2021 Honda Odyssey First Test—Small Updates, Big Changes

Entering into the 2021 Honda Odyssey for the primary time felt like a déjà vu. I used to be fortunate sufficient to journey with my mother, dad, and youngest sister to Hawaii’s Massive Island for the launch of the fifth-generation minivan three years in the past, and after I opened the rear hatch of the 2021 mannequin my thoughts travelled again to the tropical island. “Oh my, there’s no hooks for the grocery baggage!” my dad mentioned after wanting on the cargo space of the 2018 Odyssey for the primary time. Honda listened, as a result of the 2021 mannequin now comes with mentioned hooks.

The rationale a part of my household travelled with me midway throughout the Pacific was not solely to drive the Odyssey, it was as a result of we’ve owned a half a dozen minivans by the years. From a Chrysler Voyager to a few Ford Windstars to 2 Odysseys and a Toyota Sienna, my household—however particularly my mother—has a ton of expertise with minivans. Though they stayed in Texas throughout my time with the 2021 Odyssey in Southern California, I spent loads of time driving the up to date Honda minivan round city.

What’s Modified within the 2021 Honda Odyssey?

This Odyssey replace was minor, however there are new options that make a giant distinction. What I loved essentially the most was the brand new rear-seat reminder system in our top-trim Odyssey Elite mannequin, which is paired with the CabinWatch digital camera. When the driving force turns off the Odyssey and there’s one thing or somebody within the again, the infotainment display shows a fowl’s-eye view picture, and an audible alarm alerts the driving force. Different producers have the same reminder system, however Honda is the one one which additionally shows the digital camera view on the infotainment system, which is nice for fogeys.

Honda Sensing, the protection tech suite, is now customary on all Odysseys, and it obtained a number of updates for the 2021 mannequin yr. Adaptive cruise management with low-speed observe can now decelerate to a cease in low-speed visitors, and collision mitigation braking with pedestrian detection makes use of a brand new radar unit for higher operate. This helped the Odyssey get hold of essentially the most coveted security award of the trade—Top Safety Pick + from the IIHS.

Our Elite mannequin additionally added auto-dimming facet mirrors, seat piping, perforated leather-based seats within the first and second rows, and new 19-inch alloy wheels. Additionally, the brand new ground mats have a tri-color design, which look higher and provides some chicness to the inside.

How Does the 2021 Honda Odyssey Drive?

Mechanically, the 2021 Odyssey didn’t obtain any adjustments, which implies it continues to be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed computerized. The powertrain makes the Odyssey punchy for a minivan; it by no means hesitates to ship energy to the wheels. The gearbox likes to downshift shortly, and it doesn’t hunt for the very best gear; as an alternative, it holds gears till it’s acceptable to upshift, delivering the mandatory torque relying on the driving circumstances.

The trip can also be settled and quiet, with few vibrations from damaged pavement making their approach into the cabin. I did discover a bit extra physique roll than I would really like, although. This was noticeable on turns at visitors lights with the van empty and on some tight activates the road. However the total trip high quality is supple, with little highway or wind noise contained in the cabin.

Identical to on the road, the Odyssey felt competent on the observe. The minivan hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, beating the brand new Toyota Sienna by precisely 1 second. The Honda was additionally quicker within the quarter mile, the place it crossed the road in 15.Three seconds at 94.2 mph—0.Eight second quicker than the brand new Sienna Hybrid.

No mechanical updates imply no change in gas economic system, so the Odyssey delivers 19/28/22 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed. These numbers are on par with different gas-only minivans (the Sienna Hybrid delivers a formidable 36 mpg mixed, and the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV will get 82 mpg-e mixed).

How Does the 2021 Honda Odyssey Examine to the 2021 Toyota Sienna?

Simply a few weeks earlier than I drove the Odyssey, I had the possibility to spend a number of days within the 2021 Toyota Sienna. I just like the Honda’s middle console with the open design and deep storage compartment that permits the driving force and entrance passenger to set the armrest to their liking, however I favor the Sienna’s bridgelike console. The house within the decrease deck is ample for giant purses, and the highest deck has 4 cupholders, a wi-fi charger, and is linked to an enormous tray that runs alongside the entrance passenger’s sprint. The armrests aren’t movable, however there’s additionally a deep storage compartment (although it’s not as massive because the Odyssey’s).

The 2 minivans are fairly totally different within the second row. The Odyssey’s MagicSlide seats permit the seats to slip ahead, backward, or backward and forward, creating totally different layouts. They’re additionally detachable, and for 2021 Honda made them simpler to take away. One of many coolest features in the Sienna is the second-row captain’s chairs, which might slide fore and aft as much as 25 inches. High fashions include built-in ottomans for a first-class expertise. However the draw back is that the seats will not be detachable, which limits the minivan’s versatility. Personally, I favor the Sienna’s seats, as they’re extra comfy for lengthy drives and are good for kids and fogeys.

By way of driving, I favor the Odyssey’s V-6 to the Sienna’s customary hybrid engine. The punchiness and refinement of the V-6 is superior to that of the Sienna’s four-cylinder. The Sienna’s hybrid engine shows a thrashy notice beneath mid throttle, and the Honda’s VTEC engine is swift and pure. The Honda’s suspension additionally feels extra polished; the Sienna felt extra disturbed over damaged pavement. The Sienna’s non-compulsory all-wheel drive system is a bonus for these not residing within the Solar Belt, whereas the Odyssey continues to be a front-drive-only minivan.

We’ll have to attend till we get an opportunity to drive each minivans again to again to make a remaining name on which one is healthier, however they each convey distinctive options to the desk.

The Ultimate Phrase

Though the midcycle replace is fairly delicate, the adjustments Honda made to the 2021 Odyssey may be vital to many consumers. The minivan continues to impress when it comes to packaging and inside house, bringing helpful applied sciences for fogeys and children. And even the top-trim Elite mannequin affords good worth.

2021 Honda Odyssey Elite
BASE PRICE $48,940
VEHICLE LAYOUT Entrance-engine, FWD, 8-pass, 4-door van
ENGINE 3.5L/280-hp/262-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 10-speed computerized
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,563 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 118.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 205.2 x 78.5 x 69.6 in
0-60 MPH 6.9 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.Three sec @ 94.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 124 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.Eight sec @ 0.58 g (avg)
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/120 kWh/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.87 lb/mile


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