Interior innovations like the original Magic Seat are the holy grail of minivan design, and Honda's latest is "wide-mode" middle-row seating. All but the base Odyssey LX are eight-seaters, and to better accommodate three sets of adult shoulders (or three full-size child seats), the outboard seats can be repositioned 1.6 inches outboard. Wide-mode also accommodates two child seats while allowing an outboard seat to fold and slide forward for third-row access. As for mounting safety seats, tether hooks are provided for all rear seats, and all but the middle-center one get LATCH hooks as well. Disappearing the third-row seats is now accomplished by a sharp tug on a single strap, negating the need for motorization.

Other noteworthy interior upgrades include moving the spare from the left rear wall, where it intruded on third-row shoulder space, to a well beneath the left middle-row occupant's feet; moving the ceiling air ducting outboard to free up some headroom (the swoopy lowered roof still trims noggin space by about an inch in front and a half-inch in back); plus adding a drink cooler box (EX-L and above) and a removable console bin between the front seats (all but LX) with a flip-out ring that holds a typical plastic grocery sack as a litter bag.

Back in my day (and in my sister's Odyssey) kids looked out the damn windows! But in the range-topping Odyssey Touring Elite package they can gaze at a 16.2-inch screen playing one giant movie (complete with 650 watts of 5.1 surround sound) or two smaller ones side by side, sourced from the dash-mounted DVD player, a set of RCA input jacks, or (world-first alert!) a high-def HDMI jack. To help parents quantify their response to that timeless question, "Are we there yet?" navigation-equipped Odysseys come standard with lifetime live traffic updating, via digital FM-radio RDS sidebands.