2021 Honda Odyssey Review | The ultimate baby gadget
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It's best to think of the 2021 Honda Odyssey as the ultimate piece of parenting gear, not a car. From innovative functions such as the sliding seats "Magic" in the second row and the available vacuum cleaner on board to the usual but indispensable features such as the remote opening of doors and the gigantic cargo space, it is much more similar to a BOB Rambler, Chicco KeyFit30 or MamaRoo - clever Constructed objects specially designed to make life easier for parents. While it may seem obvious for a minivan to be guided by kids and parents, none is as fearlessly focused on that goal as the Odyssey.
While competitors try to hide their van ness, the Odyssey flies its van flag. There's been no attempt to add sporty or SUV-like flourishes on the outside, while the dashboard has the visual appeal of a washing machine on the inside. The driving experience is similarly indifferent, characterized by easy steering and a pillow-like ride (unlike previous Accord-like Odysseys). This is all about the kids and they don't care if you get feedback on the steering wheel or if your eyes are treated with an interesting looking shot. They probably don't care about fuel economy either, but that's one of the few objective areas that the Odyssey lags behind its competitors in. While its V6 engine is flawless, the Chrysler Pacifica offers an exceptional plug-in hybrid model, while the all-new 2021 Toyota Sienna is only offered as a hybrid, which together achieves an estimated 36 mpg. The Odyssey turns 22, and while more powerful, acceleration is hardly a priority for those buying what is essentially the ultimate stroller.
What's new for 2021?
The Odyssey receives a variety of updates for 2021. The redesigned grille and front bezel are slimmer and more attractive. The interior looks the same, but upgrades include flatter second-row seats, hooks for shopping bags attached to the back of the third-row seat, an updated center console with cable management system, and additional backrest storage pockets for the EX L and higher panels. The new technical functions include a USB port in the third row on the Touring and Elite panels, as well as a rear seat reminder system in all equipment variants. The forward collision warning system has also been improved to detect pedestrians, while the adaptive cruise control system can operate in stop-and-go traffic.
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What does Odyssey's interior and vehicle technology look like?
If you've just tested a Chrysler Pacifica, a Toyota Sienna 2021, or even the Kia Sedona, the Odyssey cabin is bound to look a bit boring. The material quality is acceptable, and there's no doubt about Honda's ability to screw things together, but the aesthetic is pure functionality.
For this purpose, however, it is incredibly functional. There is a walled gutter between the front seats for you to safely put your handbag. There is a hidden drawer that can be subdivided to prevent slipping, as well as another container under the console's roller door and a wireless charging pad in the upper trim levels. There are highly functional holders for cups and bottles in the console and in the doors. In the doors and backrests you will find special places where you can stow your devices. The upper equipment variants are even equipped with a built-in vacuum cleaner (the Sienna now too).
The touchscreen infotainment system found on all but the base fairing is easy to see and reach, and generally easy to use. We like the crisp graphics, intuitive menus, and configurable tiles that let you put features where you want them. However, there was a freeze when using the standard Apple CarPlay, especially when we tried to use the car's native navigation system as well (which is also a disappointingly sparse proposition). In general, we also prefer the Uconnect touchscreen on the Pacifica and the available widescreen interface on the Sienna.
However, none of these offer one of the Odyssey's newer and surprisingly useful features: CabinWatch. This wide-angle lens above the second row, included on the Touring and Elite, lets you see what's going on in each seat, even in a rear-facing child seat. It's paired with the CabinTalk system, which allows you to project your voice through the rear speakers and / or headphones of the back seat entertainment system (Toyota offers something similar). Threats from "Don't make me stop this car!" will never be missed again.
How big is the Odyssey?
Outwardly, the Odyssey is practically the same size as the Pacifica and Sienna (although it weighs less). Their interiors are also so enormous that differences are basically moot points. This also includes the space behind the seats in the third row, which was even larger than expected in the Odyssey. You can find more space back there than in the holds of the most compact and medium-sized crossovers (and exponentially more than behind the third row of large crossovers).
