The Japanese brand’s minivan gets a whole new look, a new powertrain as well as a slew of new entertainment and convenience technologies for the 2018 model year.
The vehicle’s sleek design is heavily inspired by the company’s recently remodelled products, such as the Civic, the Pilot and the Ridgeline. The family resemblance is obvious in the Odyssey’s front-end styling, or what the brand calls a “flying wing front grille.” Active grille shutters provide enhanced aerodynamics for fuel economy purposes, LED taillights are standard and LED headlights are optional.
Ride and handling is said to be improved, thanks to greater use of high-strength steel as well as lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium. Honda claims the new Odyssey is about 100 pounds lighter than the outgoing generation, while body rigidity is up by 44%. New electric-assist power steering is more responsive, while a more compact rear suspension helps provide the most spacious cargo area in the minivan segment.
Under the hood, a 3.5-litre V6 will still be on duty, but this revised version will be more powerful with 280 horsepower—just like in the Pilot and Ridgeline. A nine-speed automatic transmission will be standard, but uplevel trim levels will get a new 10-speed automatic. Honda says the Odyssey will boast class-leading performance and fuel economy.
In addition to heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear park sonar, three-zone climate control, multi-zone audio and an integrated vacuum cleaner, the 2018 Honda Odyssey will feature what the brand calls CabinWatch and CabinTalk. The first helps front-row occupants keep an eye on rear-seat passengers thanks to a rearward-facing camera and the infotainment system’s eight-inch display, while the second is basically an intercom system allowing the driver to talk to second- and third-row occupants through the vehicle’s speakers and entertainment system headphones.
Speaking of entertainment, the new Odyssey will be equipped with on-board 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and rear-seat occupants can stream video to the 10.2-inch, rear-seat entertainment system screens. Stealing a page from the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, a feature called “How Much Farther?” allows passengers to check the distance left before arriving at their destination. Passengers can also use a smartphone app to control the audio system and climate functions.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan should be on sale in a few months.