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The Best Year for the Honda Odyssey

in Year Model Comparison
Silver Honda Odyssey parked on a street

2021 Honda Odyssey EX-L by Kevauto CC BY-SA 4.0

Honda is famous for releasing vehicles with tremendous longevity and few breakdowns. Another thing Honda is known for is gas mileage that is hard to beat. So when studying models from 2017 – 2021, how did we determine the best year for the Honda Odyssey? In this article, we’ll look at safety ratings, special features, interior options, recalls, tech, and much more to make our determination.

2017 Honda Odyssey

Our pick for the best year for the Honda Odyssey is 2017. Remarkable mpg, reliability, a history of longevity, safety ratings and features, interior, visibility, price for mileage, and drivability all helped us reach our decision.

Let’s have a look at why we feel the 2017 Honda Odyssey beats out its predecessors and model years 2018 – 2021.


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Price

We studied the average yearly mileage an Odyssey accumulates (12,000) compared to the annual decrease in price for models in outstanding condition. It was clear that the best bang for your buck is the 2017 model, with an average used price of $22,534.

One major factor aiding this decision is the expected longevity of a Honda. If you stick to a strict maintenance schedule, you can expect an Odyssey to last somewhere between 250,000 – 300,000 miles. Now that is impressive. 

Safety Recalls

Millions of cars are recalled yearly. At times the number is in the tens of millions; both 2014 and 2015 experienced over 50 million recalled vehicles. While every safety recall is important, some are more severe than others.

Take, for instance, the over 240,000 2018 – 2020 Honda Odysseys recalled for a wire in the third row that could short circuit and start a fire.

While it is not uncommon for various safety recalls to affect several years and editions of a model, some may seem more dangerous than others.

Safety Rating

The 2017 Honda Odyssey received a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Along with the rating, the NHTSA awarded the Odyssey 5 stars for front driver side and front passenger side safety during a frontal crash and 5 stars for overall side safety during simulated intersection collisions and those with fixed objects like a utility pole or tree. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2017 Odyssey its highest rating of “Good” for crashworthiness in the following categories:

  • Roof strength
  • Head restraints and seats
  • Small overlap front: driver’s side
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side

(Please note that Odysseys from each of the years we studied earned 5-star safety ratings from the NHTSA and similarly high scores from the IIHS.)


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Safety Features

With such high safety ratings from numerous trustworthy sources, it’s no surprise that the 2017 Odyssey is loaded with safety features important to you and your family.

Among the standard features is a system that monitors all four wheels to make sure you don’t accidentally lose traction or stability of the vehicle. The system deploys braking and engine power as needed to help maintain control of the van. 

Also among the standard safety features:

  • Antilock disc brakes
  • Active front head restraints
  • Front side and side curtain airbags
  • A tire pressure monitoring system
  • Daytime running lights
  • A rearview camera with the option to upgrade to a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines to help you navigate blind spot driveways and tight parking spaces

Higher trim models come with numerous technologies such as monitors that alert you when unknowingly departing your lane, a warning to hit the brakes when a possible forward collision is on the horizon, and blind-spot monitoring. 

All of these features contributed to our choice of 2017 as the best year for the Honda Odyssey.

Interior

As a van, the 2017 Odyssey rides higher than smaller vehicles. This height and the large windows surrounding close to the entire van help increase its outward visibility, which in turn increases overall safety. Oh, and your passengers will be elated by the excellent views experienced in any seat.

The space you need for comfort and storage is never lacking in this van. It feels like everywhere you look, there’s another option for storage. Higher trim levels even have a “cool box” in the lower front center console to keep drinks and snacks cool for the whole family.

Fold the third row directly into the vehicle’s floor, and you’ll have storage galore for all your shopping and road trip needs. Upgraded models come with heated front seats and leather upholstery. The Odyssey sits an impressive seven people with an option to make it eight with an upgrade.

For many of the 2017 Odyssey models, Honda incorporated an acoustic windshield to aid in soundproofing, a built-in vacuum, a rear-seat entertainment system, and power-sliding doors. These vans were built for families. Maybe that’s why they couldn’t forget to include a place to expertly hang a trash bag for those cross-country summer vacations.


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Drivability

True to the Honda name, the 2017 gets excellent gas mileage — up to 19 miles in the city and 28 on the highway, which is quite impressive for a van. And as previously stated, with the right level of regular maintenance, an Odyssey will run from 250,000 to 300,000 miles. Add to that the few and far between repairs you can expect with a Honda, and it suddenly feels like you’re driving on the sunny side of the street.

But how does it handle? After all, this is a van we’re talking about here, right?

Right, but don’t let that fool you. This van packs a powerful V6 that delivers all the power you need when towing or fully loaded. Towing up to 3,500 pounds is not a problem for the 2017 Odyssey.

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There’s really no other way to say it – this van is a blast to drive! Its responsive handling is a treat on twisty roads and within a tight city space, while the power steering and a quality suspension keep the ride smooth. And the CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy an Odyssey.

When you combine all of these features — from price to drivability and everything in-between — it’s easy to see why we chose 2017 as the best year for the Honda Odyssey.