2018 Honda Odyssey

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$29,990

starting MSRP

2018 Honda Odyssey
2018 Honda Odyssey

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Second row can fit three child-safety seats
  • Good gas mileage
  • Second-row Magic Slide system
  • Good visibility
  • Family-friendly CabinWatch system and cargo-area vacuum
  • Updated Display Audio system
  • Easy-fold third row

The bad:

  • Styling
  • Second-row seats don't fold flat or into the floor
  • Relatively high price
  • Gimmicky CabinTalk system
  • Unrefined stop-start system
  • Awkward electronic gear selector

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2018 Honda Odyssey trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Redesigned for 2018
  • Seats up to eight in three rows
  • 280-hp V-6 standard
  • Nine-speed automatic standard
  • 10-speed automatic available
  • Rear Entertainment System can stream from apps

2018 Honda Odyssey review: Our expert's take

By Jennifer Geiger

The verdict: Like Mary Poppins, the 2018 Odyssey is a capable, enchanting family helper. Practically perfect in every way, it dazzles with improved road manners, an intuitive new multimedia system and more creature comforts than a bottomless carpetbag.  

Versus the competiton: The Kia Sedona and Chrysler Pacifica have more style inside and out, and while the Odyssey bests the Sedona in features, it can’t quite match the Pacifica’s winning blend of comfortable road manners and family-friendly goodies.  

Minivans are the ultimate family vehicle, tailor-made to carry the most demanding and untidiest of creatures — kids — but to this point Honda has not had the ultimate minivan. The previous-generation Honda Odyssey sunk in the Cars.com Ultimate Minivan Challenge thanks to unwieldy handling, a confusing multimedia system and blah looks.

Honda addressed all of that with the 2018 redesign. The new Odyssey wears a more chiseled body — a welcome update to its old concrete-slab-like styling — and gets a slick new multimedia system and improved handling. It competes against the Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna; compare their specs here.

The Road-Trip Test

A parenting article I recently read concluded with this: “Life with little ones goes fast; take trips, make memories.”

Yes! … but also, cringe. Road trips with my family of five are memorable, but in that horrible stomach flu kind of way; they often turn foul after miles of crabby kids and uncomfortable parents.

Cue the new Honda Odyssey. The previous van was a chore to drive; it was loud, slow and handled like a barge. The 2018 model is quieter and has more pep, so you’ll no longer feel like a sea captain behind the wheel.

While the Odyssey’s ride and handling still feel clumsy compared with the more athletic Chrysler Pacifica, they’re improved over the 2017. There’s less body motion over bumps and less lean in corners, and the suspension has a more controlled feel than the previous generation. It also has a more grounded, natural steering response.

Pep is better, too. The 3.5-liter V-6 returns for 2018, but horsepower is up and the Odyssey feels more responsive thanks in part to two new transmissions: base models get a nine-speed automatic and uplevel trims get a 10-speed. I tested the 10-speed in the top Elite trim, and aside from the occasional awkward shift at low speeds, it’s quick and smooth. Again, the Pacifica is perkier from a stop and has more midrange grunt, but the Odyssey is no longer poky.

The drivetrain’s Eco mode should be avoided; it alters accelerator response and transmission tuning to save fuel. Response time is snail-like, and you feel every bit of the van’s 4,300 pounds off the line. Another fuel-saving feature, auto stop-start, could likewise use some polish; while shutoffs are subtle, it shudders crudely upon restart. At least a handy button on the control panel disables it.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey is EPA-rated at 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s up a smidge from last year and higher than the base Pacifica (18/28/22), Sedona (18/25/21) and Sienna (19/27/22). Of note: The Sienna is the only minivan with available all-wheel drive, and the Pacifica is the only minivan with a hybrid powertrain (it’s a plug-in).

A Van Full of Gadgets Makes the Miles Melt Away

New in the Honda Odyssey this year are CabinWatch and CabinTalk, two optional systems designed for the monitoring of and communication between passengers. Once we got past the giggles, the camera-based CabinWatch proved useful, while the microphone-based CabinTalk was just silly.

At first, CabinWatch seemed like a gimmick. It uses a camera to let front-seat occupants see the rest of the passengers, day or night, on the Display Audio screen. Initially, the nanny cam seemed more creepy than useful, but I ended up using it a lot during my trip to see if my toddler twins were finally napping and to monitor the third-row shenanigans happening with my 7-year-old daughter and niece.

The large Display Audio system, too, is a win. The previous Odyssey multimedia system was a confusing array of dials, knobs and screens. The new one is more streamlined in appearance and usability, with one large touchscreen replacing the previous two-screen setup. It’s responsive, has clear icons and an intuitive menu structure. Bonus: It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. The system is standard on all but the base Odyssey, which instead uses a smaller, 5-inch LCD.

A couple of control-related issues annoy, however. I like the volume knob, but there’s no tuning knob. Also, the conventional gear selector lever has been replaced by a column of push (and pull) buttons under the climate controls, like in the Honda Pilot, and it doesn’t feel natural. I’m sure owners will get used to it, but I spent almost a week fumbling my way through Drive, Reverse and Park.

The CabinTalk system also fell flat. Like Driver Easy Speak in the Toyota Sienna, it projects the driver’s voice to the second and third rows. It sounded like I was in a soup can when I tried it, and the echoes of my voice were distracting. My 7-year-old thought this was hilarious … and not in a respectful, “I’m listening to you, Mom” way.

