Reviewer concensus is that the 2012 Honda Odyssey (Base MSRP: $28,225 to $43,675) is the best minivan available. It checks all the right boxes when it comes to a minivan's most important qualities: practicality, comfort and good driving experience.
Experts praise the powerful 3.5L V6, the smooth transmission, the interior versatility, the roomy cargo capacity and good handling. Furthermore, the comfortable and well-appointed interior can accommodate up to five LATCH child seats (more than many other minivans). On top of that, fuel economy is better than most of the competition too, even though the Odyssey uses a V6 exclusively (the base Toyota Sienna uses a four-cylinder).
The Odyssey's relatively high base price may deter some buyers, and a few critics find the center console to have too many buttons. Otherwise, reviewers find little to complain about, and say the Honda minivan is excellent.
A few reviewers prefer the runner up 2012 Toyota Sienna (Base MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570) , but most select the Odyssey as their favorite. The Sienna offers all-wheel drive, which may be important to some buyers but is not available on the Honda Odyssey. The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country is another well-reviewed minivan, which reviewers like for its simple fold-flat passenger seating; still, no reviewers prefer the Town & Country over the 2012 Odyssey.
Overall, the 2012 Honda Odyssey is the benchmark for other minivans, according to reviewers.
EPA Fuel Economy Estimates
- 18 mpg city
- 27 mpg highway
- 21 mpg combined
NHTSA Safety Ratings
- Front Impact: 5 stars
- Side Impact: 5 stars
- Rollover Resistance: 4 stars
- Overall: 5 stars
IIHS Safety Ratings
- Front Offset Impact: Good
- Side Impact: Good
- Roof Strength: Good
- Named 2012 Top Safety Pick
2011 review features a detailed analysis
Other than minor trim-level equipment changes, the Honda Odyssey carries over unchanged from the 2011 model year. See our full report on the 2011 Honda Odyssey to see more details on why reviewers consider the Honda Odyssey to be the best minivan. http://www.consumersearch.com/minivan-reviews/2011-honda-odyssey
Edmunds.com editors test all new vehicles and provide clear and detailed summaries of each model. These write-ups include insight into how each model compares with the competition and driving impressions.
Review: 2012 Honda Odyssey, Editors of Edmunds.com
The 2012 Honda Odyssey is essentially identical to the 2011 model year vehicle. See our full report on that car for detailed analysis of reviewer feedback.
Review: 2011 Honda Odyssey, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, April 2011
The 2012 Honda Odyssey, with the base five-speed automatic, gets 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/21 mpg combined, according to official EPA estimates. The optional six-speed automatic improves city, highway and combined ratings by 1 mpg. The six-speed makes the Odyssey the most fuel-efficient full-size minivan.
Review: 2012 Honda Odyssey, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency
In government crash tests, the 2012 Honda Odyssey gets an impressive overall crash protection rating of 5 stars out of 5. Keep in mind that due to revisions in 2011 of the crash-test guidelines, results for model years 2011 and 2012 cannot be compared to results for earlier model years.
Review: 2012 Honda Odyssey, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Honda Odyssey the highest rating in each testing category. It is named a Top Safety Pick among minivans.
Review: Honda Odyssey, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety