If you thought the crossover SUV has all but replaced the minivan, think again. Yes, at least a dozen minivan models have vanished in the past decade and a half thanks to stiff competition. But the Honda Odyssey has been touted as a great alternative to third-row SUVs like the Hyundai Palisade. And according to Honda, the 2020 Odyssey has won impressive awards, including Kelley Blue Book’s 2020 Best Buy: Minivan, U.S. News & World Report: Best Minivan for Families, and 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
The Honda Odyssey is all about function over form
Though many three-row SUV buyers say they prefer the space without the unneeded utility, they’re technically choosing form over function. Most consumers cringe at even the mere thought of driving around in a minivan. The last thing they want to feel like is a so-called soccer mom/dad.
Minivans got that reputation because they’re designed with function over form in mind. After all, minivans are meant to be sensible conveyors of people and cargo. They’re designed to be easy to get in and out of. They’re meant to provide occupants with entertainment on long journeys and offer fuel-efficiency. And at the end of the day, no one really cares whether you’re driving a minivan, especially when it looks as good as the Honda Odyssey.
Many buyers focus on price, design, and style when shopping for a vehicle. But it’s important to compare the various trims to find a vehicle that best meets your needs and expectations. The next couple of sections cover the 2020 Honda Odyssey trim levels so you can see what each one offers.
The 2020 Odyssey does the job well
The 2020 Honda Odyssey is a viable choice for families. It offers a stylish exterior and upscale interior with handy technical features. Not only is the Odyssey enjoyable to drive, but it’s also entertaining for passengers. It has great handling for a minivan and accelerates quickly and smoothly thanks to its 280-hp V6 engine. With a 10-speed automatic transmission, it can reach freeway speeds with little work even when carrying a full capacity of people or cargo.
Speaking of cargo: The Odyssey provides nearly 39 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats. If you fold them down, you get an increase of 92 cubic feet. With both the third- and second-row seats folded down, you get a maximum of 158 cubic feet.
The Odyssey has five trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. The base LX model can seat seven comfortably. It has two front seats, two second-row captain’s chairs, and three seats in the third row. The other trims come with standard seating for eight people. Second-row center seats can slide forward, backward, and side to side. Called Magic Slide, the feature makes entering, exiting, and finding a comfortable seating position easier for rear passengers. With a starting price of nearly $31,000, the Odyssey is one of the priciest minivans. The Elite version costs around $47,400.
Parent-friendly features make things easier
The Honda Odyssey offers some parent-friendly features that set it apart from other minivans in its class. It’s designed to relieve the stress of hauling a large family, whether around town or across the country. It comes standard with a simple and user-friendly infotainment system with a 5-inch LCD screen and straightforward menus. Additional standard features include a seven-speaker stereo remote entry, automatic climate control, and push-button start.
If you’re looking for more versatility and connectivity, you can upgrade to a higher-level infotainment system. The upgrade offers a responsive 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless smartphone integration, an additional USB port, satellite radio, HD radio, and a lot more with each trim level. The physical controls, such as climate and audio adjustments, are also easy to reach. Other available features include HMDI inputs, HondaLink, wireless charging, an 11-speaker stereo, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Upper trim models offer extras like a hands-free liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an overhead DVD player with a 10-inch display, a built-in vacuum, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
Other family-friendly features include CabinTalk, which projects parents’ voices throughout the vehicle using a microphone and the car’s stereo speakers. That should help manage bickering siblings who tend to have selective hearing. To help parents keep an eye on what’s going on, there’s CabinWatch. The feature uses a camera to view the second and third-row seats on the infotainment system touchscreen. And CabinControl lets the driver control the rear-seat entertainment system and climate settings.
With all of those useful features, it’s no wonder the 2020 Honda Odyssey has racked up a slew of awards.