2018 Honda Odyssey is loaded with family friendly tech
You'd be forgiven for assuming that not a whole lot has changed with Honda's new minivan now in its fifth generation, it certainly looks a lot like the old model.
However, it's a bit more powerful, more sure-footed, and a whole lot quieter than before.
Plus it's packed to the gills with lots of new tech to help keep mom and dad happy.
So let's hop behind the wheel of this 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite and see exactly what's new.
Let's first talk performance.
Under the hood we've got a 3.5 liter direct injected i-VTEC engine, which is similar to what we had last year, however, now it's rocking direct injection technology which bumps the output to 280 horsepower.
That's over 30 horsepower more than we had before.
That's made it to a nine speed or an optional ten speed automatic transmission.
That's a ridiculous number of forward gears but it allows the more powerful engine to boast about the same fuel economy as we had last year.
Out back we've got a new compact multi-link suspension that helps the Odyssey ride just a bit smoother and soak up the bumps a bit better.
It also works with the additional sound deadening material and optional acoustic glass to help the cabin just sound a lot quieter.
On the dashboard we've got Honda's new cabin technology suite.
It's an eight inch unit that's still based on Android like before, but it's got new software on top of that And new hardware underneath.
Honda tells us that it's its most responsive system yet and playing around with it I can definitely tell that.
Its got a lot of the same features that we saw in vehicles like the Pilot and the Ridgeline, like, standard Android Auto and optional Garmin navigation, but his is a family vehicle, so, it's got a lot of family friendly features.
It's got a lot of the same features that we've seen in other Honda vehicles, but this is the most family friendly of them.
So it's got more family focused features.
Things like the new cabin watch system which is a camera mounted in the ceiling that gives the birds eye view of all the seats behind us.
It's also infrared sensitive so it works at night, so you can keep an eye on your young ones while you drive.
I've also got a feature called cabin talk, which uses a microphone mounted here in the ceiling, to broadcast my voice to the speakers all the way at the back of the car.
That way, I don't have to shout for people on the third row to hear me clearly.
And if they are using headphones and listening to the rear seat entertainment system, I can also tap a button and have my voice come through those as well.
And just over my shoulder we've got the new rear seat entertainment system.
System which is ceiling-mounted and gains a lot new features for this generation as well.
Features like kid-friendly video streaming apps like PBS kids, the ability to watch a Blu-ray that's played from up front or connect an HDMI video source out back.
We've also got a new app called "How Much Further" that integrates into the navigation system and shows the sort of estimated time of arrival in a kid-friendly way with really fun graphics.
It's a bit of a rip off of [INAUDIBLE] Are We There Yet app, but it's still pretty cool.
The last bit of family friendly infotainment up front is the cabin control app interface, and what that means is that I can pair up to seven smart phones Via Wi-Fi to the cabin technology and allow the people in the back of the car to add songs to a community playlist or suggest destinations to the navigation.
That way I, the driver, can keep my eyes on the road and everybody in the car can stay entertained.
And most of Honda's vehicles have some sort of interesting back seat.
Usually it's some sort of magic folding something or other.
But here we have the magic slidings that can row seats.
Now what they can do is they can slide back and fort just a little bit.
So they have a lot of lateral mobility.
You can slide them really far left to right They give you the ability to get really good access to the back seats when you're coming into the side of the car, or to separate kids who don't really want to sit right next to each other.
They're a really useful feature for people who are always gonna have the seats in their van because they're very flexible.
But if you're the kind of person who likes to load your van up with cargo, they're not quite as useful as Chrysler's stow and go.
However all the way back in the third row we do have the ability to fold the seat completely flat into the floor of the vehicle.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg of a whole bunch of features that have been added to this new generation of Honda Odyssey that just make it a much more functional vehicle for cramming a whole lot of kids in.
And when you keep the kids happy in the back, that helps keep mom and dad really happy up front.
Honda likes to brag about the Odyssey being a best selling mini van and yeah, it's better than it's ever been before.
But the competition's also better than it's ever been before.
The 2018 Odyssey will go toe to toe with the likes of the award winning, Chrysler Pacifica when it hits the road later this year.
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