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Honda Odyssey continues to impress with car-like performance

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The 2018 Honda Odyssey is an incredibly versatile vehicle that is tough to beat for people hauling and a long list of accommodations for daily family essentials. The Odyssey can accommodate up to eight passengers, plus sporting equipment and/or building materials.

Offering five very distinct trim levels, Odyssey has one that fits your lifestyle. The base LX starts at $30,930; the EX at $34,800; EX-L (with leather upholstery and other upgrades) at $38,300; EX with navigation and rear entertainment at $40,300; and Touring at $45,450.

For carpooling, shuttling the kids to sporting events, or taking family road trips, there isn’t a better vehicle for the job than the minivan.

Great Efficiency

The 2018 Honda Odyssey elevates the family minivan to a lofty level of efficiency and comfort. Minivans are capable of transporting people, entertaining the kids and providing adults with car-like performance. An all-new 10-speed auto transmission on higher levels offers improved ride quality.

Because all minivans have a similar configuration, minivan competitiveness distills to features both practical and desirable, as well as finer points like serenity, security, and comfort.

Staying Safe

The Odyssey has an array of peace-of-mind features, including the Honda Sensing safety array with automatic braking for collision mitigation. Also: 4G LTE WiFi Hotspot, SXM satellite radio, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, content streaming to the rear entertainment system from Smart TV or wireless Android devices, walk-away automatic door locking, power hands-free tailgate, motorized side doors and sunroof, wireless smart phone charging, and Honda’s pioneering onboard vacuum cleaner.

Magic Slide

The 2018 Odyssey’s niche equipment starts with its “Magic Slide” second row that accommodates three. A small seat in the middle can hold a rear-facing child seat and moves fore and aft so parents up front can check on the infant.

Outboard are two captain’s chairs that also move back and forth, and flip forward for access to the third row. But remove the center seat and the outboard seats can be effortlessly moved sideways as well, kept separate or pushed together on the right, left, or in the middle for even easier access to the third row.

CabinWatch Feature

Odyssey offers its “CabinWatch,” an overhead camera focused on the second and third rows, and easy viewing view on the center screen up front. “CabinTalk,” allows the parents to interrupt whatever the children are watching and listening to, as well as controlling onboard apps from a smart phone.

An overhead screen serves both the second and third rows, along with wireless headphones for the second-row and jacks in the third row for wired headphones.

Solid Powerplant

A tried-and-true 280-horsepower V6 engine, delivering 262 lb.-ft. of torque, paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission, is exceptional for highway travels and more than efficient enough for getting around town. A cylinder deactivation for highway cruising, a stop-start system and an Econ mode deliver enhanced fuel economy. The EPA rates city/highway/combined fuel consumption at 19/28/22.

The Honda Odyssey was once considered a king among the minivan elite and, while it is still a highly dependable vehicle, the minivan stigma may just be getting a little overshadowed by the exciting wave of SUV/crossover popularity.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication