Ten speeds, that is. While the 2019 Odyssey only offered a 10-speed automatic in the lofty Touring and Elite trims, for 2020 the tranny becomes standard across the range. What’s the occasion? Well, a quarter century of life, for one, but the continued decline of the once-hot minivan segment can’t be discounted.
For buyers eager to unload an extra $1,500 on their 2020 Odyssey, Honda has a birthday package ready to go for all trims. Minivan ownership is already a special experience, but Honda wants owners to rub it in everyone’s face.
The 25th Anniversary Package, as you’d expect, carries copious badging and chrome accents spanning the roof sacks to side sills and everywhere in between. It’s up to you to decide whether the added glitz is worthy of the additional cash outlay. As previously mentioned, regardless of whether you opt for the package, the old nine-speed automatic is now a thing of the past. Auto stop-start comes standard, as well.
Getting 19-inch wheels on all four corners pushes the package’s price tag up to $2,800. Otherwise, you’re looking at an after-destination starting price of $31,785 for a base Odyssey LX.
Beneath the hood lurks the same 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 as before, though the addition of a 10-speed does not translate into a boosted MPG number. The 10-speed carries the same EPA fuel economy rating as the tranny it replaces: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.
While there isn’t all that much new about the 2020 Odyssey, Honda took the opportunity to boast of its past achievements in the minivan realm, which once hosted a healthy population. Since the Odyssey’s 1995 debut, Ford, General Motors, and Hyundai have all called it quits in the segment, leaving just Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and Kia to serve families with a need for plentiful seating and a flat cargo floor.
Through the end of July, Odyssey sales fell 6.5 percent in 2019. The model’s best sales year to date was the heady, optimistic year of 2006.