Honda has unveiled a new version of its Odyssey minivan in the Motor City.Honda has introduced an all-new version of its Odyssey minivan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Representing the fifth-generation of the popular minivan, the 2018 Odyssey arrives with a number of key design and technical improvements.
The overall look of the 2018 Odyssey is familiar, but details have been made more crisp. The front end of the new minivan gets a new fascia with headlight and grille treatments inspired by newer Honda models like the Ridgeline and Civic. A creased hood gives the van the appearance of a little more muscle.
The flanks of the Odyssey have been adorned with distinctive character lines and the same lightning bolt beltline that debuted on the last-generation Odyssey. For 2018 that kink has more function as the lightning bolt design element now conceals the van's lower door tracks. The rear of the Odyssey features fresh styling and LED taillights.
The interior of the Odyssey features a number of upgrades over last year's model. Like all modern Hondas, the 2018 Odyssey gets a new infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen display. The unit is capable of running both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As a bonus, the new system can be updated over-the-air or via USB.
In order to keep closer tabs on the kids in the back, the 2018 Odyssey will come with Honda's latest CabinWatch and CabinTalk technologies. CabinWatch uses a camera to feed what's going on in the second- and third-rows to the display screen in the center stack. Honda says the camera system works both in day and night. CabinTalk uses an integrated microphone to play the driver's voice through the second- and third-row vehicle speakers. The audio is also piped through the vehicle's rear entertainment headphones.
But the need to threaten punishment through the CabinTalk speakers should be somewhat reduced thanks to an all-new connected rear entertainment system. Using the vehicle's 4G LTE WiFi or smartphone hot spot, rear seat passengers can stream video or audio from sources like PBS Kids of Spotify right to the vehicle's ceiling-mounted 10.2-inch display. Additionally, owners can download a smartphone app that allows them to control all rear-seat entertainment controls right from their phone. The new Odyssey also includes a Social Play List function that lets up to eight users upload music to the vehicle's audio system for a jukebox-like experience.
In order to make the Odyssey a little more family friendly, the 2018 edition of the minivan includes a new Magic Slide second-row seat. The system allows the second-row seat to be reconfigured in a number of different ways, giving owners the option to maximize the van's interior volume for either passengers or cargo. And, of course, the popular HondaVac in-vehicle vacuum system returns for 2018.
Power for the 2018 Honda Odyssey is provided by a 3.5L V6 developing 280 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic comes as standard on most Odyssey models while top-spec versions of the van receive a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Honda hasn't announced economy figures, but promises the Odyssey will be top of its class.
Handling isn't a priority for a vehicle like the Odyssey, but Honda promises better road-hugging abilities thanks to a new chassis that is 44 percent stiffer before and also about 100 pounds lighter. The van's electronic steering has also been revised to be more responsive and there is a new rear suspension design.
Following in the footsteps of the most recent Honda CR-V, EX and above trim levels of the Odyssey come standard with Honda Sensing. The safety suite includes a comprehensive list advanced technology, including adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist and emergency braking.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey is scheduled to go on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the van's market launch.
Live images by Brian Williams.