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We had the good fortune to have clear skies and a prime viewing spot for the total solar eclipse at the Tool Shed Corner B&B in wine country near the Shawnee National Forest.  We also had the good fortune to test the all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey on our family road trip this weekend, and it did not disappoint!  The Elite trim provided by Honda had basically everything to keep a full crew of six content through rural roads in downstate Illinois and on our much-longer-than-expected return trip through classic Illinois highway gridlock.  To be honest, just the front seat cooler ventilation and Sirius XM Radio 18 The Beatles Channel was enough to keep the driver happy!

 

We put some miles and some dust on the ’18 Ody and emerged unscathed for the amazing adventure.  Thanks to Honda Sensing, the Odyssey has a full array of active crash prevention features, including front crash mitigation warning AND auto-brake.  This feature was notably absent from the previous generation Odyssey and disqualified it from winning our Safest Minivan and 3-Row SUV award.  To make up for it, Honda has made them STANDARD on all trim levels from EX and up for 2018!

The Odyssey’s ride was fantastic and soaked up railroad crossings, gravel roads and everything else with ease.  The new 10-speed transmission was silky smooth and power was plentiful, even with a full load of 6 people and luggage.  The Magic Slide seats are very handy for getting just the right seating arrangement.   The 2nd row center seat is just big enough for many carseats and is equipped with LATCH.  It can be removed to create an aisle when not needed.  There are a total of five seats with lower anchors and tethers, plus a sixth top tether anchor for the 3rd row middle seat as well.  While it may not be quite as friendly to 3-across car seats in the 2nd row as the previous generation Odyssey in wide-mode seating, it’s very close, and it’s also likely to remain our top choice for family and carseat friendly interiors!

Inside, the Elite trim has every comfort and convenience feature you could want.  The 4G LTE hotspot kept all the kids happy, as did the entertainment system with wireless headphones and full streaming capbility.  Both headphones and speakers are wired into the handy Cabin Talk feature that allows people in back to hear the driver talking.  And the driver can also keep an eye on the crew with the Cabin Watch camera, a great addition if you have little ones.  Though some found the seats a little firm for their preference, otherwise the 2018 Odyssey was just about perfect for a long family vacay!

Stay tuned for our review video at CarseatBlog.com.  Thanks to Honda and G. Schmitz & Associates for the 2018 Odyssey Elite loaned to us for this preview.