2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey Review

For new parents or repeat Honda owners, we think the 2018 Honda Odyssey is a great choice for a minivan.
8.1 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Brent Romans
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

It's the "R" word: responsibility. Once upon a time, your life was fun and carefree. You only had to worry about yourself. You could stay out late, take impromptu trips to the lake with friends or hang out at sun-drenched cafes on Sunday mornings sipping flat whites and gossiping about the friends you just went to the lake with. But that was then. Now you have kids. You look at these miracles of life you're responsible for (and the insane pile of stuff that you need to schlep along with them) and you think, "I'm gonna need a bigger and safer car." Enter the 2018 Honda Odyssey.

Honda's been selling the Odyssey since 1995, and the fully redesigned 2018 represents the van's fifth generation. There have been a lot of evolutionary improvements along the way, but the basic functionality remains. The Odyssey has three rows of seating, sliding rear doors and more room for cargo than just about anything short of a full-size van. For 2018, the Odyssey's upgrades include improved performance and some truly useful upgrades such as the enhanced sliding of the second-row seats and the cabin-monitoring camera system. You can read more about these features in our 2018 Honda Odyssey First Drive.

Overall, we're fond of this Odyssey and think it's a wise choice, particularly if you're a new parent or if you're looking to own something with that same driving spirit found in other Honda automobiles. It makes that whole responsibility thing a little easier to swallow, too.



What's new for 2018

Honda has fully redesigned the 2018 Odyssey. Highlights include improved second-row seat functionality, a more powerful V6, enhanced handling capability and new convenience features.

We recommend

Picking an Odyssey largely comes down to knowing which features you want. But from our standpoint, there are two trim levels to focus on. The EX is the way to go if you've got a limited budget. Yes, there's the cheaper LX , but the EX has the features you're really going to want on a minivan. If you've got more to spend, skip all the way to the Touring. This Odyssey has the feature equipment you get on the intervening trims plus the desirable 10-speed automatic and two cool features: the integrated vacuum and the rear-cabin camera monitoring system.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Odyssey comes in six trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi and RES, Touring and Elite. In typical Honda fashion, there aren't any packages or stand-alone options offered so finding the Odyssey you want largely comes down to picking a trim that matches your desired features and budget. All Odysseys come with a 3.5-liter V6 (280 horsepower, 262 pound-feet of torque) and front-wheel drive. The first four trim levels come with a nine-speed automatic and the Touring and Elite have a 10-speed automatic. There's seating for seven passengers in the LX and eight passengers in everything else.

The Odyssey LX starts you off with features such as 18-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, power front seats, a 60/40-split folding third-row seat, a 5-inch central display screen, Bluetooth, a USB charging port, and a seven-speaker sound system with a USB interface.

Next up is the EX, and it's here that you get features that really start to make your life easier. These include power-sliding rear doors, keyless ignition and entry, remote engine start, three-zone automatic climate control, driver-seat power lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, enhanced sliding functionality for the second-row outboard seats, a removable center seat and second-row window sunshades. The EX also has more modern tech with its 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and satellite and HD radio. But, wait, there's more! Honda also fits this trim level with extra driver safety aids that include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning and intervention.

Honda starts to crank up the luxury with the EX-L. You get a sunroof, a noise-reducing windshield, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings and two charging USB ports for the second row.

The EX-L with Navigation and Rear Entertainment System is similar but adds, as its name implies, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system. The latter includes a 10.2-inch overhead display, a Blu-ray player and an HDMI input. This version of the EX-L also has a 110-volt power outlet and a cabin intercom system (broadcasts the driver's/front passenger's voice to the rear seating areas).

Moving up to the Odyssey Touring gets you the above plus front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, automatic engine stop-start, a hands-free liftgate, an integrated vacuum cleaner, a rear cabin camera monitoring system and an onboard 4G LTE connection with a Wi-Fi hotspot and HondaLink services.

Finally, the Elite tops off the Odyssey range with 19-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors, noise-reducing glass for the front and rear windows, ventilated front seats, an 11-speaker premium audio system and a wireless phone charger.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite (3.5L V6 | 10-speed automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.1 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration8.0 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling8.5 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.0 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10

Interior

8.5 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out9.5 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess9.0 / 10
Visibility6.0 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

9.0 / 10

Small-item storage9.0 / 10
Cargo space9.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation9.0 / 10
Smartphone integration7.5 / 10
Driver aids5.5 / 10
Voice control7.0 / 10

Driving8.0

The 2018 Honda Odyssey is the driver's choice in the minivan class. A strong V6 gives you plenty of power for passing while the van's precise steering and stable handling instill confidence. It's still a box on wheels, yes, but it rarely feels that way from the driver's seat.

Acceleration8.0

There's a lot of parity in the minivan class, but the Odyssey's V6 stands out with its smoothness and willingness to rev. Even with a few passengers aboard, the Odyssey's 3.5-liter V6 makes quick work of accelerating up to highway speeds or passing slow-going traffic.

