2020 Odyssey New Car Test Drive
The Honda Odyssey was completely redesigned for the 2018 model year. The updates brought the minivan much closer to its main competitor, the Chrysler Pacifica. The Pacifica may be more elegant, but the Odyssey rivals it in almost every category, with excellent power, space, technology, comfort, driving dynamics, and fuel efficiency. It hasn't been changed for 2019.
The Odyssey's standard equipment list reads like a wish list for parents, starting with seating for eight passengers. The EX, just one step up from the base LX, presents a compelling value, especially with standard Honda Sensing safety equipment. Honda's Magic Slide second-row seats are available in EX models and above, which offer four different seating configurations including the ability to remove seats that aren't in use to increase cargo space.
Leather and navigation are nice options, but they can be lived without. Same with things like heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, hands-free tailgate, and an 11-speaker sound system. Up in the Touring and Elite models, there are features such as in-car cameras and microphones to make conversation between rows easier.
The Odyssey is powered by Honda's refined 3.5-liter V-6, paired to a smooth-shifting 9-speed or 10-speed automatic transmission. With 280 horsepower, this engine can smoothly and easily propel a full load of people and their stuff at a fast freeway pace.
All Odyssey minivans are EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 28 highway, 22 combined. That's as good as it gets for an eight-passenger vehicle, thanks to standard cylinder deactivation that shuts down three of the six cylinders under light load. The 10-speed automatic transmission uses start/stop technology that shuts the engine off at red lights.
The Odyssey isn't the only family hauler that reaches 22 mpg, however. The Chrysler Pacifica matches that, while its hybrid version gets even more. The Honda Pilot rates 22 mpg in most configurations, and the front-wheel-drive Toyota Sienna also gets 22 mpg.
Crash-test ratings for the 2019 Honda Odyssey aren't totally complete, but the NHTSA gives this year's Odyssey a five-star overall score, including four stars in the calculated rollover resistance test.
The IIHS rated the Odyssey as a Top Safety Pick after it earned top “Good” scores in all tests and a “Superior” rating for its automatic emergency braking. Top trims, Touring and Elite, get headlights rated as “Acceptable” by the IIHS.
Standard safety equipment in the base LX includes three-row curtain side airbags with rollover sensors, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and a rearview camera. All other models, which Honda says is 95 percent of all Odysseys, add forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings and active lane control, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts. .
The 2019 Odyssey is available in 6 trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navigation and RES (rear entertainment system), Elite, and Touring.
LX models ($30,090) include cloth upholstery, a 7-speaker sound system, multi-angle rearview camera, 5.0-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth connectivity, 60/40-split 'Magic Slide'? third-row seating, USB audio, knee airbags for front passengers and driver, a snow mode called Intelligent Traction Management, 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, keyless ignition, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering column, and automatic climate control. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
EX models ($34,060) add Magic Slide to the second row seats, LED daytime running lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, power 12-way drivers seat, auto-locking doors with proximity sensors and blind spot monitors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, upgraded 160-watt audio system, HD radio, and remote start.
The range-topping Elite ($46,970) gets an 11-speaker audio system, wireless phone charging, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, ambient lighting, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding exterior mirrors, and 19-inch wheels. .