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2012 Honda Odyssey

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2012 Honda Odyssey Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the Odyssey

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.
Favorite Features

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.

2012 Honda Odyssey Details
2012 Honda Odyssey photo Interior

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.

Exterior
2012 Honda Odyssey photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.5-liter V6
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)

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2012 Honda Odyssey Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 76 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Best Minivan on the market

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Look and feel, they thought of everything"

Cons: "Needs AWD and better handling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I never thought I'd own a minivan but I never thought I'd have 4 kids! With that said, I told myself if I'm going to get a minivan, it's going to be the coolest minivan with all the bells and whistles out there! The Odyssey is so practical for families. I even took it on a guys fishing, mountain biking, rafting adventure and it was awesome. My buddies used to make fun of me, now they think it's way cool. Perfect road trip vehicle. My wife loves it too! The only cons are it would be nice if it had AWD. It doesn't do very well in the snow. The handling could be improved. It drives more like a bus than a car."

Best Minivan on the market

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Look and feel, they thought of everything"

Cons: "Needs AWD and better handling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I never thought I'd own a minivan but I never thought I'd have 4 kids! With that said, I told myself if I'm going to get a minivan, it's going to be the coolest minivan with all the bells and whistles out there! The Odyssey is so practical for families. I even took it on a guys fishing, mountain biking, rafting adventure and it was awesome. My buddies used to make fun of me, now they think it's way cool. Perfect road trip vehicle. My wife loves it too! The only cons are it would be nice if it had AWD. It doesn't do very well in the snow. The handling could be improved. It drives more like a bus than a car."

Best Minivan on the market

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Look and feel, they thought of everything"

Cons: "Needs AWD and better handling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I never thought I'd own a minivan but I never thought I'd have 4 kids! With that said, I told myself if I'm going to get a minivan, it's going to be the coolest minivan with all the bells and whistles out there! The Odyssey is so practical for families. I even took it on a guys fishing, mountain biking, rafting adventure and it was awesome. My buddies used to make fun of me, now they think it's way cool. Perfect road trip vehicle. My wife loves it too! The only cons are it would be nice if it had AWD. It doesn't do very well in the snow. The handling could be improved. It drives more like a bus than a car."

absolutely the best van ever owned

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "the best for family with lots of road trips"

Cons: "2011 didn't have the vacuum option - great idea!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This van drives very well, handles very well, plenty of power, everything woks perfectly even though 4 years old, although value is 10/10 is more than our family needs now - downsizing."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

It has good history, my results confirm

By on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It has good history, my results confirm"

Cons: "Not much"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Research said the Honda was the minivan to get so I did. I considered the Toyota but with recent recalls across their line I never even test drove one. Simply got a good price (29500 EX) and that was it. There was a unsettling clop sound like a horse shoe in a parade from the suspension that proved to be from 40psi tires. I reduced to spec 33 and no more clop. Sound is now as one would expect from a car over bumps. We regularly get 30 mpg plus or minus 1/2 in extended cruise mode and 23 mixed with about 18 city. The only real complaint I have at this point is it took several window frostings to discover the defrost button. It has good history, carries 8 people, looks nice, tows and gets 30mpg. Enough said"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Front rotors warped three times in 46,000 miles

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Front rotors warped at about 20,000, Dealer resurfaced rotors. Warped again and dealer replaced rotors around 36,000. Now warping again at 46,000. It is in the shop now. No resolution yet. Dealer has been very good (with pushing) but rotors are definitely low quality."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?