Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Odyssey LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
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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3 of 79 comments
  • 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.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.