4 Car Seats Pilot vs Odyssey


New member
We are expecting #4 and unfortunately our current vehicle doesn't have anchors for the 3rd row.
So I'm looking at the Honda Pilot vs the Honda Odyssey. I'll have 2 RF and 2 FF(these guys buckle themselves and I tighten them). Those that have either car and 4 car seats how easy is it to get everyone in and out? I'd love to hear all thoughts and opinions : )

I don't have a good reason but I'm not a mini van fan, I understand that it might just be the most practicle though. I am enticed by the Pilot's 4WD options with all the ice and snow we've gotten the last few years.


Car seats aside, the Odyssey has far more cargo space with all rows of seats in use. What kind of space do you need for stuff? Do you take trips or do lots of grocery shopping at once? Do you often (or ever) have a sizeable stroller in the car? With 4 kids I wouldn't even consider a Pilot if the answer to any of those questions is yes.


Admin - CPS Technician
The Odyssey is just so much more versatile in terms of seating arrangements and offers much easier access to the third row. Plus what jjordan mentioned. We loved our Pilot with one and two kids, but once #3 came along, we traded it in for an Odyssey and never looked back. Plus sliding doors are fantastic with little kids who would otherwise fling them open in tight parking spaces.


New member
You mention a third row in your current vehicle without anchors. Could you use the seat belts to install your FF seats there? Depending on your vehicle and children's sizes, it's quite possible they are already at the latch limit anyway.

Is 4wd a necessity where you live?

I'm in the NE and chose odyssey over the pilot with three children and hopes for one more. Ease of use with the kids, sliding doors and cargo space can not be beat.


New member
Osyssey, since Pilot was cramped and hard to get to third row.
We have 6 carseats in our Odyssey.

We don't need anchors. I do seabelt installs as I find it easier. Plus some are in boosters. (Technically I like to latch a booster if that's an option though).

But you would want tethers, so if you lack those, then yes I'd get a new vehicle.


New member
While there are several positives to the Odyssey (roomy, sliding doors, easy access to 3rd row), I am dumping mine very soon and going with a Pilot. We get major snow and ice around here and the Odyssey is just not working for me. Yes, I know that snow tires would make a noticeable difference in traction but I just don't want to have to deal with that. I am very excited to get back to something with AWD. Also, my Odyssey is somewhat of a lemon so all the more reason to dump it.


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
With the Pilot, you would most likely want to use a narrow rear-facing Diono Radian, Combi Coccoro or Clek Fllo/Foonf for one child in the second row center seat, then find another rear-facing seat that fits behind the driver. That may allow you to fold the passenger-side second row seat to allow access to the third row.

The 3rd row of the Pilot is not as roomy as the Odyssey, or as comfortable once the kids are out of carseats. You can fit your two front facing carseats in the outboards seats, but the center seat will probably not be usable.

It's definitely workable, but you will lose cargo space for gear and stuff as well.

Also consider that a similarly equipped Odyssey will be less expensive than a Pilot with AWD. With the money you save, you can bank some and buy a set of dedicated snow tires. That will be as good or better in snow and ice than AWD, and improve braking, too, something AWD can't do.


New member
I have a Kia Sorento. I'm not sure how safe it is to put rear facing in the 3rd row, I also don't think I would be able to get back there easily to get the littles buckled in.

AWD isn't a necessity (I don't have it now) but it would be nice. Our neighborhood has very steep hills, the last few years we couldn't get out for days when the roads were covered in ice.


Snow tires have been great for us. We also live on a hill and we don't see plows as often as we should. Since getting snow tires, we haven't had any trouble, whereas in previous winters, there were times when we couldn't get even halfway up the hill.


My sister is about 5'1" or 5'2" and drives a current generation Odyssey. I haven't heard any complaints! My mom is around 5'0" and drives an older one, not sure what year, but not this generation, and she likes it too.

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