Wife seven mos pregnant with third kid, tried squeezing one infant, one toddler and one booster seat in the back seat of the Camry and the Genesis (our two current vehicles) and in truth, it could'a b...
Wife seven mos pregnant with third kid, tried squeezing one infant, one toddler and one booster seat in the back seat of the Camry and the Genesis (our two current vehicles) and in truth, it could'a been a done . . . though things were a bit way snug . . . downright tight . . . and the newborn would've been doomed to the middle of the back seat since neither of our kids would give up a window even if you gave them a bucket of lollipops (never would'a had this problem in the 70s before car seats became mandatory).
So, we test drove several minivans and SUVs, narrowed the field to the Odyssey EX-L, Sienna XLE and Santa Fe GLS, and after doing some more test driving (including the Sienna XLE twice, towards which my wife initially had a bias because of her Camry), we (she) chose the Odyssey. And she absolutely loves it.
To me, all minivans still drive more like trucks, but the Odyssey has a lot going for it. 18/27 gas mileage, just like our Genesis. It handles surprisingly well for a van. Very comfortable ride. Even though she's seven mos pregnant, my wife finds the Odyssey remarkably convenient. No more head banging on the roof to get the kids in and out of their seats. Automatic side doors with sensors that ensure they don't close on little kids' hands. EX-L comes with leather seats, tint and sunshades, dual climate controls and seat warmers - all must haves for my wife. Rear view camera when backing out was a plus.
Intentionally steered away from Touring and Touring Elite to avoid nav system and rear-entertainment DVD. If anything is going to go wrong with a car first, it's usually the electronics and anything that requires additional yards of wire, and you can get nav on most smartphones and DVD players for kids that don't hog up the stereo.
The seats are really easy to configure, move, hide, or adjust once you know what to do. Honda engineers apparently sit in these things and try to think like a family and there are ample cupholders, cubby spaces, consoles and the like placed throughout. Having two sets of XM channels you can program was a nice a touch - literally hers and his (so that my sports programming and NFL channels dont get monkeyed with). Rear trunk space, even with all eight seats opened, is roomy.
Interestingly, the styling of the Sienna XLE is what got my wife's attention and a second test drive - but she discovered during her second test drive that the turning radius on the Sienna was wider. Although she decided at that point to go w/ the Odyssey, we found out a couple days later from reading other reviews that roadtripping in the Sienna is more tedious - driving an airplane hangar is what we read - and that the Sienna is more prone to noticeable squeaks and rattles.
We have noticed tons of 2013 Odysseys on the road - the lightning bolt window design is hard to miss - but given how happy my wife is with hers, it's not hard to see why these vans are so popular.