What did impress was Honda’s available large ceiling-mounted rear entertainment system. It returns this year with a modern twist: In vehicles equipped with the optional Wi-Fi system, it can connect to the internet and stream media from a variety of apps, like PBS Kids. (Just when you thought you escaped Elmo. … ) I still prefer the Pacifica’s Uconnect twin touch-screen entertainment system, though; its neat apps and dual-screen versatility were a big hit with my kids, though the Uconnect system’s streaming functionality has annoyingly been delayed.

Lastly, while we brought home a lot of memories from the beach, we packed even more sand. But after powering up the HondaVac, the cargo-area vacuum made short work of the messy cabin, taking it from slipshod to shipshape, spit-spot. It’s only on mid-level Touring models and above.

Magical Seats, Flexible Space

The Honda Odyssey can comfortably hold five child-safety seats (getting five kids in the van is another thing altogether), and installing them was easy. On all but the base trim, the second row’s center seat is removable. When it’s in place, the Odyssey has five sets of Latch anchors: three in the second row and two in the third. The anchors are exposed and easy to use, and there’s ample space for five car seats. Click here for our complete Car Seat Check.

Honda calls its second-row seat system Magic Slide. It’s standard on all but the base Odyssey, and it’s pretty close to magical. When you remove the center seat, the outboard seats can slide forward and back and side to side into various positions. The system proved helpful in two ways: I quickly and easily moved both seats to one side to create a large pathway to the third row, so my first-grader could get back there without an awkward shimmy past the twins’ car seats. Also, when the twins got on each other’s (and everyone else’s) nerves, I slid them to each side of the van, leaving a lot of space — and peace — in between.

The system is helpful in everyday life, but if I want to do a large Ikea run, things get complicated. The Honda Odyssey’s second row can’t match the storage advantages of the Pacifica’s Stow ‘n Go seating system. Where those seats tumble into underfloor bins (which otherwise serve as voluminous storage spaces), the Odyssey’s seats don’t fold at all and must be removed; they’re heavy and need to be stashed somewhere.

In the third row, however, the magic continues. The 60/40-split folding third row is among the easiest I’ve used. One tug of a strap folds the seats down into the floor, creating a flat cargo area. The system is spring-loaded and the headrests can remain in the seats.

Behind the third row, there was plenty of room for my family of five’s gear for a long-weekend beach trip, but on paper there’s a bit less cargo space than in the Pacifica, Sedona and Sienna. With the second row folded, there’s a bit more room than in the Sedona, but the Odyssey again trails the Pacifica and Sienna.

In front, however, the Odyssey’s small-items storage spaces get an A. Snacking is a Geiger family road trip-tradition (and sanity saver), and the Odyssey’s huge center console is multi-kid, multi-snack friendly. The open space ahead of it is also useful for holding a large purse or bag (of snacks).

Safety

As of this writing, the 2018 Honda Odyssey had not yet been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If it is tested, IIHS results will appear here.

A multi-angle backup camera is standard across all trims. The Honda Sensing advanced safety package is standard on all except the base Odyssey. It includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, and adaptive cruise control. Rear cross-traffic alert with blind spot monitoring is available. What’s not offered is the LaneWatch system, which in some Hondas displays a camera view of the right side of the vehicle when the right turn signal is engaged — handy for avoiding bikes and pedestrians.

But It Has an Ultimate Price Tag

The 2018 Honda Odyssey starts at around $31,000 — similar to the outgoing model but more expensive than base versions of the Pacifica, Sedona and Sienna.

The Pacifica won Cars.com’s last minivan Challenge and earned our Best of 2017 Award, but the redesigned Odyssey is a pretty close second thanks to an improved driving experience, additional innovative features and a little bit of Magic (Slide).

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.7
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

3.7

Most Exasperating Car I've Owned

Love the unique body style and it's pick-up at any speed! However, I do not like: the 5 windows that are very dark and make it almost impossible to see out of; that the emergency brake cannot be employed if the driver's seat belt is not fastened; the 'Auto Idle Stop' stalled the car after pulling into the left lane of a frontage road, I had to restart the car on the roadway, this feature may be disabled, but must be done every time the car is started; with the 3rd row seats stowed underneath, the deck has a hump through the middle which means that any large item will not sit flat; configuration of interior roof precludes positioning a 3rd dog crate on top of 2 lower ones, no room to open the crate door; Honda has not solved their transmission problems, this one gives out a loud ' klunk' almost every time I change direction of travel despite Honda telling me that it is OK. My 2000 Odyssey was ready for it's 3rd transmission! Hearing that Transmission Fluid for this 9 gear car is $50/quart does not make me happy either!

5.0

Best new car in years, my wife loves it

We looked at all van brands before picking the Odyssey. We also test drove the Toyota and Kia vans. The main feature that sold us was the second row seating. With the middle section out the two outside captains seats can slide from side to side as well as forward and rearward. They are called Magic Seats and are great. We slide our grandkids to the middle in case of a side impact. We have had some recalls, but none of them caused use any problems before they were repaired. We would buy this van again now. We have had it since new and now 40 months and 36,500+ miles we are happy.

2.3

Most reliable vehicle I owned is Chevy Tahoe Truck

This vehicle is okay but to many recall, I paid to much money for my vehicle to have so many problems with it. I wouldn't recommend any one to purchase a Honda Odyssey.

See all 183 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Honda
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
HondaTrue Certified: More than 1 and less than 6 years/more than 12,000 miles HondaTrue Certified+: Less than 1 year/less than 12,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
HondaTrue Certified: 12 months/12,000 miles HondaTrue Certified+: 24 months/50,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2017

Toyota Sienna

$29,750

starting MSRP

2017

Honda Pilot

$30,745

starting MSRP

2019

Honda Odyssey

$30,190

starting MSRP

See all 2018 Honda Odyssey articles