Honda’s recently introduced fully redesigned Odyssey minivan offers some amazing features, which you won’t find almost anywhere else. It sports family-oriented convenience, a flashy exterior look, and pretty solid engine option. However, it’s not completely clear why the Japanese car manufacturer skipped the chance to add a model that uses a full-time all-wheel drive and some kind of hybrid powertrain.
According to John Mendel, executive vice president of Honda, the main reason for not doing that is vehicle’s interior. Yes, both AWD and hybrid setup will have a negative influence on minivan’s space and ride quality, because the carmaker would have to raise the vehicle a little bit. However, judging by the information we have, this isn’t completely true. Moreover, the company is testing the 2018 Honda Odyssey AWD Hybrid right now.
2018 Honda Odyssey AWD Hybrid: Powertrain
The decision to add a hybrid drivetrain seems to be quite logical. The regular gasoline model is outstanding in every way, but it can really compete with the ultra-efficient Chrysler Pacifica. Plus, Honda’s minivan uses the same platform as the Acura MDX, so there will be no any extra investments in the AWD-based minivan from Honda. But we were asking ourselves what’s going to power the 2018 Odyssey Hybrid AWD?
Well, it’s quite simple as well. The ultra-efficient minivan will reportedly use the same Hybrid SH-AWD as Acura’s best-selling nameplate. Aside we know it’s going to use all four wheels, the 2018 Honda Odyssey AWD Hybrid will most likely combine a 3.0-liter V-6 with port injection engine with three electric motors. Two of them will be in charge to help the engine in the rear and will generate 36 hp each. On the other hand, the third 47-hp strong electric motor is paired with front wheels and works together with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (no the new 10-speed auto gearbox won’t be available with the hybrid).
If the carmaker decided not to change anything, the entire powertrain will be capable of producing 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft. So, aside it’s going to deliver over 40 additional ponies, the hybrid minivan will definitely feature better fuel economy numbers. Since Chrysler’s amazing Pacifica achieves 84 MPGe combined, we expect nothing less from the Odyssey Hybrid AWD.
Design and Features
Styling wise, the regular and hybrid models will definitely share the same exterior. However, it’s not clear what’s going to happen inside. The manufacturer will probably try to keep the things same or almost same as they are now. This especially refers to Magic Slide seat functions. Of course, Honda won’t exclude any tech from the Hybrid model, so aside from amazing infotainment and entertainment, the minivan will also have CabinWatch. The system is quite useful if you have children. It’s basically the camera that’s connected to dashboard’s central display screen. This way you will be able to see what’s happening in the back while you are driving.
Price and Arrival
The regular gasoline minivan starts as around $31,000, but don’t the 2018 Honda Odyssey Hybrid will cost significantly more, probably around $10,000 over the base gasoline version. According to information we have, the vehicle will be introduced at the beginning of the next year.