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Honda Odyssey: 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/18/2017 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Honda-Odyssey-Elite-dashboard.jpg

We Like: Slick 10-speed, ride/handling, Cabin Watch & Talk

We Don't Like: No-fold middle row, lightning-struck exterior

Minivans frequently serve as innovation incubators, and Honda's own imagineers are following up their fourth-gen Odyssey HondaVac breakthrough with Cabin Watch and Cabin Talk. The former lets parents keep a fisheye on middle- and third-row kiddos even when they're in rear-facing child seats, and the latter broadcasts front-row voices of authority over the rear speakers or headphones. Ed Loh found them "fun, if a bit gimmicky," while Mark Rechtin likened Talk's fidelity to "doing a sound check onstage at Cabaret Metro in Chicago."

Honda's fabulous 10-speed automatic earned big Engineering Excellence points by helping the Odyssey outrun a Chrysler Pacifica Limited by 1.1 seconds to 60 mph while ranking 1 mpg better in the city. Of course, the plug-in Pacifica Hybrid arguably overcompensates for such engineering deficits.

a car parked on the side of a road© Motor Trend Staff

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Performance of Intended Function rules in the minivan category, and Chrysler's foldaway middle row trounces Honda's 69-pound (each) side-sliders with nonfolding backrests. We don't buy the argument that Honda's customers never carry big stuff. "Lots of customers don't use turn signals, either," Christian Seabaugh said, "yet we still need them." Furthermore, Alisa Priddle worried that "once gummy bears get in those side-sliding tracks, kids will not be able to push them easily, if at all."

And finally, on the design front, we're not fans of the lighting bolt beltline. Angus MacKenzie felt there were "too many lines heading in too many directions, many simply dying of despair on a random section of panel." He sealed the Odyssey's fate, summarizing: "Chrysler's more practical, more elegant Pacifica is better."

2018 Honda Odyssey Elite front three quarter in motion© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite front three quarter in motion
2018 Honda Odyssey Elite
BASE PRICE $47,610
PRICE AS TESTED $47,610
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 8-pass, 4-door van
ENGINE 3.5L/280-hp/262-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,582 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 118.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.8 x 70.8 x 55.5 in
0-60 MPH 6.6 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.0 sec @ 94.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 127 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.73 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 29.1 sec @ 0.58 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 19/28/22 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/120 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.87 lb/mile

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