The minivan market seems to be shrinking in recent years as the SUV continues its reign as the ultimate family vehicle. Still, Honda continues to offer the Odyssey for those who are not interested in the current trends. This well-rounded option has undeniable appeal, coming loaded with cutting-edge tech and safety features. Any family needing room for up to eight people will want to make sure to test drive the 2021 Honda Odyssey.
What's New for 2021?
Starting this year, the entry-level model of the Odyssey is getting the advanced driver aids found on the rest of the lineup. This is because Honda Sensing is now considered standard equipment. This bundle of features includes useful items like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. Otherwise, the Odyssey sees mostly small styling changes.
All five of the 2021 Odyssey models rely on the same engine to get them going. The 3.5L V6 has the ability to make 280-horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This is enough power to easily move the Odyssey around town. The handling of this minivan is also better than average. A ten-speed automatic transmission helps the Odyssey always find the right gear. This vehicle continues to only be available with front-wheel drive.
Since there is only one powertrain and drivetrain configuration, all models of the Odyssey are EPA estimated to get the same fuel efficiency numbers. Drivers can expect 19mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. These numbers are considered good for the class. That said, all minivans fall into roughly the same range in this category.
Tech is used inside the 2021 Odyssey to help increase comfort and convenience, as well as to entertain. The entry-level LX sticks with a 5-inch touchscreen and offers Bluetooth. If drivers go with the EX or higher, their Odyssey gets a major upgrade in the form of an 8-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system also gains Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for these models. Although all models offer USB ports, the EX-L adds a couple for the second-row.
In order to allow for charging from all seats, drivers should consider the Touring. It adds a third-row charging-only USB port to its standard equipment list. Also found on that trim are nice touches such as navigation and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. These models have a rear-seat entertainment system that even comes with wireless headphones. It makes it easier to communicate with an in-cabin intercom setup as well. The Elite trim tops things off by adding wireless device charging.
The cabin of the Odyssey is designed well and should satisfy most families. Automatic climate control is standard for the entry-level trim. All other models get tri-zone automatic climate control to reduce arguing about the temperature. These models also have a remote engine start so that the cabin can warm-up or cool down before anyone sits down.
Power-adjustment for the front seats is standard across the board. This is a nice touch, considering most vehicles stick with manual adjustment for at least the lowest trim level. The EX and higher add heated front seats as well as highly-convenient power-sliding rear doors to the mix. For the ultimate in luxury, the Elite trim gets ventilated front seats and an in-cabin vacuum cleaner for life's little messes.
On top of being an excellent people-hauler, the Odyssey can bring along quite a bit of cargo. Even with all three rows of seats up, there is up to 38.6 cubic feet to work with. The Odyssey is easy to load with its lower height and wide tailgate opening. When both back rows of seats have been removed or folded, the Odyssey can offer up to 158 cubic feet for hauling various gear.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded the 2021 Odyssey with five out of a possible five stars in crash testing. Now that Honda Sensing is standard for all models, any model will give drivers today's most popular features. Highlights include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and lane departure warning. Also found on all models are convenient features like automatic high beams and traffic sign recognition.
Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard for all but the entry-level LX trim. Drivers who get stressed out when parking in tight spaces should consider the Touring or Elite models. They come with front and rear parking sensors, which offer audible warnings when the Odyssey gets too close to obstacles. Exclusive for the Elite trim are rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey continues to prove why it rules the minivan class. This one should be high on the list for buyers looking for a new family vehicle.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Honda Odyssey MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.