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12 Best Family Cars: 2017 Honda Odyssey

We knew Honda was readying an all-new Odyssey for 2018, but that didn't cause one bit of hesitation among the Kelley Blue Book editors in naming the outgoing model one of our 12 Best Family Cars of 2017. There are plenty of good features that make even this senior member of the class a good buy, starting with benchmarks like a fold-into-the-floor third row, comfortable seating and surprise and delight bits like the HondaVac on-board vacuum cleaner. Better yet, Honda is sending off this current generation by offering value-packed Special Edition models designed to bring a smile to any buyer on a budget.

Basics covered

Minivans are the epitome of form following function, and the Odyssey functions very well. The cabin is roomy with generous accommodation in both the second and third rows. While minivans are essentially boxes on wheels, there’s a bit of flair in the Odyssey design, which keeps it from being totally anonymous. The relatively low beltline gives the vehicle a large glass area that’s especially appreciated when looking out from the upright seating position, not only in the front row, but also the rear. Good outward visibility is a critical component of staving off motion sickness for those so prone. The second row offers three seating positions with multiple adjustments, as well as simple, easy-to-use buttons to allow quick access to the way back. Each seating position also has anchors and tethers, and the Odyssey is roomy enough to fit three LATCH-equipped child seats in the second row at the same time.

While the third row simply flips and folds into the floor, the second row has to be removed to turn the Odyssey into a cargo van. It’s fairly easy to disengage the seats, but the seats themselves are not featherweights (hence their comfort). Still, if you need to haul something really large, at least there’s the option of taking out the second row.

Smooth operator

Powered by a 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 driving the front wheels, the Honda Odyssey is no shrinking violet when it comes to off-the-line acceleration and mid-range passing power. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic and the fully independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes remind you that this isn’t just a minivan, but a Honda with all the dynamics we’ve come to expect from the brand. The steering is light yet precise, and the command-of-the-road seating position makes the Odyssey easy to drive with confidence.

But wait, there’s more. The 2017 Honda Odyssey offers a full complement of equipment, with this year’s Special Edition package boasting tri-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power driver’s seat, rearview camera, USB ports, 12-volt powerpoints, a rear DVD entertainment system with 9-inch screen, headsets, the aforementioned HondaVac and a 115-volt "wall" plug. The Special Edition package is priced at $33,950, which isn’t that far of a step above the entry-level LX model starting at $29,850. If you’re looking for more amenities like leather, blind-spot detection, navigation and larger wheels and tires, you can go all in for the $45,350 Touring Elite flagship. While the run of 2017 Honda Odysseys will be short, there’s still a long list of models to choose from to meet a broad spectrum of family needs and budgets.

More 2017 Honda Odyssey

To learn more about the 2017 Honda Odyssey, you can read our full review. If you’re ready to take the next step, build and price your own Odyssey to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more. And if you want to see everything the segment has to offer, head over to our Minivan Buyer's Guide.


 

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