2012 Honda Odyssey Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Honda Odyssey Minivan

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Honda Odyssey Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 248 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Honda Odyssey

  • Though it can end up being expensive, the 2012 Honda Odyssey is a top pick for a minivan thanks to its highly versatile interior, long list of features and responsive handling.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Agile handling; fuel-efficient V6; quiet cabin; configurable second-row seat; top safety scores; easy-to-fold third-row seat.

  • Cons

    Pricier than some competitors; some desirable options and features only offered on upper trim levels; button-heavy dash.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Honda Odyssey expands feature content on EX models, which now includes Bluetooth, a USB audio interface and a multi-information display with an 8-inch screen as standard equipment.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (11 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Transmission replacement at 18k

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

My wife and I decided that the Odyssey would be the best bet based on our growing family but soon had doubts. 1. After 4K miles the windows started rolling down automatically when the car was parked - at home, in the parking garage at work, in downtown DC. I took it to the dealership twice before they diagnosed a defective key fob and replaced both keys. 2. At 18K miles we started noticing a little hesitation when driving on the highway between 45-55 miles per hour. I took it to the dealership where they told me the transmission needed to be replaced. Now with a new transmission we have 25K miles and I feel a similar hesitation. I think I need to trade the van before the warranty is up.

Love my ody but...

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I really really love my van. We've owned for 6 months now and taken a couple of roadtrips with our 2 and 5 year old. It is so comfy and convenient and roomy for just such excursions. The only thing I am not happy about is our A/C. It doesn't seem to blow COLD. It's cool, but not cold. We live in Phoenix, AZ so when it's not blowing ice cubes (which I expect from a vehicle I paid around 40K for and is brand new) and it's 110+ degrees, that makes for a hot, irritable mommy. It especially doesn't seem to blow cold driving around town or when we stop at a light. Took it to the dealer, and they said the charge was low and recharged the system but I didn't notice a difference.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

First impressions are good, second

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

This is my first Honda. I compared this with the 2012 Sienna, 2012 Town & Country, and large SUV's. All compared vehicles were on IIHS' 2012 Top Safety list. Advantages over Sienna: Sleeker Antenna Larger Sunroof Easier to pull 3rd row seats Front row heater button easier to access Rear view camera display is larger compared to base XLE Gas mileage Variable cylinder management Disadvantages: Sienna has more leg room, cargo room, higher HP and torque Advantages over T&C: Ride quality seemed better in Odyssey Quality of materials also seemed better Gas mileage Disadvantages: Nav and rear screen DVD player standard in T&C T&C has LED lighting No movable pedal feature

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

6 month review

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We replaced my wife's Porsche Cayenne S Titanium Edition with two VW Touaregs. Although the Touaregs are built on the same chassis they are worlds apart and we were very disappointed by the Touaregs and specifically the support or lack there of from the manufactures and dealers. With two children under the age of two we decided to look at minivans. Having owned and raced a number of Hondas over the years I didn't have to look much further then the Odyssey. We ended up leasing a new 2012 Odyssey (at a great rate thanks to Honda's great residual value). The Odyssey is a brilliant choice for anyone with children. Maybe it's not as "cool" as a luxury SUV but it is way more practical.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

New owner preliminary review

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I don't fit the minivan demographic as an old retired guy. Trading my 6 year-old Lexus RX for an Oddyssey was not an economic decision but I am now a Honda owner for the first time. It's only been a week, hence the word preliminary. Fit and finish excellent, interior roomy and comfortable, seats relatively easy to manipulate into many configurations. You need a little muscle to get the second row seats out, though, if the room is needed. Adequate power, handling surprisingly sedan-like, reasonably quiet. Many advanced safety features and air bags. This vehicle represents a highly evolved version of the classic minivan. The communications features-radio, CD, Bluetooth, USB, are great!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

Better than my 2008 odyssey!

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I decided to wait till I had at least 2000 miles on my 2012 Odyssey EX-L before writing a review on it. I test-drove the Honda, Toyota, and Nissan minivans. What I traded in was a 2008 Odyssey EX-L. Here are the Pros and Cons of my new one compared to my old one: Pros…… 1) More comfortable seats. The lower cushions tilt more than the other brands, plus a darker fabric (truffles, a darker grey) is available, which won’t show the dirt as much. 2) Cabin is 2” wider, and the extra room is very helpful when carrying adult passengers. 2nd row holds 3 adults very comfortably. 3) Engine is very smooth and all but silent. 4) Like the trip computer, where gas mileage can be computed for each trip. 5) Like the large, easy-to-read, digital display of the TIME on the monitor screen. 6) Like the standard equipment Bluetooth capability. (NOT on my 2008) 7) Like the ability to load in numerous CD’s into hard drive of the sound system. Saves having to insert and eject CD’s countless times. 8) Minimal vibration in the powertrain. 9) Like the standard power liftgate. (NOT on my 2008) 10) Gas mileage averages 20 mpg in the city and at least 27 on trips. 11) Love the speed-compensated volume control on the sound system. I haven’t had this since my 1998 Chevy Venture LS. 12) Lower suspension noise going over rough pavement. (although sharp bumps come through loud and clear. 13) It tracks well on the Interstates with minimal steering corrections. Cons…… 1) Noticeable wind noise heard around the windshield pillar on the driver’s side at highway speeds on windy days, though it’s not intrusive. Dealer hinted that windshield might have to be re-installed, but they didn’t want to do that. 2) Wind whistle heard on top of driver’s side window at speeds as low as 30 mph, but dealer was able to fix it. 3) Grating sounds heard in rear of cabin when going over uneven road surfaces at slow speeds. (could be the sliding doors. My ’08 Ody made the same noise after 3 years) 4) Miss the storage area under floor, in front of the 2nd row seat. (it’s now mostly taken up by the spare tire)

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Honda Odyssey Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Honda Odyssey expands feature content on EX models, which now includes Bluetooth, a USB audio interface and a multi-information display with an 8-inch screen as standard equipment.


