Honda unveils new Odyssey in small, scrappy minivan market

Minivans now represent a small percentage of the U.S. new-vehicle market, but analysts say there is a fierce fight for dominance

The new Honda Odyssey minivan is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
The new Honda Odyssey minivan is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

DETROIT (WKBN/AP) – A veteran player in the scrappy minivan segment is getting a major upgrade.

Honda unveiled a sleeker 2018 Odyssey featuring a range of design and technology updates.

The car company already makes a very popular and highly profitable family hauler in its Odyssey minivan. So how do you improve on something that’s already at the top? By bulking it up with new features:

  • MagicSlide (TM) second row seat: Honda said “MagicSlide ” is an innovation to family-friendly cabin seating flexibility. The second-row seat is reconfigurable for optimal passenger comfort, people- and cargo-hauling flexibility and easy access to third-row seating, even when one or two rear-facing child seats are placed in the second row.
  • CabinWatch: Using a camera, CabinWatch lets the driver and front passenger keep tabs on passengers, both day and night, via the 8-inch display audio screen.
  • CabinTalk: Enables the driver to talk to second and third-row passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones.

Odyssey gets a facelift with new styling that adopts Honda’s signature flying wing front grille flanked by available LED front headlights. The front fascia also conceals a new Active Shutter Grille for improved fuel efficiency when cruising.

The sliding door tracks are hidden in the lower portion of the rear quarter windows.

At the rear, there are LED taillights and an available new hands-free power tailgate with foot activation.

Photos: 2017 Detroit Auto Show

The minivan and its 3.5 liter engine with 10-speed automatic transmission are assembled at its Alabama plant.

Minivans now represent a small percentage of the U.S. new-vehicle market, but analysts say there is a fierce fight for dominance among the automakers still making them.

Related coverage from the 2017 North American International Auto Show

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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