By on August 9, 2017

2018 Honda Odyssey LX

Just about every sporting event I’ve ever attended – whether it’s hockey, baseball, or car racing – has been enjoyed from the cheap seats. Boiling it down to one or two reasons, I was either too cheap or too tardy to secure tickets closer to the action. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed it.

Honda’s newest take on the family hauler, and Tim Cain’s favorite topic, also has a set of cheap seats. It’s called the LX. Let’s see if they are closer to the sky lounge or penalty box.

Every 2018 Odyssey comes equipped with Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft torque. In this variant, the LX, it is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, as it also is in the next two trim levels. The 10-speed auto doesn’t appear until the top two models – the Touring and Elite.

Space inside is vast, and the van can tow 3,000 lbs. This figure is notably five hundred pounds shy of a base model Toyota Sienna but still well within the dry weight of several styles of family camping trailer. That extra quarter-ton of capacity shows up on the two high-zoot models with the 10-speed automatic.

The Odyssey LX includes the expected-at-this-price rearview camera but, surprisingly, it is a multi-angle affair allowing views of directly astern, top down, and wide angle. There is an eight-way power seat for the driver while the front-seat passenger is relegated to a four-way chair. They are not heated on the base model.

Air conditioning (with automatic climate control), cruise, and an adjustable steering column are all standard on the LX, as one would expect for vehicle retailing near thirty thousand dollars. Push button start eliminates the inevitable fumbling for keys after the marathon of installing Junior into his car seat, while rear-seat heater ducts ensure all hands don’t bake/freeze depending on the outside temperature.

Eagle-eyed shoppers will be able to spot base Odysseys on their dealer’s lot by way of that model’s black door handles; every other trim has chrome openers. The sole color not on the greyscale is at least a good one: Obsidian Blue. Shades of Deep Scarlet and natty Forest Mist don’t appear until the EX. 18-inch rims shod with 235/60 rubber aren’t small, so make sure to budget for replacements when the time comes.

2018 Honda Odyssey LX

Honda’s base Odyssey LX stickers at $29,990, $240 more than a base Sienna offering 16 extra horsepower and a brace of overhead cams compared to the Honda’s SOHC. The four grand walk to an EX model adds Honda’s suite of “sensing” tools, providing lane-keeping technology and adaptive cruise control, among other driving nannies. Honda’s trick Magic Slide second-row seats aren’t on the base model, either, nor are power sliding doors.

Ace of Base, then? Not totally, especially given the hike to an EX brings the aforementioned goodies plus a better infotainment system including Sirius radio and Apple CarPlay. Still, four thousand dollars is nothing to sneeze at, and buyers of the least-expensive Honda minivan will still get to enjoy its solid construction and super resale value. Perhaps life in the cheap seats isn’t so bad after all.

[Image: Honda]

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 selection.

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

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26 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2018 Honda Odyssey LX...”

  • avatar

    A modern day Biscayne 427 with tuning by Lotus.

    Of course, like all Honda vans, it will still embarrass most things on a twisty back road or at a stoplight race, but the weight savings of the LX version will be appreciated when running down lesser sporting cars, such as the Camaro 1LE and M240i, during semi-competitive track events.

    It really should be called the Odyssey RS.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Yes, but a flat-bottomed tri-spoke steering wheel, Recaros, and red seat stitching should be standard kit on this LX. What good is a chassis that corners like a Caterham if I don’t have the lateral support I need? Ace of base fail.

  • avatar

    I don’t understand why this doesn’t come with a turbo4.

    The torque is high enough to get sufficient performance despite the weight, but the fuel economy benefits seem worth it big time. In fact I think turbo4 peformance would be enjoyed more than V6 performance on a honda van.

    I feel like fuel economy should be one potential benefit of the van over the SUVs…

    the F Pace, volvo XC90, Toyota Highlander, CRV, and even Kia Sorento have 4 Cyls.

    When reading the Kia Sorento, most people say the base 4 is too small, but the turbo 2.0 4 is a “great upgrade” to have good performance.

    Honda has Turbo 4s that are very comparable to Kia’s 2.0T, so I don’t understand why that isn’t the base engine.

    • 0 avatar

      I absolutely agree. Odysseys are not sold here in Europe, but a 280hp V6 is what usually tops the range here. A 1.7 liter diesel would be a natural start in a van like this.

      Which is not to say I wouldn’t want to own a powerful minivan like that. I’d love to replace my Honda Stream with it. But new car taxes alone on a vehicle like that would be exactly 78260 US$ in Norway…not going to happen.

  • avatar

    Out of every car in an automaker’s lineup, you’d think the minivan would make the safety gadgetry at least an option in the base trim. We already know it’s not expensive (when it was an option on top-trim Civics, it was only $1k), and at least some other automakers make it avail. in base trim, so it’s not like it would be out of place.

  • avatar

    save yourself a bazillion dollars and buy a 6 year old odyssey with 120k on the odo. it is a honda after all.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      That can be dicey. My Odyssey with similar age/ mileage would probably be cleaner if a family of Marmots used it rather than my wife and kids, and nearly every interior and exterior panel has some sort of scuff or scratch. This seems to be the norm.

      Also, Honda paint is terrible so the darker colors in particular age poorly.

    • 0 avatar

      My 2005 LX has 160k and we just made a 2500 roundtrip to Florida last week. Didn’t miss a beat and got 25 mpg on the highway the whole way.

      • 0 avatar

        Your damn lucky with your Odyssey. Not having issues is not the norm for a high mileage Honda Odyssey.

        • 0 avatar

          Obsessive over-maintenance helps. Though I know a couple other people with high-mileage Odysseys and they don’t seem to be having significant issues either.

