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An unpopular segment in the UAE, yet the default choice for families around the world, minivans such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Previa, and Chrysler Pacifica have failed to gather much traction with private buyers in the region. Purchased mainly by tour operators and taxi companies, minivans have been sidelined with families simply ignoring them in favor of trendier gas-guzzling SUVs - a movement the Honda Odyssey 2018 is determined to change.
|Engine||3.5L / 6-cylinder|
|Power||280 Hp / 355 Nm|
|Top Speed||180 km/h|
Staying true to its roots yet keeping up with the times, the 2018 Honda Odyssey carries over distinct design traits such as the kink in its window line, from previous generation models. Cleverly concealing the sliding-door mechanism into the rear quarter-panel’s windowsill, the flush appearance of the Japanese minivan is complimented by unique LED headlights, a sizeable chrome grille, a floating roof, and plenty of purposeful character lines.
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Making its mark by differentiating itself from its rivals, the Odyssey is a 7-seater unlike any other 7-seater. Supremely spacious and truly comfortable, the cabin is home to plenty of soft-touch materials and a customizable seating plan that allows for the perfect fit of cargo and passengers alike. With neat gear buttons replacing the protruding gear lever, the cabin is both great to look at and be within, with a large infotainment screen and plenty of tech onboard.
Sat in the capacious rear, occupants will notice automatic doors, supportive captain seats and an abundance of space, permitting both children and full-grown adults to enjoy the third-row without any complaints. Making the ride even more enjoyable are individual A/C vents for all occupants, wireless headphones, and a foldable 10.2-inch rear entertainment screen.
Safety & Tech
Packing more tech than the brand’s flagship SUV (the Pilot), the Honda Odyssey 2018 is armed with everything from memory seats and a remote engine starter to blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. The safety of all passengers is further aided by a Collision Mitigation System that applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond in time and a Lane Keeping Assist that prevents the Odyssey from drifting out of the lane and off the side of the road.
While the GCC-spec of the Japanese minivan overlooks the popular HondaVac (an in-built vacuum cleaner stored in the boot), that isn’t to say it lacks cool kit. Along with a wireless phone charging tray, a 550-Watt 11-speaker audio system and walk-away auto locking, the elegant people carrier is armed with CabinWatch (a rear seat camera that allows parents to keep an eye on the kids without having to turn around) and CabinTalk (an intelligent in-car PA system).
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Perceived to offer a dull driving experience, the Honda Odyssey is anything but boring. With 280 horsepower and 355 Nm of torque pushed out by its 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine, it is predictably powerful, predictably comfortable, predictably easy to drive, and unpredictably fun! Upping the thrills are a light, responsive steering with paddle shifters, plenty of rubber-shedding wheel spin, and a fabulous 10-speed automatic transmission that is arguably among the best currently on offer.
Greatly curbing body roll, the well-tuned suspension hints at the minivan’s more mundane duties of transporting the children to school and fetching the groceries later in the day. Averaging 12 kilometers to the liter (8.33L/100Km) it is extremely fuel efficient and mighty practical with a sizeable 74-liter tank. With a sufficient kick delivered by the accelerator pedal and the traction control putting its guard down at the touch of a button, the less than exciting trips around town are only boring if you want them to be.
At AED 173,000 the fully-loaded 2018 Honda Odyssey is expensive, even more so than the brand’s flagship Pilot SUV. If your budget is incapable of stretching to accommodate it, settle for a cramped seven-seater SUV like most other people would in the Middle East and celebrate your purchase. But if you’re going to spend more than AED 170,000 on an SUV with features that you may never use (locking differentials, a 4WD system, air suspension etc.) then STOP and go test drive the Odyssey, because if there is one minivan that can and will change your perception about minivans, it’s this, the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
- Phenomenal amounts of fun when pushed to its limits
- Mighty practical and supremely spacious
- Slightly expensive in fully-loaded trim