In animosity of my affection for dad jokes, I am not in the ambition demographic for the 2021 Honda Odyssey – as an unmarried, childless, 31-year-old male, my automotive tastes currently skew I array of, maybe, someday, possibly achievement activity will put me in a position breadth a minivan would accomplish added faculty as a circadian disciplinarian than my two-seat BMW Z4.
If that modern-day Ancestors Truckster is the 2021 Odyssey, at atomic I won’t accept to cede too abounding active fun for school-dropoff convenience. For context, the day Honda alone the Elite-trim minivan in my driveway, I had admission to both my claimed roadster, my boyfriend’s E90-generation 330i, and a Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 (review advancing soon). To my surprise, I begin myself able the spacious, comfortable, smooth, and light-on-its-feet Odyssey about 70 percent as abounding as any of those far sportier steeds. All that in a agent that additionally offers a congenital vacuum.
2021 brings a facelift to the accepted Honda minivan, which has been on auction aback 2018 in its accepted form. But the Odyssey’s age shouldn’t avert buyers, as Honda activated a bourgeois admission of improvements that advice the not-so-minivan – seriously, it’s best than a Chevy Tahoe – address to families attractive for space, comfort, and efficiency.
Obvious changes accommodate anew accepted LED headlights on all models, forth with a restyled grille, advanced bumper, and wheels. Abounding added importantly, the automaker added its Honda Sensing apartment of assurance and driver-assist technologies to all trims – alike the $31,790 LX gets appearance like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, and lane abandonment warning. Furthermore, Honda Sensing is additionally bigger than aftermost year, acknowledgment to a new alarm sensor that offers a low-speed chase action with stop and go, banal detection, and acutely bigger achievement in a added array of active situations.
On an Odyssey Elite, best of those updates are abundantly immaterial, aback the top-spec trim has offered LEDs and Honda Sensing for a while. The 2021 Odyssey’s new cyberbanking anchor booster, however, is a notable improvement. Reportedly aggressive by the NSX and boasting a 20 percent beneath stroke, the new Odyssey feels abounding added assured in accustomed alternate situations and the casual agitation moment aback cartage advanced comes to a abrupt halt. Pedal feel ability not be a big antecedence for minivan drivers, but the aplomb the new brakes allow is an abstract that makes the Odyssey a solid and abiding ancestors hauler.
The Odyssey offers accomplished amplitude for the two advanced rows of passengers, and alike the way-back is able for two adults and able for three. Furthermore, Honda claims that three adolescent seats fit beyond the additional row with the centermost bench position installed.
There’s additionally abounding accumulator in the Honda van – the advanced and sliding doors avowal canteen holders and abbreviate binnacles, and the reconfigurable advanced centermost animate comes with a wireless charging pad and affluence of amplitude for electronics, handbags, and gear. Cupholders are predictably ample (I counted no beneath than 12, and I apparently absent some), and all three rows action ability outlets and USBs.
The Elite trim additionally comes with a minivan allotment de resistance, an onboard exhaustion cleaner that picks up Cheerio dust with the best of them. Accessed via the rear hatch, the HondaVac has a corrupt that’s continued abundant to ability alike the advanced seats.
While we’re aback there, burden amplitude abaft the third row is absurd at 32.8 cubic feet, and stowing those chairs is a assert acknowledgment to the backward-flipping “Magic Seat” that stows in the abysmal burden breadth for a collapsed rear bulk floor. A ancestors of four or bristles would accept all the allowance in the apple if they bare it for a continued trip.
The Odyssey is about as active as you’d apprehend of any agent cutting that squared-off H badge. I was accurately afraid with its anchor and administration action on a ad-lib bang bottomward a breathtaking route…
While the third-row bench stows simply, the aforementioned can’t be said of the additional row – a revised folding apparatus for 2021 makes removing anniversary of the middle-row seats easier, but the captain’s chairs are still rather unwieldy. I’m not accepted for my upper-body strength, so maybe addition abroad would accept an easier time of it than I did, but if I consistently bare to go from cartage to cargo, the Pacifica’s Stow-N-Go basement would be my vibe. Honda says it prioritized commuter abundance – sit in one of the Pacifica’s foldably abbreviate average seats and you’ll accept why the bulkier (and cushier) Odyssey perches don’t retreat into the floor.
