Minivans aren’t sexy. If that deflates anyone, a serious reality check was desperately needed. Somehow, Honda has been able to make the minivan cooler than it was back in the day, and not just by running rock-infused commercials showcasing the Odyssey. The fact is that out of all the options on the market, the Honda Odyssey provides the best all-around package.
While competitors such as the Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna have been inching closer to the Odyssey, Honda is about to leap ahead once again. Car and Driver was able to confirm with the automaker that the next generation of the popular minivan is coming out in 2016 as a 2017 model.
Spy shots of the next-gen Odyssey have been floating around online for several months. The test mules are heavily camouflaged, keeping everyone guessing about not only the overall look of the 2017 model, but also about certain upcoming features. There’s little doubt that Honda has a few aces up its sleeve, ones that will make the optional onboard vacuum look quaint.
Honda is on a big offensive lately as it tries to reclaim lost market share, plus make inroads in segments where it hasn’t been successful (such as pickup trucks). In the next couple of years the company will put out a next-generation Civic, launch a new fuel-cell production model, freshen up the Accord and completely redo the Ridgeline.
Considering that the Honda Odyssey shares a platform with the Pilot, which has just been completely redesigned, looking at the crossover should provide some clues. The same 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6 engine almost certainly will be applied to the 2017 Odyssey, plus an optional nine-speed automatic transmission.
Right now, the Odyssey enjoys a solid reputation when it comes to safety. As we reported before, it performed excellently during the Insurance Instituted of Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap test, making it a standout in the segment. The 2017 model should pack a number of new active and passive safety features.
More details should be coming out in the next few months.