What matters the most to minivan shoppers is interior space, versatility, and comfort; having ways of keeping kids soothed and occupied helps, too. And whether you're either a busy parent or an empty-nester with grandkids to haul some times, weekend project material other times you'll almost certainly find that the 2013 Odyssey delivers with the convenience you need.
The Odyssey is absolutely loaded with thoughtful touches, and the second and third rows have a seating layout thatnot only meets the needs of full-size adults but also maximizes the number of positions (up to eight) for child seats and kids.
Between the Odyssey's three rows of seating, the interior is great for six adults. The excellent second-row configuration allows the outboard seats to actually tilt and slide outward—changing the width of the second row depending on whether there are two adults, three, or a combination of child seats there (there are now five sets of LATCH connectors, for child seats).
As for the third row, it gets an armrest in some trims, while the folding mechanism is excellent--you can fold either section of the seat into the floor in a single motion, with only the firm pull of a strap (it takes one arm, and there's no need for a complex power-folding mechanism). This 6'-6" editor would have been happy all day in the second row, while the third row was more confining and only good for short trips.
With both the second and third rows folded, there's enough space and a continuous cargo floor good for two ten-foot-long 2x4 studs, or 4x8 plywood. For smaller items, there's a media drawer with damped motion, a cooler compartment that can hold several cans or bottles, and a trash-bag ring—one of those simple things you'll wonder how you've managed without. Interior materials and trims aren't in the luxury realm, but they're not bad for also being Wet Wipe friendly.
Front seats aren't completely neglected; they're comfortable and somewhat wide, and there's a good view outwardwith a good view outward. But we can't say they're among the best; we would have liked more lateral support and back support.
Overall, the Odyssey's cabin is a surprisingly quiet, refined space, with a smooth ride, and some high-tech wizardry helps serve that impression. Active noise cancellation and active engine mounts both quell any vibrations from fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, as well as excess road noise.