By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 9.3
When it comes to tackling the needs of growing families, the 2016 Honda Odyssey minivan is the undisputed champ. While big SUVs might be tempting, they can’t match the efficiency provided by the Odyssey’s sliding doors, low step-in height, configurable passenger compartment and fuel-efficient V6 engine. On the safety front, the Odyssey receives top marks in crash tests and holds an excellent reliability and repair history. You can get into a Dodge Grand Caravan for less money, but it won’t have the same quality feel. You can also opt for the Kia Sedona and its longer warranty or the Toyota Sienna, which rivals the Odyssey for quality and resale plus offers the option of all-wheel drive.
From its sliding side doors to its in-car vacuum, the 2016 Honda Odyssey was built with the family in mind. Easier to park than a full-size SUV, not to mention being less fuel thirsty, the Odyssey is the feature-packed 8-passenger shuttle your family has been looking for.
KBB Expert Ratings
Honda’s Odyssey minivan for 2016 carries over largely unchanged from the 2015 model year. A new SE trim featuring Honda’s most popular options slots between the EX and EX-L.
Although its primary mission is to transport people and cargo in comfort and safety, the Honda Odyssey is also quite enjoyable to drive. At 248 horsepower, the Odyssey’s V6 isn’t...
... the most powerful in this class (you can look to Chrysler’s minivans for that honor), but it never feels strained or overburdened, even with a full complement aboard. Honda’s excellent 6-speed automatic is the perfect fit, providing seamless shifts and helping the Odyssey to attain a class-leading 28 mpg on the highway. In everyday driving, the Odyssey’s suspension absorbs bumps and road imperfections for a very comfortable ride, yet the settings are not so soft as to induce unwanted body roll in the turns. Numerous driver aids include Honda’s LaneWatch technology. Activate the right turn signal and LaneWatch uses a passenger-side, mirror-mounted camera to provide a clear view of that side of the van.
Honda’s 2016 Odyssey minivan may be the most flexible vehicle a family can own. It not only can accommodate up to eight passengers, the ingenious second row can be configured to host three child booster seats. There’s also an available in-car vacuum for when Cheerios and Goldfish escape tiny hands.
THEATER-LIKE REAR-SEAT ENTERTAINMENT WITH 5.1 SURROUND SOUND AND HDMI PORT
What better way to take a little piece of home on the road than with a first-class home-theater experience. Don’t like movies? Use the HDMI port for gaming consoles or toss the wireless headsets and let the Dolby 5.1 surround-sound system convert the Odyssey into a mini rolling concert hall.
The 2016 Honda Odyssey uses every part of its generous interior space. The 3rd-row "Magic Seat" splits 60/40, folding into the floor with one pull, while the 2nd-row seats can slide outward 1.5 inches, permitting three child safety seats to be placed side by side. If you need small-item storage, there are bins aplenty, and we lost track of how many cup and bottle holders there are. The driver's seat and driving position are comfortable and commanding, and the controls are understandable and within easy reach. We particularly like the Accord-based touch-screen center stack.
Despite being a motorized cargo box, the 2016 Odyssey minivan from Honda somehow manages to look hunkered down, thanks to its relatively low roofline and wide stance. The angular lines also emphasize the van's length, while the "lightning-bolt" window line breaks things up, and gives 3rd-row passengers a better view out. Is it attractive? Well, that's subjective, but suffice it to say our staff is mixed, with some liking the unique styling, and others pining for more conventional lines. However, even naysayers admit that the exterior styling isn't a deal-killer.
The 2016 base-model Honda Odyssey LX offers up power front seats, a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with an 8-inch color interface screen, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. However, a much more popular choice is the EX model, the next step up. That offers 8-passenger seating, 3-zone automatic climate control, power sliding doors, push-button start and Honda's LaneWatch camera system. Higher trim levels add to that with leather seating and blind-spot monitoring, and in Touring Elite and SE models the HondaVAC, a built-in vacuum, which can operate continuously with the engine running or up to eight minutes with it off.
Like most Honda vehicles, traditional option packages are nonexistent with the Odyssey, and are instead grouped into different trim levels. Want an EX with leather seats? You'll get the EX-L. Do you want the available HondaVAC? You're in the Touring Elite or SE then. There are a handful of individual options though, most notably backup sensors, remote engine-start, a trailer hitch, and a variety of roof attachments for cargo boxes and sports gear. There's also a tent that attaches to the rear that enables in-car camping. Top-line Touring trims can make an even bigger statement by rolling on 18-inch black alloy wheels.
From LX to Touring Elite, there's only one engine available for the 2016 Honda Odyssey: a 3.5-liter V6 with 248 horsepower. A 6-speed automatic transmission routes that power to the front wheels; all-wheel drive isn't available. The engine is plenty powerful, and the Odyssey is actually on the quick side, but more important to minivan buyers is fuel economy. Here, the Odyssey handily beats its competition with a highway fuel-economy rating of 28 mpg. Helping the Odyssey attain that figure is its Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off cylinders depending upon driving conditions for maximum fuel efficiency.
248 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
250 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
Honda’s 2016 Odyssey LX has a reasonable-sounding Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $30,000 when you include the $880 destination charge. However, we recommend stepping up to the $33,000 Odyssey EX, which gives you eight seats, power sliding doors and a lot of other standard equipment. From there, prices creep up through the SE, EX-L and Touring models to the Odyssey Touring Elite, which costs more than $45,500. That's way higher than the segment's value leader, the Dodge Grand Caravan with its roughly $23,000 starting price. It's also higher than competitors like the Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest and Kia Sedona, but slightly lower than that of the Chrysler Town & Country. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their Odyssey, and rest easy knowing that your minivan's resale value will be rivaled only by the Toyota Sienna.