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2018 Honda Odyssey 10-speed Computerized Examined: With a Van Like This, Who Wants a Crossover?

2018 Honda Odyssey 10-speed Computerized Examined: With a Van Like This, Who Wants a Crossover?

Not that you just’d ever be capable of persuade right this moment’s crossover-crazy patrons, however three-row SUVs proceed to maneuver considerably within the minivan course, with decreased floor clearance and towing capability; front-wheel-drive architectures; and spacious, family-friendly cabins. As these segments converge, it begs the query: What makes a minivan a minivan? Sliding doorways? Detachable seats? The traces have been blurred, significantly within the case of the all-new Honda Odyssey, which shares a platform with the corporate’s three-row crossover, the Pilot.

Fleet-Footed Freighter

Pop the Odyssey’s hood and also you’ll discover the identical 280-hp Three.5-liter V-6 that hustled our long-term Pilot from zero to 60 mph in simply 6.Zero seconds. The Pilot’s non-obligatory nine-speed computerized is commonplace on the Odyssey, however go for the Touring or Elite trim ranges—the latter is examined right here—and also you get Honda’s 10-speed computerized, the primary slushbox from the maker to make use of planetary gearsets. The brand new transmission shifts imperceptibly below average throttle, is nicely matched to the V-6 engine, and is all the time in the correct gear. It’s gasoline environment friendly, too, significantly on lengthy freeway slogs. The combo of V-6 and 10-speed returned 30 mpg on our 75-mph freeway fuel-economy check, beating the EPA freeway score by 2 mpg.

This Odyssey Elite additionally sprinted to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds—actually fast for a minivan and faster than many three-row crossovers. The Chrysler Pacifica, clearly the Odyssey’s largest rival, claims a 7-hp benefit over the Honda however managed solely a 7.Three-second time in the identical check. Whether or not putzing round city or merging into heavy freeway site visitors, the Odyssey by no means feels as if it desires for energy. Get on the throttle and the V-6 emits a sonorous tone that wouldn’t sound misplaced in—you guessed it—an SUV.

Bigger bumps transmit into the cabin extra harshly than within the Pacifica, possible because of our check automobile’s 19-inch wheels and low-profile tires. In any other case, the Odyssey’s journey high quality is agreeable; it balances composed cruising with competent cornering, which isn’t mirrored within the unimpressive, Zero.75-g skidpad outcome. But it surely adjustments course nimbly and drives like a a lot smaller automobile. Steering effort is mild, however the electrically assisted system is correct and direct. We’d name the Odyssey a slam dunk dynamically, apart from a brake pedal that looks like stepping on a slice of angel meals cake. And it’s extra than simply really feel: Stopping from 70 mph required 184 ft—an extended distance than any rival and, actually, slightly SUV-like.

Blurred Traces

The Elite trim carries a hefty $47,610 value however brings leather-based seats, a heated steering wheel, ambient cabin lighting, a built-in vacuum cleaner, heated and ventilated entrance seats, and acoustically insulated glass to maintain issues hush-hush. When perched on the mushy, supportive entrance seats behind a blocky dashboard with massive swaths of silver-colored trim, it’s simple to neglect that you just’re driving a minivan. The seating place is carlike and there’s a transparent view of the highway forward, however each the second and third rows can comfortably host adult-sized frames, not like these in lots of three-row crossovers.

Probably the most minivanlike function is the second row’s trick Magic Slide seats that may be reconfigured in various methods. (The Magic Slide seats are commonplace on EX trims and above.) Additionally they may be unlatched and faraway from the Odyssey altogether, however they’re fairly heavy. The 2 outboard seats weigh 68 kilos every, with the thin center seat coming in at precisely half that. The sliding seat’s mechanism stays in place after the seats themselves are eliminated, which suggests a very flat load flooring isn’t afforded to Odyssey patrons. Chrysler’s Stow ’n Go second row is a extra elegant answer in our opinion—it folds into a big underfloor bin when not in use and supplies a very flat load flooring, however it compromises seat consolation within the title of area effectivity.

With the third row stowed and the second row eliminated, the Odyssey can maintain 52 carry-on-size suitcases, which is neck and neck with the Pacifica’s 53 however a whopping 14 greater than the Pilot. With all of the seats in place, it’s Odyssey, 11, Pacifica, 12, and Pilot, a measly four. Backside line: In the case of hauling cargo, nothing wanting a pickup truck beats a minivan.

Trendy Household

The 2018 Odyssey marks the introduction of Honda’s latest infotainment system, and in each trim apart from the bottom LX it’s crisply rendered on an eight.Zero-inch touchscreen show. Boasting a customizable format of menu tiles that may be dragged and dropped to totally different places, the brand new system is light-years higher than the outgoing mannequin’s and consists of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Odyssey Elite comes with an in-car PA system that broadcasts by the automobile’s audio system in addition to any headphones related to the Elite’s commonplace rear-seat leisure system. With onboard Wi-Fi enabled by a 4G LTE knowledge connection, passengers can stream video, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and the like by the ceiling-mounted 10.2-inch flip-down show. Rear-seat occupants may even keep watch over journey progress and their ETA on the meant vacation spot.

A rear-seat monitoring function—known as CabinWatch—initiatives a picture of rear-seat passengers onto the principle infotainment show. It’s meant to be a helpful technique to preserve tabs on “he began it” eventualities, however we discovered that younger youngsters had been thrilled to see their very own smiling faces on the display screen. The attention rolls and glares don’t arrive till they’re older. Linked smartphones can be utilized to manage the rear-seat local weather controls, ship locations to the in-dash navigation system, and add songs to a rolling playlist. Combating machine discharging are three USB ports—which is fairly stingy—and 4 energy retailers (three 12-volt and one 110-volt). These relegated to the third row get their very own headphone jacks for the leisure system, too.

Honda’s package deal of active-safety measures consists of automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping help. Impressively, the bundle of radar- and camera-based applied sciences is commonplace on the $34,800 Odyssey EX and above. (Touring and Elite fashions additionally get parking sensors within the entrance and rear.) The options work fairly nicely, significantly the lane-keeping-assist perform that wiggles the steering wheel to alert the motive force to a potential lane departure simply earlier than it ever-so-slightly tugs the wheel to maintain the Odyssey contained in the meant lane. Many techniques of this nature make use of a far much less delicate motion that has us trying to find the off button only some minutes into our check drives.

So what makes a minivan a minivan? Sliding doorways and detachable seats actually play a job, however their unmatched inside area and revolutionary applied sciences are an excellent greater a part of their attraction. The all-new Odyssey is Honda’s playground for its newest and biggest concepts, and it nonetheless serves up precisely what households want. This top-spec Elite trim does one higher, including the entire issues we wish plus a couple of surprises. The evolution of the crossover hasn’t rendered the minivan pointless but, and with the Odyssey, Honda has a three-row automobile with much more real-world utility than most SUVs, together with its personal.

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