Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

ace of base 2017 honda odyssey lx

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the best choice for that particular model. Here’s a candidate.

Wait, wait, wait! Yes, this is a minivan … but before you scroll past this post to revel in Steph’s news reports or one of Jack’s adventures, consider this: when was the last time you bought something which truly made your life easier? Because that’s what minivans are all about.

Armed on average with 2.5 kids, most families would do well with a big, comfortable, feature-laden box on wheels. Heck, many did, until Ford invented the Explorer in 1990, setting off a rogue wave of SUVs, which has yet to abate.

Honda’s Odyssey showed up for 1995 with four normal doors and a four-cylinder engine. (Bonus points if you remember that it was also sold as the badge-engineered Isuzu Oasis.) Sales were tepid compared to the established competition, but good enough for Honda to toss a redesigned, dual-sliding-door Odyssey into the market for the 1999 model year.

The current Odyssey is available in a myriad of trims but, as always, we’re here to examine the cheapest of the lot. For a sub-$30,000 MSRP, Honda sees fit to equip the Odyssey LX with a backup camera, a raft of airbags, and air conditioning for both the front and rear passengers. Cruise control and a tilt/telescoping wheel are present and accounted for.

Parents will appreciate Bluetooth and the ability to separate sibling rivals thanks to Honda’s clever seating system. Paint choices aren’t limited to the grayscale menu, either, with an Obsidian Blue and Deep Scarlet Pearl available as $0 options. Parents take note: the red hue can only be paired with beige seats, so watch where the young ones toss those juice boxes.

No matter the outlay of cash, every Odyssey deploys Honda’s 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Please take this opportunity to remind yourself that a hairy-chested Fox-body Mustang only made 225 hp.

Sure, the fancy-pants Odyssey Touring Elite has 12 speakers and an IMAX-sized television for in-flight entertainment, but its $15,475 premium is but $600 away from the entire sticker price of a base Fit. If forced to make the choice, which would you buy? A top-shelf Odyssey? Or a brace of Hondas so you can have a small hatchback at your disposal while you clean the van of juice boxes?

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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  • Xpistns Xpistns on Jan 19, 2017

    Any Mazda 5. I got the last 2015 Grand touring (not base model, but what the hey, I said) for 21k. Best car for the enthusiast dad. I installed a fatter rear stabilizer on and now we're talkin' 40+ mph cloverleafs with the ability to seat 6! Try that with any larger minivan!

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Jan 19, 2017

      For sure, the Mazda 5 is (was) a great car and a great value. I got a 2012 base model for $19k in late 2012. It's high in utility and driving satisfaction. It's definitely compromised on room when compared to the mini-behemoths currently sold (Odyssey, Sienna, Pacifica, Sedona), but you should be able to figure out if it meets your family's needs or not after a quick test drive.

  • AKADriver AKADriver on Jan 19, 2017

    I had to specifically seek out an LX when I bought my previous Odyssey and I'd do it again. I don't want built-in tech that will become obsolete. Of course these days hey're just flip-down displays with generic inputs, but think of all the vans of yesteryear that came with VHS or DVD. Power doors are more of a nuisance in my experience than manual ones, and they're the big dealbreaker on the higher end Odysseys. Maybe different if I had infants. A 6 year old can close the standard spring-assisted doors in much less time than the slowpoke motors close the doors on the higher end models. Same reason I'd never buy a roadster with a power top. I could flip up the roof on my Miata by hand at a stoplight. I hope the '18+ Odyssey's new platform brings back some of the agility of the 2nd gen I owned. Otherwise I think I'd go straight to the Kia Sedona which also offers a power-nothing LX trim.

  • MQHokie Who decided moving all headlight control to the touchscreen was a good idea? I assume this means no manual high beam control anymore, so you're at the mercy of the automatic system that gets fooled by street lights, porch lights, sign reflections etc. Not to mention a good software bug or a light sensor failure might render the lights inoperable. With all the restrictions the NHTSA has placed on USA headlight design over the years, it amazes me that this is even legal.
  • Teddyc73 The Bronco just doesn't have enough editions and models.
  • ToolGuy @Matt, let me throw this at you:Let's say I drive a typical ICE vehicle 15,000 miles/year at a typical 18 mpg (observed). Let's say fuel is $4.50/gallon and electricity cost for my EV will be one-third of my gasoline cost - so replacing the ICE with an EV would save me $2,500 per year. Let's say I keep my vehicles 8 years. That's $20,000 in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.If the vehicles have equal capabilities and are otherwise comparable, a rational typical consumer should be willing to pay up to a $20,000 premium for the EV over the ICE. (More if they drive more.)TL;DR: Why do they cost more? Because they are worth it (potentially).
  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!