2015 Honda Odyssey Review and Prices
Past and Future Reviews
The 2015 Honda Odyssey is the best family vehicle for you if you’re immune to the minivan stigma -- but don’t mind if your minivan is cool enough to shrug it off, too.
The 2015 Honda Odyssey ought to be a virtual rerun of the 2014 model, which got updated styling and features as part of a midcycle freshening. So there’s no reason the 2015 Odyssey shouldn’t remain atop the minivan class for space-efficiency, fuel economy, and driver satisfaction. It should also continue to project an upscale image that says you’re navigating this life stage with style and confidence.
Should you wait for the 2015 Honda Odyssey or buy a 2014 Honda Odyssey? Little reason to wait: the 2014 Odyssey’s changes in looks, equipment, and powertrain should carry this minivan through to its next full redesign, on track for model-year 2017. Honda might shuffle a feature or two, but buying a 2015 Odyssey won’t net you substantive improvements. It will have you swallowing inevitable model-year price inflation.
2015 Honda Odyssey Changes back to top
Styling: The 2015 Honda Odyssey will carry over the styling changes made to the 2014 Odyssey. These included a subtly revised front end that exchanged a steel hood and fenders for lighter-weight aluminum panels. Two-tone side-mirror trim, new taillight lenses, and a fortified underbody structure were part of the updates. So were fresh interior finishes and a new central dashboard “stack.”
These revisions came under the heading of a midcycle refresh to a minivan last fully redesigned for model-year 2011. Unchanged were Odyssey’s exterior dimensions. Also unaltered were its tailored, areo-look profile distinguished by a unique “lightning-bolt” character line along the rear-window sills. That zig-zag serves a purpose by enlarging the rear windows to provide passengers with a brighter cabin and better outward visibility.
The 2015 Odyssey’s base grade is likely to continue with seating for seven. All other 2015 Odyssey models should again accommodate up to eight courtesy of a 10-inch-wide removable cushion in the center of their second seating row. The 2015 Odyssey should also be capable of latching in five child safety seats, three in the second row and two in the third.
All 2015 Odysseys will again come with Honda’s i-MID, or “intelligent Multi-Information Display.” This places an 8-inch screen in the upper-center of the dashboard to display audio, phone, and climate information.
Cargo volume will remain among best in class with more than 38 cubic feet behind the third row, some 93 cubic feet with the third-row dropped into its rear floor well, and nearly 150 cubic feet with the second-row flipped forward. Don’t expect Honda to adopt second-row seats that fold into the floor, however. That convenience should remain exclusive to the Stow ’n Go system standard on the rival Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
Expect another broad roster of familiar trim grades. Look for the 2014 Odyssey lineup to again start with the LX seven-seat base model, followed by the better-equipped EX, the EX-L with leather upholstery, and two additional EX-L variations.
The majority of 2015 Odyssey buyers are expected to again choose an EX-L model, with the most popular version the EX-L with Rear Entertainment. It has a DVD system with a 9 inch ceiling screen.
Honda probably will continue the third EX-L iteration in the form of the Odyssey EX-L with Navigation. Instead of the DVD player and screen, it would feature a voice-activated navigation system.
Buyers desiring leather upholstery and both the DVD and navigation systems likely will again need to move up to the 2015 Odyssey Touring model.
Odyssey’s 2015 flagship probably will remain the Touring Elite. With all available Odyssey features as standard, it should again add on a premium DVD entertainment system with Honda’s “Ultrawide” 16.2-inch-diameter ceiling screen able to simultaneously display two separate video sources.
The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite was also the venue for introduction of the HondaVac, making it the first minivan available with a built-in vacuum cleaner (see the Features section below for details).
Mechanical: The 2015 Honda Odyssey will almost certainly feature a carryover powertrain that received an important update for model-year 2014. Specifically, Honda equipped all Odyssey models with a six-speed automatic transmission. Previously, only the Touring and Touring Elite had the six-speed. All other Odysseys used a less-efficient five-speed automatic, making them stand out in a class where every other minivan had a six-speed automatic or its equivalent.
No change to Odyssey’s engine is expected. Every 2015 Odyssey will come with a 3.5-liter V-6; output should repeat at around 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the energy that gets a vehicle moving, horsepower as the force that sustains momentum.)
Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system will return as well. This maximizes fuel efficiency by automatically idling two or three cylinders in low demand driving conditions, then reinstating all six when power is required.
Overall, the 2015 Odyssey should again contend for class-topping performance and road manners. The powertrain is smooth and responsive, handling secure and reasonably grippy, ride quality firm but composed. Expect the 2015 Touring and Touring Elite models to enjoy their slight edge in handling and steering sharpness over the other Odyssey models if Honda continues to equip them with 18-inch wheels and tires versus the 17s on the LX and EX/EX-L models.
The 2015 Odyssey will also retain a front-wheel-drive layout, which concentrates the mass of the engine and transmission over the tires that both steer and provide propulsion. That furnishes competent wet-surface traction, though not quite the all-weather footing of the all-wheel-drive option that should again be exclusive to the rival Toyota Sienna minivan.
Features: Don’t anticipate major additions to the 2015 Honda Odyssey’s selection of features, although the automaker could decide to shuffle some among the various model grades.
Odyssey’s model-year 2014 freshening included some notable equipment updates, including this minivan’s first forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems. These alert the driver of a potential frontal impact and of unintended traffic-lane wander, respectively.
Also introduced was Honda’s LaneWatch system, which uses a video camera in the right-side mirror to project an image of the right-side blind spot on the dashboard screen.
