• Car Review

2019 Honda Odyssey Review

By David Undercoffler | May 22, 2019

Summary

The Honda Odyssey is a minivan that competes with the likes of the Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, and Chrysler Pacifica. It's aimed at families with children, as well as people who are looking for a practical vehicle that utilizes modern safety features, lots of technology, and offers generous cargo room. The Odyssey carries over into the 2019 model year unchanged from last year when it received a complete redesign.

Exterior

The Odyssey has garnered praise for its unique and sharp looking exterior that shares cues with other Honda models like the stylized LED headlights and heavily creased body panels. Its overall length is 203", making it three inches longer than the Toyota Sienna and roughly two inches longer than the Kia Sedona. It's also an inch wider than both of those models, while all three are approximately the same height.

2019-honda-odyssey-exterior1

Honda lists the 2019 Odyssey's curb weight between 4,354 and 4,593 pounds. For comparison, the Sienna weighs in at a more substantial 4,430 to 4,750, the Sedona is listed at 4,411 to 4,517 pounds, and the Pacifica is 4,330 pounds, making the Odyssey the second lightest of the group.

2019-honda-odyssey-exterior2

Interior Quality & Comfort

Like all minivans, the Odyssey's primary objective is to carry passengers in comfort and safety. The 2019 Odyssey seats up to seven passengers thanks to three rows of seating including the front seats. The second-row seats can be configured with either bench seating or with Honda's Magic Slide seating system. Magic Slide allows the middle seats to slide in multiple directions independently of each other, providing easier access to the third-row seats. Up front, the two captain's chairs can be upgraded to include heating and cooling.

The dash of the Odyssey is clean and uncluttered, and soft-touch materials are used in the high traffic areas. All pertinent driving data is displayed on a seven-inch Digital Driver Information Interface screen located in the instrument cluster. The interface comes as standard equipment on all Odysseys except for the base LX trim package and can be customized to display a range of information like navigation, incoming calls, and various safety systems. A second eight-inch touchscreen is located to the right of the driver on the dashboard that contains the infotainment system and automatic climate controls.

2019-honda-odyssey-interior1

Passengers in the Odyssey have 40.9/40.9/38.1 inches of legroom going from the front/middle/rear seats. In the Toyota Sienna, passengers have 40.5/37.6/36.3 inches of legroom front to back respectively. The Kia Sedona offers 40.9/41.1/34.8 inches, and the Chrysler Pacifica has 41.1/39/36.5 inches. The Odyssey also provides 40.7/39.5/38.3 inches of headroom and 58.6/64.8/48.4 inches of hip room.

Leather-trimmed seating is optional on some models of the Odyssey and is standard equipment on the EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Also available is a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, three-zone climate control, and sunshades for the second and third rows of seats. Outward visibility is satisfactory all around thanks to small side pillars and available exterior cameras.

Honda has paid particular attention to interior noise with the Odyssey and taken steps to keep the cabin quiet, responding to some reviewer criticisms of the previous model. Acoustic foam has been applied in strategic locations throughout the vehicle, and the Odyssey also makes use of thicker window glass, barrier carpet, triple door seals, and noise cancellation under the hood.

Other equipment and accessories for the Odyssey include all-weather floor mats, a rubber liner for the cargo bin behind the rear seats, a molded vinyl cargo mat, illuminated door sills, seat covers for the second-row chairs, and a cargo net for the rear storage area.

Utility & Practicality

Cargo space in the Odyssey is the best in its class. With the seats are up, the Odyssey offers 38.6 cubic feet of cargo room. Folding the rear seats down increases that to number to 92. When the middle seats are stowed and the rear seats removed, the available cargo space grows to 158 cubic feet, enough to accommodate a full-sized sheet of plywood. The rear cargo area also has a recessed section in the floor that can store loose items that might otherwise move around while driving.

2019-honda-odyssey-interior2

Another of the Odyssey's useful features is the HondaVAC vacuum system built into the rear cargo area. This small vacuum uses a flexible hose and wide nozzle that allows owners to clean up dirt and spills, and stores the material in a removable container that's quickly emptied.

The Odyssey can also be fitted with a trailer hitch for lighter towing jobs. Honda rates the vehicle as being able to tow between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds.

2019-honda-odyssey-exterior3

Technology & Infotainment

Honda has equipped to Odyssey with a substantial amount of technology designed for both safety and entertainment. Standard equipment on all models includes items like hands-free Bluetooth, a rearview camera, lane departure warning, USB ports both front and rear, push-button start, and an electronic gear selector.

The Odyssey has been paired with the HondaLink mobile app which allows owners to check the fuel level, remotely start the engine, adjust the temperature inside the vehicle, and control the doors and locks. With the CabinControl Social Playlist function, anyone in the vehicle with the CabinControl app on their mobile device can add a song to the car's playlist.

2019-honda-odyssey-interior3

Most minivans will be used to carry children as the primary passengers, and the Odyssey has a full suite of technology explicitly geared for rear passenger entertainment and safety. Honda's CabinWatch system utilizes a camera with night vision built into the ceiling that keeps an eye on the rear passengers and displays the video feed on the main screens in the cabin. The available rear-seat entertainment system can stream several different audio apps, connect to 4G LTE through an AT&T data plan and play specific video apps, play DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, and it offers accessibility functions for those with disabilities. The Odyssey also utilizes Honda's CabinTalk, a system that allows the front passengers to communicate with passengers over the vehicle's speakers.

