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 Mac on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable and drives well with decent mileage"
Cons: "Not enough leg room in front or middle seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The dash console is too wide and blocks your right leg into an upright position. The front seat tracks need more travel. Not enough room in the middle row if you are using car seats for children. This vehicle is not suitable for tall drivers and does not have a full power seat on the passenger side; an inexcusable lack in a vehicle that stickered for over $41,000. It also requires synthetic oil which makes oil changes very expensive."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By willy3 on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, Cargo Room, Resale Value,Accessibility"
Cons: "It is a mini van :)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We had a 2011 EX-L Res and just traded it in for a new one. We love this car. We test drove a lot of other vehicles, mostly SUVs and Minivans and nothing matched it when we went down our list of specifications. If you care about gas mileage, holding its value, cargo room as well as ease of use for young children, nothing compares."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By dubalim on Saturday, January 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Blind spot monitors, parking proximity sensors."
Cons: "Almost everything else"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I do NOT like this van. It certainly is no touring vehicle, and not at all fun to drive. Ride is very harsh and uncomfortable, 3rd row seats rattle when up, highly touted electronics not user friendly and at times unreliable, no control of 6 speed transmission except one manual downshift to 4th, back up camera minimally usable. Mileage varies all over depending on weather conditions. Bought this as a ramp van conversion for wheel chair user for top of the line experience...bad mistake."
3 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Penguin822 on Monday, January 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "easy to drive"
Cons: "heat comes up slowly"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Even though my family demands required that I buy a minivan, I can say that this is the best CAR that I've ever owned! It is the second Odyssey I've owned -- I just traded in the old one for a new model. I didn't have to shop around. This van is extremely comfortable and easy to drive. It has all the conveniences you would want in a van. I have been raving about it the whole time I've owned it!"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By brian on Sunday, December 08, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: need to repair
Pros: "comfortable riding, good driving control"
Cons: "mechanical problem"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"1. There was lube oil leak just after we brought odyssey Ex-L. After fixing the problem, same problem happened again. 2. There was some wind noise, when the speed is going higher. 3. Driving control is good comfortable."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Alex_the_man on Thursday, December 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,900overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"So me and my wife were very happy to get the new car. this was back in February. not 2 days laster we needed to go back as the car was shaking like crazy soon as we would get near 50 mph. they made some changes and it got better, but 2 weeks laster we ned to go again for same problem. we were told that thats the way its suppose to be. I didn't believe that brand new car suppose to shake so bad and thats so unstable at relatively low speeds. since than we had to take the car for service and recall and both times this was addressed with dealer and both times there was no improvement. the last visit we payed 100$ to reinstall all the tiers again. and guess what there was no improvement. I am extremely disappointed with the way this car drives and I would not recommend this to anyone."
15 people out of 27 found this review helpful