We're spending 12 months with this Honda Odyssey, reviewing the full ownership experience with ongoing updates.

 

Look at all the buttons

by Frankie Rogers on May 23, 2018

Current Odometer: 1,702 miles
Latest MPG: 21.19 mpg
Lifetime MPG: 22.34 mpg
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0
Time out of Service: 0 days

We’ve had the Honda Odyssey for a couple of months now and have nothing but praise for its driving ease, seating capacity and tech features. The center stack with its sleek 8-inch touchscreen and selection of climate control buttons and switches also has four new additional buttons due to the change from a gearshift knob to a column of buttons. This not only saves space but according to Honda was necessary for its new nine- and 10-speed automatic transmissions which are controlled electronically through shift-by-wire technology. This new lay-out provides a clean and more modern look to the dash, however, the position of the push button engine start/stop seems a little close to the new PRND buttons. Twice during a recent outing I found myself accidentally shutting the vehicle off rather than shifting it into Drive. Now it could just be that I wasn’t paying close enough attention to what I was doing, but when I did the same thing a second time I thought maybe it’s the placement of the buttons. A bright, red start button might help by calling attention to the fact that’s it a start/stop button and not something else. In any event, I will pay closer attention to the start button from now on to prevent that mistake from happening again. 

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It's All in the Seats

Current Odometer: 1,149 miles
Latest MPG: 17.79 mpg
Lifetime MPG: 22.34 mpg
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0
Time out of Service: 0 days

by Lyn Woodward on May 7, 2018

Our long-term 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite comes chock full of goodies. Tech options such as interior cabin cameras and Smartphone connectivity reek of innovation and convenience. Safety alerts ding and dong as frequently as a hand-bell ensemble at Christmas. With all possible seats deployed, the Odyssey also comes chock full of space for up to eight passengers. All these features are no doubt designed to make the minivan owner’s life easier. However, should you choose to remove some of those seats, suddenly we can’t tell exactly whose side the Odyssey is on.

With the tug of a strap, the third row stows cleverly into a rear cargo hold, easy. Removing the second row, however, might be more challenging in Honda’s Odyssey than Odysseus’s 10-year struggle to get home in Homer’s Odyssey. If powerlifting is your sport, each rear seat weighs in around 70 pounds, then you might be able to muster it. However, the angle at which the seat physically comes out of the sliding side doors makes for an awkward heaving position and might be better solved by trajectory experts at NASA.

To circumnavigate this challenge and make entrance into and exit from the third row easier, Honda offers up Magic Slide seats. Remove the middle seat and the two captain’s chairs in the second-row glide toward or away from one another as desired. Golden. Pile in everyone!

If you anticipate leaving that second row in most of the time, the Odyssey offers flexible space within the configuration set up to haul stuff as well as people. However, if your intention is to constantly be removing those seats and utilize all 145-cubic feet of this minivan’s cargo space, might we recommend a membership to Gold’s Gym or a Honda Ridgeline. Here’s hoping no one at the KBB editorial office needs to move large furniture over the next year.

 

Introduction

by Matt DeLorenzo on April 30, 2018

There are few, if any, family haulers that comes as highly recommended as the 2018 Honda Odyssey. For further proof, you only need to look no further than the 2018 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards where the Odyssey finished first in the minivan category. Its combination of styling, useful interior and high- tech features led us to the conclusion that this is perhaps the best family vehicle in the world.

For 2018, the Honda Odyssey has been totally redesigned and much of it, including the new 10-speed automatic transmission mated to the 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, figured along with excellent resale value in our award decision. While we ran the Odyssey through extensive testing during our Best Buy exercise, we also decided that it would be worthwhile to add one to our long-term test fleet to get a taste of what the Odyssey ownership experience would be like.

New features worth exploring

Among the new features that whetted our appetite to see how well they hold up under everyday use is Odyssey’s new Magic Slide second row. This seating configuration allows the outboard seats to move not just up and back, but also side to side. Passengers can either sit shoulder-to-shoulder or far apart if they are slid to the outboard positions. You can also slide the seats to one side or another greatly increasing the access to the third row. Other rear seating highlights include a roomy, three-person third row and LATCH accommodations for up to five child safety seats.

We also want to test the practicality of Odyssey’s new in-cabin camera, which allows the driver to see what’s going on in back and there’s a feature that allows the driver’s voice to be heard through the speakers and headsets. And a new CabinControl app enables control of the front audio system, rear entertainment system and rear climate control right from passengers’ smartphones. The infotainment system’s “How Much Farther?” app, built into the rear seat entertainment system, counts down time and distance to the destination on an animated screen.

There’s also a new infotainment system which has tile-based touch buttons with tap, swipe, pinch and zoom capability. And we’re thrilled that there’s even a volume knob to twist. We’ll see how easy this is to use on the fly since a lot of these touch-intensive systems can be distracting when trying to find various functions. A big plus here is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Well-equipped Elite model

For our test, we selected a 2018 Odyssey Elite, which comes with just about everything you’d want in a family hauler. It includes a leather trimmed interior, premium sound system with 11 speakers, display audio with navigation, voice recognition and multi-view rear camera. Other features include tri-zone climate control, push button start, heated steering wheel, the Magic Slide second row, and the family favorite Honda Vac onboard vacuum cleaner.

Also of note is the inclusion of the Honda Sensing suite of driver assist and safety technologies which boasts adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, collision mitigation braking and road departure mitigation. We hope not to test the latter two items.

All these features and more are included in the base sticker price of $46,670, which with $940 destination brings the all-in price of our 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite to $47,610.

In our initial driving impressions of the Odyssey we observed that the V6 pulls smoothly and quietly off the line and that the shifts of the new 10-speed transmission are seamless. It’s easy to drive without feeling heavy, there’s a nice light touch to the steering and the visibility out of the vehicle is exceptional. The Odyssey has made a great first impression—we’ll continue to report on its performance in the months ahead.

More 2018 Honda Odyssey

See full review and pricing information for the 2018 Honda Odyssey or build and price your own to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own, and more.

 

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