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Sawzalls, Duck Tales and hockey sticks: What people are saying about Honda's '18 Odyssey

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

Honda's redesigned, fifth-generation Odyssey minivan features modern connectivity through in-car apps and cameras, streaming video and 4G Wi-Fi, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There are other enhancements, too, including more flexible seating, an available 10-speed automatic gearbox and stain-resistant leather seats. What people are saying about the '18 Honda Odyssey.

“At first glance, the new Odyssey looks remarkably like the old one, with the same overall one-box shape, the familiar unusual kink to the beltline and similar triangular headlights. But a closer inspection reveals a much cleaner aesthetic to the new van, with more sculpting in the body sides, a front end that fits in well with the new Honda Pilot SUV and Ridgeline pickup truck, and a new roof design that makes it appear to be floating. The use of chrome and styling tricks make the new Odyssey look longer, lower and more athletic. LED taillights are standard while LED headlights are optional, and active grille shutters help improve aerodynamic efficiency when cruising.”

-- Aaron Bragman, Cars.com

“While the Oddy’s looks appear decidedly less odd, it is important to remember that familiarity breeds indifference. There’s something funky going on with the van’s profile, bordering on Mazda5 weirdness depending on the light and angle. The good news is that the sliding side door tracks are now integrated with the van’s “lightning bolt” beltline, and the Odyssey no longer appears to be two different vehicles that met a Sawzall and then a surgeon – in that order.”

-- Christian Wardlaw, New York Daily News

Photo credit: REUTERS

“From the outside, the latest Odyssey doesn’t make much of a break from its predecessor. The current generation’s stepped beltline reappears, although it’s now further embellished with a downswept crease. Another hockey-stick-shaped character line appears on the lower body sides—a styling flourish that’s fast becoming a cliché. There also are new LED head- and taillights, and the grille now more closely resembles that of the Pilot and other recent Hondas.”

-- Joe Lorio, Car and Driver

“Worried whether the kids are sleeping peacefully or silently torturing each other during that late-night drive home from Grandma’s? There’s a ceiling mounted camera positioned to be able to see kids riding in forward- or rearward-facing seats in the middle row that can perceive infrared at night. Serious spy-cam black ops stuff.”

-- Frank Markus, Motor Trend

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

“Yes, it has a new design and powertrain, but if you're a new parent, the interior is what you'll care about. There's a bevy of new features. CabinWatch uses a camera to allow front passengers to monitor activity in the back with a feed displayed in the eight-inch high resolution touchscreen mounted in the dash. A CabinTalk feature lets the driver talk to passengers by booming their voice through the speakers and headphones (Sally, keep your hands to yourself!). The rear entertainment system has a 10.2-inch screen mounted in the ceiling and can stream PBS Kids, Spotify, and other feeds via the minivan's WiFi system, public internet, or your mobile provider. Honda offered a 16.2-inch split screen in the outgoing model, but claims the new one makes for a better experience. We'll wait until Duck Tales returns this year to confirm that.”

Into this still-competitive market, Honda begins another Odyssey. Minivans will never sell again like they did when Baby Boomers chauffeured their two kids and 1.5 dogs everywhere, but now those children of Boomers are parents. They aren't as shamed or stigmatized over driving a minivan. With this in mind, Honda (and FCA) are still investing in this segment, which offers volume and profits that other companies seem willing to forgo. In 2017, a significant number of buyers are still willing to van up, so the Odyssey lives on better than ever.”

-- Greg Migliore, Autoblog

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