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2018 Honda Odyssey: Exceptional features earn Good Housekeeping 'Best Car Award'

Granted, it’s not the first time Honda’s mainstay family minivan earns Good Housekeeping’s "Best Car Award.: But then again, that was before the day of Chrysler Pacifica minivan. 3 key features make 2018 Honda Odyssey best in the minivan segment.

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A minivan is a minivan right? And frankly, for the better part of 30 years, driving a minivan was far from cool, until Chrysler, G.M., Honda and Toyota upped the minivan segment with modern dynamic styling cues, hatchback utility, and configurable interiors -- some encroaching on luxury car comfort standards and ride dynamics.

As hard as it may be to believe, yes, I too appreciate a well crafted minivan; 2018 Honda Odyssey is almost “cool.” Honda comes to the minivan segment with a well appointed entry level MSRP of $30,965 to $47,775 touring. I like driving Honda Odyssey. And yet, there’s much more to Honda Odyssey than 8-passenger capacity. At the end of the day “Mom” pulls the trigger when it comes to that Honda minivan purchase.

Good HouseKeeping magazine, Car & Driver like 2018 Honda Odyssey for these key features

Good HouseKeeping magazine is a home maker’s resource in many households, it’s been around since your grandmother was a pup. The bellwether publication expanded long ago into product review, vacation planning and more. When it comes to everything auto, Good HouseKeeping has a handful of journalistic experts on staff. Yet, for this top honer, partner with Car & Driver when searching for the best 2018 Auto contestant in several categories.

Looking to the minivan segment it comes down to Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica

It’s a close call when comparing 2018 Honda Odyssey to 2018 Chrysler Pacifica. I drove both when attending Honda’s reinvented Odyssey Rollout in Kona Hawaii, finding both offering to be unique, comfortable of ride, and surprisingly drive dynamic. Giving the nod to Pacifica. Chrysler's epic minivan entry comes to market with 2 features 2018 Honda Odyssey doesn't offer; a hybrid drive, and all-wheel-drive. So, good HouseKeeping’s top hybrid honors go to 2018 Chrysler Pacifica; calving it off from the minivan segment.

These key features drive 2018 Honda Odyssey to the top of the minivan segment

Honda Odyssey’s been here before with the initial integration of a standard featured cabin Shop Vac. That’s still there. But it took a bit more innovation in 2018 for Honda Odyssey to clench this award. In thinning out well over 100 entries, G.H.C. measures overall purchase value, safety ratings, drive-line performance and reliability. On the mechanical, tech side of the contest, GH and Car and Driver journalists and researchers measure NVH (noise,vibration, and harshness,) as well as handling, interior, design, comfort and utility.

What pushes 2018 Honda Odyssey to the top of the minivan segment is a very “cool” overall body design, an infinitely transformable interior, segment topping fuel efficiency (non-hybrid) and something the other makers don’t offer -- Cabin Watch, Cabin Talk, and Honda SENSING, active safety suite, now available at all trim levels. There’s also 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and more than adequate connectivity

Good Housekeeping deems 2018 Honda Odyssey the “ultimate family ride.” I agree. After spending several weeks behind the wheel of Odyssey, one could argue that Honda’s one and only minivan encroaches on “cool!” It’s an impressive head turner with top of class comfy-cruize capability.

What we like: Built in Vac, high centered touch screen monitor, huge ample bin storage, convertible second row seating, cushy, yet controlled ride dynamic, interior quiet.

What we’d improve: Greater 3rd row seating headroom, Larger pull down centered second row theater, 10 speed automatic transmission.

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