Want A 10-Speed Automatic In Your Next Minivan? Prepare To Spend At Least $44,000 For A 2018 Honda Odyssey

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
want a 10 speed automatic in your next minivan prepare to spend at least 44 000 for

Got $43,695?

Honda spoke excitedly about the inclusion of an all-new, Honda-designed 10-speed automatic in the 2018 Honda Odyssey lineup when the van debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit two months ago. Along with a higher-powered 3.5-liter V6 and a standard 10-speed automatic from the Pilot, Honda made clear that the 10-speed would be reserved for “upper grades.”

Now we know precisely how high up the Odyssey food chain you must climb to obtain the minivan world’s first-ever 10-speed.

And it’s quite high.

American Honda began building the new 10-speed at Honda Precision Parts of Georgia just yesterday. In Georgia.

The dawn of 10-speed production at the Tallapoosa plant occurred thanks to Honda’s $100 million investment in the facility. Honda is also pouring $49 million into the automaker’s transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio. Combined, the two factories assemble nearly 1.4 million transmissions annually.

Thenew 10-speed automatic transmission will debut on the all-new 2018 @Honda Odyssey later this spring. pic.twitter.com/qA4k7lcZoT

— KathyatHonda (@KathyatHonda) March 6, 2017

The 10-speed will eventually find its way, Honda says, “to additional light-truck and car models in the future.” But the early application in the upper reaches of one model line is a typical Honda strategy. Just think back seven years to the arrival of the fourth-generation Honda Odyssey, when the current van’s six-speed automatic — no paragon of shift quality, as this 2015 Odyssey EX owner can attest — was reserved for the Touring and Touring Elite trims. Even in 2017, year two for the third-generation Honda Pilot, a six-speed automatic is standard across the affordable sections of the lineup while the nine-speed is fitted to the Pilot Touring and Elite variants.

Likewise, American Honda spokesperson Davis Adams confirmed to TTAC that, “Initial application [of the Odyssey’s 10-speed automatic] is to Touring and Elite models.”

Based on the outgoing Odyssey’s model structure, the $43,695 Touring is 43-percent more expensive than the basic Odyssey LX, which, to be fair, will now feature a presumably more economical nine-speed automatic for MY2018. That’s a $12,905 leap at the moment, bypassing the EX, SE, EX-L, EX-L RES, and EX-L Navi. The Touring Elite is priced at $46,265.

Honda promised “top-in-class” fuel economy for the 2018 Odyssey, surely excluding the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid from the “class.” There are no EPA ratings available, so we don’t yet know whether the 9- and 10-speed Odysseys will achieve class-leading fuel consumption figures. The Odyssey already ranks among the class leaders, and Honda says the new Odyssey will be lighter and more aerodynamic.

Conventional Chrysler Pacificas are rated at 19 miles per gallon city, 28 on the highway, just ahead of the 19/27 Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, the latter of which now features an eight-speed automatic. The Nissan Quest, which is not readily available to consumers, is rated at 20 mpg city and 27 highway.

U.S. sales of minivans have been in decline since August, seven consecutive months. So far this year, minivan volume is down 21 percent, in part because of a predictable 18-percent drop in Odyssey volume as Honda prepares to transition.

But minivan volume at every other competing brand — Chrysler, Dodge, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota — is also lower this year than last.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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2 of 35 comments
  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Mar 09, 2017

    Honda has done this for at least the last few generations of Oddy. Want the six speed auto circa 2011? EX-L or higher trim. Then by 2015 they all had the six speed. I'm not a fan of the way our '14 Odyssey EX-L shifts period and Tim Cain had very similar opinions in his write-up of his van. I'm sure much of it is due to longevity problems with earlier transmissions. Also, Honda does not give you manual control of the gears, only the D4 button or L on the selector. We just drove a '17 Sienna SE and "dull" Toyota gives you the ability to control the gears manually. I'm not sure if all the trims have manual control, but I don't see Toyota making that specific of a change for even the "sporty SE". But even left to it's own, the 8 speed in the Toyota shifted better than the 6spd Odyssey. Around 22k, the Honda maintenance minder indicated it was time for a fluid change. The shift quality had been suffering and after they changed the fluid, it was vastly improved. I just don't have a good feeling about Honda V6/automatics and it's one reason we leased instead of buying. Sure, cue the folks that have 300k on their original transmission and then the other side that didn't make it out of the dealer lot before it let go. The truth is in the middle, somewhere. As for the price, it is what it is. 44k for a minivan is absurd but not for any of our given lusted after cars which are less capable? Or a full-size truck, CUV or SUV, which is only middle trim at those prices? Vehicle prices haven't gotten that much more expensive, adjusted for inflation and standard equipment, we just don't make any more money than we did 20 years ago.

  • Lot9 Lot9 on Mar 13, 2017

    I do not know what Honda is smoking. Lots of money just for a van. Also, lots of multi-speed tranny on the market, already. GM and Ford and other makers have been 9-10 speeds them for some time. If it is anything like those in the recent accords, FORGET IT. I see this a more HYPE than anything....just a marketing tool.

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.