Should You Take the Honda Odyssey Off-Road?

Not only is the Honda Odyssey not suitable for off-road terrain, its design even makes suburban obstacles challenging. Learn more here.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jun 22, 2022
Honda Odyssey
is simply not designed for off-road driving. In fact, its ground clearance is so low that even some speed bumps and steep driveways can be challenging obstacles to overcome. 
Don’t get us wrong, the Honda Odyssey is excellent in its own regard. Its Magic Slide seat technology and best-in-class cargo area make it one of the best family-oriented minivans on the market. But some fundamental specifications, including ground clearance and drivetrain, limit it from being capable of anything other than basic city and highway driving.
To back up this claim, the experts at
, the
super app
that saves drivers money on
car insurance
and more, have put together this guide to understanding the driving capabilities of the Honda Odyssey. We’ll discuss the specifications that hold it back, some viable alternatives, and how the minivan scored on Jerry's DIRT off-road rating system. Let’s get started!

Can the Honda Odyssey go off-road?

No chance. This minivan was designed for taking the kids to soccer practice, not scaling treacherous off-road terrain. To confirm our claim, let’s dive into the specification sheet for the Honda Odyssey.
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Ground clearance

The fifth-generation (2018 to present) Honda Odyssey offers a measly 4.5 inches of ground clearance, regardless of trim level. Considering the minimum recommended ground clearance for off-roading is 8.8 inches, the Odyssey is only suitable for city and highway driving.
However, even in the most suburban areas, you still may experience occasional obstacles. Drivers commonly report that if you don’t take speed bumps slow enough, you can scrape the underbody of your minivan and cause damage to the exhaust system.


Off-roading is all about angles: specifically, the approach angle and departure angle: 
  • Approach angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
The approach and departure angles for the fifth-gen
Honda Odyssey
are 14 and 18.7 degrees, respectively. Unfortunately, these angles may cause you to scrape your bumper when exiting a slanted driveway, let alone scaling any sort of off-road terrain.


The Honda Odyssey is only available in
front-wheel-drive (FWD)
, which means all your traction and power is delivered only to your front wheels. Unfortunately, this drivetrain is not up to par for off-road terrain. So if off-roading is a priority, you may want to look elsewhere for a vehicle with an all-wheel-drive (AWD).


Equipped with P235/60HR18 stock all-season tires, the Honda Odyssey can manage wet/slippery conditions when needed. But they simply are not designed to conquer rugged off-road terrains.
And honestly, we don’t recommend upgrading to
all-terrain tires
either. Simply slapping on better tires won’t fix the other fundamental clearance and drivetrain issues we’ve discussed so far.


The best off-road vehicles pack a big punch with low-end torque—which means high amounts of torque at lower rpm. The Odyssey actually has decent torque with an output of 262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm, which matches the
(Honda’s mid-size truck). But based on what we know, this toque is better used for hauling around the family rather than ripping around the backcountry.

Off-road rating: Don’t Try It

We’ve rated the Honda Odyssey using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
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The fifth-generation (2018 to present) Honda Odyssey earns a D rating. Sure, the low ground clearance makes it easy for the kiddos to hop into the backseat, but it severely limits this minivan’s appetite for rugged terrains—even larger speed bumps and steep driveways can cause significant damage. 

The best off-road alternatives to the Honda Odyssey

Obviously, off-roading isn’t in the cards for the Honda Odyssey. So, here are some alternatives that are in the same relative vehicle class that are a little more capable:
Best off-road alternative
2021 Toyota Sienna
Available in an AWD drivetrain. The Woodland Edition trim level has a more capable ground clearance of 6.9 inches.
Best affordable alternative
2021 Chrysler Voyager
The Voyager shares most of the off-road shortcomings as the Odyssey, but you’ll save about $5,000 at the dealership.
Best SUV alternative
2020 Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is a crossover SUV that gives you more off-road capacity, all while resembling the minivan look.

How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

The bad news is that the Honda Odyssey is not a viable off-road vehicle. But the good news is that you can save hundreds on your car insurance policy by using the
In less than 45 seconds, our quote comparison technology evaluates offers from over 50 insurance providers and matches you with the best policy available. From there, just give us the green light, and Jerry’s friendly representatives will help you get signed up and even help you cancel your old coverage.
At the end of this simple process, the average Jerry user comes away with $800+ of annual car insurance savings!
“When we added a new car to our family, we were shocked at how high our current insurer was going to hike our rates. We used
for some comparison shopping and are now saving around $1000 a year. Thank you, Jerry!” —Darius P.
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