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The mundane life of a minivan driver is generally filled with PTA meetings, bake sales and sticky finger children with muddy shoes. Life is a never ending fairytale we keep telling ourselves, “they’re out of the house at 18.” But let’s face the hard truth – they’ll always be money snagging monsters that will never leave the basement. However, not everything in life has to be dissatisfactory, Honda has that covered with the all new Odyssey – fulfilling fantasies worldwide.

Burnin’ Rubber:

Built off the same platform as the Pilot, the Odyssey expresses very similar personality traits. It uses the same 3.5-liter, 280-horsepower V-6, and while the Pilot is slightly quicker to 60 mph, the Odyssey seizes to let anything blow its doors off taking 6.5 seconds to 60 mph while leaving a set of rubber behind with it. Not half bad for a soccer mom wagon. While the Pilot features an optional 9-speed automatic, it’s standard on the Odyssey apart from its all-new 10-speed transmission which is only offered on the Touring and Elite models. 10 gears is a lot for a transmission to ask for – somehow though, Honda has it nailed down right. A unique system that offers advance fuel efficient technology while being energetic and receptive. The transmission never skips a beat when needing to find the right gear at the right moment. Even with the steering wheel paddle shifters, one click to downshift and its already set in the gear it needs to be in. Because the Odyssey offers so many gears, it manages to be economical at the pump – during our 250 mile highway run, we managed 30 miles to the gallon, two more than EPA, and 20 mpg combined.

As one might expect, the Odyssey’s charisma leans toward comfort and ease. However, who says a minivan can’t be fun to drive? The Odyssey is actually fairly enjoyable from behind the wheel. The larger 19-inch wheels on our tester expressed a little more road feedback through the well responsive steering wheel while maintaining composure and a lavish quality one would expect.

Do the Slide:

Now into its fifth generation, Honda has finally figured out how to hide the sliding door tracks into the rear window frame – something that Chrysler figured out while Honda was still offering the Odyssey with four-doors. It’s no surprise then our top tier Elite was a handsome looking mom wagon with LED head-, fogs, and tail lights. Its smooth lines and little crease in the side design adds a little bit of an aggressive look – hate to piss them off at the malls, last chance back to school clearance sale.

Growing up in size, the interior of the Odyssey is roomier than ever, more comfortable, and can accommodate up to 8, full size passengers. The use of premium finishes in our Elite model look every bit the part of our nearly fifty-thousand dollar price tag. Soft touch materials covered nearly every surface with rich materials and ambient blue light that filled the dash.

Techno Savvy:

Honda wanted to make the Odyssey the most advanced minivan on the market, and with the amount of tech packed into this mom-mobile, they might have just done it. Not only does the Odyssey support Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Connectivity, but also features all the latest HondaSense safety gear: Adaptive Cruise, Pre-Collision, Blind Spot, and Lane Assist. It also features Navigation, back-up camera and all around parking sensors. But the awesomeness lies beneath two features, its CabinWatch program that features a camera in the ceiling and can get a high resolution display of the kids picking their noses and the rear seat entertainment system that supports online video streaming using the onboard WiFi that features an “Are We There Yet” app that’s connected to the in-cars Navigation system.

There is no shortage of passenger ease and comfort. Rear passengers have their own climate control through the three-zone system, there are four USB adaptors, three 110-volt outlets, and the third row seaters got headphone jacks to listen to the video playing.

Honda calls their second row seats “magic”… perhaps because we don’t have kids, but we couldn’t quite figure out what’s so “magical” about them – they slide, they tilt, and they can be completely removed as long as Prince Charming is there to simplify your life, because they are quite heavy. Third row seats fold flat in into the floor but also require two hands to pull them out again. Carried over from the previous model, Honda also incorporates its HondaVAC to help clean up any messes along the way, cause you know, that’s a never ending battle.

The children out there won’t know the real struggle we faced – having to get out on one side of the car, share a seat with the evil sibling and slug bugs gave us a reason to pound each other. With the new Odyssey, life is simpler, a little more balanced and manageable. The Odyssey lets you take the back seat and enjoy life’s little moments.

Vehicle Specifications:
2018 Honda Odyssey Elite: $46,670
As Tested (including Options & Destination): $47,610
Performance Specs:
3.5-liter V-6 – 280-Horsepower, 10-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±6.5 seconds
EPA MPG: 19/28/22 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 21 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±290 Miles