By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/20/2012
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.
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.Favorite Features
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.Notable 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 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.Under the Hood
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.