2021 Honda Odyssey

2021 Honda Odyssey First Look Review: Minivans Still Matter

by Jay Traugott

The Honda Odyssey has been a force to be reckoned with ever since the first-generation model debuted way back in 1995. This was at the height of the minivan segment and the Dodge Grand Caravan was the sales champion. Domestic and foreign competitors simply could not defeat it, but this doesn't mean they didn't build better minivans. The Grand Caravan was the original minivan and millions of loyal buyers didn't shop elsewhere. However, the Odyssey was a standout alternative.

Fast-forward to today and the Grand Caravan is about to be discontinued, but there's still the Chrysler Pacifica to contend with. Fortunately, Honda's series of midlife updates for its fifth-generation Odyssey is impressive and will be more than enough to keep it competitive for the next few years.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey features updated exterior styling, numerous interior packaging updates, and more standard features than last year.

2021 Honda Odyssey Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$31,790
EX
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$35,190
EX-L
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$39,580
Touring
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$43,620
Elite
3.5-liter V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$47,820

See all Trims and Specs

2021 Honda Odyssey Front-End View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Aft View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Front Angle View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rear View Driving Honda

Minivan Styling Doesn't Have To Be Boring

The current generation Odyssey already had bold styling so designers didn't see the need to make drastic changes. However, attention was given where it was needed, such as more powerful LED headlights. The front-end has a new bumper with redesigned fog light housings, while the new blackout grille has a chrome strip running across the top. Along the sides you'll notice new gloss-black trim located under the rear windows. The Touring trim now has 19-inch wheels while the top trim Elite boasts machined and painted Shark Gray 19-inch wheels.

Those willing to spend an extra $395 will have a choice of new premium colors: Platinum White Pearl, Deep Scarlet Pearl, Pacific Pewter Metallic, and Forest Mist Metallic.

2021 Honda Odyssey Forward View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rear View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rim Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rear Bumper Honda

Minivan Interior Perks

For 2021, Honda has improved its second-row seat design by making them capable of nearly folding flat in order to maximize cargo space. Each of the three seats in the second row can easily be adjusted with a handle in order to create the ideal configuration for any situation. Access to the third-row has been made easier, while designers have improved overall cargo management.

The center console has been redesigned with additional slots for smartphone and tablet charging cords. There are other updates as well, though these are mostly limited to higher trim levels. For example, EX and above come standard with tri-color floor mats while the EX-L trim and up adds contrast stitching on the leather seats for all three rows. Touring and the top-of-the-line Elite have new piano black trim and a new USB charging port in the third row. Elite owners will also enjoy perforated leather first and second-row seats and a unique dash trim metallic color.

The dashboard layout remains largely unchanged. Some standard features include an 8-way driver's power seat, a 7-speaker audio system, push-button start, and an automatic climate control system.

2021 Honda Odyssey Central Console Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Infotainment Offering Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rear Passenger Seats Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Trunk Space with Third Row Folded Honda

Power And Safety

For all trims, the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower returns unchanged from last year. It's paired to the same 10-speed automatic transmission which routes power the front wheels. Neither all-wheel-drive nor a hybrid powertrain is available. Honda's variable cylinder management systems allow the engine to switch between three- and six-cylinders for improved fuel economy, which has an official EPA rating of 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined.

Safety-minded customers will be happy to know the 2021 Odyssey comes equipped with a number of standard safety and driver-assist features. The Honda Sensing safety suite gets improved pedestrian emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems. New for this year is traffic sign recognition.

Parents, in particular, will appreciate the new Rear Seat Reminder system which alerts drivers to check what's happening in the rear seats when arriving at their destination. Once the Odyssey is shut off, there's a simple chime sound and a message will appear on the instrument panel reminding people of their precious cargo. For the Touring and Elite trims, this system is integrated with the CabinWatch rear-seat camera system that displays the rear seat section on the center console's display screen.

2021 Honda Odyssey Engine Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Gauge Cluster Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Start/Stop Button Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Infotainment System Honda

Pricing And Competition

Prices for the 2021 Honda Odyssey will begin at $32,910, including the $1,120 destination and handling fee. The most expensive Odyssey - the Elite - starts at $48,940 with destination. There are a total of five trims available that should accommodate most budgets.

Although the minivan market isn't quite what it used to be, the Odyssey faces solid competition. The Chrysler Pacifica has also been refreshed for 2021 and, unlike the Odyssey, it offers AWD and a hybrid variant. The Toyota Sienna, meanwhile, has been completely redesigned and is now a hybrid-only model. An all-new Kia Sedona is also about to be unveiled and, like the outgoing model, it's expected to make the competition take notice. Like the Odyssey, the Pacifica and Sienna only start at around $30,000. Budget-conscious minivan shoppers, however, should look not only at the Sedona (which started at less than $30k for 2020), but also the Chrysler Voyager, a somewhat stripped-down version of the Pacifica.

Like the original Dodge Grand Caravan, the Honda Odyssey has achieved a loyal following over the years and the updated 2021 model will surely meet their expectations.

2021 Honda Odyssey Frontal Aspect Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Rear Angle View Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Front View Driving Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Dashboard Honda
2021 Honda Odyssey Trunk Space Honda

Honda Odyssey Popular Comparisons

$31,790 - $47,820
Price Range (MSRP)
Honda Odyssey
Popular Tags Cars