minivan's uncharacteristic exterior. Easy to operate sliding side doors can be power operated from the remote fob, making it easy to load the Odyssey when both arms are loaded with kids or groceries or both. EX-L and Touring trims also include a power liftgate.
Choose the base Honda Odyssey LX minivan and you'll get a 5-speed automatic transmission, seating for seven passengers, 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, "wide-mode" adjustable second-row seats, one-motion 60/40 split third-row folding seat and a 12-volt power outlet. To keep you and your loved ones safe, every 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan comes equipped with 3-row side-curtain and multiple-threshold front airbags, active front-seat head restraints, electronic brake distribution with brake assist, five Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) positions and electronic stability and traction controls.
As with all Honda products, most additional features are tied to trim level. Moving up from the base LX to the Odyssey EX minivan trim nets you seating for eight passengers, power sliding rear doors, rear sunshades, tri-zone automatic climate control, a USB port, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a removable front center console (large enough to store a purse) and an additional 12-volt power outlet. The EX-L gets leather seating, rearview camera, automatic rear-dimming mirror, front-seat drink coolbox and satellite radio. The Touring trim includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, integrated side-mirror turn signals, parking sensors, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system, while the range-topping Touring Elite adds a blind spot warning system, a rearview camera and a widescreen rear-seat entertainment system with an HDMI port and 650-watt, 12-speaker 5.1 surround sound system. If a navigation or rear-seat entertainment system is on your list of must-haves, keep in mind that you'll have step up to the EX-L trim or beyond.
The 2012 Honda Odyssey offers only one engine: a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off cylinders depending on driving conditions for maximum fuel efficiency. LX, EX and EX-L trims pair the engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while Touring trims get a 6-speed automatic. Both transmissions can be shifted into a lower gear (third on the 5-speed and fourth on the 6-speed) on the fly, but they cannot be shifted sequentially into any other gear, unlike the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country. The 6-speed-equipped Touring trim also offers slightly better fuel economy, although Honda says this bump has more to do with improved vehicle aerodynamics than it does with the extra gear.
248 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
250 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA City/Highway Fuel Economy: 18/27 (LX, EX and EX-L), 19/28 (Touring and Touring Elite)
By Goose on Saturday, March 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, best outside camera resolution"
Cons: "Short entrance, akward handling, highway squirm"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Seats comfortable but have short seat backs. Drives great in straight line. Tires designed for fuel economy, not real driving. Handling is GM 60's led sled. Thick corner pillars front and back reduce visibility. Outside mirror position corresponds to my eyes (and my neighbor’s) blind spot. I find the on board entertainment awkward at best. Radio scan is not easily available when traveling without taking eyes off the road. No HD radio option (dozens of advertising free stations in my city). The change drawer wipes out the drivers knee if open when entering /exiting the van. OK for short driver that wants to bring canned entertainment. Alignment off when purchased (repaired under warranty). Zero other issues in 14 months."
By Ed on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Enjoyable to drive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great road car for trips. Good gas mileage. Good handling and performance, especially for such a large car."
By Ed H on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had four Odyssey minivans. This is by far the most reliable and fun to drive Solid car. I had given my children the older ones and my 2006 is still going strong at over 200k miles"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Furioxy on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice,fun to drive"
Cons: "Not 4WD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Yes i do love it,comfortable, elegant, beautiful.. But after this weather I NEED A 4WD..Very surprised Honda didnt add this feature..Because the Sienna has it..But really is upsetting haw much I paid for it,and the value Im getting..So I think would stay shoveling snow and being careful on the slipery roads :("
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Jim/Fred on Thursday, March 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "good dive and milage"
Cons: "no storage space and not too good dash"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I had a 2012 Honda Odyssey. It had a storage space behind the passenger & driver's seats. It also had a small storage "glove box" over the regular glove box. The 2014 has no storage space. The storage space behind the Passenger & Driver's seat is now where your spare tire is located. The small glove box is also gone. I suspect the reason for relocating the spare tire is to install a vacuum cleaner. Wonder what that costs? I bet is well over $500.00. You can buy a vacuum cleaner for about $75.00 that will have more suction then the Honda vacuum. I am 77 years old, now imagine me or a woman trying to get a spare tire out of this stupid place--back injury location. The front dash is annoying with it's two visual displays. The one for the radio is not very useful-too many buttons to play with. I don't think the designers ever drive or own a minivan. This is probably my last Odyssey to own since they ruined it."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Doug H on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "economy...it really gets 28 if you cruise under 75"
Cons: "Price...but negotiate."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We are in our second now (5 miles on it). This car is tremendous. Ride, comfort, convenience, features...all top notch."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful