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2018 Honda Odyssey packs in safety features for all but one trim

Focused on families, the 2018 Honda Odyssey includes a full safety and driver assist suite in all but the base version.


Honda originally unveiled its all-new 2018 Odyssey minivan at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2017. The fifth-generation model receives a more modern look, several drivetrain improvements, more kid-friendly features, and a huge uptick in passive safety and assistive tech.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey’s overall silhouette doesn’t change drastically, but its front end has been completely redesigned. Like the new CR-V, it gets a wide chromed grille that stretches into a pair of sharp-looking headlights. Blacked-out D-pillars create the illusion of a floating roof, while the back end is characterized by large, wedge-shaped tail lamps. A thin strip of chrome trim on the belt line elegantly reduces the Odyssey’s visual mass.

Engines and transmissions

Available with front-wheel-drive only, the new normal for minivans, the Odyssey now gets its power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.  The base and midlevel trims have a nine-speed automatic transmission, but the top-level Touring and Elite trims use a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and auto stop/start. All engine, transmission, and trim variations are EPA rated for 19 mpg city driving, 28 mpg on the highway, and a 22 mpg combined driving fuel economy rating.

Tech features

Passive safety and driver assist features abound on the new Odyssey with all but the lowest price LX trim. This is the minivan that introduced built-in vacuum cleaners in the 2014 model year and the new generation continues to focus on features Honda’s product designers determined families need.

All Odyssey’s have a multi-angle rearview camera with backup guidelines displayed on the dashboard center stack monitor, Intelligent Traction Management (SNOW mode), and tire pressure monitoring with location and pressure indicators.

With the 2018 Honda Pilot, only the top trim has the full set of passive safety and driver assistance features. Happily, the newly formulated 2018 Odyssey reverses the Pilot’s safety feature distribution strategy. Except for the base LX trim, all higher trims starting with the EX have the Honda Sensing safety and driver assist suite as standard equipment. Honda Sensing includes Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Road Departure Mitigation. All but the LX trim also have blind spot monitoring including rear cross traffic alerts.

Honda’s Magic Seat technology lets users configure the interior in a variety of different ways, depending on whether they’re hauling infants, teenagers, adults, or cargo. Notably, the second-row seats slide sideways for easy access to the third row, and they can slide forward if they needed to be within reach of the front passengers.

The Odyssey is equipped with Honda’s next-generation infotainment system. The software is displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen on the dashboard, but Honda has brought back the volume knob by popular demand. A new function named Social Play List allows up to eight passengers to upload their favorite songs to the audio system using their smartphones, turning the van into jukebox for the entire family.

Honda has developed several solutions for motorists with unruly kids. With CabinWatch, parents can monitor the second- and third-row passengers day and night by using a small camera that feeds footage to the console-mounted screen. CabinTalk lets parents talk to the rear passengers either through the speakers or through headphones connected to the Odyssey’s rear-seat entertainment system. Parents whose kids listen to music on a smartphone or an MP3 player will need to wait until the Odyssey comes with a megaphone.

Kids riding in the back benefit from a fully connected rear-seat entertainment system displayed on a ceiling-mounted, 10.2-inch screen. The software provides access to PBS Kids, iHeart Radio, and Spotify, among other programs. There is even a new application named “How Much Farther?” that finally gives a precise, real-time answer to the question, “Are we there yet?”

How to choose a 2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Odyssey LX, EX, EX-L

In addition to rearview cameras and tire pressure monitoring, all 2018 Odysseys have push-button start, Intelligent Traction Management (SNOW mode), and hill start assist. The Odyssey cabin has automatic climate control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a 7-inch driver information display, power front-row seats, eight airbags, and rear privacy glass. Additional features include daytime running lights, an active shutter grille for improved fuel economy, a security system with remote entry, taillights with integrated LED light bars, and a cap-less fuel filler.

The base level 2018 Odyssey LX, starting price $29,990, has a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and 18-inch alloy wheels. The LX seats seven and has a driver’s seat with eight-way power adjustment, front passenger’s seat with four-way power adjustment, and a 60/40 split 3rd-row seat. The LX has 12-volt power outlets in the front and cargo area, a 5-inch color LCD screen, and a 160-watt audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer. The infotainment system supports Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and streaming audio, and USB audio and charging.

