Editor’s note: You may also want to read Autotrader’s 2018 Honda Odyssey review.
There’s a lot to consider when shopping for a family-friendly vehicle, including the latest tech innovations and what they can do for you. We took a look at the new 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite, which has all kinds of tech the whole family can get excited about.
For parents, there’s Cabin Watch, which lets you keep an eye on the second and third rows — even in the dark, thanks to an infrared camera. The tablet-like "pinch to zoom" feature makes Cabin Watch even more impressive. This is perfect for parents with little ones, because there’s no more turning on the cabin light and waking them up.
We also think parents will appreciate the Cabin Talk feature, which is basically a built-in p.a. system. Just push the button and any music or video is interrupted, even with headphones, so your voice comes through loud and clear.
As for keeping everyone entertained and comfortable, Honda nailed it with an available 8-inch touchscreen featuring an easy-to-use tile-based format. The new infotainment system is a huge improvement over the old dual-screen setup in the previous model.
There’s also a lot of smartphone integration, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available. And, on the Elite model, there’s a wireless charging pad integrated right into the center console.
Honda has also rolled out a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to eight devices, and there are plenty of USB ports throughout the cabin. That means everyone can do their own thing electronically. Or, if your family is into watching movies and playing games together, there’s a rear entertainment system with a drop-down 10.2-in screen that plays Blu-ray and features apps like How Much Further, iHeart Radio and Spotify.
By downloading the HondaLink app, you can start the car remotely, set speed limits for teen drivers or locate your car when you can’t remember where you parked it, which, let’s face it, happens to all of us at some point. With the Cabin Control app, you can even create a group playlist. With up to eight people playing DJ, this could be a lot of fun on your next family road trip. Or it could be a nightmare. Either way, it’s a pretty cool feature that keeps the whole family engaged, and that’s rare these days.
All in all, it looks like Honda is doubling down on their new car tech, and we think it’s a smart bet, especially on a car like the 2018 Honda Odyssey.