The Honda Odyssey is the most popular minivan in the United States. Retail sales data from Urban Science shows Honda has lead the minivan segment for the last seven years, and they show no signs of slowing down. This week, more than 1,500 associates at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) kicked off 2018 Odyssey production.
“This is a celebration for our entire Honda team of associates who have been committed to bringing an all-new, high tech, family-friendly Odyssey to our customers,” said Jeff Tomko, President of HMA.
HMA opened on November 14th 2001 in Lincoln, Alabama, assembling what was then the second generation Odyssey. Today, HMA has built more than 4 million vehicles and engines as the sole production outlet of the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline. The 2018 Odyssey is the fourth all-new model to emerge from HMA in the past five years. HMA also builds the Acura MDX and its corresponding V6 engine.
The facility has undergone various upgrades to boost performance and quality assurance. With regard to the 2018 Odyssey, this includes a new and refined process for the acoustic spray foam. The material is installed in 14 different locations within the Odyssey’s body to enhance cabin quietness and reduce road noise.
“I congratulate all of our associates for their commitment to quality for this new vehicle, which ushers in a new level of features and functionality with the goal of creating new value for our customers,” Tomko said.
The 2018 Honda Odyssey, in its higher trims, features a new i-VTEC V6 with 280 horsepower – an increase of 32 horsepower over the outgoing model. The engine is paired to a new 10-speed automatic, the first of its kind for a front-wheel drive minivan. The transmission is produced at Honda Precision Parts Georgia (HPPG) in Tallapoosa, Georgia.
Honda is specific in their design approach with the Odyssey, focusing on beneficial features for growing families. The 2018 Odyssey’s Magic Slide second-row seating system, for example, offers a reconfigurable array for more passenger comfort, easier cargo hauling, and smoother access to the third row. Other features families will find useful are the CabinWatch and CabinTalk systems. CabinWatch lets Mom and Dad keep tabs on the kids via an infrared camera (don’t act up kids!) while CabinTalk allows them to chat with rear passengers through the speakers and rear entertainment headphones.
On the daily commute, drivers can keep passengers comfortable with the Odyssey’s CabinControl app. Through smartphone integration, the app controls entertainment, navigation, and rear climate settings. CabinControl also links to the Social Playlist, a virtual jukebox spinning the preferred music of up to seven family members.
Expect the 2018 Honda Odyssey before long at Honda dealerships nationwide – if you are interested in a 2017 model, see our product and performance overview on the vehicle. Americans have purchased more than 2.5 million Odyssey minivans since its 1994 debut.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.