On the entertainment front is an available mobile hotspot system that gives the Odyssey its own Wi-Fi signal. There's also an available navigation system, Apple Car Play and Android Auto integration, and a wireless charging system for mobile devices.

Safety & Driving Assistance

Another of the Odyssey's safety systems is the Honda Sensing suite. Included are the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), which can brake the vehicle when an object is detected. Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) uses several cameras that watch the road and ahead and helps keep the vehicle safely on the road. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) adjusts the vehicle's speed when cruising to maintain a set following interval. And Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) also uses exterior cameras and can adjust the vehicle's steering if it senses it's straying from a determined lane. Other driver assistance features include ABS, traction control, and stability control. The Odyssey also features Snow Mode, a driving mode that adjusts the traction control system to improve drivability in poor conditions.

The 2019 Odyssey has been selected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a Top Safety Pick, earning Good ratings (the best possible rating) for nearly all crashworthiness areas with only the headlight area scoring a grade of Acceptable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Odyssey a five-star crash test rating, also the best possible score from that organization. Passengers are protected by front-impact, side-impact, overhead, and knee airbags, and anti-whiplash head restraints which automatically activate when a rear-end collision has been detected.

Driving Experience

There are two different transmissions available for the Odyssey. The base unit found in the LX, EX, EX-L, trim levels is a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Upgrading to the Touring and Elite models upgrades to a 10-speed automatic transmission. All Odyssey models are paired to Honda's 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque and routes power to the front wheels. There is no all-wheel-drive option available.

A unique feature of the engine is Honda's Variable Cylinder Mangement (VCM). This system means the engine can run on three, four, or six cylinder configurations to increase fuel economy. Additionally, higher trim levels come with an engine start/stop function that can turn the engine off completely when in an idling situation. Several reviewers reported that the engine start/stop system wasn't the smoothest and could cause the vehicle to jerk slightly when restarting the engine.

While spirited driving isn't generally associated with minivans, the Odyssey has won praise from numerous reviewers for its potent engine, smooth acceleration, and solid brakes. Handling in the Odyssey is also reportedly very good and was particularly adept at handling rough roads and providing a continually comfortable ride. It hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.9 seconds and stopped from that speed in 124 feet. Another strong point according to testers was the 10-speed transmission which changed gears quickly, smoothly, and helped improve the overall drying dynamics.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel economy for the Odyssey is respectable. It achieves an EPA estimated 19/28 MPG city/highway for a combined 22 MPG. For comparison, the 2019 Kia Sedona returns 18/24/21 MPG city/highway/combined, the Toyota Sienna gets 19/27/20 MPG city/highway/combined, and the Chrysler Pacifica achieves 19/28/22 MPG city/highway/combined MPG.

While the Odyssey bests or equals its competition in fuel efficiency in most scenarios, it does lose out to the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the only minivan to offer a hybrid powertrain. The Pacifica Hybrid achieves around 30 MPG combined, thanks to the assistance provided by its electric motors and battery pack.

Pricing & Value

Kelley Blue Book awarded the 2019 Odyssey with its Best Buy: Minivan award. According to Kelley Blue Book's website, "The winner of this award is an all-new or significantly redesigned vehicle that represents exceptional innovation and value in transportation today." The 2019 Odyssey has also been recognized as the Best Minivan for Families by U.S. News & World Report. It received the 2019 ALG Residual Value Award, as well as the 2019 Edmunds Buyers Most Wanted Award.

Prices for the Honda Odyssey minivan start at $31,235 including $1,045 for destination charge for the base LX model. Standard equipment on the LX includes keyless ignition, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, USB ports, power mirrors, and an eight-way adjustable driver's seat.

Step up to the Odyssey EX, and items like dual power sliding passenger doors, HD radio, the Honda Sensing suite, Magic Slide seats, HondaLink connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard equipment for $35,205 with destination included.

The Odyssey EX-L offers all the features found on the two previous trim levels and adds standard items like blind spot monitoring, leather-trimmed seating, power tailgate, and the One-Touch Moonroof for $38,755. The EX-L can also be equipped with Honda's navigation system and upgraded infotainment.

Odyssey Touring starts at $45,805 including destination. At this trim level, the 10-speed transmission becomes available, and the interior is equipped with features like CabinWatch, rear entertainment system, front and rear parking sensors, 4G LTE capability, the HondaVAC system, and satellite-linked navigation system.

The final available trim is the Odyssey Elite. Elite includes premium elements such as heated and cooled front seats, wireless phone charging, an 11 speaker audio system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, gloss black interior trim, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Prices for the Elite start at $48,115 with destination included.

There's no getting around the fact that the Honda Odyssey is not an inexpensive vehicle. However, between its five different trim levels, safety, technology, packaging and storage solutions, and various options, it does offer a lot of vehicle for the money. A base model Toyota Sienna stickers at $32,510 including destination, nearly $1,300 more than the Odyssey, while a similarly equipped Chrysler Pacifica stickers for $28,480 with the destination fee. A 2019 Kia Sedona's base MSRP starts at $27,200 before the $1,045 destination charge.

Previous versions of the Honda Odyssey are reportedly reliable vehicles and have triggered few formal recalls. The Odyssey is covered by a three year/36,000 mile limited warranty and a five year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

More Photos

See more 2019 Honda Odyssey Photos.