There’s Only 1 Big Problem With the 2023 Honda Odyssey, According to Consumer Reports

It’s safe to say SUVs are drastically more popular than minivans nowadays, but this small segment is still thriving. The 2023 Honda Odyssey is a strong contender, and it’s a Consumer Reports favorite.

CR ranks the 2023 Odyssey as the best minivan in a three-way tie with the 2022 Toyota Sienna and 2022 Kia Carnival. The latest Odyssey also earned the Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” badge despite one potentially annoying problem. Here’s everything CR’s testers loved about the Honda Odyssey and where they’d like to see improvements.

The 2023 Honda Odyssey boasts plenty of high points

2023 Honda Odyssey Consumer Reports
2023 Honda Odyssey Sport | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Consumer Reports praises the 2023 Honda Odyssey’s smooth drive and comfortable interior. This minivan packs a 3.5-liter V6, producing 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. CR says this engine provides plenty of oomph for highway and city driving, and the transmission shifts seamlessly.

The Odyssey’s suspension has no problem soaking up road imperfections, and interior noise is minimal. There’s room for eight to ride on cloth or upgraded leather seats. The third row is spacious, though its seats don’t offer as much support as the ones in the first and second rows.

CR testers also appreciate that users can customize the Odyssey’s seating arrangements for better cargo capacity. The Magic Slide seats can be moved toward the center of the floor, allowing better third-row access. The third-row seats fold perfectly flat, and the second row can be removed entirely. 

With both the third and second rows out of the way, the Odyssey provides 92 cubic feet of storage space. Even with the two back rows up, the cargo area offers almost 39 cubes of space.

However, CR’s testers found one area of concern.

The 2023 Honda Odyssey suffers from confusing controls

Consumer Reports testers weren’t impressed with the 2023 Honda Odyssey’s unique gear selector. Instead of a knob shifter, there’s a push-button e-shifter in the center stack. The buttons could be confusing to the uninitiated.

In addition, the radio configuration options on all trims except the base LX seem needlessly complicated. However, the LX also has a smaller touchscreen that will make some controls even more difficult to read.

CR also says the buttons controlling climate settings aren’t big enough.

Besides the audio settings, CR also found the controls on the steering wheel to be more annoying than convenient.

2 other problem areas

2023 Honda Odyssey Consumer Reports
2023 Honda Odyssey Sport | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Given the 2023 Honda Odyssey’s size, it’s probably no surprise this minivan isn’t very agile. Even in the tamest of corners, some body roll is always present. Despite sound handling overall, its avoidance maneuver speed isn’t the highest, at 49 mph. CR and Car and Driver agree that the Odyssey’s steering while is a tad short on feedback. However, C/D says the steering is refreshingly light by minivan standards. 

The Honda Odyssey also benefits from being one of the fastest vehicles in its segment. CR clocked this minivan’s 0-to-60-mph time at 8.1 seconds (the Chrysler Pacifica is only a hair quicker). CR also noted that the Odyssey has good braking performance.

However, the Honda Odyssey’s gas mileage isn’t the best. The EPA estimates it gets 19/28 mpg city/highway. In real-world testing, Consumer Reports got only 14 mpg in the city. But the Odyssey redeemed itself on the interstate, averaging 33 mpg on CR’s road test.

It’s worth noting that agility and gas mileage aren’t strong suits for a typical minivan. Annoying controls aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker, either, because the user can still master them with enough practice.

Those quibbles aside, the 2023 Honda Odyssey remains one of the most capable (and coziest) family haulers.

RELATED: 3 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Honda Odyssey, Not a Toyota Sienna