Braking7.5

In routine driving, the brake pedal is easy to modulate and has solid stopping power. We have yet to perform our emergency panic-stop testing, but we don't expect any surprises.

Steering8.0

The Odyssey has precise and relatively quick steering. It gives you confidence when you're going around turns because you know how the van's going to react. It also tracks straight and true on the highway and is light enough for easy maneuvering in parking lots.

Drivability8.0

Ten speeds might be overkill, but the transmission's shifting is quick and unobtrusive and will pick the best gear for your needs. Paddle shifters are standard, which is an unusual but welcome minivan feature. The V6's auto stop-start engagement is a little rough at times, though.

Comfort8.0

We like how the Odyssey is comfortable in all three rows of seating. Whether you've got a van full of kids on a road trip or you're just taking friends out to dinner, the Odyssey should keep everyone happy.

Seat comfort8.0

The driver's seat is wide, comfortable and supportive. You can drive for hours at a time without getting stiff or sore. The second row's outboard seats are similarly comfy and have soft padding and folding armrests. In the third row, adults should be fine on short trips.

Ride comfort7.0

In general, the Odyssey rides smoothly over bumps. The suspension tuning is a little firmer than the norm, however, and that stiffness, along with the Elite's 19-inch wheels, means it can get a little jittery over rough pavement.

Noise & vibration8.0

In Elite trim, the Odyssey is superbly quiet at highway speeds. Credit goes to the active noise cancellation system and the new noise-reducing body and windshield and windows. The 10-speed auto keeps engine rpm low at cruising speed, too.

Climate control8.0

Automatic triple-zone climate is standard on most Odysseys, as are heated front seats. The front air vents blow hard if you crank up the fan speed. The second row's air vents are mounted in the door pillar rather than overhead, but they are still effective.

Interior8.5

A minivan should make your life easier, and the Odyssey comes through in stellar fashion. It's easy to get in and out, particularly because of the new inward and outward sliding function for the second-row seats. Mediocre outward visibility is the only downside.

Ease of use9.0

All main controls that you frequently use are physical buttons, and the layout is logical. The gauge cluster is almost all digital, and it presents information in a clear manner.

Getting in/getting out9.5

Sliding rear doors are better than a crossover's traditional doors every time. Up front, stepping in and out is easy; just put your butt in and twist your legs in. The front doors, however, need a good tug to close. The multi-sliding second-row seat gives superb access to the third-row seat.

Driving position8.0

The driver's seat has a lot of adjustment range vertically and horizontally. Just about any driver should be able to find a seating position he or she likes. At times, the driving experience is surprisingly sedanlike. A somewhat narrow footwell is our only complaint.

Roominess9.0

It's one of the most effective people movers you can get. Room for adults in all three rows. The second-row seats slide and recline. Headroom and legroom are plentiful in the second row. Even adults can sit in the third row with the second row moved all the way back.

Visibility6.0

It's hard to see the end of the hood through the windshield, and your view over the shoulder can be blocked by the second-row headrests. The front roof pillars and side mirrors are average in size. Honda doesn't offer a top-down camera system. Overall, the Odyssey doesn't rise above adequate.

Quality8.0

Overall, the Odyssey looks modern and upscale inside, and most surfaces that you come in contact with are soft to the touch. Everything is solidly put together.

Utility9.0

The newest Odyssey is still great at being a minivan. It seats up to eight passengers and has plenty of room for your personal items and bigger and bulkier cargo. Second-row seats have to be removed manually for maximum cargo space.

Small-item storage9.0

There's plenty. Up front, there's a spot below the center stack for handbags, and the center storage bin is huge. Thirsty? You've got cupholders everywhere for all the rows.

Cargo space9.0

Few vehicles can best a minivan here. The storage well behind the third row is useful for grocery bags. The third-row seats aren't power-operated, but the strap and handle system is easy enough to use. Max capacity is above average at 155.8 cubic feet. Second-row seats are bulky and hard to remove.

Child safety seat accommodation9.0

LATCH anchor points are easily accessible for the second- and third-row outboard seats. We've yet to test the Odyssey with the second-row middle seat installed. The sliding second-row seat feature is super helpful. Seat contouring is flat, and there's plenty of room for rear-facing safety seats.

Technology8.0

Up front is a singular 8-inch center touchscreen display that runs on a new software system. It boasts modern graphics and is impressively quick to respond to your finger touches and slides. Modern features such as the rear-cabin camera are useful.

Audio & navigation9.0

Honda's new infotainment system has big virtual buttons and quick responses. Organization is customizable, with smaller button shortcuts. Some of the navigation operations are a little hard to figure out, though. The rear-cabin camera monitor is neat, as is the intercom feature.

Smartphone integration7.5

Pairing phones is easy, and the Odyssey comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We noticed some intermittent drops of Bluetooth audio streaming during our testing.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.