2021 Honda Odyssey first drive review: Spit shine

Nancy J. Delong


Honda’s Odyssey is possibly the greatest minivan you can get. Flexible and thoughtfully created, refined and snug, what much more could you question for in a spouse and children transporter? Aside from an built-in smoothie maker or a self-emptying diaper pail (ideally not situated upcoming to each and every other), possibly not substantially. But that hasn’t stopped Honda from additional refining this segment-foremost minivan, supplying it a superior, ol’ spit shine for 2021.

One search at this machine’s physique and you might be challenging-pressed to convey to it apart from the 2020 product — the new Odyssey’s visible modifications are that insignificant. Its confront was restyled, attaining a classier-seeking grille that is cleaner than just before. Flanking that updated opening are new LED headlamps, which are typical across the selection. Likewise, the entrance bumper and fog gentle surrounds were being reworked, and 19-inch wheels in various styles appear typical on higher-finish products. ‘Round again, this van’s hatch has been gussied up by a spear of black trim, and over-all, the 2021 Odyssey breaks no new floor, but its structure is handsome and considerably less robotic.


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2021 Honda Odyssey to start with generate: Maximum minivan


Not substantially operate had to be accomplished within the Odyssey, possibly. Its inside is well created, accommodating and loaded with a lot of storage cubbies. Touring and Elite trims now attribute piano-black accents on the doorways, while Elites also get some awesome perforated leather-based with piping, in addition metallic-search adornments on the dashboard.

This minivan’s entrance seats are supportive and the next-row buckets are approximately as snug. As just before, all those chairs can slide from side to side, creating it less complicated to continue to keep tabs on a little one or access the third row. Speaking of which, this Honda’s aft-most lodging are a lot roomy and snug for grown ups.

Some significant tech updates were being created to the 2021 Odyssey. A rear-seat reminder is now typical, so you never inadvertently depart any important cargo in the again. Likewise, the Odyssey’s useful CabinTalk process, which will allow the driver to communicate with individuals in the backseats via the car speakers, can now be utilized concurrently with CabinWatch, which lets them visually continue to keep tabs on passengers. This improvement will also be created out there to proprietors of correctly outfitted 2018 to 2020 product-12 months Odysseys by using an over-the-air update.

Honda Sensing, the automaker’s excellent suite of driver aids, is now typical across the board and it really is been enhanced for 2021. The Odyssey gains pedestrian unexpected emergency braking and site visitors-indicator recognition. Outside of that, it has minimal-speed observe operation, which will allow the adaptive cruise command to function in quit-and-go site visitors, correct down to mph. The lane-centering process can make the Odyssey monitor like a monorail, and the adaptive cruise command is a winner, far too, operating easily all of the time.

If you were being hoping Honda engineers extra a Chrysler Stow ‘N Go-encouraged seating process to the Odyssey, like you get in the stylish Pacifica, where by the next-row chairs fold into the floor, you will be sorely unhappy. You even now have to eliminate this van’s buckets for highest cargo room, and they’re even now hernia-large. At minimum Honda created this chore a tiny less complicated for 2021. The backrests now fold down additional, creating the next-row seats significantly considerably less ungainly to squeeze via the sliding doorways.

A snarly, 3.5-liter V6 is even now typical, delivering a strong 280 horsepower and 262 pound-ft of torque. A 10-speed automated is the only transmission made available, routing torque solely to the entrance wheels. Hope 19 miles per gallon town, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg put together from this Honda’s powertrain, just the identical as just before. In actual-planet driving, I’m averaging 24 mpg and change, while this score does not include substantially quit-and-go site visitors.  


The Odyssey’s inside is purposeful and well-developed.

With no underneath-hood modifications, the 2021 Odyssey in essence drives like the 2020 product, and that is not a bad detail. Its VTEC V6 appears fantastic, particularly when functioning challenging, and provides brisk acceleration. Significantly, you may well be astonished how immediately this van will get up to speed, performance that is aided by a clean, 10-speed automated transmission which goes about its business enterprise with no drawing substantially interest to alone. The timing of downshifts can from time to time be a tiny inconsistent, but this is a insignificant grievance, as the transmission calibration is if not excellent.

One of the only actual mechanical modifications created for 2021 is an update to this van’s electric brake booster. The pedal stroke has been minimized by 20% for a much more confident come to feel, while it really is even now very rubbery in motion.

As just before, the Odyssey’s journey high quality is supple however controlled. It simply digests bumps with no transmitting substantially harshness into the cabin and the minivan never feels free or sloppy. Managing is secure and predictable, creating this van feels lighter than you may well be expecting for something so portly. Even at freeway speeds, the Odyssey’s inside stays hushed.

2021 Honda Odyssey

A wisp of black trim has been extra to the Odyssey’s hatch for 2021. Can you location it?

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Seriously, if there is any bad information with the 2021 Honda Odyssey it really is that prices have crept up somewhat. The entry-stage LX model fees $1,000 much more than very last 12 months, checking out for $32,910, which includes $1,a hundred and twenty in destination service fees. Other products have gone up by all over 400 bucks. My major-shelf Elite tester checks out for $forty nine,335, the only selection remaining Forest Mist Metallic paint, a $395 upcharge. 

The Honda Odyssey has been the greatest-offering minivan in The usa for the very last 10 several years, and according to the automaker, it owns much more than 40% of this segment. With the modifications Honda created for 2021, I see no motive for the Odyssey’s dominance to fade. Examples should be hitting dealerships correct now.

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