What happened to the premium features on the 2018 Odyssey?


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This is a photo of my 2012 Honda Odyssey when I first got it for the family.  Looks pretty awesome doesn’t it?  It’s actually missing the body side molding that I have put on to protect the doors and the front windows aren’t tinted yet because I like my cars to be all gangsta like that (really its for privacy and to keep the UV rays at a minimum so we don’t become rotisserie chicken in the driver seat).  My wife allowed me to get the Touring Elite version of the van because I liked having the really large wide screen monitor (16″ thank you) in the back that can do split screen and the blind spot indicators to tell me if some jackass is just hanging out beyond the range of my mirrors.  I also went shopping for the van with my new born so that helped a lot in getting the van I wanted since she was distracted more than half the time with my kid.  I had a reason to go to my local Honda dealer to get some work done on the van, its starting to show some age at 66,000 miles but while I was there they had a 2018 Touring edition there for me to look around in.  There was also the fact that my local dealership likes to bother me while my car is being serviced to see if I would like to trade in my van.  I keep on telling them no thanks, my wife doesn’t want another mini van and I only have the one child and the fur baby (the puppy), there’s no reason to have another van.  If Honda would make a small SUV with some power behind it, maybe I could be convinced to get a CRV or something.  Anyway I’m digressing again.

The Touring edition is just below the Touring Elite but it has basically almost all the same stuff.  As I was looking in the van I noticed that some of the things that I wanted in the Odyssey were missing but they might be in the Touring Elite.  One of the things that I think they cheapened out on was the large 16″ wide screen monitor.  This one came with a smaller screen that can’t do split screen, I looked up the brochure and this option is no longer available on the van which is a shame.  I also poked around for the cool box which uses the A/C in your car to keep drinks cold while you drive wherever.  This has been completely omitted from the van from all trim levels.  I use this feature almost every week to keep drinks cold for the family whether its a long trip or a short trip.

Now I will admit that there are some really cool new features that I wish I had but these aren’t deal breakers for me really.  There is that new “are we there yet” view that shows the kids if we’re approaching the destination, the new camera system inside the car so you can see people in the back and have the ability to talk to them.  There is also a Blu-Ray player but I mainly use HDMI in my van and snaked some cables to support my iPhones so we can watch Netflix while we drive.  I wish I had all the new safety gear in the newer van but its not something that I need (I ignore lane departure and forward collision warning on my Accord most of the time).  The lack of a real gear shift bothers me some, its just buttons on a console, its not nearly as bad as what Chrysler does with their cars but its getting there.

There might be too much tech within the new Odyssey that doesn’t make a lot of sense since there should be things like CarPlay or Android Auto taking over for a lot of the in house built infotainment features of cars these days.  Some of the options are cool, the seats being able to slide together was one of them when you remove the middle seat in the middle row, but thats not going to be used the majority of the time.  I think HDMI and more real power plugs would have made the Odyssey a better vehicle rather than reducing the size of the screen or killing off my previous cold beverage cooler.  I think if I get another van its going to be a 20 foot long class B RV.  Those are built on commercial van platforms and I can even have a real fridge and toilet in it while still being able to park in a regular parking spot at my local Publix.  But thats a ways off, maybe in retirement or something. Theres still 2 years left on the warranty on the van, I might as well use it as much as I can to get things fixed before it runs out.  Then maybe just 2 more years until its replaced with something fancier and maybe self driving.

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