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Family vehicles don't get any more purpose-built than minivans. The 2016 Honda Odyssey isn't only an example of a minivan done well, but it's also an example of a family vehicle done well. It handles multiple combinations of passengers and cargo, kids and diaper bags—all while managing to be slightly fun to drive, and earning some of the highest ratings for safety around.
The current generation of the Odyssey definitely stands out a bit more, with its "lightning bolt" beltline design; a refresh a couple of years ago fine-tuned the visual appeal, with a more deeply sculpted hood, a bolder grille, darker-finish headlamp housings, and some front appearance tweaks that included chrome-trimmed fog lamps. In back, the LED taillight bars sharpen up the look, while inside a new center-stack design and fresh finishes keep the Odyssey up to speed in an automotive market that's constantly upping cabin appointments.
As far as the design goes, Honda managed to add a little visual interest to this box on wheels with the last redesign of the Odyssey, including the “lightning bolt” detail along the side.
That latter feature can be a bit controversial to onlookers, but affords great outward vision for rear passengers. And it speaks of how the entire design balances one-box practicality with a good sense of style. Honda at least tried in this latest generation, using careful applications of chrome, expensive-looking lighting elements, and a unique profile to differentiate it from the rest of the minivan crowd.
With the 2016 Honda Odyssey, this minivan lineup continues to look like it has more in common with the brand's sedan lineup than it does with Honda's crossovers. Small bits of brightwork and a more arched roofline found their way to the Odyssey, and in addition to that distinctive beltline crease, there are small windows ahead of the side mirrors, which make the Odyssey look a little futuristic while adding a smidge of visibility for front occupants looking out.
The 2016 Odyssey isn't flat-out quick, but it feels plenty fast for this kind of vehicle. It takes about 8.8 seconds to get to 60 mph; that's in the same league as other minivans, while in handling and general responsiveness we think the Odyssey is one of the better picks in its class.
The Odyssey, overall, has a set of car-like attributes extending to its driving dynamics; altogether, it inspires confidence when it's time to brake, turn, accelerate, change lanes, or stop.
Honda's 248-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is included in all models, and it generates 250 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that delivers decisive, quick, smooth shifts when you're accelerating rapidly. But we've noticed that shifts can occasionally be balky when things aren't as urgent—when you're getting gently back on the gas out of a corner, or accelerating lightly, for instance. And with only an lower-gear mode and an O/D-off button on the gearshift selector, there's no straightforward way to simply control shifts when you're on a mountain road.
Versatility, comfort, and interior space are pretty much the top priorities—or among them—for minivan shoppers. And among these, the 2016 Honda Odyssey seriously delivers.
Whether you're a parent to many, a regular carpool driver, or a grandparent with occasional family-hauling duties, the Odyssey likely has what you need. It's loaded with smart features, and both the second and third rows of seats can fit full-size adults or slide fore and aft to accommodate up to eight. We can't say the Odyssey's front seats are among the best in this class; but they aren't completely neglected. They're relatively wide, and comfortable enough for everyday driving, although we'd have liked a bit more back and lateral support for long trips.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.