2021 Honda Odyssey first drive review: Spit shine


Honda’s Odyssey is most likely the greatest minivan you can purchase. Versatile and thoughtfully developed, refined and snug, what extra could you request for in a spouse and children transporter? Aside from an built-in smoothie maker or a self-emptying diaper pail (ideally not located following to each and every other), most likely not considerably. But that has not stopped Honda from more refining this section-major minivan, providing it a very good, ol’ spit shine for 2021.

Just one glimpse at this machine’s overall body and you may be really hard-pressed to tell it apart from the 2020 design — the new Odyssey’s visible improvements are that small. Its experience was restyled, gaining a classier-wanting grille that’s cleaner than in advance of. Flanking that updated opening are new LED headlamps, which are conventional throughout the selection. Similarly, the front bumper and fog gentle surrounds had been reworked, and 19-inch wheels in various kinds arrive conventional on substantial-conclude 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 style is handsome and considerably less robotic.


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2021 Honda Odyssey very first travel: Optimum minivan


Not considerably do the job experienced to be accomplished within the Odyssey, both. Its inside is well created, accommodating and loaded with a great deal of storage cubbies. Touring and Elite trims now attribute piano-black accents on the doors, though Elites also attain some good perforated leather-based with piping, furthermore metallic-glimpse adornments on the dashboard.

This minivan’s front seats are supportive and the next-row buckets are nearly as snug. As in advance of, people chairs can slide from aspect to aspect, building it less complicated to preserve tabs on a boy or girl or obtain the third row. Talking of which, this Honda’s aft-most accommodations are a great deal spacious and snug for older people.

Some significant tech upgrades had been created to the 2021 Odyssey. A rear-seat reminder is now conventional, so you you should not inadvertently depart any valuable cargo in the again. Similarly, the Odyssey’s handy CabinTalk technique, which permits the driver to converse with people in the backseats by way of the vehicle speakers, can now be employed at the same time with CabinWatch, which lets them visually preserve tabs on passengers. This enhancement will also be created accessible to entrepreneurs of appropriately outfitted 2018 to 2020 design-yr Odysseys by means of an in excess of-the-air update.

Honda Sensing, the automaker’s outstanding suite of driver aids, is now conventional throughout the board and it is been improved for 2021. The Odyssey gains pedestrian unexpected emergency braking and website traffic-indicator recognition. Past that, it has small-speed stick to operation, which permits the adaptive cruise manage to function in cease-and-go website traffic, ideal down to mph. The lane-centering technique makes the Odyssey keep track of like a monorail, and the adaptive cruise manage is a winner, far too, working smoothly all of the time.

If you had been hoping Honda engineers included a Chrysler Stow ‘N Go-impressed seating technique to the Odyssey, like you get in the stylish Pacifica, wherever the next-row chairs fold into the ground, you can expect to be sorely dissatisfied. You continue to have to clear away this van’s buckets for optimum cargo room, and they are continue to hernia-heavy. At minimum Honda created this chore a small less complicated for 2021. The backrests now fold down more, building the next-row seats noticeably considerably less ungainly to squeeze by way of the sliding doors.

A snarly, 3.5-liter V6 is continue to conventional, offering a powerful 280 horsepower and 262 pound-ft of torque. A ten-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, routing torque solely to the front wheels. Count on 19 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg freeway and 22 mpg combined from this Honda’s powertrain, precisely the exact same as in advance of. In authentic-planet driving, I am averaging 24 mpg and modify, while this rating does not incorporate considerably cease-and-go website traffic.  


The Odyssey’s inside is useful and well-designed.

With no beneath-hood improvements, the 2021 Odyssey fundamentally drives like the 2020 design, and that’s not a poor detail. Its VTEC V6 sounds fantastic, primarily when operating really hard, and delivers brisk acceleration. Very seriously, you may well be amazed how promptly this van will get up to speed, effectiveness that’s aided by a easy, ten-speed automatic transmission which goes about its business enterprise with out drawing considerably awareness to itself. The timing of downshifts can sometimes be a small inconsistent, but this is a small criticism, as the transmission calibration is otherwise outstanding.

Just one of the only authentic mechanical improvements created for 2021 is an update to this van’s electric brake booster. The pedal stroke has been lowered by 20% for a extra confident come to feel, while it is continue to rather rubbery in motion.

As in advance of, the Odyssey’s experience good quality is supple but managed. It easily digests bumps with out transmitting considerably harshness into the cabin and the minivan never feels loose or sloppy. Managing is safe and predictable, building this van feels lighter than you may well expect for anything so portly. Even at freeway speeds, the Odyssey’s inside stays hushed.

2021 Honda Odyssey

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Actually, if there’s any poor news with the 2021 Honda Odyssey it is that prices have crept up a bit. The entry-stage LX model costs $one,000 extra than very last yr, checking out for $32,910, which includes $one,one hundred twenty in place expenses. Other products have absent up by close to 400 bucks. My top rated-shelf Elite tester checks out for $49,335, the only possibility remaining Forest Mist Metallic paint, a $395 upcharge. 

The Honda Odyssey has been the greatest-marketing minivan in America for the very last ten decades, and according to the automaker, it owns extra than forty% of this section. With the improvements Honda created for 2021, I see no explanation for the Odyssey’s dominance to fade. Examples must be hitting dealerships ideal now.