While the dominance of small crossovers and SUVs in the past years have seemingly relegated the minivan to the back of the line for families seeking versatile haulers, a new generation of minivans has been getting ready. But while brand new models such as the Chrysler Pacifica, revivals like the Kia Sedona, and stalwarts such as the Toyota Sienna reinvent themselves, they continue to try to play catch-up with the leader of the pack, the Honda Odyssey. But as we’ve seen with Honda sedans like the Civic and Accord, or the extremely successful CR-V crossover, here at Honda they are always a step ahead.
Playing it Close to the Vest
Like a good gambler, Honda has been quiet and careful in revealing its hand for the upcoming Odyssey redesign. It’s even been coy with providing a guaranteed release – while it was originally slated as a 2016 release for the 2017 model year, this may be pushed back to an early 2017 release for the 2017 model year, or even further off to a mid-2017 release as a 2018 model year. Much of this hinges on Honda’s testing on American roads.
That being said, there’s plenty that you can expect from the new Odyssey. To start with, it looks to share the powertrain with the Honda Pilot – a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing in the area of 280 horsepower. It will be front-wheel drive, and utilize an electronic nine-speed automatic that is currently seen in the Pilot. While Japanese versions released earlier this year include a hybrid version and an all-wheel drive version, we do not expect those versions to be available until the 2018 model year or later.
Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice
As seen in testing pictures, one of the most noticeable changes on the outside is the removal of the “lightning bolt” beltline, a quirky design feature that was also a bit divisive, to be honest. The heavily-camouflaged test model appears to have a more conservative beltline, along with a long, slightly tapered roofline. Proportions have changed slightly as well, with the front end gaining a little bit of height on the fascia.
Sensing™ a Change
The suite of advanced safety and driver-assist technologies has made a major impact, and is exceedingly popular amongst Honda buyers – which is why the 2017 Honda Odyssey will make the suite available for all trim levels, not just the upper echelon. The Sensing™ package includes:
- Lane departure warning
- Lane and road departure intervention
- Forward collision warning
- Forward collision intervention with automatic braking
The Odyssey has long been a leader in minivan safety, and there is no reason these systems should be limited to a specific trim. Put these on top of the fact that the Odyssey regularly earns Top Safety Pick honors from the IIHS, and you have the perfect ride for keeping your friends and family safe.
Here at Honda World, we look forward to the next evolution of the Honda Odyssey. It is a minivan that has proven itself a winner over the years, and we know that it will continue to be one of the safest, most reliable vehicles on the road for years to come. Stop in and talk to one of our sales staff about receiving future updates on the redesigned Odyssey or, if you can’t wait, check out one of the current model year Odyssey minivans we have on site!
To see some sneak-peek pictures head over to