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The 2018 Honda Odyssey’s fifth-generation redesign appears to be like loads just like the earlier technology and boasts the same footprint. Although it hasn’t grown in scale, the minivan is now stronger and smarter.

The three.5-liter V-6 engine beneath the hood is now 32 horsepower stronger, bringing the height output to a wholesome 280 ponies because of the addition of direct injection expertise and different tweaks, which makes for higher acceleration, passing and hill-climbing. A brand new normal nine-speed transmission (or a 10-speed unit for Touring and Elite fashions) retains the gasoline financial system in step with the earlier technology at 22 mpg mixed. That is 19 mpg within the metropolis and 28 freeway mpg. I averaged 21.eight mpg throughout testing on our San Francisco residence turf.

With so many gears, it appears the Odyssey is all the time shifting, however the modifications are easy and I nearly by no means ran right into a state of affairs the place it appeared to be “looking” round for the correct ratio.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

In the meantime, a redesigned rear suspension helps to raised take in bumps whereas additionally including a serving to of sure-footedness to the rear finish, releasing up a little bit of house for cargo and quieting the experience a bit. In truth, the Odyssey rides considerably quieter at freeway speeds thanks additionally to extra sound damping materials concerning the chassis, the elective acoustic aspect glass of the higher trim ranges and 10-speed powertrain’s means to cruise at very low RPMs.

As welcome because the efficiency bump could also be, individuals have a tendency to not purchase minivans based mostly on horsepower. Fortunately the 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite that I lately discovered myself piloting can also be packed to the gills with family-friendly applied sciences and options which are positive to spice up its already sturdy attraction.

Child tech

Simply aft of the driving force’s seat and mounted to the ceiling is the brand new centerpiece for Honda’s child- and passenger-friendly expertise: A brand new rear-seat leisure system that swings down from the roof.

This 10.2-inch system can play video from a Blu-ray disc participant on the entrance row, an HDMI enter on the middle console or from quite a lot of onboard media streaming apps similar to PBS Children. These apps are powered by the onboard 4G LTE information connection that can also be used to attach as much as seven moveable Wi-Fi units. The rear leisure’s latest trick is an onboard app known as “How a lot additional?”, an animated ETA show that interfaces with the navigation to present youngsters a enjoyable method to monitor journeys. It is loads just like the Chrysler Pacifica’s “Are we there but?” app in operate and scope.

Honda’s “How a lot additional?” rear seat leisure app is similar to Chrysler’s “Are we there but?” app.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Android units (and shortly iOS merchandise) related to Wi-Fi can make the most of a brand new Cabin Management app that, properly, offers passengers restricted management of assorted in-cabin features. By means of the app, they will add and stream music via the audio system to a group playlist, regulate the rear-zone of the local weather management system, search and counsel locations for navigation or remotely management the rear leisure. After all, the driving force has remaining say over quantity, accepting the locations and so forth, so the youngsters cannot get uncontrolled.

To maintain these moveable units charged there are as much as three high-power (2.5A) USB ports scattered across the cabin, a number of 12-volt energy factors and a 110-volt inverter beneath the dashboard.

Tech for you too

Along with the kid-friendly tech out again, there is a new gamut of options and applied sciences up entrance to assist preserve mothers and dads comfortable and secure whereas motoring alongside.

The focus of most of those features is a brand new infotainment system that — hallelujah! — now encompasses a bodily quantity knob. The framework remains to be based mostly on the Android working system, however with new software program on prime and new beneath. Honda tells me that it is the firm’s quickest and most responsive infotainment system but. And after hours tinkering with it, I can verify that it’s certainly snappy.

Navigation duties are nonetheless dealt with by Garmin maps and routing software program and you’ll nonetheless deliver your individual maps to the celebration with normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay USB connectivity.

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