Japanese manufacturers don’t want the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica to make all the headlines and get all the glory. This week at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a completely revised and improved 2018 Honda Odyssey made its global debut.
So, if you thought minivans were dead, guess again. Or, if they really are agonizing, at least they will go out with a fight.
When it goes on sale in the spring, the next-generation Honda Odyssey will bring a host of new features and technologies to the segment, including a uniquely versatile new Magic Slide second-row seat, a new 8” Display Audio touchscreen with a more intuitive, Honda-developed operating system (or alternatively Android Auto or Apple CarPlay), 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, a new Rear Entertainment System with streaming video, plus Honda Sensing advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies standard on all trims.
Additional gadgets come in the form of a new CabinControl app enabling smartphone control of key vehicle systems, audio, and rear entertainment features, the new CabinWatch camera allowing the front occupants to keep tabs on those in the back via the centre screen, and CabinTalk which enables the driver to talk to rear passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones.
Outside, the 2018 Honda Odyssey’s sophisticated and modern new styling adopts the brand’s signature flying wing front grille flanked by available LED headlights. New active shutters behind said grille improve fuel efficiency when cruising. The “lightning bolt” beltline now provides an even more elegant design element, while at the rear there are LED taillights and an available new hands-free power tailgate with foot activation.
As for propulsion, the direct-injected 3.5L V6 engine now produces 280 horsepower via a new 9-speed (standard) or 10-speed (Touring trim) automatic transmission. Honda’s Intelligent Traction Management system adds normal and snow modes and combines with Agile Handling Assist and a more powerful braking system for improved all-weather traction and control.