The thought came to us on our drive into the office today. We saw a charcoal grey 2018 Honda Odyssey just a couple of lanes over on the expressway, and the way the sun bounced off of it, it looked like it was trying too hard to mask its purpose. Honda's way of making a minivan "racy" comes across as an overwrought item that's supposed to be eminently practical. Instead, it comes across like a carbon fiber fanny pack, a burly bouncer wearing skinny
The problem with minivans
Put the new Odyssey next to the current Chrysler Pacifica, and you'll see what we're talking about. The Pacifica has a single, tasteful body crease
Whatever happened to the proud minivan? Okay, so we don't mean to say that any minivan has ever been an object of automotive lust. Those feelings are reserved for sports cars like the Porsche 911 or the Ferrari GTO. Hell, even a sporty crossover is sexier than a minivan. But minivans like the old Toyota Previa or even the VW Microbus were head and shoulders above the new Odyssey because they're not trying to cover up the fact that they're people haulers. Honda seems to have forgotten about this.
We wish Honda would go back in the other direction and take inspiration from their first versions of the Odyssey. Back then when it hit the scene, it was clean and unobtrusive. Bordering on
At least some manufacturers have taken the high road by embracing the minivan ethos with minor dressed up details. Case in point, the Kia Sedona. It's not exactly flying off the showroom floors because it's not as well known as the Odyssey or the Chrysler Pacifica, but it's a fine example of how to keep the minivan shape while minding the little details. The lean headlights, the prominent grille, and the fancy wheels aren't so noticeable that they try to mask its minivan shape.
At the end of the day, a minivan is a minivan. Parents everywhere aren't exactly in a rush to get into one, and they're ready to move on from them as soon as their kids are old enough to drive themselves. So, owners need to simply bite the bullet if the need to buy one is paramount. Give up racy design, stop trying to hide the fact that it's a minivan, and