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2020 Honda Odyssey Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Honda Odyssey?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Honda Odyssey? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

To celebrate its 25th birthday, Honda has given its mini-van, the new 2020 Honda Odyssey a standard 10-speed automatic transmission across the whole line-up. This vehicle is in its fifth generation, which was introduced for the 2018 model year. At that time, Honda revamped the Odyssey, bringing it into the contemporary world of vehicles. The 2020 line might not see a ton of alterations from its previous model year, but it still feels like a modern mini-van, offering comfort and creature comforts in balance.

What's New for 2020?

The only alteration made to the 2020 Honda Odyssey is the standardization of the 10-speed automatic transmission across the whole line-up. Other than that everything carries over from the 2019 models.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Honda Odyssey – The Pros

1. The Second-row is Comfy

Sure, the 2020 Honda Odyssey has some serious comfortable and roomy front seats, but the second row is just as good. The folding armrests aren't too thick, and the seat padding feels just right. There is plenty of leg, shoulder, and head room so that passengers can relax while taking longer rides. Even the third row is roomy enough for some adults and all children. Still, you really cannot beat the comfort that the second row seats offer.

2. A Great Driving Performance From the V6

V6 engines are not always that powerful when it comes to the ones you fin in mini-vans. However, the V6 that comes equipped in the Odyssey is quite impressive. Every Odyssey trim level is powered by the 3.5-L V6 engine, which puts out 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Also, front-wheel drive comes standard. It used to be that only the Touring and Elite trims had the 10-speed automatic engine, but now that all of the trims have it, you are guaranteed an excellent performance from the powertrain. You can load up your six passengers and still get ample acceleration as this vehicle gets form 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds.

3. A Quiet Ride

The 2020 Honda Odyssey provides occupants with a quiet, relaxing ride. While the suspension is a little bit firmer than you might expect to find on a mini-van, it smooths over bumps well. At highway speeds, the cabin remains insulated from outside noises. Even the engine is barely audible. The active noise cancellation system is truly helpful in keeping the Odyssey muted.

4. The 10-speed Automatic Transmission is Now Standard

The former 9-speed automatic transmission that came on the four lower trim levels was nothing too terrible. However, the 10-speed that was reserved for the Touring and Elite trims was much better at shifting gears without any interruption. That is why its standardization is a huge bonus for the 2020 models. This transmission pairs well with the V6 and makes the drive performance feel powerful.

5. The Brakes are Easy to Modulate

The 2020 Honda Odyssey has brakes that are responsive and easy to modulate. Making a panic break might feel soft at first, but it does build up pressure at a reasonable rate. It can come to a panic stop from 60 mph in just 123 feet, which is great for a mini-van. In regular driving situations, the brakes feel solid and reliable, allowing the vehicle to track straight on as it comes to a halt.

6. Excellent Climate Control

The vehicle's tri-zone climate control system pushes air flow throughout the entire cabin. You can put the fan on high to get the front air vents really pumping. Also, most trim levels come with standard heated front seats, which can add a lot of comfort while riding in cooler weather.

7. Controls are Easy to Use

Honda typically makes its controls user-friendly. While some of the touchscreen buttons might take some time to learn, all of the physical knobs and buttons are logically placed and clearly labeled. You will not have to search long to find what you need, and it will be well within your grasp. Even the digital gauge cluster is clearly laid out before you. Also, the EX trim and above all come with power sliding doors that make getting in and out a breeze.

8. A Spacious Cabin

Drivers typically want mini-vans because they need the space and capability to haul a lot of people. The 2020 Honda Odyssey definitely delivers in this area. The cabin is carefully designed with spatial optimization in mind. You can fit adults into any of the three rows without them feeling squished. There is plenty of widened space behind the third row, and the reclining third row seats still leave enough room for their passengers.

9. A High-quality Interior Design

The Odyssey clearly is not a luxury vehicle, but its interior materials are of quality build. The soft-touch surfaces give the cabin a modern feel, and the leather seats certainly make the vehicle look upscale and expensive. You will be hard-pressed to find two panels with a gap between them or anything that makes a strange rattle while driving. All in all, the Odyssey is put together well and should be able to endure years of use.

10. All-around Utility

Honda is one of those automakers that understands the importance of crafting a vehicle for utility. If needed, you can fit up to eight passengers in the Odyssey, and there is still sufficient cargo space available for stashing items. When the second and third rows are folded, you get 155.8 cubic feet of cargo space. If you have kids, the LATCH system is easy to use, making seat bases quick to install. Also, there are cupholders galore, and they are all sufficiently sized.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Honda Odyssey – The Cons

1. The Second-row Seats Can Be Hard to Move

One of the issues you will have is moving the second row. These seats take some muscle to move as there is no power-operated way to do so. These seats are bulky. The third row isn't power-operated either, but they have straps and pulls that make them a little bit easier to handle. If you do not have much upper body strength, you might need to get someone else to assist you with the second-row.

2. The Third-row Seats Do Not Have Power Folding

As already mentioned, the third-row seats lack power-folding capabilities. Many other mini-vans have this feature, so it is odd that Honda chose to not include this helpful feature. At least the straps they come with are easy enough to use. Still, having the seats move with the touch of a button is a lot more convenient and time-saving.

3. A Surround-View Camera is Not Available

While a rear-view camera comes standard, there is no 360-degree surround-view camera system available. This is usually an option on vehicles' lower trim levels and standard on higher ones. Again, it is a bit baffling that Honda chose to not include this feature on the 2020 Honda Odyssey line-up. It can be a good selling point for drivers who need all-around vision on a big, bulky vehicle like a mini-van.

4. Poor Visibility

Not having a surround-view camera option hurts the Odyssey's drivability, but the fact that the driver has poor visibility from the front and rear makes it worse. The second-row seats have big headrests that get in the way of the rear-view, and the front pillars are your average thickness for a mini-van. Drivers will need to exert more caution than they would in other vehicles.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Honda Odyssey vs. 2020 Toyota Sienna

The 2020 Honda Odyssey gets some stiff competition from the 2020 Toyota Sienna. The Sienna offers a comfortable ride quality, all-wheel drive (which no other mini-van can boast), and a strong V6 engine that gets this vehicle accelerating swiftly. However, the Sienna also has hefty second-row seats that are hard to move, and it lacks a lot of the standard features that you find on the competition. For the price, you can get more of those desired features on the Odyssey.

2020 Honda Odyssey vs. 2020 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica is another top contender for the model year. You can easily make this mini-van go from a people-hauler to a cargo-friendly vehicle as needed. The interior looks chic, and there are quite a few creature comforts that make the Pacifica feel like a luxury vehicle. On the downside, the Pacifica has seats that feel a bit too firm, and the 9-speed automatic transmission is a bit clunky. It lacks the refined nature of the Odyssey's 10-speed.


If you are in the market for a mini-van this year, give the 2020 Honda Odyssey some thought. It is a people-pleaser with its vast amount of space and super comfy seats. The fact that adults can comfortably sit in the third row speaks to how thoughtfully planned this vehicle really is. Honda seems bent on impressing drivers and makes the mini-van seem cooler than your average soccer-mom (or soccer-dad) vehicle.

Previous Honda Odyssey Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Honda Odyssey? w/ pros vs cons