Minivans have come a long way from the slow, boxy, no-frills people movers they once were back in the 1980’s. Honda is at the forefront of this popular resurgence and the 2018 Odyssey Elite is at the top of its game.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was an instant hit with the general public and it caught Honda unaware. For the 2018 Odyssey model, they didn’t hold back. A new engine and new gadgets mean that Honda is looking to reclaim the title of “Best Minivan” with the Odyssey.
For those considering a minivan to help move the family (or rock band?) around town, you’re most likely looking for interior space – and lots of it. It has available second-row power-sliding doors that enables people to come and go with the greatest of ease. Cargo space behind the second and third rows is immense. Like cavernous immense. Even if all three rows are full of passengers, there is still a respectable amount of space in the deep well in the back.
Some people might think that the words “performance” and “minivan” should not be used in the same sentence. They obviously haven’t driven a minivan. The more people or cargo you put inside the van, the slower acceleration and performance you’ll get. So, it’s important for minivans to have power – and lots of it.
The 2018 Odyssey comes with a new 3.5-liter V-6 which is good for 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Elite model (top of the line) comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which will do wonders for helping the van get up and go. The transmission shifts smoothly yet you can still chirp the tires if you push pedal to the metal.
0 – 60 flies by in just 6.9 seconds. Not Ferrari-like acceleration, but still a full second quicker than the 2015 Odyssey Elite.
Braking and Safety
Most minivan owners rank “safety” as the 2nd most important feature a minivan should have (right behind “lots of interior room”). The 2018 Odyssey delivers that wish with stability control and a whole host of safety features such as Honda Sensing active safety tech which has a system that applies the brakes if it senses an immediate collision.
The IIHS gave the Odyssey a Top Safety Pick+. The NHTSA hasn’t tested the Odyssey as of this article, but Honda expects top ratings when they finally do.
Stopping performance in a minivan can often be an exercise in futility. The heavier the car, the longer it takes to stop. Honda got around this by giving their 4,562-pound minivan braking technology that resulted in a respectable 124 feet full stop coming from 60mph.
With the 2018 Odyssey Elite, Honda is attempting to steal back the crown from the Chrysler Pacifica. They’re attempting to do so by offering a lot of value for a comparably little amount of money. The Odyssey Elite is the most well-rounded minivan in its class. It starts at $47,610.