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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 favorite among soccer moms and baseball dads. While the 2022 Toyota Sienna and 2022 Kia Carnival are equally impressive family haulers, they might actually be more user-friendly minivans. Unfortunately, there’s one annoying problem with Honda’s popular minivan.

The 2023 Honda Odyssey boasts plenty of high points

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

The 2023 Honda Odyssey boasts a 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. Therefore, there’s no fear of highway merging even with eight occupants on board. The powerplant puts out enough oomph, and the transmission shifts seamlessly, but its EPA-rated 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway leaves a bit to be desired for this popular minivan.

The Odyssey’s suspension has no problem soaking up road imperfections, and interior noise is minimal. Room for three occupants in the third row is a plus, but they are slightly less supportive than the seats in the front two rows. Nevertheless, the seating arrangement features customization for better cargo capacity. The Magic Slide seats can be moved toward the center of the floor, allowing better third-row access, which also folds 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, there is one area of concern in this otherwise impressive and popular minivan.

The 2023 Honda Odyssey suffers from confusing controls

The cabin interior and seating layout of the 2023 Honda Odyssey minivan
2023 Honda Odyssey cabin | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2023 Honda Odyssey has a 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 and those looking to step into Honda’s popular minivan.

In addition, the radio configuration options seem needlessly complicated. However, the EX also has a smaller, eight-inch touchscreen that will make some controls even more difficult to read. Besides the audio settings, there is also a 1990s level of button obsession, now on the steering wheel, which is far more annoying than convenient.

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. With a starting MSRP of $37,490, the Odyssey is one of the most budget-friendly well-stocked minivans in the segment. It’s far less than the $50,000 Chrysler Pacifica, and just slightly more pricey than the Toyota Sienna.


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