SUVs have seen a big surge in popularity recently, but what about minivans? To be fair, minivan shoppers currently don’t have many new options, but the Honda Odyssey is one of the best. In fact, U.S. News says it’s a great alternative to another popular family hauler: the Kia Telluride.
The Kia Telluride is a midsize SUV with rave reviews from both its owners and critics. Its reputation is especially impressive given that it’s only been on the market for a couple of years. The Honda Odyssey has been around since 1994, but there are many reasons why it’s so popular today.
A family-sized interior
The Honda Odyssey’s interior got a higher overall score on U.S. News than the Kia Telluride’s. All the materials are top-notch and every component fits properly in its place. The higher trims don’t feature the classy faux wood trim you can find in the Kia Telluride, but they still feel quite luxe. Spill-proof cloth seats are standard, with the option to upgrade to leather seats.
The Honda Odyssey has wide front seats, allowing drivers of all sizes to get comfortable riding shotgun. Visibility is also good, which is important for a car of the Odyssey’s length and width.
Six additional riders can sit in the two back rows, or five if you opt for captain’s chairs. Both rows offer adequate legroom, so even adult passengers can occupy the last row during long trips. Both rows are easily accessible thanks to the Odyssey’s power-sliding doors.
The Odyssey also comes with Honda’s Magic seats, which gives drivers more versatile cargo storage options. It has a massive amount of luggage space with every seat upright, almost 39 cubic feet. Additionally, the Honda Odyssey has multiple cup holders and plenty of deep storage cubbies.
The Honda Odyssey’s lively powertrain
This minivan is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 280 hp, paired with a 10-speed transmission. It’s not as powerful as the Kia Telluride, but it still has enough power to haul several family members with ease. It gets good gas mileage by minivan standards – 19 mpg on city roads and 28 mpg on highway lanes.
The Honda Odyssey also has an extremely comfortable ride. The suspension absorbs almost all bumps flawlessly and drivers won’t experience much body lean. It’s not particularly exciting to drive, but handling feels secure with the well-weighted steering wheel.
Lots of available technology
Disappointingly, the Honda Odyssey doesn’t come with a standard touchscreen. It has a standard small display, where drivers can see audio, Bluetooth, and climate settings. Upgrading to the EX trim nets you an 8-inch touchscreen, plus smartphone integration and access to the CabinControl app. This allows front-seat riders to configure audio and comfort settings for the back rows from a smartphone.
CabinTalk is also available, which allows drivers to speak to backseat passengers via a microphone. Buying a higher trim is also the only way to get access to advanced safety features. The Honda Odyssey has impressive crash test scores from both the NHTSA and IIHS.
The downsides of owning a Honda Odyssey
The lack of traditionally standard technology in the base trim could be a dealbreaker for some shoppers. The Kia Telluride has a plethora of tech in the lowest trim, as well as a full suite of driver’s aids. The Honda Odyssey is also only available in front-wheel drive.
The Honda Odyssey isn’t as reliable as the Kia Telluride. The 2020 model only scored a two out of five on Consumer Reports, while the Telluride got a four out of five. Despite these small grievances, the Honda Odyssey is definitely a worthy substitute for any midsize SUV.