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2018 Honda Odyssey Ownership: It’s Won Me Over

The new 2018 Honda Odyssey has changed my mind about minivans. I really don’t like them, in general. However, this new Odyssey has won me over to the point where I find I’m needing it in my everyday life more and more. It’s like the real-life utility vehicle. Now, the Odyssey didn’t win me over with sex-appeal, razor-sharp handling or blistering acceleration. No, it won me over by being consistent, reliable and useful in a variety of situations.

From the multi-view rear-view camera to the fully removable second-row seats (the third row folds flat) and even in-car tech like cabin watch and Apple CarPlay, Honda knows what parents need and what a minivan should provide. The seating arrangement alone is a triumph: Reconfigurable, sliding side to side, back and forth, removable in three pieces, folding forward or backward in a 60/40 split, it’s remarkably useful. The Odyssey is one of the few cars that feels like a well-engineered tool that perfectly fits everyday family life.

From hauling bulky items to picking up kids, it’s almost like a slightly plush pickup for people who would never want to drive a pickup. Get a text from your neighbor asking if you can give little Tyler a ride home along with your own kids? No problem. Need to get a large table home from a garage sale? No problem.

Granted, the Odyssey isn’t perfect. It drives like a decent, entry-level luxury car. Is that a put-down? Kind of depends on who you are. I think it’s a compliment. It’s smooth and quiet and has adequate acceleration. I get it, ride and handling might be secondary considerations when shopping for a minivan, but all that usefulness wouldn’t seem so great if the van was awful to drive. The Odyssey is actually pleasant to drive, and it makes the utility features that much better because you don’t really have to sacrifice much to get the utility.

One thing I’d like to see is the option of a 360-degree parking camera. Many cars have it (even the Nissan Rogue Sport and the Toyota Prius), but the Odyssey does not.

In the end, if you’re considering an SUV because you really make use of its utility — hauling people and cargo and/or an unusual combination of both — consider the 2018 Honda Odyssey. It’s a real-world utility vehicle that does nearly anything you can think of with very little compromise. You might just drive a bunch of kids/relatives around all the time. It’s good for that, too, but thinking of it as only a family bus is really selling it short on the many utilitarian features it has. Find a Honda Odyssey for sale

Check out our 2018 Honda Odyssey New Car Review

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Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written and video content about cars and transportation for more than 15 years. Brian has contributed to such outlets as Autotrader, The Huffington Post, Kelley Blue Book, and MarketWatch.

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