Steel Matters - 2018 Honda Odyssey

Steel Matters in new 2018 Honda Odyssey

Along with a number of other influencers, I attended Media Days at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) as a brand ambassador for SheBuysCars. The Steel Market Development Institute, Hyundai, and Genesis, sponsored our visit. On Monday, I attended the press conference revealing the 2018 Honda Odyssey. All opinions are my own.

Accelerating Innovation

The Steel Market Development Institute is a sponsor of the North American International Auto Show. Steel has been the fastest growing automotive material for the last 4 years! Through partnerships with the automotive industry, the steel industry is accelerating innovation. With new grades of steel, structural performance has been maintained or improved while using thinner, lighter weight parts.

Steel Matters - Accelerating Innovation - New 2018 Honda Odyssey

Steel is a great choice for Sustainability. Greenhouse gas emission is more than 4 times lower for steel production than aluminum production. With the new lightweight steel grades, fuel efficiency is improved. Steel can be continuously recycled without a loss of quality. 

Steel Matters - Sustainability - New 2018 Honda Odyssey


Learn more on the Steel Matters website.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey Revealed 

Honda revealed the new 2018 Honda Odyssey on Monday during their press conference at the Detroit Auto Show. The 2018 Honda Odyssey is the fifth generation of the most popular minivan in the United States. It was developed in the US and will be built in America. Actually, 96% of the Honda vehicles sold in the US are built in North America. 

Steel Matters - 2018 Honda Odyssey

Magic Slide™ Seats

From personal experience in my 2004 Honda Pilot, a car seat prevented the second row seats from folding to access the third row in minivans and SUVs. Common workarounds include climbing over car seats or getting in through the trunk. At the 2008 NAIAS, I was looking at a minivan. I asked the manufacturer’s representative how to access the 3rd row and he folded the seat. I challenged him to access the third row with an installed car seat. 

The new 2018 Honda Odyssey has solved this dilemma with Magic Slide™ seats in the second row. The second row has two captains chairs. The seats are on a lateral track. They lock into multiple positions all of which are safe for driving. Simply grab the lever and effortlessly slide the seat along the track. Once in the center, the seats can also slide forward or back. When you slide the chair out of the sideboard position you now have egress to/from the third row without having to fold the seat. Here’s a quick video of a Honda representative demonstrating both a traditional fold and a Magic Slide™.

Magic Slide™ seats are standard equipment on EX levels and above. 95% of the Honda Odysseys sold are expected to be at an EX or higher level. 

Cabin Communication Improvements

Anyone who has driven a minivan knows that it can be difficult to communicate between the driver and the third row. Increased sound deadening was added to the vehicle. It is 15% quieter than previous versions. 

Additionally EX-L and higher trim levels have a new Cabin Watch and Cabin Talk system. The driver can now see the second and third rows using the Cabin Watch camera. The Cabin Talk system allows the driver to talk through the cars audio system including headphones connected to the vehicle’s entertainment system.

Enterainment Options

The entertainment system has options for a bluray player and a 10″ screen. There is also an HDMI cable allowing for future connection of new technology. In vehicle WiFi allows media streaming to the entertainment system or your own devices. WiFi can be used either through your current device plan or a direct AT&T plan that can be added on a month by month basis. The vehicle offers both Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

Vehicle Safety & Driveability

The 2018 Honda Odyssey uses steel for a more rigid body structure than previous models. The EX and higher levels will have additional sensory systems including a multi-angle rearview camera.

Personally, I was hoping to see an AWD option to deal with snowy Michigan roads. It does offer traction control which has a snow mode to improve control in poor road conditions.

Learn more about the new Honda Odyssey in Honda’s press release or head to the Auto Show and check it out for yourself.

Steel Market Development Institute Press Conference

As part of our visit we attended the Steel Market Development Institute’s Press Conference. We learned about how they are working with the Auto Industry to improve cars using steel.

There were a few key quotes that I liked during the press conference:

  • “NAIAS is also the world’s Largest Steel Show”
  • “I don’t see anyone asking for an aluminum truck today” – Ram Chief

Steel Matters - 2018 Honda Odyssey - SMDI Press Conference

A few statistics:

  • On average, a new vehicle has 254 pounds of high performance steel.
  • There are more than 200 grades of high strength steel for different applications.
  • Steel has become 6x stronger in the last decade. 
  • Steel is 3-4x stronger than the latest aluminum alloys.
  • Approximately 60-80 tons of steel is recycled each year.
  • Steel production has lower greenhouse emissions than production alternatives


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