Parks McCants's picture

2018 Honda Odyssey invades Kona, Hawaii

Hawaii is admittedly Honda country, and the Kona coast of the Big Island is no exception. Last week we enjoyed the experience of exploring the Kona side of Hawaii’s biggest island behind the wheel of the reinvented and much improved 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan, big things!

Going bumper to tail lights with Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler’s rising star Pacifica, the # 1 selling minivan in the United States comes to market sometime in late May 2017 much improved, actually, reinvented.

Honda believes that when the kids are happily engaged and comfortable...

While Honda fans will most certainly recognize 2018 Odyssey as a Honda, much has changed with this 3-row family hauler. The newest Odyssey, with 2 new transmission choices, a quicker, more powerful, fuel efficient, direct injected, 1-VTEC cylinder managed V6 engine,(+32 horsepower) greater stability, body rigidity, and a much improved rear suspension, is undoubtedly, the most drive-dynamic, comfortable, and powerful minivan in the maker’s history. Honda first announced its reinvented family hauler here.

Ease of in city maneuvering and handling is assured through a shorter “lock to lock” turning radius and available front and rear parking sensors -- this Odyssey could easily perform a u-turn on a very tight 2-way country road. And, thanks to active hydraulic dampening, Odyssey’s overall ride quality will rival many premium midsize sedans found on the road today. We go on the road with 2016 Honda Odyssey S.E. to SEMA Show Las Vegas.

Giving the “little ones” some hands-on minivan systems engagement

2018 Odyssey development drives way beyond the obvious wants and needs of the modern, electronically connected family -- this is the most tech advanced Odyssey offering to date. Honda’s premium 7-place minivan doubles as a segment bench setting entry as to exceptional interior quiet,(thanks to superior sound foam frame and seam injection, acoustic glass, triple door seals, wheel well isolation, and thicker carpet padding) 2nd seating transformer-like capability, and “entire family” access to theater entertainment selection and volume, phone pairing, cabin climate control, and more.2018_Honda_Odyssey

Easily viewed pulldown theater monitor from 3rd row

For 2018, not only will the 2nd and 3rd row passenger enjoy the largest pull down ceiling mounted theater screen in the segment, they can now track the trip route on screen, while selecting pre-loaded movies, games, and paired smartphone applications through an optional Honda Odyssey application on an Android or Apple smartphone. Pull up sun shades, headset jacks, connectivity and charging ports, as well as adjustable climate control makes rear seating the place to be for on-the-road music and theater entertainment enjoyment.

In addition, Dad, Mom or their co-pilot, can monitor activities in Odyssey’s 2nd and 3rd row via the center stack dash integrated color static touch screen day or night, with the ceiling mounted Cabin Watch ™ inferred camera, or speak to their little buddies via headsets or cabin speakers.

2018 Honda Odyssey in any trim injects the “cool” factor into the minivan segment

While my Chrysler, Toyota minivan loving friends may argue the point, I find the 2018 Honda Odyssey to be the most visually pleasing entry in the midsize minivan segment. From the stellar “lightning bolt” side panel design, to the in-your-face 3D chrome and black anodized “ Big H” grill and flush to body integrated tail and head lighting, 2018 Honda Odyssey takes wind-tunnel-tested streamlining to the next level in eye-pleasing auto design artistry, all the way down to the 19 inch alloy wheels and all-weather radial tires, it works! Need all-wheel-drive? Check out 2017 Honda Pilot here.

Take a look at the black-out glass side wrap and trackless sliding door system.

While 2018 Odyssey answers the wants and needs of the modern family, from the pre-teen in the 3rd-row, to the toddler safely contained in the second-row rear facing child seat, this Odyssey effectively puts the “cool” into the minivan segment, something we didn’t see coming.

Not only does 2018 Odyssey Elite turn heads at every stop light, it claims best-in-class zero to 60 mph sprint speeds when called for, for easy highway ingress and passing prowess. As to active safety: For 20l8, all but the entry trim level Odyssey come standard with Honda’s award winning Honda SENSING ™ active safety suite, including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation braking, and more.HOnda-Odyssey_Dash_McCants

Odyssey’s driver friendly road handling, and in-city ease of maneuverability and parking, make driving this 7-row minivan a pleasure.

Pleasing to the eye and touch, easy on the budget

The bonus for Odyssey drivers and passengers alike is a well finished, plush interior environment, as quiet as many luxury sedans on the market today -- making normal speaking level cabin conversation a breeze -- thanks to extraordinary engine, chassis, and road generated noise to cabin isolation.

2018 Honda Odyssey may very well process the quietest interior in the Honda stable. Honda engineering went to great lengths to remove the road noise, and stiff ride fatigue factor from Odyssey. In our 2-day Odyssey adventure, no drive-related fatigue was noted -- and believe me, we covered some crazy hill to valley, gravel and paved back road to highway transitions in Odyssey. As to handling dynamics, throttle response, engine to transmission performance, etc, look for a detailed initial drive impression the week of May 15.2018_Honda_Odyssey_Rear_McCants

Odyssey takes minivan comfort to the next level

I love the infinite adjust-ability of the Elite’s 12-way power adjusted heated and cooled leather covered driver’s seat. Odyssey’s redesigned, well placed dash is intuitive, easy to read and accessible from all seating angles. The sweep activated touch screen worked very well, although it does come with a bit of a learning curve.

While Honda goes to great lengths to include all family members, grandpa likes it too

Here’s the thing: For me, the empty nester looking for a quality daily driver with decent drive dynamics, exceptional standard and optional safety features, people-centric electronic gadgetry, and ease of driver to vehicle connectivity, 2018 Honda Odyssey answers all of my wants and needs. Great_Seats_2018_Odyssey_McCants

Through 2018 Honda Odyssey, one finds the added value of additional passenger seating when needed, and enormous, easily loaded cargo space, with the 2nd row seating easily removed and the 3rd row folded down into the floor bin. 2018 Odyssey takes the best selling minivan in North America to the next level in cabin, seating comfort, ease of personal electronic connectivity, real-world driving dynamics, non-hybrid fuel efficiency.

Final thought or two
With my very patient car loving wife Nancy at the wheel, I kicked it “Aloha Style” in the 2nd and 3rd row for 30 miles or so. While not quite as quiet as the front row, the view forward and out the side windows is exceptional, with cabin comfort insured through quality seating, easily accessed and adjusted climate control, and a relatively bump-free ride, despite ever-changing road surfaces and traffic patterns. Examining the quality fit and finish of the cabin, while touching hard and soft trim surfaces, a smile came to my mug -- I wouldn’t have to make any excuses for Honda’s latest and greatest advent.

Remarkably, Honda engineering presents a powerful, fuel efficient minivan without the added expense of turbocharging or electrification. What this means for the consumer is more minivan for less money. I’ll expand on trim levels, MSRP and ride dynamics when embargo lifts on May 15. 2018 Honda Odyssey is everything promised and more. It’s that good! Aloha...

Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.

Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


This was not a very helpful. It reads like a press release. I'm very excited for the new Odyssey, but no car is perfect. It would be great to hear how it compares and what could be better.
Good day Gerald. This is not a first impressions drive review. It's simply a recap of what features are offered through the reinvented Odyssey; it's overall fit and finish, etc. As mentioned in the article, drive impressions and MSRP at that time were under press embargo. How far did you get in the article? Note: This Odyssey is very close to perfect. However, I would like to see a plug-in hybrid option, as well as available all-wheel-drive, as found in Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacific Hybrid. I believe I've covered the balance of Odyssey attributes in the article. Thanks for reading.