By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
No one lusts after minivans. They are often thrust upon us due to necessity rather than desire. But, if you must have a minivan, the 2013 Honda Odyssey is one you might actually come to enjoy owning and driving. The Odyssey has an outstanding safety and reliability record as well as excellent resale value and, when it comes to hauling the family – or securing our esteem as one of the 10 Best Family Cars of 2013 – the Odyssey's roomy cabin, multiple seating configurations and potent V6 engine make quick, easy work of short jaunts or long sojourns. From a styling standpoint, the Odyssey stirs more passion than the Chrysler Town & Country, but isn't as far-out as Nissan's Quest and, with a 12-speaker Surround Sound rear entertainment system, the kids won't ever need to ask, "Are we there yet?"
If an SUV is just too big and too fuel-thirsty, the 2013 Honda Odyssey is your next best bet. It's EPA-rated at 28 mpg on the highway, has a stylish and modern exterior and lots of room for kids and cargo; it's one of the best bargains on the market.
The Odyssey is good, but it isn't cheap. If bang for the buck is your primary motivator, the Kia Sedona or Dodge Grand Caravan offer equally-powerful V6 engines, long lists of standard equipment and much lower entry prices. Those who seek AWD should choose Toyota's Sienna.
All 2013 Honda Odyssey minivans now come with a standard rear backup camera and a simplified center stack instrument panel with an 8-inch full-color multi-information display screen (i-MID). Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and a USB port are also standard.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Honda Odyssey is a pretty easy vehicle to live with. Its 3.5-liter V6 provides impressive power and even more impressive fuel economy, especially on the Touring trims which...have a 6-speed transmission, and the Odyssey's suspension delivers maximum comfort even when fully loaded with passengers and cargo. To prove the worthiness of its design, Honda engineers invited us to take the 2013 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 Odyssey handled everything we threw at it, doing quite well in emergency maneuvering, performing multiple rapid stops and remaining on course even through some exceptionally fast turns.
60/40-SPLIT THIRD-ROW MAGIC SEAT
The "Magic Seat" system in the 2013 Honda Odyssey allows for quick and effortless folding of the third-row seats into the floor simply by pulling 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 entertaining enough, add in the Surround Sound audio and the back of the Odyssey becomes a home theater system on wheels.
The 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan makes the most of its generous interior space, with every inch put to good use. The second-row seats, for example, can slide outward by 1.5 inches, permitting three child safety seats to be placed side-by-side. In total, the Odyssey can accommodate up to eight passengers, with a center-row seat that can be moved forward, thus bringing a child closer to the parents in the front seats. Storage bins are available throughout the Odyssey's interior, including an available "cool box" front storage area to keep beverages cold.Exterior
In an attempt to make the 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan appear to be more than just a rolling breadbox, Honda designers gave it a low, wide appearance, with angular lines in the sheet metal and a stylish "lightning bolt" side beltline. The sleek design does more than enhance the Odyssey's visual appeal; it actually improves aerodynamics while reducing wind noise. And, despite the presence of stylish but big 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels and tires, better fuel economy and a quieter ride can also attributed to the Odyssey's uncharacteristic exterior. EX-L and Touring trims 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, a USB port, Bluetooth phone connectivity, rear backup camera, 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 2013 Honda Odyssey 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 trim adds power sliding rear doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, a removable front center console (large enough to store a purse) and an additional 12-volt power outlet. The EX-L gets leather seating, automatic rear-dimming mirror, front-seat drink coolbox and satellite radio. The Touring trim includes parking sensors, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system, while the range-topping Touring Elite adds a blind-spot warning system and a widescreen rear-seat entertainment system.
Beneath 2013 Honda Odyssey's hood is a potent 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off cylinders depending upon 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. 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 mpg (LX, EX and EX-L), 19/28 mpg (Touring)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2013 Honda Odyssey LX minivan starts around $29,500. Move up to the EX and pricing is closer to $32,500, while the top-of-the-line Touring Elite trim is near $45,000. That's a few hundred more than a similarly-equipped 2013 Toyota Sienna Limited FWD, a few thousand more than the Chrysler Town & Country Limited, and nearly $10,000 more than a Kia Sedona EX (which has less equipment). As for residuals, the Honda Odyssey has been a strong performer in the past, and we expect this newest generation to follow suit, remaining a leader in the minivan segment.
By George39 (FL) on Sunday, May 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, easy driving, great road car"
Cons: "road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My single complaint is road noise at freeway speeds. Everything else is as good or better than I hoped for."
By TallyEsq (FL) on Saturday, May 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, sliding doors, quite, safety"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The price was right for an Odyssey due to low APR and dealer incentives. Like just about everything except the rear entertainment system. Passengers in the second two rows can barely hear the music and DVDs. Took it back to dealer and they said it was "working properly", called Honda and they said people in second two rows should wear earphones. Very unhappy about this. I wanted RES to entertain my kids with DVDs and music; but they cannot enjoy it. Would be better off getting a lesser model and let them watch their iPad. Not sure if Touring and Touring Elite have this same design defect."
By Okietraveler (OK) on Monday, March 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This is the second Odyssey and fifth Honda overall I have owned. While the styling has improved over the previous model, I'm not sure too much else has. We bought the Touring model a year ago and it just hasn't been as pleasing as previous Hondas. The interior fit and finish seems cheaper. The quality of materials has undoubtedly dropped. Creaking and popping over bumps and turns has already started. Also a strange sound coming from the steering when turning at slow speeds. Furthermore, the center dash displays and controls are just a mess. All this being said, I'm not sure there is a better minivan out there. Despite the shortcomings we will likely stick with the Honda."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Unnamed (NY) on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, comfort, speed."
Cons: "read the review"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"First of all I'd like to say that this is my third Odyssey. I don't know why did they have to change so many good things into bad things, but here it is. 1)Weak AC, it works "OK" with only refurbished air after 100's 2)Rear seats do not fold flat, used to be flat but not anymore (well it's almost flat). I liked the old folding system better, it seems a little less confusing for someone who never used a car. 3)Older body had more head room at front seats than this new one. If you like to sit high (plus you are tall), you'll be breathing into the ceiling. 4)No arm rests at second row seat (maybe it's the trim, I have EX, but I think the previous one even had it on LX, but I might be wrong) 5)Bluetooth needs work, mic quality is somewhat adequate, but nothing good. Phone book sometimes freezes. 6)In between front seats change/bottles/other things compartment used to be easily fordable, now it's just a huge box. 7)Interior quality appears to be worse than in previous model. 8)Climate control is confusing. Other than that it's a great vat which drives like a car."
39 people out of 41 found this review helpful
By Tauqir (CA) on Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have replaced the transmission three times each at a high cost. Now I am throwing the car away on the fourth failure."
48 people out of 101 found this review helpful
By Mark (NY) on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Went from a 2010 CRV EXL to the 2012 EXL, best move I've made in years of car buying. We are definitely still on our honeymoon, but I really like this minivan."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful