2012 Honda Odyssey Review

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • fuel-efficient V6
  • quiet cabin
  • configurable second-row seat
  • top safety scores
  • easy-to-fold third-row seat.
  • Pricier than some competitors
  • some desirable options and features only offered on upper trim levels
  • button-heavy dash.
List Price Range
$7,407 - $14,730

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Notably, we picked the 2012 Honda Odyssey as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

Vehicle overview

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.

2012 Honda Odyssey models

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.

2012 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Honda Odyssey.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Better than my 2008 Odyssey!
mapperone,06/22/2012
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)
Second Time Owner
jvp58,09/10/2014
This is my second Odyssey my first was 2010 this one 2012. They both seem to have similar problems with the quality of the front end. I have had the 2012 for 2 yrs now and these are my thoughts. Before I go on let me say that I'm very familiar with how a car works mechanically. With 22,000 miles the van is in the shop for the following problems. Noise in left front, worse in the winter, grinding noise from engine,worse a low idle and strong vibration when applying brakes, worse when on highway. Just received call from service manager and here is the list of things that need to be replaced. Stabilizer links and bushings, Power steering pump, Front brakes and rotors and the two front tires.
Great comfort and feature sets for a family on the go
happyvan,01/10/2012
This is a review after owning the car for 3 wk and 900 miles of driving. The V6 is extremely smooth—when it idles, there is no sound or any sense of vibration, and when pushed, it gives off a nice sporty exhaust note. The engine could use a bit more low end torque but has enough power for passing with a full load. The seating are very comfortable, even after a 300 mile trip. The versatile interior is wonderful to accommodating the need of a family on the go — we have two toddlers in car seats. The fit and finish is very good if you are not too picky. But taking a close look, it is hard to ignore the use of cheap materials in some areas to save cost. I have no QC problems at the moment
Perfect Family Vehicle
OdyLovers,10/16/2019
Touring 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We bought our 2012 Odyssey, which was 3yrs old with 30k miles, in Spring 2015. That means as of this writing, we've had it for 4.5 years and put on about 50k miles. I came here to tell everyone reading this and anyone researching Odysseys that it's not only an amazing family minivan, but quite possibly the best vehicle we've ever owned - and that's coming from a crazy car guy who can't keep a car longer than 3 years. What we've owned include: Accord, Camry, WRX, Legacy, Tribeca, Prius, TSX and TLX. Our Odyssey has stood the test of time, already outlasting 3 of those other vehicles. We have no reason to even shop for another family vehicle anytime soon. What's great: -Our Odyssey Touring is built like a premium vehicle. It might as well have an Acura badge. It has been 100% reliable (only one heater seat TSB fix), is powerful, smooth, comfortable and quiet, and has leather and almost every gadget and gizmo imaginable. -Power sliding doors made it easy for us to load our kids into the van as babies in travel system carriers, then allowed them to climb in as toddlers so we could buckle them, and now our kids climb in and buckle themselves. Plus we never had to worry about smashing doors into cars or garage walls. -Power tailgate has been used thousands, maybe tens of thousands of times, allowing us to load groceries, furniture, sports equipment, you name it. The back row typically stays up leaving the deep well available for us to fill. -It has enough space to haul family, friends, luggage, equipment, furniture... almost anything in your home... sometimes all at the same time. -It towed our popup camper for years like it wasn't even behind us and now tows our small travel trailer like a champ. What's not great: -VCM. I forget our Odyssey had VCM because I disabled it long ago with VCMuzzler. This invaluable device stopped all the goofy engine vibrations and instilled confidence in our van not having oil seepage, plug fouling and misfire issues. You should be aware of the engine misfire lawsuit if shopping for a Honda years 2008 through 2016 or so. -Lack of AWD. Honestly, this is the only thing preventing this minivan from being the world's most perfect vehicle, in my opinion. But I'll still take it with FWD. It has been and continues to be a remarkably awesome minivan to us, whether knocking around town or driving us across the country to a vacation.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover12.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2012 Honda Odyssey

Used 2012 Honda Odyssey Overview

The Used 2012 Honda Odyssey is offered in the following submodels: Odyssey Minivan. Available styles include EX-L 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A), EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Rear Entertainment (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Touring 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Touring Elite 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), EX-L 4dr Minivan w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Honda Odyssey?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Honda Odyssey trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L is priced between $7,407 and$14,494 with odometer readings between 83594 and179108 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Honda Odyssey EX is priced between $7,995 and$12,990 with odometer readings between 100284 and142334 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring is priced between $9,950 and$14,730 with odometer readings between 40260 and148637 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite is priced between $9,987 and$12,999 with odometer readings between 108935 and129594 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Honda Odysseys are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Honda Odyssey for sale near. There are currently 33 used and CPO 2012 Odysseys listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,407 and mileage as low as 40260 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Honda Odyssey.

Can't find a used 2012 Honda Odysseys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Honda Odyssey for sale - 1 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,672.

Find a used Honda for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,652.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda Odyssey for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,022.

Find a used certified pre-owned Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,905.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Honda Odyssey?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials
Check out Honda Odyssey lease specials