Autotrader’s long-term test car fleet has officially grown by one. We’ve just taken delivery of a 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite — along with the $47,610 base price that goes with it. That may seem like a lot, but our Odyssey comes pretty close to luxury minivan territory — and today, we’re introducing it to you, with many updates to come throughout the next year as we live with the Odyssey through road trips, carpool lines and our daily commutes.
Why the Odyssey?
The minivan game is a competitive one — and now, after years of drivers pretty much choosing between the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, there are four compelling choices. Those would be the Odyssey and Sienna, like always, but also the recently redesigned Kia Sedona, which we spent a year with in 2016, and the recently released Chrysler Pacifica, which Autotrader has been living with for the past year. With two minivans, picking the right one was already difficult; now, with four, it’s even harder.
But Honda is working hard to keep its huge share of the minivan market. The Odyssey was redesigned for 2018 with new styling and a lot of new features, including all of today’s latest safety technology — and a few cool items called CabinTalk and CabinWatch, which allow you to communicate with your rear passengers (and keep an eye on them) better than ever before. With a brand-new Pacifica and Sedona to contend with, and surely a new Sienna on the way, the Odyssey can’t afford to be anything short of great — so we wanted to find out if it still is.
Our Odyssey: Pricey, but Loaded
We chose the top-of-the-line Odyssey — the 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite — for the same reason we often choose models with all the features: because we want to sample them to let you know if they’re any good. Plus, it’s worth noting a good chunk of Odyssey shoppers buy the Touring trim ($45,500 to start) or the Elite, like ours, wanting minivan practicality without surrendering equipment and interior comfort to many luxury cars.
As a result of its $47,600 base price, our Odyssey Elite is loaded: It offers a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, dual power sliding doors, the entire Honda Sensing Package (with equipment like lane-keep assist, forward-collision braking and adaptive cruise control), LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and 19-inch alloy wheels. There’s also a rear-seat DVD player, Bluetooth and the aforementioned CabinTalk and CabinWatch, which we’re excited to test out.
Is it still the minivan gold standard? We”ll find out — and we’re excited to see how the Odyssey handles all of our myriad duties and tasks over the next year. Find a 2018 Honda Odyssey for sale
Check out our 2018 Honda Odyssey New Car Review