Sure, 3-row sport utilities may be winning the sales race but minivans are still holding their own, especially for growing families seeking ample cargo, loads of tech, and of course, that sliding door.
For 2021, Honda has given its Odyssey — the best-selling minivan in the US for 10 years now — a hefty update including a refreshed exterior design, a more luxurious feel inside, the industry’s first rear seat reminder with a camera, and Honda Sensing now offered as a standard feature.
Power remains the same as before, with a 3.5L V6 i-VTEC under the hood, good for 280-hp at 6,000 rpm and 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm, all matted to Honda’s 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine is build exclusively out of Honda’s Alabama plant, while the transmission at the automaker’s Georgia facility.
2021 Odyssey Photos:
Enhanced styling, improved LED headlights, 19-inch wheel updates
On the styling front, Honda felt its family hauler needed some sprucing up — from what we see, the changes look sharp. These changes include a restyled grille and front bumper fascia, revised front lighting and new black trim under the rear window.
The restyled front grille brings with it more powerful and efficient LED headlights and redesigned fog light housings.
For the first time, the Touring trim gets 19-inch wheels, while the top-trim Elite rolls on newly styled 19-inch allow wheels in Shark Gray.
For an extra $395, the Odyssey premium colour options include Platinum White Pearl, Deep Scarlet Pearl, Pacific Pewter Metallic, and Forest Mist Metallic
2021 Odyssey interior changes: a lot more cargo and functionality
Inside, families will appreciate the addition of the second-row now able to fold flat — can you do that with an SUV? No. The second-row keeps its sliding function, which Honda calls Magic Slide.
Perhaps the biggest Odyssey interior feature to get excited about is the new and standard Rear Seat Reminder system. A minivan segment first, this system can also be integrated with the optional CabinWatch child viewing system.
Honda also paid attention to the little details, adding grocery bag hooks on the back of the third-row seats in the rear cargo area, and an updated centre console with slots to help manage charging cords for smartphones or other devices. The app-based interface is also updated for 2021 on all EX trims and above.
We’re not sure if minivans need that premium touch, but the new Odyssey ramps it up with new piano-black interior trim and a new USB charging port in the third row in the Touring and Elite models. Also, perforated leather for the first and second rows seats, with contrast stitching and piping on all three rows.
Honda Sensing — a bundle of safety features — is also now standard, with more simplified controls with the use of a single integrated system switch to control Collision Mitigation Braking System and Lane Departure Warning, rather than separate controls for these functions.
Release date and pricing
The refreshed 2021 Odyssey hits showrooms late 2020, starting at $32,910 for the entry-level LX and includes the $1,120 destination charge; topping out at $48,940 for the Elite. Canadian pricing will be released closer to the sale date, with the top trim being Touring (there’s no Elite model).
Expect more details at the 2021 New York Auto Show. If you’re shopping for a new minivan, check out our reviews here.
Here’s US pricing for each trim (MSRP includes the $1,120 destination charge & fees)