Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 Honda Odyssey VS 2017 Ford Flex Near Norcross, GA

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2017 Honda Odyssey

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2017 Honda Odyssey

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2017 Ford Flex

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Honda Odyssey are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Flex doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle or rear seat belts.

The Odyssey has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Flex doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Honda Odyssey has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Odyssey EX-L/Touring/Touring Elite’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Flex doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Odyssey offers optional Parking Sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, for the Odyssey Touring/Touring Elite in front of the vehicle. The Flex doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Odyssey and the Flex have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Honda Odyssey is safer than the Flex:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

4 cm

11 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.58/1.07 kN

2.8/2.2 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Odyssey is 2.4% to 3.7% less likely to roll over than the Flex.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Odyssey the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 123 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Flex is not a “Top Pick” for 2016.

The Honda Odyssey has a better fatality history. The Odyssey was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 5% lower per vehicle registered than the Flex, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Reliability Comparison

The engine in the Odyssey has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Flex have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 78 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda Odyssey is faster than the Ford Flex V6:




Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.5 sec

5.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Odyssey gets better fuel mileage than the Flex FWD (19 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Odyssey’s fuel efficiency. The Flex doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Odyssey uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Flex Limited requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Odyssey has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Flex (21 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Odyssey stops much shorter than the Flex:





70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Odyssey is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Flex.

For better maneuverability, the Odyssey’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the Flex’s (36.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Odyssey has an electronically controlled liquid-filled engine mounts. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Flex uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The Odyssey uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Flex doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Odyssey offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Flex can only carry 7.

The Odyssey has 16.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Flex (172.6 vs. 155.8).

The Odyssey has 2.7 inches more front hip room, 6 inches more front shoulder room, 11.1 inches more rear hip room, 5.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 9.1 inches more third row legroom, 7.3 inches more third row hip room and 10.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Odyssey’s middle and third row seats recline. The Flex’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Odyssey’s cargo area provides more volume than the Flex.




Behind Third Seat

38.4 cubic feet

20 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

93.1 cubic feet

43.2 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

148.5 cubic feet

83.2 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Odyssey easier. The Odyssey’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 25 inches, while the Flex’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

The Odyssey’s cargo area is larger than the Flex’s in every dimension:




Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Ergonomics Comparison

If the windows are left down on the Odyssey the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Odyssey has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Flex doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

When the Odyssey Touring/Touring Elite is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Odyssey Touring/Touring Elite has a standard center folding armrest for the third row rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Flex doesn’t offer a third row rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Odyssey is less expensive to operate than the Flex because it costs $261 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Odyssey than the Flex, including $624 less for a water pump, $77 less for an alternator, $90 less for fuel injection, $15 less for a fuel pump, $8 less for front struts, $718 less for a timing belt/chain and $741 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Honda Odyssey has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



J.D. Power and Associates rated the Odyssey third among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Flex isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Odyssey was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2011. The Flex hasn’t been picked since 2010.

The Honda Odyssey outsold the Ford Flex by almost six to one during the 2016 model year.

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