By Auto Trends Auto Editor

2018 odyssey minivan HondaThe Honda Odyssey minivan has always the Minivan to beat in this sector and is even more improved in its all new version. For 2018, the completely redesigned Honda Odyssey is the fifth-generation of this classic Minivan and has full exterior design revision. The cool zig zag line in the side panel has been removed and there is now a cleaner look to the profile with redone rear LED lighting, and new up front.   The Odyssey is in fact based on the Honda Pilot CUV, and is actually around 75 lb lighter and with a 44 per cent stiffer chassis than the outgoing Odyssey. There is also a new front and rear suspension system.   The Honda can still seat 7-8 passengers and carry a full load of 4X8 sheets of plywood or what have you, so its wonderful capabilities have not been diminished, but much improved. Impressively Honda’s Sensing Safety Suite is now standard kit on the Odyssey across the model range, and includes Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. The interior gains a new instrument panel with a cool push button gear selector system. There is also a new Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. Meanwhile the new CabinControl app, allows rear seat passengers to have control of certain cabin functions at their control via their smartphones. The single engine choice is Honda’s refined 3.5-liter SOHC direct-injected i-VTEC® V6 engine, but with but power and torque up to 280 hp and with torque at 262 lb/ft. A new nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all trim levels except the top line touring, which has the 10-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.  Honda offers the Odyssey in a big selection of models. There are five different trim levels, starting at $34,890 for the LX and rising up to $50,290 for the fully-kitted Touring edition the L version starts at $27,995; and offers such standard niceties as seven-place seating, as: air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks and a host of extras. The top range Odyssey Touring arrives with a slew of available new premium features and technologies, including CabinWatch™ day/night video monitor, CabinTalk™ in-car PA system, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, new Rear Entertainment System (RES) with Blu-ray and streaming video, hands-free power tailgate, ventilated front seats, LED accent lighting, built in vacuum cleaner (Fitted to all but the entry L version.) and more.

Interior space and versatility continues to be a hallmark of the new 2018 Odyssey. New Magic Slide 2nd-row seats™ Offer four different seating options. The second-row middle seat are removable and with an Easy Access mode allows the outboard seats to slide laterally through five selectable positions, creating more access and variable seating options. The new Super mode seating option allows for excellent walk-in access to the third row, while Wide Mode and Buddy allows for the most room and flexibility.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey offers top class performance and improved NRCan fuel economy ratings of 12.6/8.4/10.7 city/highway/combined on the LX to EXL Navi models and 12.2/8.5/10.6 on the Touring Trim. You can thank the new 10-speed automatic transmission, for making more use of the engines power and helping to improve fuel economy. As usual it a quiet, comfortable, very pleasant experience driving the Odyssey. However, it is a big vehicle to park, but the on board cameras do help in this regard.

I was to say the least, extremely impressed by the new 2018 Honda Odyssey. It is good- looking, roomy, plush and very well- equipped with many luxury touches. This Minivan has the best reputation in this sector, and deserves your attention if a large family hauler is what you need. Highly recommended.

2018 Honda Odyssey Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $34,890.