Honda must have been doing something right with its Odyssey minivan all these years. It’s been the most popular minivan for American car buyers for each of the past six years with more than 2.5 million of them sold since its 1994 debut.
But that didn’t stop the automaker from making some big changes to the family favorite for 2018.
“The Odyssey is new from the ground up,” says James Jenkins, Honda brand public relations manager.
CHECK OUT: VW Debuts the Company's Largest SUV Ever
At first glance, Odyssey-observers will notice a bolder and sportier front fascia. What they won’t notice is that this change conceals a new grill for improved fuel-efficiency. Definitely noticeable are the new sliding door tracks that are now hidden in the lower portion of the rear quarter windows.
Changes in the interior include a new display audio touchscreen and rear entertainment system. These features are now all standard on EX and above trim levels.
Cabin quietness is enabled by new features including triple door seals, available acoustic front and side glass, and increased use of sound deadening materials under the floor, in the engine compartment and under the fenders.
One change came straight from consumers themselves. The second-row seat of the 2018 Odyssey is now easily reconfigurable for optimal passenger comfort, cargo-hauling flexibility and third-row seating access.
“Seating flexibility is the one thing consumers always say they want,” Jenkins says.
Honda Odyssey adds high-tech features to its cabin
Another thing younger consumers consistently want is the latest and greatest in technology. The 2018 Odyssey delivers this throughout its cabin with a multitude of new connected-vehicle features and technologies, including:
New Display Audio. Featuring a new Honda-developed operating system, more intuitive menus and customizable app tiles, this 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen interface serves as the nerve center for a multitude of new audio and telematics options, and adds a physical volume knob for improved usability.
System updates. Users can download available updates to the Display Audio operating system and rear entertainment system at their convenience via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi or USB.
CabinWatch. Using a camera, CabinWatch lets the driver and front passenger keep tabs on passengers both day and night via the 8-inch Display Audio screen.
CabinTalk. Enables the driver to talk to second- and third-row passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones.
CabinControl. Using a downloadable app, users can use a smart phone to control the rear entertainment system, rear cabin heat and air conditioning, and send destinations to the embedded Honda navigation system.
Social Play List. Part of CabinControl, Social Playlist operates like a virtual jukebox, allowing up to seven family members to upload their music choices to the audio system via their smartphones.
Honda’s goal was to make the 2018 Odyssey better for the entire family.
"This new Odyssey raises the stakes for family-friendly packaging, performance and technology in the minivan segment," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "In all aspects of its design, the new Odyssey is made to keep every member of the family happy, no matter the seating position, no matter the destination."