Seating & Cargo

You don't buy a minivan unless you plan to stuff it with people or cargo at some point. The Odyssey accommodates such exercises well, with adult-friendly room in the second and third rows. As in many minivans, the second-row seats — two across in the Odyssey LX, three across in other trims — recline and adjust forward and back. They slide forward to make it easier to get into the third row, which is easier than tumbling the seats in the Sienna or in Chrysler's minivan twins. Being minivans, all of them can be configured to have an aisle down the center for third-row access.

Storage room is plentiful, but the execution is imperfect. The second-row captain's chairs can be folded or removed, but they don't fold completely into the floor like Chrysler's Stow 'n Go seats. (Of course, Stow 'n Go isn't all roses; in order to make them foldable into the floor, the seats have all the comfort of old lawn chairs.) In back, Honda's venerable third-row Magic Seat folds completely into a storage well to create a flat load floor. It's manageable enough, but most people will need two hands to make it happen. The Toyota Sienna's third row can be moved with just one hand, and both the Sienna and Town & Country offer a motorized third row that folds into the floor with the touch of a button — a one-fingered process.

Behind the third row is 38.4 cubic feet. Fold it down and remove the second-row chairs, and cargo volume expands to 147.4 cubic feet — near the top of this segment. Also worth noting is that minivans can't be beat for space efficiency: In comparison, a three-row Toyota Highlander crossover offers 95.4 cubic feet. The full-size Chevy Suburban SUV, some 20 inches longer than the Odyssey, tops out at 137.4 cubic feet.

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