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2012 Honda Odyssey

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2012 Honda Odyssey Review

Leaner meaner segment leader returns.

Reviewed by Automotive on

The Honda Odyssey was redesigned last year to keep up with the highly competitive minivan market. Against a new Toyota Sienna and the upgraded Chrysler twins, the Odyssey received a drastic refresh and more features than ever. Aggressive new looks include a "lightning bolt" line across the side, ensuring that it won't get lost as easily in the Costco parking lot.

The Odyssey's 3.5-liter V-6 engine and available six-speed automatic transmission deliver more than adequate power, as well as class-leading fuel economy of 28 highway mpg on Touring models. Variable Cylinder Management which shuts off half the engine at low speeds, contributing to this figure.

Inside, the Odyssey's rear seats stow into the cargo area, and the second-row seats can be spread apart from each other to easily accommodate a third child booster seat. Touring models come with blind spot monitoring, Bluetooth, a voice-activated navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and a rearview camera. There's even a trash bag attachment in the back.

The Range

Bodystyle: Minivan
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, Touring Elite

What's New

The Odyssey was redesigned in 2011, and gained new, angular styling as well as more interior room. A 6-speed automatic transmission delivers excellent fuel economy for the class, but it's only available on the more expensive Touring and Touring Elite models. New seating configurations and a removable, sliding second row maximize cargo usability.


The Odyssey's unusual lightning bolt belt line may look goofy from the outside, but it provides better visibility for often-neglected third row passengers...think of it as carsickness prevention. The front end has smaller headlights and Honda's new corporate grill, and overall the Odyssey gains width and length for more room inside.


Inside, the Odyssey has a "cool box" that directs cold air into a storage container in the center console, to keep drinks cool. A removable center console features four of the 15 total cupholders scattered around the Odyssey. Honda's "Magic Seat" stashes the third row into the cargo compartment, and those in back can enjoy power outlets and an optional DVD rear-seat entertainment system with a split screen and HDMI input.

Performance & Handling

Honda's smooth-spinning 3.5-liter V-6 can run on as few as three cylinders to conserve fuel, and its new six-speed automatic transmission improves both fuel economy and acceleration. On paper, it may look slow, but the Odyssey can keep up with traffic and freeway on-ramps with ease. Honda also increased the space between the Odyssey's wheels by 1.4-inches, which means more confident cornering. Touring Elite models get 18-inch wheels and 12.6-inch vented front brakes for even higher performance limits.


All three rows have side curtain airbags, while the driver and front passenger have dual stage front and front side airbags as well as active head restraints to prevent whiplash. The second row features the LATCH system for child seats, and a rollover sensor and traction control help to keep the Odyssey on the road.

EPA Fuel Economy

Touring: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway
LX, EX and EX-L: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Huge interior
  • Multiple storage options
  • Available six-speed transmission

You Won't Like

  • Controversial styling
  • Pricey in Touring guise

Sum Up

Leaner meaner segment leader returns.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Kia Sedona
  • Toyota Sienna

See the New 2015 Odyssey.

Front & Driver Side View

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