The 2015 Odyssey will continue under a Honda policy that rigidly segregates features based on a model’s station in the lineup: the more expensive versions get a longer list of features. Don’t expect Honda to suddenly introduce stand-alone options. But it could allow some features to migrate among 2015 Odyssey models.
It might, for example, expand HondaVac beyond just the Touring Elite model. Developed with help from the Shop-Vac brand, HondaVac’s flexible hose and accessories are mounted in a dedicated bin in the rear cargo area can reach throughout the cabin. The system’s electric motor can operate continuously with the engine running and for eight minutes after the engine is turned off. A replaceable filter and canister bag is included.
Honda could also liberalize availability of the refrigerated “cool box” that folds from the base of dashboard. The cool box has been standard starting at the EX-L level. And we’d like to see other models besides the Touring Elite get the convenience of pushbutton start, which allows you to start the Odyssey without having to remove the ignition key from purse or pocket, backpack or briefcase.
Similarly, only Odyssey EX models and above have come with power sliding side doors, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated side mirrors, outside temperature indicator, second-row sunshades, and alloy wheels.
Otherwise, expect most of Odyssey’s most desirable features to remain standard on 2015 EX models and above. These include the aforementioned LaneWatch, as well as HondaLink. HondaLink taps the owner’s smartphone to deliver a host of cloud-based content, including Internet radio and news feeds from Facebook. Rival automakers already provide that level of connectivity across a wider swath of models.
Certain to be included on every 2015 Odyssey are air conditioning, a power driver’s seat, manual tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, cruise control, keyless remote entry, power mirrors, locks, and windows, and tinted rear privacy glass.
All 2015 Odysseys should repeat a standard infotainment suite that includes Bluetooth, USB iPod interface, and two-gigabytes of CD music storage.
Expect the various 2015 Odyssey EX-L and Touring/Touring Elite models to again come with such features as heated front seats, power tailgate, power moonroof, and the navigation and/or rear-DVD entertainment systems. They’ll likely also retain exclusive rights within the Odyssey line to such audio trinkets as satellite radio and Honda’s Song by Voice system that uses spoken instructions to access artist, song, playlist, or genre from the hard drive or a linked iPod.
2015 Honda Odyssey Prices back to top
Prices for the 2015 Honda Odyssey were not released in time for this review, but expect a modest increase over 2014 Odyssey prices. That suggests a 2015 Odyssey base-price range of roughly $29,995-$45,900. (All estimated base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s mandatory destination fee; Honda’s fee for the 2014 Odyssey was $830.)
Assuming no change in mode names, estimated price is $29,995 for the 2015 Odyssey LX, $33,300 for the 2015 Odyssey EX.
Expect the 2015 Honda Odyssey EX-L to be priced around $36,800. Figure the 2015 Odyssey EX-L with Rear Entertainment System at roughly $38,450 and the 2015 Odyssey EX-L with Navigation System at some $38,850.
Estimated price is $42,600 for the 2015 Odyssey Touring model and $45,700 for the 2015 Odyssey Touring Elite.
2015 Honda Odyssey Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2015 Honda Odyssey were not released in time for this review but they’re likely to repeat 2014 ratings of 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined. That would keep the 2015 Odyssey among the highest-mileage minivans.
2015 Honda Odyssey Release Date back to top
Expect the 2015 Honda Odyssey in showrooms during summer 2014.
What's next for the 2015 Honda Odyssey back to top
This fourth-generation Odyssey launched for model-year 2011 and it’s model-year 2014 refresh will sustain it until a fully redesigned replacement arrives for model-year 2017.
That fifth-generation Odyssey will likely continue to strive for styling that’ll have it looking at home on the nicest driveways. But it won’t sacrifice the interior volume and versatility that’s at the heart of its appeal. Nor should Honda compromise the relatively athletic road manners that also define the Odyssey. Features available will continue to evolve as automakers push the frontiers of comfort, convenience, and connectivity.
Honda acknowledges plans to introduce plug-in hybrid technology for “midsize and larger vehicles.” It’s begun with the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid and while it’s mum on other vehicles in line for this system, the Odyssey has historically had structural and powertrain commonality with the Accord.
Plug-in hybrids are distinct from pure-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, which are not supplemented by on-board gas engines. The Accord Plug-In Hybrid, for example, combines a four-cylinder gas engine and electric power. Like other plug-ins, its electric-only range can be extended with battery charges drawn from wall sockets. The Accord plug-in can run for about 13 miles on electric power alone and then use the gas engine as a generator or as its primary source of propulsion, with assist from the electric motor.
Honda’s plug-in hybrid plans for midsize and larger vehicles certainly could include the Odyssey – if Honda believes green-minded buyers would stomach a potential $60,000-plus price to cover the cost of the added technology. Another possibility, just as intriguing and perhaps a better fit for Odyssey would be a low-emission diesel engine.
2015 Honda Odyssey Competition back to top
Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan: Grand Caravan is a great value in a seven-passenger minivan. The Town & Country is a luxury version of the same design, and both employ Chrysler Group’s Pentastar V-6 engine. Utility and comfort are impressive, features well-thought-out. Not as sexy as the Odyssey, but not as expensive.
Toyota Sienna: Odyssey’s archrival and No. 2 in minivan sales, Sienna appeal to a similar demographic as the Honda. It’s the only competitor with eight-passenger capacity and AWD. Sienna rivals Odyssey for overall utility and features and it furnishes a slightly softer driving experience and simpler ergonomics.
Nissan Quest: Spacious comfort for seven, likeable performance from a well-tuned suspension and a willing V-6 engine, all wrapped in styling that recalls a 1950s rocket toy. Not a bad choice if you’ think outside the box when thinking about a box on wheels.