          • 0 avatar

            The ’05-’10 vans didn’t have the transmission issues of the earlier generation (just a reflashing of the computer to solve a common torque converter chatter complaint IIRC). Additionally, I think this middle generation didn’t have Honda’s somewhat controversial VCM cylinder deactivation system that has been linked to some serious oil burning issues. Finally, I find that the ’05-’10 Odysseys have a better quality interior than the cars that followed. It really is a nice middle ground, if you can find a decent one with a not-super-gross interior, it’s a nice car for a family on a budget.

  • avatar

    I’ve got the Sienna for AWD and the higher roofline, but the Honda drives better and returns notably better real world mileage.

    Other than no AWD, the main flaw in the Honda is the new-ish, lower roofline, making it much harder to haul mtbs in the full upright position (I know, 1% of owners).

    Secondary flaw, at least on the older version, is significantly less ground clearance with the Honda.

  • avatar

    Honda might as well be base of EX. For every model, the walk from LX to EX seems to make sense (or Sport in the case of the Accord). There’s a ton of value in their mid offerings that starts to evaporate as you walk through EXL and Touring.

  • avatar

    Lol at buying anything with that garbage transmission. And having to spend $40k+ to avoid it is embarrassing.

  • avatar

    I’ve never driven a car with lane assist and adaptive cruise control, and Sirius, Carplay, and power sliding doors aren’t worth $4k to me, so if I was looking in this category, this would fit the bill nicely.

    I’m assuming here, of course, that at least the Sirius/XM can be remedied a la carte afterward if one desires, for a lot less than 4k.

    • 0 avatar

      $4k gets you Honda Sensing, Magic 2nd row, Smart Key, power sliding doors, Carplay, remote start, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors (key in Winter).

      Worth every single penny. You’ll get most of it back when you sell as stripper models never get top dollar. This ain’t some low spec M3.

      • 0 avatar

        I have the exact opposite view as you.

        If I were in the market for (and could afford) an M3, I would not go low spec, but instead load it to the gills with every option available. Since it would not be a daily driver, and its a less common car to begin with, its likely low mileage and specs would hopefully drive the selling price up a bit above the average on the used market. I’d be more likely to keep it long term as a fun car, but would sell a 3rd vehicle like that first, for a myriad of reasons.

        The Honda is a daily driver, as such, I would keep it for anywhere from 7-10 years and 180,000 – 200,000 miles. I garage-keep all vehicles and I never defer routine maintenance or repairs. As with all my daily drivers, re-sale value is not part of the equation. If I can get 1-2 grand on a private sale, great. If not, whatever minuscule trade in value I get is fine too.

        Thus, loading $4000 that I’ll never get back into a family hauler makes no sense. Although I have lived in cold climates and had a vehicle with the heater ext mirrors and agree they are useful, I now live where that’s not necessary. There is nothing else there that I would want, especially Carplay, and remote start. The less complex the electronics are, the better. I have no idea what Magic 2nd row does, and power doors and remote start are nice conveniences for those out there who want them, but not necessary.

        If they broke out the Honda Sensing (which is adaptive cruise, lane departure, and blind spot warning, I think) separate from the other things in that 4 grand package, then I’d probably do that. It would probably be maybe…2k? (That’s a guess). It is a family hauler and safety should be its key feature anyway. Which begs the question why those things aren’t standard even in the base model.

        • 0 avatar

          This is what I’ve noticed when shopping Hondas and really all makes in general. A stripper model, a dealer isn’t going to deal much with you. They have maybe one or two of them and keep them as loss leaders in the Sunday paper. The EX trim (or really any Honda model) is the heavily stocked item at every dealer. They are super aggressive on the discounts. The actual transaction price between the LX and EX is smaller, I am thinking maybe $2,500-3,000 more at most.

          As for the M3, you should shop what a low-spec M3 brings vs a loaded one. A M3 with cloth seats, no sunroof, standard radio, no power seats regularly bring more (sometimes way more) money than a comparable mileage/condition loaded M3 due to rarity and desirability.

          • 0 avatar

            “A stripper model, a dealer isn’t going to deal much with you. They have maybe one or two of them and keep them as loss leaders in the Sunday paper.”

            This is a bonus, not a bug for me. Get in, get out, less of the dealer BS.

  • avatar

    The downfall of a Honda anything-LX has been the wheels, nice to see they remedied that in this case.

    • 0 avatar

      Lol, downfall…it’s steel wheels and hubcaps on a base model. People should know what they are buying. Nevertheless, it is nice to see them put something on there that looks a little more “premium”.

  • avatar

    4K to upgrade to the EX seems like a no-brainer, and having sold Odys before, most people tend to agree with me.

    Also, those wheels would look great on my CR-V. I’ll wait until these start popping up in the junkyards or on letgo.

  • avatar
    Peter Voyd

    The lack of power doors, even as an option, would mean a no-sale on the Odyssey for me. I believe the base Sienna has those, at least it did when we bought an LE in 2011.

    • 0 avatar

      Lack of power doors is specifically why I bought a 2008 LX. Power doors are soooo slooow. And it’s so much more crap to break and add weight (and they do break – I had to replace the rollers on my manual doors and the parts cost was 1/4th that of the power doors). My kids can operate the spring-assisted manual doors just fine.

      • 0 avatar

        For some reason, I thought there was an override for the power doors which facilitated manual operation at all times.

        My SIL’s 2009’s EX doors were flawless over their entire ownership, and they traded up to a leftover 2017 EX-L. YMMV. (Those doors were constant trouble spots in that generation!)

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