The Honda Odyssey mini van review

I am not one of those moms who thinks she's too cool for a mini van. I've owned a mini van for nearly two decades and I am unapologetic about it. I love my mini van. I even wrote a little love note to my mini van.

It's practical and to be honest, I don't think my three kids could have survived childhood had they all had to be squeezed in together in a backseat row. And now as they are getting bigger with gangly legs and big feet we need the room that a mini van provides.  I've tried to pretend that we don't. I've tried out sporty sedans and cute SUV's in hopes that maybe just maybe I could break free from the chains of a mini but I just can't. I am a die hard and will be a die hard until my dying day!

Heck, how else am I supposed to load up all of my garage sale treasures every weekend if I didn't have a mini van? And as we prepare to launch our oldest son off to college in the fall, I can see vans full of college crap loaded up for years to come as our kids trickle out of the house.

After I tried out {and loved} the Kia Sedona  I begged to try the 2016 Honda Odyssey. In my head, it's been the most logical replacement for our current 2005 Honda Odyssey that is lacking all of the bells and whistles {and vacuums} that the newer version has. And so, for a week, I gave the Odyssey a try to see what I would think of the much more sophisticated updated version of my current van that I am driving would be like.  



You might be surprised to see what I thought. And as always, my 17 year old son is writing the nuts and bolts review to let you know what he thought.


In an attempt to look less van like, I think Honda hasn't done the Odyssey any favors with it's new design. I'm not sure, but I think it's also lost a little interior room too. This summer, I was able to fit a row of vintage theater seats in the back of my mini and was still able to drive.  Not sure I could do that in this van. However, it doesn't seem any less spacious and for the normal driving excursion, I think it would be quite comfortable for our family.

The idea of having a vacuum attachment in the van is genius. I'm not sure how much it would actually get used. The kids did have fun with the novelty of it so until that wore off, I think the car would be pretty darn clean.

Overall, the Odyssey was easy to drive but it only had some of the features that I have tried on other cars and have put on my must have list.  In case you were wondering that must have list now has adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel and blind spot detectors. I do know that some of these features are available on the Odyssey, they just weren't available on this particular car that I drove.

Before I thought that the Odyssey would be a clear contender and now, seeing other options, and driving this one, I'm not sure it's the front runner anymore.

Let's see what Aidan has to say about it.


Aidan here. The van that we got was one of the lower models, and as a result, it was very lacking in both the bell and whistle categories. This resulted in a rather bland interior. The seats were cloth, the center console was dreary, and most of the really cool stuff that was featured on the other cars that we've tested was missing.

Obviously things like leather seats and a fancy navigation system could be selected as options, but things like the awesome reclining chairs of the Kia or a futuristic heads-up-display like the one in the Mazda 6 aren't offered at all. Unique to the Odyssey, however, is the vacuum system, and though I spent a fair amount of time vacuuming the dog to pass the time, I doubt the novelty would stick around for long. At this point, you may be asking yourself if the Odyssey is still the king of mini-vans, a question I was asking myself after our week with this car.


After reading some reviews done by actual professionals comparing the overall mechanical quality of the leading vans {most showing the Odyssey as the clear winner} as well as having felt the stellar power and ride offered by the Odyssey, I started asking myself if the features offered by the other companies were added in a cunning and quasi-Machiavellian attempt to try and take your eyes off of the true king. 

Perhaps it's a conspiracy theory, but something much like this happens in the cell phone business all the time. You'll often see companies come out with phones that have one or two big features {like an amazing camera or a great screen} that make those of the top iPhones or Galaxy Phones look pedestrian for a moment, and in that one moment, you forget that the best phones are the best phones because of their greatness across the board rather than merely one outstanding feature. 

This is not to say that the outstanding features offered on some of the other cars and vans aren't really cool {because some were pretty awesome}, or that the others are bad cars {because objectively they aren't}; rather it is to say that perhaps it is worth sacrificing some of the cool features offered by the other car companies so that you can rest easy knowing that you bought the tried and true champion, the Honda Odyssey. 

Interesting thoughts. As we start narrowing down the search for a new car, I would love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite feature you can't live without? 

1 comment

Sarah Mitchell said...

I don't know if they make them without them, but I definitely need the 4 captains seats! I love my minivan, too, but might have to try harder to think I'm stuck with it for years to come. I need to surrender to the idea that I'm having kids "trickling out to college" as well! Thanks for the reminder (and review!). :)

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