2022 Honda Odyssey Touring
If you are prioritizing maximum interior space, practicality and day-to-day livability, maybe you should check the minivans instead of SUVs and Crossovers. Although SUVs can offer great amount of practicality, nothing beats the good old minivans.
Unlike the minivans from 1990s and 2000s, modern entries have much more attractive look, they don’t look boring anymore. You can still do family hauling in style, and when it comes to a family hauler, Honda Odyssey is one of the first options come to mind because it does haul people and your stuff perfectly.
Exterior and Interior
2022 Odyssey is mildly refreshed, and the front end looks a little bit different than 2021 model year. It comes with new bumpers, grille, and fog light housing design. Like many other Honda models, it has sharp body lines in the front. Odyssey still keeps a huge chrome piece that connects two LED headlights in the front.
It also has a big grille for additional cooling for the engine. Honda integrated adaptive cruise system into the emblem so it looks pretty sleek. Touring trim comes with LED fog lights for extra safety. In my opinion, it may not be the best looking minivan, but it definitely looks sharp despite its age.
Current generation Honda Odyssey definitely have an interesting side profile. Like the front end, sharp body lines continue throughout the vehicle, but the side window line drops near the C pillar or 3rd row area. The sliding door rails look hidden underneath the window area, which indicates it wants to look more like a crossover rather than a traditional minivan.
Unlike the front end design, Honda decided to keep the rear end design the same, there are no differences at all. I wish they changed the taillight design a little bit, as I always found it a little bit big, and it still has incandescent bulbs instead of LED.
The interior design of the Odyssey isn’t changed that much with the 2022 update, but it still looks very modern despite the age of it’s platform. You will see some design language inherited from Acura brand, such as the shifter buttons, as well as some parts that are used in other Honda models such as the steering wheel.
As expected from a minivan, comfort and practicality are the two most important aspects, and Honda did a pretty good job finding a great balance of both. The front seats are very comfortable even for a large adult like me (6’1″), and it comes with memory seats. I like having separate arm rests rather than sharing it in center console as it offers more flexibility.
Flexibility is probably the word that I would use to describe the Odyssey. The reason is that it comes with magic seats in the second row, you can remove the middle seat in the second row, and slide seats right and left. This is a very useful feature if you have a child seat and wanted to have some space for 3rd row passengers without having to fold down the second row seats.
Speaking of third row seats, this is where you feel the biggest difference if you are on the fence between a minivan and 3 row SUV or Crossover. You have much more usable space and easier to get in and out to the third row. Due to the shape of the headliner, third row headroom isn’t the best especially for tall adults.
Another perk that makes any minivan much better than 3-row SUV entries is the overall trunk space and usability, and 2022 Honda Odyssey is no exception to that. It comes with 32.8 cubic feet (928L) of cargo space behind the third row, and 88.8 cubic feet (2514 L) if you fold them down. 2nd row seats can also be removed for maximizing cargo space.
Engine and Drivetrain
Although most minivan owners don’t care about the technical aspect of their vehicles, I think the powertrain makes the Odyssey different than the others. 2022 Honda Odyssey comes with only one engine option, and that is a 3.5L V6 naturally aspirated engine that puts out 281 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.
As the industry goes towards the hybrid platform and boring 4 cylinder engines, Odyssey is one of a dying breed as it can be quite fun unlike the other entries. It likes to rev a lot, and quite peppy at higher rpms. There is no All Wheel Drive option and I think Honda should consider adding it for the next generation Odyssey.
2022 Honda Odyssey only comes with 10-Speed Automatic transmission, which is made in house, unlike the pre-facelift Odyssey that used to have ZF 9-Speed transmission. It is a great match with the silky smooth V6 engine, but the 10th gear feels more like an overdrive gear and you only get to that gear at highway speeds.
Driving Impressions and Features
As mentioned in the Engine and Drivetrain section, if you are looking for more fun aspect from your practical minivan, I think Odyssey is the best option as it has the best sounding V6 engine in this segment. 10-Speed transmission is mainly tuned for fuel economy and comfort.
The suspension setup is focused towards road comfort and refinement as expected from a minivan, but it is surprisingly capable when you drive the Odyssey on a faster pace. Having a powerful V6 engine driven only by the front wheels means that you have to be careful with throttle inputs for optimal traction, but the brakes give you a lot of confidence and feedback.
Our average fuel economy was 13.5L / 100km and that’s when you feel like Honda needs to implement Hybrid system to the next generation Odyssey, as other Hybrid entries can get much better fuel economy. V6 engine does its best as it has Cylinder Deactivation System which shuts off 3 cylinders on highway driving.
When you get behind the steering wheel, you immediately notice that this is a great vehicle for a family ride. You will see cupholders pretty much everywhere, and I really like the center console design where you can put huge bags or your purse without having to tuck it in anywhere else.
To have more storage space in the center console area, Honda decided to keep everything on the dashboard including the shifter buttons. It may look confusing at the first glance, but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Unlike KIA Carnival, it has physical buttons for pretty much all essential features.
Speaking of features, I think there are some good and some bad. You will find all the safety features available with the 2022 Odyssey, including Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control.
What I was expecting to find is more of comfort features that you can find in the competition, at least in their top trim. For instance, there is no heated seats in the second row even in the top trim. It is kind of a bummer as some entries even have ventilated seats in the second row.
Another missing feature is actually found by Honda, and used first in Odyssey – that’s called the HondaVac. This was a pretty handy feature especially if you have lots of kids or carry a lot of items. Due to the global supply chain issues, Honda decided to remove the HondaVac even in the top trim.
Touring trim comes with Rear Seat Entertainment system that your passengers can watch movies. It is mounted on the headliner, which means all passengers have to share the same screen, but 3rd row passengers can also join the experience by using their jack port for their headsets. Both 2nd and 3rd row passengers will have individual USB ports to charge their phones.
Although infotainment system is the latest Honda software, it is not as good as other newer Honda models. There is significant amount of input lag, and smartphone integration isn’t perfect. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the overall experience is just as responsive. The camera resolution is not bad, but I wish there was 360 Camera feature for a large vehicle like this one.
Pricing and the Verdict
2022 Honda Odyssey Touring is definitely a strong contender and you cannot go wrong with it. Unlike the latest entries, it may not have a Hybrid drivetrain, or an All-Wheel-Drive option, but its proven reliability with great comfort and practicality makes the Odyssey one of the best family haulers on the market.
We need to remember the fact that unlike the SUV/Crossover world, we don’t have many entries. I think Honda can steal more SUV/Crossover buyers by adding some options like All Wheel Drive, and Hybrid for the upcoming generation. Until that day comes, it is still one of the best people mover for the right type of buyer.
For more details – please visit www.honda.ca