Test drove a new 2018 Honda Odyssey today! Thoughts vs Sedona and Pacifica - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Test drove a new 2018 Honda Odyssey today! Thoughts vs Sedona and Pacifica

I lucked out and stopped by a Honda dealer right after their demo Odyssey was delivered and got to spend some time with it and take it for a drive. Didn't get to spend a whole lot of time with it (there was literally a line to drive it), but did want to post my thoughts relative to the Sedona which I have and compared to the Pacifica which I am considering.

The one I drove was an EX-L with navigation and rear seat entertainment. So this model has radar cruise, lane keep, blind spot monitoring, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather seats, heated seats but lacks cooled seats, the vacuum, kick operated hatch and doors, LED headlights, which are available spread throughout the upper two trims, Touring and Elite. Its 99% an SX-L Sedona (lacks cooled seats and HID headlights). Sticker was $40,500 which I thought was very reasonable.

Styling:

Van is better looking in person, doesn't look as "weird" as it did in some pictures. Good paint quality and build quality which you would expect. I would say better looking than the Pacifica, not as good looking as the Sedona. So, 1. Sedona, 2. Odyssey, 3. Pacifica.

Interior:

Overall finish is not to the level of the Sedona, but comparable to the Pacifica. The Sedona has better materials, better leathers, gloss trim where there is plastic trim in the Odyssey. The Odyssey is more utilitarian than both. Comfort is very good, seats are excellent. Instrumentation is all digital, no analog speedo or tach which I don't prefer but my wife will like. Honda's infotainment system is EXCELLENT. Very snappy, great touchscreen and smooth sliding access to apps. Huge upgrade from the Sedona, significant upgrade from the Pacifica. Honda uses Garmin nav too now but the interface is different than Chryslers. This model didn't have CabinWatch or CabinTalk to test. The magic slide seat is great, getting into the rear is still a little annoying, but vastly improved over the Sedona. Third row seats stow much more elegantly and smoothly than in the Sedona. No stow and go in the second row like the Pacifica, isn't an issue for us but could be for others.

It has a ton of little cubbies and storage, USB ports everywhere. Onboard WiFi where passengers can control HVAC and infotainment and rear seat entertainment from their phones. Very cool. The rear seat entertainment will simply mirror an iPhone or iPad which is ideal for us. Big spot in the console for my wife's purse like the Pacifica.

The interior, while not as "luxurious" as the Sedona for sure, is more practical and utilitarian. Big upgrade from the old Odyssey. Lack of rear seat entertainment is almost a disqualified for the Sedona nowadays. As a "quality car" I would rate the interiors 1. Sedona, 2. Pacifica, 3. Odyssey, but from a utility standpoint as "a van" I would rate them 1. Odyssey, 2. Pacifica, 3. Sedona.

Ride and Drive:

Was really impressed with the ride and drive. I would say it rides better and is slightly quieter than the Pacifica, which is considerably better riding and quieter than the Sedona. Body motions are controlled, and 18" wheels have good sidewall hight and deliver a great ride. Very quiet, no wind or road noise, on the highway briefly up to 75, I would say it was pretty darn close to as quiet as my Lexus. HUGE upgrade over the Sedona in this department, and it will be a much more comfortable and enjoyable to drive vehicle on trips. Has a brake hold feature like the Lexus which I love (vehicle will hold the brake at a stoplight so you don't have to leave your foot on it, feature is absent in the Sedona and Pacifica.

Honda puts the BSM indicators inside the cabin as opposed to on the mirrors, which is where I've always had them which is a huge adjustment for us.

Overall, very impressed and all things being equal, I would certainly choose the Odyssey over the Pacifica or Odyssey. However...the real test will be deals. Like I said, there was a line to drive this van. They got three in right after I left, another EX-L, a Touring, and an Elite, I'm sure all will be gone. We have time, so we'll see what the landscape looks like in 9 months. I'd pay some extra for the Odyssey over the Pacifica, but as to how much I don't know. Would I buy another Sedona with these two competitors? Probably not honestly. Its been a great vehicle, but it lacks some convenience areas for us which I've mentioned the big one is third row seat access, rear seat entertainment and as a vehicle ride comfort and sound isolation.

Toyota...DOA...why in the world they chose to refresh the Sienna vs an all new Sienna is beyond me. We don't plan on even test driving a Sienna.


~Steve
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 11:16 AM
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Second Row fixed?

Did Honda improve the second row legroom? I drive with my seat all the way back so I always check to see how much room is left over in the second row. I disqualified the previous Odyssey because my knees touched the back of the drivers seat. Only Kia and Toyota have enough second row space.