If you've ever savored the convenience of power sliding doors, you know there are certain things only a minivan can provide. The 2012 Honda Odyssey is a front runner in this competitive segment; the model has long been a class leader, and a redesign last year made it even more appealing. Relative to the previous generation, the current Odyssey is bigger than its predecessor, which translates into more legroom for second- and third-row passengers. Its styling is more interesting as well.

Minivan buyers expect high levels of family-friendly functionality and the Odyssey doesn't disappoint. There's seating for up to eight passengers, an easy-to stow third-row seat and versatile second-row seating that can be configured to accommodate up to three child seats. Ride quality is smooth and handling is better than average, plus the van's V6 delivers both fuel efficiency and brisk acceleration.

The Odyssey won't be the best match for some shoppers. The Toyota Sienna is available with certain high-end features that you won't find on this Honda -- namely all-wheel drive, keyless ignition/entry and adaptive cruise control. The Nissan Quest provides a higher-quality cabin and its second row folds easily into the floor. Price-conscious buyers, meanwhile, might be better served by the more affordable Dodge Grand Caravan. But for most, the Honda Odyssey is an ideal choice, offering the sort of universal competence that fosters mainstream success.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Honda Odyssey is offered in five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite. The entry-level LX comes reasonably well equipped with 17-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, automatic headlights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power driver seat, a 60/40 split-folding third-row seat, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control and a five-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Step up to the midrange EX and you'll get 17-inch alloy wheels, power-sliding side doors, heated outside mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, a removable front center console, a multi-adjustable second-row seat, retractable second-row sunshades, a conversation mirror, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a multi-information display with an 8-inch screen. EX models also come with an upgraded audio system offering 2GB of digital music storage, seven speakers, a USB audio interface and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

EX-L versions add a power liftgate, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat, heated front seats, a chilled storage box, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio. The EX-L's options list includes a choice of two systems: a voice-operated navigation system with 15GB of digital storage and a multiview camera (which presents a wider spectrum of visibility than the standard rearview camera), or a rear-seat entertainment system. These two systems can't be ordered together on the EX-L.

Move up to the Touring model and you gain 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, memory settings for the driver, retractable third-row sunshades and a fold-down armrest for third-row passengers. Additionally, both the navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems are standard. The Touring Elite model adds xenon headlights, a blind-spot warning system, an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a widescreen video monitor and a premium 12-speaker surround-sound audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

The Honda Odyssey comes with a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. The LX, EX and EX-L models send that power to the front wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission; Touring and Touring Elite versions get a six-speed automatic. EPA estimates for the five-speed automatic-equipped versions are 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined, while those fitted with the six-speed transmission post 19/28/22.

In testing, a six-speed Odyssey Touring Elite accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, which is essentially a dead heat with the Toyota Sienna's 7.7 seconds. However, opting for a five-speed model ups that time to 8.8 seconds.


The 2012 Honda Odyssey comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags that cover all three rows. In Edmunds brake testing, the Odyssey required 129 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, which is an average distance among minivans.

In government safety testing, the Odyssey scored a perfect five stars in overall, frontal- and side-impact crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Odyssey a "Top Safety Pick," with the minivan earning a top "Good" rating in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Owners of the current Odyssey enjoy a second-row seat that's nearly 4 inches wider than the one seen in the previous generation, and this change makes the seat roomy enough to fit three car seats side by side. The reconfigured seat's center section also slides forward 5.5 inches (except on the LX trim) to put little ones within easy reach of mom and dad. Compare this to the twin captain's chairs found in many other minivans that can seat only two.

The current model outpaces the previous generation when it comes to third-row legroom, with an additional 1.1 inches; the 60/40 split-folding bench is also easier to use, thanks to changes in the folding mechanism. Unlike with the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Nissan Quest, one must physically remove the Odyssey's second-row seats should you require its total interior cargo capacity of 148 cubic feet.

Clever details abound, including a removable center console with a handy flip-up trash bag holder and a "cool box" beverage cooler built into the bottom of the dash's center section. Top-of-the-line Touring Elite models also get a rear-seat video entertainment system that includes a super-wide high-definition 16-inch screen that can display two different program sources -- say, a DVD movie and a video game, for example -- at the same time.

With more than 80 buttons and dials at the driver's command in the range-topping Touring Elite, the Odyssey's dash can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, most of these controls are logically grouped for easier operation, but we found their small labels hard to decipher at a glance.

Driving Impressions

Even though the Odyssey is outpowered by the Toyota Sienna's 266-hp V6, its acceleration is still brisk enough to allow for confident highway passing and merging. Touring models are a bit more responsive thanks to a six-speed automatic transmission that executes quick, smooth shifts. The current generation features a retuned suspension that delivers a comfortable ride and relatively crisp handling.

On the inside, the 2012 Honda Odyssey is as quiet as a premium luxury sedan. Road and wind noise are almost completely absent, as is noise from the drivetrain. Honda's continuing use of active noise-cancelling technology contributes to the impressively peaceful cabin by emitting counter-phase sound through the speakers to eliminate much of the drone that passengers would otherwise hear.

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