By on January 9, 2017

2018 Honda Odyssey white front quarter

Honda unveiled the production 2018 Odyssey today at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, revealing a thoroughly redesigned but wholly familiar family hauling box. New features include second row seats that slide side-to-side, as well as an interior camera to monitor mischievous rear-seat occupants.

Mechanical innovations include an optional, all-new 10-speed automatic transmission built at Honda’s Georgia transmission plant, and an upgraded 3.5 liter V6 that now produces 280 horsepower.

2018 Honda Odyssey white rear quarter

The cabin is where it’s at in a minivan, however, and Honda has piled on plenty of new features to satisfy drivers and passengers alike. The new Magic Slide second row seat will slide side to side to allow for multiple seating and rear-seat access configurations, as well as the usual fore and aft adjustment. Removing the center seat allows the outboard captains chairs to slide together for easier third row access, or the chairs can remain apart to minimize sibling conflicts.

2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey

When the kids are getting rowdy, parents up front can easily be distracted by the need for discipline — dad’s threat of, “I’ll turn this car around right now” is familiar to anyone who’s taken a long road trip.

To ease the burden, the Odyssey offers Cabin Watch — a night vision-enhanced camera, mounted on the ceiling, that allows front seat occupants to monitor the rear rows for horseplay, or to check the status of a sleeping baby. When that doesn’t work, the driver can easily speak rearward with Cabin Talk, which broadcasts either through the vehicle speakers or through the rear-seat entertainment system’s wireless headphones.

2018 Honda Odyssey

Because everything these days must have an app, Honda has one that allows passengers to control the rear-seat entertainment system, heating and cooling. The screens for the system are larger than previous models at 10.2 inches (diagonally), and can now stream video via an integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, public Wi-Fi, or tethered through an existing cellphone data plan.

2018 Honda Odyssey

In recent years, the excellent Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance and safety systems have been expensive add-ons, keeping these features out of reach of some shoppers. Now, on trims EX and above — which Honda states makes up approximately 95 percent of all Odysseys — the minivan will have Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Road Departure Mitigation systems as standard equipment.

Sadly, the styling doesn’t reflect the spy drawings we spotted last month — the “lightning bolt” profile to the rear quarter window remains, echoed in a pair of body-side slashes. The tracks for the sliding side doors are now integrated into the bottom of that quarter window, rather than separate.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey will be in showrooms in fall 2017. Pricing will be announced later.

2018 Honda Odyssey white profile

[Images: © 2017 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars; Honda]

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63 Comments on “NAIAS 2017: 2018 Honda Odyssey is a Nanny Cam with Wheels...”


  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Centered 2nd row is perfect for parents who’d like added cushion zone between their kid and glass/metal intrusions in the event of a side-impact. Weird front side windowlettes. Downgrade in that aspect, though I wonder if it’s better in an overlap crash.

    Also want to see which trims get the glossy black window pillars vs. the matte plastic ones. The matte ones looked so cheap. =/

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      I have the cheap matte plastic pillars on my LX. I don’t feel bad when beating them senseless with the scraper as I get ice off the van in -25C weather. Same goes for the side “guard” moldings and mirror caps. Cheap black plastic ftw!

      • 0 avatar
        romanjetfighter

        I grew up with base 1998 Sienna with black plastic bumpers and it looked terrible no matter how often I washed it. And my parents made me wash it a lot. =P Funny thing is, now Land Rover, Jeep and other companies charge extra for the blacked out trim bits. Mercedes even calls it Night Edition.

        But here the matte stuff breaks up the silhouette and makes windows appear to be disjointed boxes instead of one continuous shape, especially when the greenhouse shape is central to the Odyssey’s design.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Methinks this and the other premium minivan have long been styled, optioned and priced onto a plateau that is unreachable by most American families having enough kids to need a minivan.

    I guess there’s always used.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Street price of an EX-L will likely be $35K, which is about average these days for a new vehicle. You want inexpensive, you go to your FCA store.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        The average new vehicle, adjusted for inflation, is no more expensive than 25 years ago and much better equipped. The problem is that wages/earning power haven’t kept pace.

