The minivan wars are heating up this winter. Honda will take to the stage at next month's Detroit auto show with its fifth-generation Odyssey minivan, which arrives just months after arch-rival Chrysler reinvigorated its people-carrier lineup with the new-for-2017 Pacifica.
Today, Honda released a couple of images teasing the new Odyssey. While they don't entirely give away the new van's look, the big take-away here is that its rearmost roof pillar is definitely rather un-van-like. The massive, swooping pillar stands in contrast to typical Honda designs that emphasize narrow roof pillars and large windows for maximum visibility.
DON'T MISS: Our 2016 Honda Odyssey review
Otherwise, any other news on the new Odyssey is merely speculation at this point. We expect that it will utilize the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 9-speed automatic gearbox found in the company's Pilot crossover, but a hybrid powertrain seems inevitable. It's possible that Honda will follow Chrysler's lead by developing a plug-in hybrid that can drive on electric power alone before the gas engine kicks in.
Look for an even more versatile interior than the current Odyssey. One thing we'd like to see is a second row of seats that can be moved with a child seat still attached. For now, that's something only the Pacifica offers in the minivan segment.
We'll find out more about the new Odyssey when Honda formally unveils it in Detroit on January 9, 2017.