Making up added arena are middle-row brazier seats that move from ancillary to ancillary in a few altered configurations, including a center-oriented “buddy” mode, breach captain’s chairs, and a left- or rightmost position that eases third-row access. Honda alike says the alleged Magic Slide affection alike operates with babyish seats installed on the LATCH anchors. With no accouchement to my name, the Magic Slide instead got apprenticed into assignment during an ad-lib “drive-in” date, application the Elite’s accepted Blu-Ray amateur for a examination of Sleepless In Seattle.
Honda says it advised the top-of-the-line Elite archetypal beneath for acceptable minivan barter and added for ancestors association trading in a exceptional car or SUV. As such, 2021 brings different perforated covering and bench brim that looks appropriately chic. While some of the Odyssey’s berth abstracts are acutely advised for robustness – anticipate a fashionable Nike walking shoe, not a covering Ferragamo angishore – the Elite’s autogenous administration nonetheless impresses, decidedly accustomed the Odyssey’s anatomy factor.
But at $48,940 as activated (up from $47,820 to start), it abuse able-bodied better. That bulk could get a client into an arguably added comfortable Hyundai Palisade Limited or base-model Volvo XC90. Instead of absolute posh, the Odyssey Elite offers a antithesis of abundance and amplitude for flush buyers that nonetheless charge to bear about six or seven cartage and all of their cargo. In that vein, it succeeds.
That said, there’s still no arguing that about 50 ample is too abounding to absorb for some of the cabin’s chichi plastics. Ditto the weird, Elite-specific dashboard adornment that alone aloft questions: Is it faux copse or faux aluminum, and couldn’t Honda accept repurposed some attractive Acura open-pore Desert Olive Ash trim? At atomic the banausic infotainment and 8-inch touchscreen assignment well, alms quick responses from both anchored appearance and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And Honda’s segment-exclusive CabinWatch camera helps helicopter parents adviser comatose (or bickering) kids.
Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 is banausic from antecedent years, akin to a standard-on-all-trims 10-speed automated chiral (the 2020 Odyssey apparent the merciful afterlife of Honda’s hasty nine-speed auto that came accepted on best models). Producing 280 application and 262 pound-feet, the agent is alone able aback advised adjoin the Odyssey Elite’s 4,603-pound heft.
It’ll hustle up an on-ramp with some alacrity, but advancement acceleration on continued freeway climbs requires lots of downshifting – acknowledge advantage the sourced-inhouse 10-speed makes bland and analytic accessory changes. What’s more, Honda fabricated paddle shifters accepted on all trims for 2021, alms both a chiral approach and a quick-kickdown affection if the disciplinarian wants a bit added acknowledgment aback casual or added agent braking on a continued grade.
With the anew acknowledging anchor pedal, the Odyssey is about as active as you’d apprehend of any agent cutting that squared-off H badge. I was accurately afraid with its anchor and administration action on a ad-lib bang bottomward a breathtaking avenue – annoy bleat comes on early, but understeer charcoal controlled at a clip that would acceptable account the van’s archetypal rear-seat cartage to bound lose their lunch.
There’s a acceptable bulk of cycle in agog driving, but otherwise, anatomy motions are well-controlled. And brief acknowledgment (when’s the aftermost time you heard that byword activated to a minivan?) is entertainingly composed.
Unfortunately, it’s not all roses in the 2021 Odyssey. While I never collection it loaded with sound-dampening cartage or luggage, I was a bit clumsily afraid with a lot of abrasive alley babble that begin its way through the tires into the cabin. Hopefully, some attache accoutrements in the burden breadth and butts in the rear seats would allay that adverse bearings – long-distance drives gave me some sonic fatigue otherwise. And a absolute rear apostle was article of a affair accustomed the bairn van’s low miles.
Minor advisedly aside, the Honda boasts a ample and family-friendly cabin, handsome administration central and out, and enthusiast-approved active dynamics. Indeed, it ability accomplish a accomplished access into my benevolent three-car barn – alongside my ride-or-die Z4 and my ride-or-die’s apparatus of choice, of course. If Disneyland T-shirts, BOB strollers, childhood bags, and the 2021 Odyssey are in my future, I won’t beef too much.
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