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- Common-sense convenient features
- Good seating all the way around
- Plenty of interior space
- Adequate power
- Packages can get pricey
- A little old compared to some
- Ergonomics can be a little funky
- Front seats could use some support
The 2017 Honda Odyssey may be replaced soon to bring it in line with competitors. It's still a practical van with a plan, and indispensable for big families.
The 2017 Honda Odyssey is likely riding off into the sunset this year—burger wrappers, pulverized cereal, lost Legos and all. A new van replaced it for 2018, but regardless of generation, the Odyssey stays as one of the most versatile and comfortable family vehicles on the road.
Starting at just over $30,000 for a base LX model, the Odyssey is offered in EX, SE, EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite trims that can top more than $43,000.
New for 2017, Honda has added sound-insulating windshields to more models and has made available on more models family features such as rear-seat entertainment systems and in-car vacuums.
In its final year for the current generation, the Odyssey racks up an impressive 7.0 on our overall scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Style and performance
Most minivan buyers place an emphasis on versatility and comfort before style and performance, but thankfully Honda has put thought into all of the above. The Odyssey's shape is well-known by now: it's the one-box van with a so-called "lightning bolt" along the side. That character line actually serves a purpose (it helps with rear-passenger visibility) and fits with the overall shape. We like the front bumper, and the back hatch is a little chunky, but not wholly offensive.
Inside, function trumps form, although the bigger knobs and controls are better here than touchscreens and finicky sliders. A straightforward layout may not give many passengers much to look at, but that's what rear-seat entertainment is for, right?
The Odyssey carries forward with the same powertrain as before, a 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a 6-speed automatic. The V-6 churns 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque and motivates the Odyssey up to speed without much of a fuss. Although Honda has more advanced transmissions on the shelf, the 6-speed in the Odyssey stays the same this year—along with its indecision while cruising.
Despite powertrain quibbles, the Odyssey manages decent roadholding with an agreeable suspension setup and good power steering.
The Odyssey manages 22 mpg combined, according to the EPA. That's right in line with the competition, except for the plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica.
Comfort, safety, and features
Here's the Odyssey's wheelhouse. With seating up to eight and creature comforts aplenty, the Odyssey carries, fetches, moves, and transports like a champ. Adults can fit in any of the van's eight seats with relative comfort thanks to adjustable seats. Rear seats are a 60/40-split folding affair in the third row, and the Odyssey can open up to swallow more than 90 cubic feet of gear when all the seats behind the first row are gone.
The Odyssey sports some of the convenience features we like to see in a minivan: an in-car vacuum, rear-seat entertainment, and even a rung to hang a trash bag. Odysseys were built for families, and it's clear that designers listened to their customers.
The Odyssey earned good scores from federal and independent testers, but the van lacks some of the advanced features that others are beginning to offer. Forward collision warning and lane-departure alerts are available, but mostly in top models.
All vans have a standard complement of airbags, and the IIHS rated its LATCH child seat connectors as "Acceptable" for ease of use.
Base LX models aren't slouches in brute-force value at just over $30,000 to start. Each model comes standard with air conditions; power windows, locks, and mirrors; seating for at least seven; a rearview camera; Bluetooth connectivity; power adjustable front seats; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; USB connectivity; split-folding third row; and an 8.0-inch display for audio.
Higher trims add leather, rear-seat entertainment, in-car vacuums, second- and third-row sunshades, and power liftgate, but not many a la carte items are available. The van can get pricey in top trims, but this year's SE model could hit a sweet spot for shoppers looking for rear-seat entertainment and a vacuum without springing for leather seats.