2018 Honda Odyssey: Monthly Update for August 2018
by Brent Romans, Senior Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
What kind of vehicle would you want to drive to your own wedding? Ferrari? Classic American iron? How about a 2018 Honda Odyssey?
Yep, Carlos Lago drove the van to his wedding last month in Santa Barbara. How's that for a vote of confidence? Calvin Kim also drove the Odyssey up to San Francisco. And later in the month, Mike Schmidt hauled his family of four to San Diego for a day trip. Heavy use in August gave our crew plenty of opportunities to opine about what they do and don't like about our new people mover.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
After 2,600 miles in August, our Odyssey averaged 19.7 mpg, which is lower than what the EPA says to expect. And it knocked our lifetime average down a notch from last month's result of 24.4 mpg. Part of the reason could be attributed to a couple of fill-ups during Carlos' stint.
Average lifetime mpg: 23.3
EPA mpg rating: 23 combined (19 city/28 highway)
Best fill mpg: 30.2
Best range: 450.5 miles
Current odometer: 9,029 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I've always loved minivans for their ability to carry loads of cargo and people in comfort. I consider them the original overland vehicles. And the Odyssey takes all the things I like about minivans and brings them up to another level.
"The second-row seat flexibility is smart. You can pop out the center seat section and free up more cargo room, which is useful when you're only traveling with one or two other passengers. And the comfort of the second-row seats is just as good as front-seat comfort. The Odyssey is an awesome people mover." — Calvin Kim, road test engineer
"Our Odyssey feels so good to drive and ride along in. I know it's a behemoth compared to the Accord sedan, but it's just as easygoing. The comfort belies its size. I know Calvin mentioned something like this last month. I'm here to second that sentiment. As far as minivans go, this is the best for ride comfort and handling, in my opinion." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"My kids get excited when they see the Odyssey in our driveway. To be fair, they were just as into our long-term Pacifica. Aside from the rear entertainment headsets, they are big on the sliding doors. The handles are easy enough for my 4-year-old to pull. And with the auto-open feature, that's all she needs to get in. Press a button and the doors close. In my experience as a parent, any time you ask a kid to push a button, you're going to get a favorable response." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing operations
"No doubt the Odyssey is large and comfortable, but I experienced a couple of interesting software glitches from the software side of the vehicle. One was a warning telling me to 'Check Tuner' without any further elaboration. As I was listening to satellite radio at the time, I imagine there was an issue with the receiver and the head unit. Since I didn't know what to check exactly, I called upon my extensive background in computer debugging and power-cycled the radio. That's what it took to get the satellite radio tuner back in business.
"Another was a warning telling me that the anti-theft system had lost power. This time there were instructions on how to fix the problem. Thank you, Honda." — Calvin Kim
"I am not convinced that CabinTalk is worth it. This feature projects a front passenger's (parent's) voice through the speakers to its rear passengers (kids). It will even silence the rear entertainment headsets to deliver your message. In my family road-trip experience, the phrase most projected toward the rear occupants is some (usually less polite) variation of: 'Will you stop fighting?' But once kids put those headsets on, backseat bickering ends. Headsets are a parent's champion.
"I used CabinTalk once to ask those same rugrats if they wanted to make an ice cream stop. Their initial response was, 'Yay!' It was immediately followed by, 'Will you unmute the show now, please?'" — Mike Schmidt
"Here's something that infuriates me: If you equip a car with adaptive cruise control, why not make it able to come to a complete stop? The Odyssey's adaptive cruise works until about 25 mph (or a little below it), and then you get a notice in the instrument panel saying something along the lines of 'The adaptive cruise is canceled due to low speed.' Why, Honda, why?" — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"I've heard from fellow enthusiasts and Edmunds drivers that they yearn for simpler cars, ones with less clutter and potential issues. But after spending a few days in our Odyssey Touring, I have a different opinion.
"The Odyssey's secondary controls, such as climate control and radio, are intuitive. But the optional stuff, the equipment that gets piled on when you start optioning up your car, is a little more difficult to use. For the Odyssey, that means lots of page swiping and going through menus. But my rear-seat passengers loved the ability to watch streaming video from the Odyssey's onboard data modem and communicating with the front-seat passengers using the CabinTalk function.
"One note on setting up the onboard hotspot connection: AT&T gives you three months and 3 GB of free access. It's easiest to set up the system from inside the car, but use your laptop to do it, as you'll need to validate your email address." — Calvin Kim
"Here at Edmunds, we have the unique luxury of selecting from a wide variety of vehicles for special occasions. So when it came to scheduling a vehicle to use for my wedding, I had to choose carefully. Would it be a luxury car so we could leave the event in style? Or a sports car so we could make a quick getaway? I chose our Honda Odyssey. And it was perfect.
"Utility: We had a ton of stuff to bring to the wedding, such as gift bags, signage, suits, luggage, and, of course, a dress. The van was completely loaded, and we were thankful for the space.
"Seating space: We got married out of town, and family flew in from all parts of the country. I had five groomsmen, and we needed wheels to get us to and from the bachelor party. The Odyssey's three rows handled our group perfectly.
"Comfort: This van is smooth, powerful and overall impressive to drive. It was the perfect companion for our wedding, even if it wasn't as flashy as a sports car." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content