The 2017 Honda Odyssey isn’t your typical minivan – and yes, we are well aware of the minivan stereotype. Truth is, minivans are some of the most practical, stylish, and safest vehicles on the market, and Honda is aiming for the segment’s benchmark with the 2017 Odyssey.
It’s clear Honda has tough competition from the Chrysler Pacifica, which we recently reviewed and really liked. However, the automaker seems undeterred, designing and engineering the new Odyssey in Los Angeles at Honda R&D Americas, with additional work completed at their Raymond, Ohio new-model development center.
The 2017 Honda Odyssey is propelled by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6, producing 248 horsepower (5,700 rpm) and 250 lb-ft. of torque (4,800 rpm). The engine employs a combination of modern technologies to deliver fuel efficiency and seamless performance. Honda’s i-VTEC valvetrain initiates power delivery while Variable Cylinder Management reduces emissions and maximizes fuel economy.
The engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
The aforementioned engine technologies return EPA fuel-economy ratings of 19/27 city/highway and 22 combined mpg. California residents might be pleased to know the new Odyssey received a ULEV-2 emissions certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The 6-speed automatic transmission also plays a part in the vehicle’s overall efficiency.
Safety & Security
One of greatest assets a minivan can have is safety, especially because it serves as the family taxi for your most precious cargo. Personally, I am a believer in Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering, often referred to as “ACE Body Structure.”
The 2017 Honda Odyssey has the latest version of this proven and capable safety design.
The ACE structure utilizes high-strength steel extensively, seen throughout the vehicle in various areas. The A-, B- and C-pillars, roof rails, floor rails, front body area, and front subframe, for example, are all laced with the material. The result is a very strong, very stable front frame and door structure that provides protection in a frontal collision. The design disperses crash energy away from the occupants (you and your family) by diverting that energy to upper and lower structural elements of the vehicle.
This is so those forces don’t come inside at you – sometimes called “intrusive forces” in automotive speak. In short, those forces are deflected through the very design of ACE.
Available advanced driver-assistance technologies for the 2017 Honda Odyssey include Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. The front camera warns of a potential collision when a vehicle is detected in the forward path or sounds an alert during an unintentional lane drift.
The two are packaged together on Odyssey EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite.
Here is a fun one. The 2017 Honda Odyssey, in certain trim levels, has a built-in vacuum cleaner. Affectionately called “HondaVAC,” the vacuum runs off the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system so you can keep the interior squeaky clean.
Taking the dogs to the vet for an appointment? Rainy night at the football game? Packed day at the beach?
No worries with this little thing!
The HondaVAC stows in the rear cargo area and includes an extendable hose to reach every nook and cranny of the interior. Two separate attachments are included along with a removable debris canister and replaceable filter bag. The HondaVAC runs up to eight minutes in accessory mode, or continuously if the engine is on.
Let’s file this under “what will they think of next?”
Pricing & Availability
The 2017 Honda Odyssey hits showrooms on Monday, December 19th with a starting MSRP of $29,850 for the entry level LX. By contrast, the Touring Elite, the highest Odyssey trim, starts at $45,325.
According to current IHS Markit data, the Odyssey has been the top choice in minivans for those under 35 every year since 2010. Corresponding data from IHS Markit finds Odyssey has been the most popular minivan with individual American car buyers for each of the past six years and is leading again in 2016.
But that HondaVAC though . . .
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.