Honda's third-row "Magic Seat" still sets the standard for versatility and ease of use. It folds into a well behind the seats with the pull of a single strap, creating a flat load floor.
The Odyssey doesn't just master the big stuff, either. It offers plenty of cubbies and pockets for small items, too. Each front door has the standard map pocket along the bottom plus a spot for a water bottle, and a smaller bin under the armrest is perfect for storing sunglasses, a wallet, and a cell phone. The lower center stack hides a chilled "cool box" for drinks, and the removable console between the seats has four cupholders, a massive storage bin, and a pop-up plastic ring that can hold a trash bag, about which art director and family man Matt Tierney said, "The awesomeness of this minor detail cannot be overstated. The slippery slope to a filthy family van starts with the first lollipop stick thrown on the floor."
"The DVD system is unsurpassed for ease of use," Tierney enthused. "It is totally intuitive and fully controllable from the front passenger seat -- which is key. Far too many systems require repeated reference to the owners' manual or depend on actions from the rear-seat occupants. That doesn't work with young kids in car seats."