Really, the differences between vans depend on the functionality of their second row seats. They all use different concepts tailored to different owner needs and preferences. The Odyssey differs through its "Magic Slide" seats in the second row, which can be found on all but the base LX. We'll go into that in depth in this Odyssey Driveway review, along with their excellent ability to accommodate child seats, but in short, it's a brilliant idea and well suited for parents of young children. Older children would likely appreciate the Sienna's "Super Long Slide" seats, which offer much more room (the Odyssey's limited fore-and-aft adjustment also results in a smaller gap between the seat and column for third-row access), while the Row Seats The need for cargo versatility should be directed to the Pacifica's foldaway Stow 'N Go seats.
What is the Odyssey's performance and fuel economy?
Each Odyssey gets the same powertrain combination: a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine can shut off a number of cylinders to save fuel and automatically stop and start when the van comes to a stop. It achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.
How does the odyssey go?
The steering of the Odyssey is surprisingly loose in the middle for a Honda and it lacks precision. It required more attention and corrections when driving on a winding country road than we would prefer (the lane departure warning system cranks the head very hard) and doesn't convey much confidence, let commitment with you. Odysseys were once described as driving like big deals. That's not the case with the new one, and we prefer to drive the Pacifica, Sienna and Kia Sedona.
With that big old caveat, the Odyssey 2021 is still extremely comfortable and quiet. Your passengers will be perfectly comfortable, happy and undisturbed by whatever is playing on their devices. The great view and the short front end make parking easier, as does the easy goose bumps steering. There is also no shortage of electricity. Its 280 horsepower is more than enough to toss rubber off a stop with a heavy foot and get out of your own (and the other's) path, hit a road with limited visibility, or merge with traffic. It actually just sounds macho enough to make you feel comfortable putting your family freight forwarder on the floor from time to time. The standard 10-speed automatic transmission ensures that the engine speed remains under control when driving smoothly. There are even standard paddle shifters that you can ignore unless you're traversing steep hills or dragging something behind you.
What else can I read about the Honda Odyssey?
2021 Honda Odyssey child seat driveway test
We dive deep into the seats in the second row of the Magic Slide and see how a child seat works with the Odyssey.
2021 Honda Odyssey luggage test: how much fits behind the third row?
Did we know that all of our luggage would fit in the third row? Oh yeah. Were we still surprised at how much space was left? Also yes.
2021 Honda Odyssey First Drive Review
We cover everything that has changed for 2021 as well as our first impressions of whether they made a difference.
What features are available and what is the price?
Prices start at $ 32,910 for the base Odyssey LX, including the target fee of $ 1,120. This is significantly less than the Toyota Sienna and significantly more than the Pacifica's Chrysler Voyager sibling, but the standard equipment is not the same.
The LX is equipped with 18-inch wheels as standard. Every driver assistance system is available, with the exception of the warning of blind spots (see section Safety), rear privacy glass, automatic LED headlights, automatic single-zone air conditioning and electric front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), two USB ports, one conventional Radio front panel with 5-inch color screen and a sound system with seven speakers.
It's no insignificant jump in price to the EX, but it does add a ton of gear that we believe most parents, ah, drivers, are essentials. These include electric sliding doors, warning of blind spots and cross traffic in the rear, access nearby, three-zone air conditioning, the seats in the second row of Magic Slide (and thus capacity for eight people), parasols in the second row and the lumbar spine of the driver's seat Adaptation, heated front seats, an additional USB port at the front, the 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as satellite radio. The most important improvements of the EX-L are a sunroof, an electric tailgate, an additional USB port as well as seats and a steering wheel with leather cover.
In addition, the Touring and Elite Slather would be on "would be nice" items that few would consider necessary. These include, for example, Honda Vac, CabinTalk and CabinWatch, WiFi in the car and the entertainment system in the back seats. A full breakdown of features, specs, and local pricing can be found here on Autoblog.
LX: $ 32,910
EX: $ 36,310
EX-L: $ 39,580
Touring: $ 43,620
Elite: $ 48,940
What safety equipment and crash ratings does Odyssey have?
Every Odyssey is equipped as standard with a forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane departure warning as well as adaptive cruise control (including lane-centering steering and stop-and-go function). The warning of blind spots and rear cross traffic is included on all but the LX.
The Odyssey received the perfect five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Road Safety Insurance Institute also gave it the best possible rating from Top Safety Pick + for its top marks in every possible category except one: Headlights, where it was rated "Acceptable". Even the LATCH anchors received the best possible rating from Good + for their ease of use - which we can definitely confirm.
2021 Toyota Sienna Super Long Slide seats
Check out the second row sliding captain's chairs in the 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Minivan.
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