The 2019 Honda Odyssey delivers the family-oriented features customers want and remains one of the best models in the minivan segment. We like it for its controlled ride and handling, technology features, and available safety equipment. Its styling, however, remains polarizing and we really wish the second-row seat folded into the floor.

Best Value

The 2019 Honda Odyssey is a seven- or eight-passenger front-wheel-drive minivan. It's available in five trims and comes with a V6 engine paired with either a nine- or 10-speed automatic transmission.

Our pick is the 2019 Odyssey EX-L, as this model brings in leather seating and a height-adjustable tailgate. You'll also find alloy wheels, a blind-spot monitoring system, and Honda Sensing, a suite of safety features which includes adaptive cruise control, a cross traffic monitor, and automatic high-beam headlights.

  • Model: 2019 Honda Odyssey EX-L
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 280 hp / 262 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Nine-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 19 City / 28 Hwy
  • Options: Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System ($1,000), Rear Entertainment System ($1,000, 10.2-inch screen, Blu-ray/DVD/CD compatibility, HDMI input)
  • Base Price:$38,605 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$40,605

Performance

Honda Odyssey

Every 2019 Odyssey comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This engine powers each of Honda’s top models and it supplies excellent acceleration in the Odyssey. The LX, EX, and EX-L models come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the Touring and Elite have a 10-speed automatic. Both shift predictably and smoothly. There's no fuel economy advantage with the 10-speed, so we're not sure why two transmission choices are offered.

As a class, minivans typically lumber along, especially when operating under full load or while towing. Happily, that's not the case with the 2019 Odyssey as this engine is well suited for the vehicle. The ride is comfortable, although road feel can be noticeable. At 3,000 pounds, towing capacity is slightly below most competitors, but it should still meet the needs of those who want one.

Style

Minivans may not be noted for delivering outstanding style, but the Odyssey does its best to at least curry visual interest. Then again, some may find the look polarizing, especially with its profile view featuring a floating roof, wavy beltline, and mismatched character lines. The front fascia matches other Honda products and that's a good thing.

Style conflict aside, the 2019 Odyssey does what it has to do on a frame it shares with the Pilot crossover SUV and the Ridgeline pickup truck. The expected rear sliding doors and big liftgate are what families want for ease of access and egress to the cabin and cargo area.

Inside, space is cavernous and supplies enough for adults to sit comfortably in all three rows. We're especially impressed by the front center console, which is large enough to hold a diaper bag or a briefcase. Generous amounts of storage slots and cubbies abound, including drink holders where you expect to find them.

Although the middle seat doesn't fold flat, we like that it can be moved further up or back as needed. Removing the seats, weighing 70 pounds, is an option. When out of the way, the 2019 Odyssey has 144.9 cubic feet of storage space behind the first row, more than the Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona.

The Best and Worst Things

We like that the 2019 Odyssey comes equipped, not stripped, in base trim. Although the base LX isn't our recommended model, it still delivers alloy wheels, power front seats, and a multi-angle rearview camera – items usually reserved for further up the trim chain. On the other hand, the Odyssey’s infotainment system is clearly bested by the Chrysler Pacifica, which is much more intuitive and reliable than the Honda.

Right For? Wrong For?

Honda Odyssey

Families overwhelmingly choose crossovers, which means minivans barely make a dent in the market. That said, the Odyssey is right for families wanting maximum space and comfort. On the other hand, without available all-wheel drive, the Odyssey may not be the right vehicle for people living in snowy climates. Only the Toyota Sienna offers all-wheel drive in the segment.

The Bottom Line

We like that the Honda Odyssey remains a strong player in an almost forgotten segment. Families that might shop the Honda Pilot should also look at the Odyssey. What you find with Honda’s minivan could have you adjusting your purchase decision for this traditional people-hauler.