        A Chrysler Town and Country in 1992 was around 26k, which is about 44k in today’s money or the same as an Odyssey Elite or a top end Pacifica.

        • 0 avatar
          OzCop

          Can you quote your source for those numbers in 1992? I bought one of the first minivans in 1984 for right at 10K. I purchased another in 1987 with 3 liter V6 for 13K. 22K seems like a pretty danged big jump over a 5 year period. My mother in law’s T&C in 2006 was only 25K. Of course, these were negotiated prices, except for the 84 model of which there was such a great demand, there was zero negotiation, particularly on the LE model.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      The LX Odyssey is very nicely equipped and not very expensive. The tech added on top is what makes minivans expensive. Keep it simple and it’s much better.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I had a loaner LX when our EX-L was in the shop overnight. It wasn’t a huge downgrade, but it reminded me why we went for the EX-L. I’ve never had a problem in 3 years with the power doors either. Or anything else really.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      People don’t buy Odysseys because they need the room, they buy them usually because they want the ~premium~ option in the class. I saw a base model the other day (with the matte black trim/door handles) and realized it’s probably the first one I’d ever seen. Of course, now that there won’t be any dirt cheap Grand Caravans to go around, who knows who will pick up the low-end minivan market slack. It should be Kia, owner satisfaction is surprisingly high for the Sedona.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Again, with the floating roof.

    • 0 avatar

      That is a really ugly minivan. It’s way over styled. These swoops on the side remind me of the Mazda 5. Not a good look to be reminded of. The “floating” D pillar and strange “lightning bolt” effect make the back end look like it’s got a droopy ass. Pacifica undoubtably the best looking minivan on the market.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Our 08 Mazda 5 is fine, if a bit generic. I was never sold on the 2nd gen “Happy Mazda” style. And the rear styling went from “spacevan” to “station wagon” in its look.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Cabin Talk”? More like Cabin Yell.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    That third interior photo… I’m still convinced there’s a Tiny Man modelling agency that sprung up solely for the needs of CAFE-inflicted OEMs.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    My only question is will Honda put the same POS Pilot transmission into this new Odyssey?

  • avatar
    RV1458

    “The 2018 Honda Odyssey will be in showrooms in fall 2017.”

    This says Spring 2017: http://www.hondanews.com/releases/all-new-2018-honda-odyssey-minivan-makes-world-debut-at-2017-naias-takes-family-friendly-design-performance-and-technology-to-the-next-level

  • avatar
    mike978

    So just to confirm, if you have three seats in the second row (so 8 seat configuration) and you remove the middle seat then the two outboard ones can slide? Or is it just with the captain chair option (7 seat configuration) and those seats slide?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “Removing the center seat allows the outboard captains chairs to slide together for easier third row access, or the chairs can remain apart to minimize sibling conflicts.”

      Now, my question is, could this system be rigged up to work with a single seat? Alternatively, are the outboard seats removable?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Are we approaching “Peak Minivan”? Each redesign/refresh/cleansheet design seems to get closer to a late 1980s Conversion Van in size and seating configurations.

    If the rearmost seat converted into a bed, we’d really have something. :-)

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Looks like a solid refresh, but breaks no new ground. Chrysler now owns the green market with the hybrid Pacifica. Toyota owns the AWD option. Chevy has the SUV-like with the new Traverse, and Kia owns the budget market.

    I’d like to see Honda start taking some chances again.

    • 0 avatar
      romanjetfighter

      Odyssey from 1999 to 2010 had the same basic structure and looked almost identical (except tail lights) from the A pillar back.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      This new Odyssey was rumored to have an SH-AWD option to finally compete with the Sienna. The latter holds a commanding margin of takers in our circle of friends due to the AWD option and the desire to get up to the ski areas without chains. I’m not seeing any AWD mentions since the debut so hopefully they are just holding it back until after the initial release.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Is an intercom really necessary? It’s a minivan for crying out loud, not a bus.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Not attractive. It reminds me of the Chinese Buick G8 van. Design has become a real struggle at Honda lately.

