2021 Honda Odyssey Offers Family-Friendly Comfort, Space, and Features

2021 Honda Odyssey

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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2021 Honda Odyssey
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Spacious Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey minivan aims to move families and their cargo around with comfort, convenience, and safety. Modestly updated for the new model year, the 2021 Odyssey's available features run the gamut from a DVD system to entertain the kids to a built-in vacuum cleaner to deal with their spills. Honda also tweaked the Odyssey's exterior to more closely match that of the Honda Pilot SUV and Honda Ridgeline pickup, aiming to jazz up the model's typical minivan looks. But the base Odyssey LX still manages to carry a relatively family-friendly $33,265 MSRP (including destination fee). I recently tested a top-of-the-line Odyssey Elite (base price: $48,995 including destination).

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Forest Mist Metallic Honda Odyssey
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.


My test Odyssey came in premium Forest Mist Metallic gray paint ($395) accented with black trim. The minivan's short hood sat atop LED headlights and a sharp-looking grille decorated with a large Honda logo. This swept back to 19-inch alloy wheels and front doors with outfitted large folding mirrors. Sliding rear doors open on second- and third-row seating. And all the way back, the minivan featured a rear liftgate with a roofline spoiler and handy rear wiper. Additionally, my test model came standard with a nice moonroof.

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2021 Honda Odyssey Front Seats
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Front Seats

My Odyssey's gray interior featured great captain's chairs for the driver and front passenger. Finished in perforated, stitched leather, these power-adjusted seats had built-in heating and cooling and provided excellent headroom and very good legroom and hip room. The Odyssey Elite also comes standard with stitched leather on the heated steering wheel, door interiors, and the dashboard. Additionally, my test car's dashboard featured a digital tachometer and digital fuel and temperature gauges, as well as a big readout of your current speed — a large "30" or "60," for instance, rather than a typical speedometer.

My test model also featured a nice 8-inch touchscreen to control the Odyssey's navigation and three-zone climate system, as well as an 11-speaker premium AM/FM/SiriusXM/Bluetooth stereo that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other great front-seat features included a wireless phone charger, a household-style electrical outlet, and a voice-activated command system. The Odyssey Elite's touchscreen also comes with CabinWatch, a camera that displays the car's second- and third-row seating area so parents don't have to lean back to see what Becky and Timmy are up to. (A CabinTalk intercom plays over the car's speakers and DVD headsets, allowing you to tell Becky and Timmy they'd better stop fighting or you're turning around the car this instant.)

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2021 Honda Odyssey Second-Row Seats
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Second-Row Seats

My test vehicle's second row came with two captain's chairs rather than one large bench seat. These seats were outfitted with Honda's "Magic Slide" feature, which allows you to push a button and move the seats left or right instead of just forward or backward. You can push the seats closer together or farther apart depending on your needs; the system makes climbing into the third-row seats much easier. A detachable center seat boosts the Odyssey's passenger capacity to eight.

All told, the second-row seats offered good hip room and decent headroom, although tall passengers might find the clearance a bit tight. The second-row legroom was also a tad lacking when the front seats were pushed relatively far back. Still, these seats could easily accommodate two adults for long trips, and even handle three grown-ups for shorter ones. You can detach and pull out the rear seats to increase cargo space, although that's a bit involved. Another nice second-row feature is a DVD screen that drops down from the cabin's roof.

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2021 Honda Odyssey Third-Row Seats
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Third-Row Seats

The 60/40 split fold-down third-row seats offered decent legroom, as well as good headroom and hip room. Although these seats are technically designed for three adults, two would be more realistic. Three small children would find the space sufficient, though. Good extra features in the third row include the section's own heat/air-conditioning vents and a household-style electrical outlet.

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2021 Honda Odyssey Vacuum Cleaner
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Cargo Bay

The Odyssey comes with a small 32.8-cubic foot cargo bay when all seats are in use. That's only enough room for maybe one big suitcase and two or three backpacks. But the third row's "Magic Seats" fold flat easily when not in use, creating a generous 86.6 cubic feet of storage space. That can accommodate probably eight large suitcases or a bulky item such as a dresser. And if you need more room, the second-row captain's chairs fold down flat as well, creating space for another one or two suitcases. Removing the second-row seats altogether gets you a truly cavernous 140.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

My test Odyssey's cargo area also came with one of my favorite car features — a built-in vacuum cleaner for quick cleanups True, you could go with an entry-level Odyssey, drive it to the store and buy a rechargeable Dustbuster for about 30 bucks, but the built-in version (which comes standard on the Elite trim line) is still pretty cool.

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2021 Honda Odyssey On The Road
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Road Test

On the road, the Odyssey's 280-horsepower V-6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive combine to provide a smooth, quiet ride. The model offers something of an SUV-style "high-up" road view, while its large windows and windshields offer good front, rear, and side sightlines. The minivan brakes and corners well, and backing up and parking are relatively easy — at least for a model the Odyssey's size — in part because the vehicle comes standard with an excellent backup camera.

My test Odyssey accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a decent 7.5 seconds, although it swerved a bit and revved noisily to about 6,200 rpm to get there. Of course, no one buys a minivan for high performance, but for practicality and safety. My test model offered a "Normal" or "Snow" setting, although I noticed little difference between them. The Odyssey comes standard in all trim lines with all sorts of airbags and other safety equipment, such as a collision mitigation braking system and lane-departure assist. As for fuel efficiency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the Odyssey at 19 mpg/city, 28 mpg/highway, and 22 mpg/combined. During a weeklong test drive, I logged 22.6 mpg/combined.

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2021 Honda Odyssey Pull Down DVD Player
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.


As noted, the Odyssey starts at a relatively modest $33,265 including destination fees. That stacks up fairly well against the limited number of rival minivans in the market, including the $36,690 Chrysler Pacifica, $31,575 Kia Sedona, and $35,635 Toyota Sienna. All are solid competitors, and I'm a big fan of the Chrysler Pacifica, which was carrying as much as $5,000 of incentives as of this writing. Some of the Odyssey's other competitors also come with rebates and special financing, while Honda was at last check offering zero percent for four years on the Odyssey, as well as $1,000 "loyalty cash" for current Honda owners.

That said, my top-of-the-line Odyssey Elite listed for way more than the model's base price. It carried a $47,820 base price, $395 for a premium exterior color, and a $1,175 destination fee that took my test model's total MSRP to $49,390. That's pretty hefty for a family vehicle. Honda Odyssey Elite buyers willing to pay that price will get a large, comfortable, and safety-friendly minivan for their money. And they'll get a cool built-in vacuum cleaner as well.

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