For a bit less than $4,000, moving up to the 2018 Odyssey EX ($33,860 to start) significantly ratchets up the minivan’s comfort, convenience, and safety elements. The EX has all of the LX features plus the Honda Sensing suite of passive safety and driver assist features, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts, and dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera dashboard display.

The EX has an 8-inch display audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, HondaLink, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, plus a USB smartphone and audio port. Other EX trim features include remote engine start, a 12-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, sliding second-row seats, power sliding doors, seconnd-row integrated sunshades, three-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights including high-beam control, and heated power side mirrors with integrated turn indicators.

The 2018 Odyssey EX-L focuses on comfort and luxury features. Starting at $37,360, the EX-L has all the features of the EX plus leather-trimmed seating, a height-adjustable power tailgate, a one-touch power moonroof, two-position driver seat and side mirror memory, and reverse gear mirror tilt-down. The EX-L also adds an acoustic windshield, HomeLink remote vehicle access, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and two-position driver seat memory.

Trim2018 Odyssey LX2018 Odyssey EX2018 Odyssey EX-L
Base price$29,990$33,860$37,360
Base engine3.5L V63.5L V63.5L V6
Base horsepower280 hp @6,000 RPM280 hp @6,000 RPM280 hp @6,000 RPM
Base torque262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM
Transmission9-speed automatic9-speed automatic9-speed automatic
FuelRegular gasRegular gasRegular gas
Fuel capacity (gallons)19.5 gallons19.5 gallons19.5 gallons
Fuel economy19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
Base wheels18-inch18-inch18-inch
Body style4-door Minivan4-door Minivan4-door Minivan
Passengers788
Storage behind 3rd-row seating32.8 cu ft32.8 cu ft32.8 cu ft
Storage behind 2nd-row seats88.8 cu ft89.2 cu ft88.6 cu ft
Storage behind 1st-row seats144.9 cu ft144.9 cu ft140.7 cu ft
Max Towing capacity3,000 pounds3,000 pounds3,000 pounds
Seat upholstery ClothClothLeather

2018 Odyssey EX-L Navi/RES, Touring, Elite

Two significant features define the 2018 Odyssey EX-L Navi/RES trim. This $39,360 minivan has all the features of the EX-L plus integrated navigation and a rear entertainment system with a 10.2-inch drop down display, Blu-ray player, and built-in streaming apps. Honda’s satellite-linked navigation system includes voice control and the Honda HD digital traffic service. The EX-L Navi/RES trim also includes 12-volt power outlets in the front, and cargo area plus a 150-watt 115V power outlet in front. The new CabinTalk in-car PA system mutes all speakers and wireless headphones so the driver can talk to everyone without having to speak over other sound sources.

Starting at $44,510, the 2018 Odyssey Touring trim has all the features of the less expensive versions plus front and rear parking sensors, mobile hotspot support, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, and a HondaVAC. The Touring model adds Honda’s new 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and idle-stop. In addition to the HondaLink subscription service, the Touring also includes CabinWatch, Honda’s rear seat monitor that displays what’s going on in the second and third-row seats on the dashboard monitor.

The top-of-the-line Odyssey Elite, starting at $46,670, has all Touring trim features plus heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, and a 550-watt 11-speaker premium audio with multi-zone audio control. The Elite trim also adds rain-sensing wipers, blue ambient LED lighting, 19-inch machine-finished alloy wheels, power folding side mirrors, and a heated steering wheel.

Trim2018 Odyssey EX-L Navi/RES2018 Odyssey Touring2018 Odyssey Elite
Base price$39,360$44,510$46,670
Base engine3.5L V63.5L V63.5L V6
Base horsepower280 hp @6,000 RPM280 hp @6,000 RPM280 hp @6,000 RPM
Base torque262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM
Transmission9-speed automatic10-speed automatic10-speed automatic
FuelRegular gasRegular gasRegular gas
Fuel capacity (gallons)19.5 gallons19.5 gallons19.5 gallons
Fuel economy19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
Base wheels18-inch18-inch19-inch
Body style4-door Minivan4-door Minivan4-door Minivan
Passengers888
Storage behind 3rd-row seating32.8 cu ft32.8 cu ft32.8 cu ft
Storage behind 2nd-row seats88.6 cu ft88.6 cu ft88.6 cu ft
Storage behind 1st-row seats140.7 cu ft140.7 cu ft140.7 cu ft
Max Towing capacity3,000 pounds3,500 pounds3,500 pounds
Seat upholsteryLeatherLeatherLeather

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