The popularity of minivans has plummeted as the popularity of crossovers has exploded. But for large families, the minivan is still the most versatile vehicle for moving people, things, dogs… you name it… around. However, the 2022 Honda Odyssey has stiff competition from the remaining minivans out on the market today. The Kia Carnival offers a lot of luxury, the Toyota Sienna is only available as a hybrid, and the Chrysler Pacifica is available as a PHEV. So what does the Odyssey bring to the table?
Engine – Regardless of which trim of the Odyssey you choose, it is only available with one engine. It is a 3.5L V6 that produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque (208 kW & 355 Nm). This is a smooth engine with plenty of get up and go. Torque comes at relatively low rpms and easily accelerates the Odyssey up to speed with little hesitation.
Fuel Economy – The 2022 Honda Odyssey can return some decent fuel economy numbers. At least on paper. It is rated for 12.2 L/100km (19.3 MPG) in a city and 8.5 L/100km (27.7 MPG) on a highway. However in real world driving, I’ve been struggling to get it below 13 L/100km (18 MPG) during trips that are within a city. On highways, it is very easy to get the rated fuel economy numbers.
Transmission – Two years ago, Honda introduced a new 10-speed automatic that was paired with the 3.5L V6 engine. This is an extremely smooth shifting transmission. At times it can feel as though the Odyssey has a CVT automatic. That’s how smooth and close the gear ratios are. It has average response times if you decide to mash your foot on the throttle pedal but it’s adequate for a vehicle like this. There are also paddle shifters on the steering wheel should you decide to take over control.
Braking – The 2022 Honda Odyssey has strong brakes. It doesn’t take much effort from your right foot to bring the Odyssey to a stop. The brake pedal may feel a bit too light when initially applying pressure to it but it gets progressively firmer the harder you push.
Handling – The 2022 Honda Odyssey is a stable and planted feeling minivan. The steering is precise although a little on the light side. That’s not a big deal, however, because it doesn’t say “Odyssey Type-R” on the tailgate. On highways it doesn’t require constant minute inputs to the steering wheel to keep the minivan in a straight line. This is a good long distance tourer.
Ride Comfort – The biggest positive of the 2022 Honda Odyssey is its ride comfort. It is by far the smoothest and most comfortable of all the minivans on the market right now. Honda realized that minivans would be used as long distance family vehicles and they tuned the suspension to be excellent on long, boring, and rough concrete highways.
The seats further aid to the comfort of this minivan. They are plush and can accommodate quite a few different body types. My only complaint is with the tiny armrests to either side of the seats.
Interior Space – The Honda Odyssey is one of the most spacious minivans on sale today. In the front row, legroom and headroom is plentiful even for someone as tall as myself at 6’4”.
In the second row, the legroom and headroom are also plentiful for taller occupants. However, the seats cannot slide back as far as the seats in the Sienna nor is the Odyssey available with the VIP lounge seats of the Carnival. But the 2nd row is versatile with all of the seats being removable. The middle seat can be taken out so that you have captain’s chairs. The seats can also be slid together to allow for very easy access to the 3rd row. But removing the 2nd row seats can be a bit of a hassle. Chrysler’s Stow ‘N Go feature is much easier to use.
In the 3rd row, there is enough space for adults to sit back there. There are also USB and audio ports to keep individuals entertained. The 3rd row seats can be folded in the trunk area and it is much easier to do than removing the 2nd row seats.
As for the trunk itself, the 2022 Odyssey can accommodate 929 L (32.8 cu-ft) of space behind the 3rd row, 2,452 L (86.6 cu-ft) behind the 2nd row, and 3,973 L (140 cu-ft) of space behind the 1st row with the 2nd row removed.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Not only is the Honda Odyssey smooth to drive but it’s also quiet. Wind, road and engine noises are well subdued even while driving 100 km/h on a highway. Trim squeaks and rattles are non-existent in the Odyssey.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Honda Odyssey starts at $48,305 CAD ($33,040 USD) with this top spec Touring trim costing $54,805 CAD ($48,770 USD, Elite). The starting price is more expensive than both the Kia Carnival and Toyota Sienna but the top spec price is in between the other two.
Gadgets – This fully loaded demo vehicle came with all the bells and whistles which include heated & ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, sunroof, backup camera, power liftgate, power sliding doors, rear entertainment system, wireless phone charging, navigation, and so on.
The infotainment system works just fine but it looks old and the touchscreen requires some hard pushes of your fingertips in order for it to react; even on the most sensitive setting.
One gadget that has been removed from the 2022 model year is the built-in vacuum. It was such a useful feature, especially for a vehicle that will get messy on the inside.
Interior Design – The interior controls are straightforward with all of the controls being physical buttons. There’s even a physical volume knob! There is some gloss black plastics which will look horrendous after a few months but at least it’s not overused like in the Kia Carnival. The interior also has a lot of pockets and little storage bins throughout the cabin.
Exterior Design – The Honda Odyssey received a mid-cycle styling update for the 2021 model year. The changes give the Odyssey a simpler front and rear fascia design. To my eyes, I prefer the pre-update styling more. This one looks a bit too much like the old Nissan Quest from the front.
Safety – Along with the mid-cycle update, the Odyssey is now equipped with standard automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep, adaptive cruise control with slow speed follow, and rear seat reminder alert. The only additions that are not standard and are only available on the Touring trim are the blind spot sensors and rear cross traffic alert. The IIHS gave the 2022 Honda Odyssey a Top Pick+ and scored well in crash tests.
Warranty – The 2022 Honda Odyssey is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km new vehicle and 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here.
Conclusion – The 2022 Honda Odyssey is quite possibly the best family minivan for those that go on a lot of long road trips. The ease of driving and smoothness is unparalleled by any other minivan on the market right now. However, the competitors are better in other areas such as fuel economy or AWD powertrain or ease of versatility; Chrysler’s Stow ‘N Go seats for example. But overall the 2022 Odyssey is a good all-rounder that focuses primarily at providing a smooth and easy drive for you and your family.
Thank you to Honda Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Honda.ca