  • avatar
    ant

    in my lifetime so far I’ve bought 9 hondas, 5 of em bought new.

    I will not be buying any honda in the future with those tackyass s2000 instruments.

    And this thing is just as ugly as the last minivan.

    no

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I was gonna say from the first pic that the roofline looks like the world’s first fastback minivan, but I think its just the caera angle. It looks alright in the rest of the pics.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Well would you look at that. Honda finally hid the sliding door tracks.

  • avatar
    Bonzai

    Hopefully Honda doesn’t botch that new 10 speed transmission. They don’t want a repeat of the late-90s to mid-2000s.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Huh. My 02 Odyssey has…drum roll, please…sliding second row seats.

    For their marketing people to throw this out as if it’s “all new” for this model is, frankly, lying.

    Rear end looks like somebody cribbed the Chrysler design.

    All new 10 speed transmission? Oh, goodie–another one for Honda to get wrong and spend years denying while their buyers spend $6K on repairs. Or dump their Odysseys and just get a Toyota. Or Chrysler.

    Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. It’s a small refresh of the current model.

    I can buy any FCA vehicle, new or used, and put an FCA lifetime $0 deductible warranty on it for a small sum of money. If Chrysler can make their second row Pacifica seats actually comfortable, it’ll be the replacement for my Honda.

  • avatar
    probert

    It’s good to make children comfortable with total surveillance – they will grow up to be good citizens.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    I’m glad to see Honda developing their own 10 speed trans especially after that 9 speed ZF debacle they stuck TLX (V6) owners with.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Maybe the new Odyssey is better looking in the flesh, but judging from the photographs, it’s one ugly minivan. I especially dislike the trapazoidal styling on the side which doesn’t appear to be doing anything or going anywhere. Bring back the lightening bolt. Judging from exterior styling along the FCA Pacifica is a much more attractive ehicle.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Honda still managed to make their minivan look like a hearse. Seriously, am I the only one? Every time I see a black Odyssey I think “hearse.” It must me something about the rear quarter treatment…My son has one, and his wife loves it…it does nothing for me…

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I could really do without the “floating iPad” center stack that is all the rage now. The all digital gauges appear to be a cross between the S2000 and a 95 Town Car.

    Our ’14 lease ends in May. I’ll reserve final judgement until I drive it. Not a fan of Honda styling anymore, too bloated and it makes the van look even larger. I’m glad they finally hid the door tracks, really cleans up the side. I like that they also found a way to make the second row seats work better and covered the anchor points.

    Perhaps it will look better in a darker color? I’ve never found the Odyssey attractive in white.

    The 10 spd is worrisome, as I don’t find the current six speed to be all that great in many regards, as did TTAC’s Tim Cain. My wife likes our current van, but we shall see. I’m liking the Sienna SE or Pacifica better after seeing this.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Didn’t the Mazda MPV have second row seats that slid side to side in 2000? Personally, I think I would use this more often than stow-and-go (makes third row access easier). So, I like that but it is hardly revolutionary. I would worry about an all new transmission, though. 10 speeds seems like overkill.

  • avatar
    C. Alan

    As a father of 6, I am glad they have not abandon the 8 seat configuration. This was the prime reason we picked up a 2012 a few years ago. However, we have now out grown it, and my wife’s ride is now a 2016 Transit 350 wagon.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Just don’t get the popularity of these. Not only is the refresh ugly but the interior looks like it was designed by iRobot and the dash looks like a tacky childish mess. Ditto the overdone Nike swoosh on the sides and all the weird angles and triangles. I wonder if Honda finally sees fit to put a timing chain in this engine and also wonder if the lower trims 9 speed is going to be that same mess as used by Chrysler and Acura. Compared to other Honda models this also has more problems like the rear suspension and some with the power doors not working right, to complaints of wind noise, jumpy transmission and throttle response and still other complaints regarding the navigation and infotainment system. And the biggest complaint I keep hearing. Having to remove the seats and not being able To store them in the floor aka Chrysler style.

    The seat issue alone would keep me away since we are always moving and transporting things around and I sure wouldn’t want to be struggling with seats no matter how magic they are supposed to be.


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