My dad's Caravan has just enough space but only because the stow and go seats are so steep that your legs are bent at an uncomfortable 120 degrees or so. Not sure about the Pacifica but I would expect it to feel like the Caravan. The Nissan Quest failed both in knees touching and bent knees with its super low seating.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, legroom is the second row is much better, that was an issue for us in the previous Odyssey also. Seats are more adjustable back and forth.

Yeah the stow-n-go seats are nowhere near as comfortable, but for us they have carseats installed in them all the time anyways.

~Steve
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 02:59 PM
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The trend toward touchscreen control is a bad one IMHO. I requires the driver to take eyes off the road to see where to hit on the screen, as there are nothing tactile to key off of by touch. At least with the old dials and buttons, you can memorize them and operate by feel. I much prefer the wheel/knob controller like on my Genesis. It falls right under my right hand when rested on the arm rest - instead of the long stretch out to where most touchscreens are. With a wheel/knob, the need to look at the screen is minimized.

Hopefully, Kia sees the light to offer a wheel/knob on higher trims or in an optional package. At least it'll be relatively easy to implement it on the SUV-type center console. On an old-fashion minivan style center console (Oddyssey, Pacifica, Sienna), it'd be next to impossible to position a wheel/knob within easy reach.

As is, none of the minivan touchscreens - Sedona included - are what I would call ergonomically excellent.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I too prefer a remote type control

~Steve
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 09:23 PM
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I'll be in the market as either an end of model year 18 bargain shopper or a 19 if the deals aren't happening. My 2015 Sedona has been a disappointment, not because of the vehicle but because of the dealer. The 15 is a first year makeover and I should have known better. But the Sedona looked better than any of the competitors for features, style and price. The cooling seats are awesome. BUT, a first year vehicle is going to have glitches and the dealer is 40 miles away. Additionally, the dealer is really good at oil changes and tire rotations and that's about it. Battery died at 1 yr, under warranty, I jumped it and took it to the dealer who said they couldn't test the battery because I had started the van. So, 40 miles back home for the inevitable failure the next day, called the wrecker, etc, etc. Overnight at the dealer, and yep the battery was dead and they replaced it. Now I had to hook a ride with my neighbor to fetch my van. No customer service. Latest is the passenger side power door won't latch, $600 part plus labor. This after $400 door controller did not fix the problem. Looks like the dealer throws my money at problems without knowing how to properly diagnose. Had the van been more dependable like my previous 6 Odysseys, I'd be happy with the van, but 80 mile round trips for all the glitches is getting annoying. Other glitches:
Power mirrors failure, wheel well liner fell off. Probably back to Honda.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Is your Sedona out of warranty already? Not sure why they would have covered the battery but not the passenger side power door latch. That should have been covered under warranty.

Not sure that a dead battery and a bad door latch constitute "not dependable". Odysseys have a notorious sliding door issue that impacted several Odyssey owners I know.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 01:13 PM
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My only advice is to avoid the 9 speed Odyssey or Pacifica.

I own a 2015 Jeep Cherokee with that same ZF 9 speed transmission. I cannot emphasize how terrible it is in daily use. On a test drive they seem fine. They have finally smoothed most of the shifts on the new Pacificas and Hondas compared to the earlier versions in 14-16 FCA and Acura products. And it won't seem that bad on a casual 15min test drive. Seems smooth enough when putting around.

But even with the added refinement, the transmission is very unresponsive and still offers hard and odd feeling shifts fairly frequently. Give the throttle a poke and nothing happens. More poke and it still hesitates and maybe gives you one gear down. Stomp it in frustration and then it triple downshifts and races to redline. Then when you let off the gas it will hang in that low gear for excessive time before bumping back up to 7th or 8th, one, gear, at a time. It won't double or triple shift up for some reason. My Cherokee is an otherwise good vehicle, I love the same tech that makes the Pacifica so nice. But that 9 speed completely ruins any car it is placed in.

If I was looking at those vans, I would only consider the Pacifica Hybrid (has a unique 4spd/CVT) or the 10 speed Odyssey.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Its actually not the same transmission, the one used in the Pacifica and Odyssey (which are also slightly different from each other) are transverse applications because those vehicles are FWD, whereas in your Grand Cherokee its a longitudinal orientation, similar but not exactly the same. I had a 2014 Grand Cherokee so I know exactly what you're talking about and know what to look for in a test drive, the Pacifica did not exhibit any of that same irrational shift patterning that the unit in the JGC does, nor did the 9 speed Odyssey I drove. Both shifted great, and were much more willing to downshift...I ran the Pacifica pretty hard and thought the transmission was a huge improvement over that JGC application, and the transmission in my Sedona which I also hate.

If you read reviews of the Pacifica they specifically address this comparing to other FCA adaptations of the ZF 9 speed and say the same thing I did.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 08:53 AM
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Believe he was talking about Cherokee, not Grand Cherokee.
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