New for 2020: Honda has revealed the 2021 Odyssey which will hit the markets late this year. Though aesthetically, the new 2021 Honda Odyssey is more or less a nip and tuck job, it does receive some decent upgrades in terms of equipment. The Honda Sensing is now standard across the entire lineup. This includes features like emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control as well. Honda has also added Pedestrian emergency braking to the mix.
Another safety feature is the rear seat reminder that warns the driver to check the rear seats before disembarking. Touring and Elite trims even add a visual from the CabinWatch system to the infotainment screen. Other updates include a flat-folding second-row seatbacks that free up more cargo space. While not as versatile as Chrysler’s stow and go feature, it is a useable upgrade.
Aesthetically, the face is now much less polarizing. The wider headlamps flank a rather simple black grille crowned by a singular chrome strip. The bumpers and air intakes have also been redesigned.
The last time the Odyssey received an upgrade was with the debut of the fifth generation. It received a slew of new features like a full safety suite as standard, a touchscreen infotainment system, a driver voice projection system that lets the driver interact with the rear passengers through the speakers and even a rear camera to keep an eye on the occupants. But the defining feature of the Odyssey has to be the sliding captain seats. The previous generation Odyssey came with Wide Mode that allowed the rear bench to be pulled apart to accommodate three child seats. Now, Honda has taken it a step further. With the middle bench removed, the captain seats can slide sideways for up to 12.9 inches with a child seat attached.
The Odyssey has been sold in the US for over two decades. In that time, through numerous generation changes the 3.5-liter V6 has remained a constant to the Odyssey. The Honda minivan has also always featured an automatic transmission. The number of ratios, however, have always increased generation over generation. The Odyssey came with a nine-speed auto until 2019 which was swapped out for the updated 10-speed unit for the 2020 model year.
The Odyssey’s styling is polarizing, but we have to give credit to Honda for lending a box-on-wheels some visual interest. What’s less in dispute is the Odyssey’s status as the most entertaining minivan to drive thanks to its well-sorted chassis and powertrain.
Pros/ Standard safety suite / versatility / in-built vacuum cleaner
Cons/Higher price / unconventional styling
Bottom Line/Despite its higher price, the Odyssey is definitely worth a serious consideration
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Honda Odyssey Powertrain
The Honda Odyssey’s sole engine offering is a 3.5-liter V6 making 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. As mentioned above, it comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which boasts at least one more ratio than its competitors.
Honda Odyssey Fuel Economy
Honda’s fuel economy estimates for the Odyssey are 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Of the Odyssey’s competitors, only the Chrysler Pacifica can match those figures; even economy-obsessed Toyota’s Sienna can’t quite catch the Honda’s thrift.
Honda Odyssey Features and Pricing
Odyssey LX: Starts at $31,910
LX trim is kitted out to meet an entry-level price point, lacking a number of convenience and safety features that are standard elsewhere in the lineup. However, the Odyssey LX does include automatic climate control, push-button engine start, power-adjustable front seats, and seven-passenger seating. Also standard is a 5.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and a seven-speaker stereo system.
Odyssey EX: $35,910
Odyssey EX brings many of the modern niceties minivan shoppers look for. First off, it adds the Honda Sensing driver assist suite of forward collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning/lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high beams. Other additions are the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone platforms, three-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, heated front seats, a 12-way driver’s seat, remote engine start, and eight-passenger capacity with Honda’s “Magic Slide” second-row seats.
Odyssey EX-L: $39,180
The “L” in EX-L stands for leather, which replaces cloth as the Odyssey’s seat upholstery and also adorns the steering wheel. EX-L trim also adds a power tailgate, an integrated garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. EX-L can also be optioned with Honda’s CabinTalk PA feature, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Odyssey Touring: $45,060
Touring trim adds CabinTalk and CabinWatch as standard features to let those up front keep an eye on and communicate with whomever’s riding in the rear seats. The power tailgate also gets hands-free operation, and the HondaVAC built-in vacuum cleaner is included. There’s more connectivity here, too, with navigation, HondaLink services, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Odyssey Elite: $48,540
Honda rounds out the Odyssey lineup with the Elite trim level, a luxury package with ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, an upgraded 11-speaker stereo with multi-zone audio, and ambient interior lighting. Elite trim also includes the convenience of wireless smartphone charging.
*Prices include the destination fee.
Honda Odyssey Recommended Trim
EX trim is clearly where Honda expects the majority of Odyssey buyers to end up, as it includes the full suite of safety features, a more sophisticated infotainment system with smartphone integration, and heated front seats. Leather seating is nice, but the Touring’s hands-free tailgate and Elite’s heated wheel are the pieces of kit we really wish were available for less money.
Honda Odyssey vs Chrysler Pacifica/Voyager
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) other minivan is the more modern Chrysler Pacifica, which for 2020 gains a lower-priced Voyager variant to replace the Grand Caravan. The Pacifica and Voyager use the Grand Caravan’s 283 hp/260 lb-ft 3.6L V6 but with a nine-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy to 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, matching the Odyssey. The Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in model that derives 260 hp from its combination of a 3.6-liter V6 and electric motor and a combined 30 mpg fuel economy rating when running in hybrid mode; the Odyssey’s combined figure is 22 mpg.
The Chrysler Voyager starts at $26,895, undercutting the Odyssey by nearly $4,000 while lacking much in the way of convenience features. Chrysler offers the posher Pacifica in a vast array of trims ranging in price from $33,745 to $48,940. The Pacifica Touring L is the Chrysler van that best competes with the Odyssey on features, with heated front seats and steering, leather seating and a power tailgate for about $1,300 less than the similarly equipped Odyssey EX-L.
Honda Odyssey vs Kia Sedona
Every Kia Sedona uses a 3.3-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission for 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. Kia’s fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, compared to the Honda’s 19 and 28.
A base model Kia Sedona is $27,600, or about $3,000 less than the entry-grade Odyssey. Move to the $33,700 Sedona EX for heated front seats, and the $41,500 brings a heated steering wheel and a full complement of safety and driver assists. For $43,000, an optional rear-seat entertainment setup nearly matches the Odyssey’s convenience features for $3,400 less.
Honda Odyssey vs Toyota Sienna
The Toyota Sienna uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 296 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful in the minivan segment. It works with an eight-speed transmission for fuel economy estimates of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Toyota’s standout feature in the minivan class is the Sienna’s all-wheel drive option. With its extra traction comes a fuel economy penalty, with estimates of 18 and 24 mpg, city and highway respectively.
At $31,640 the entry-level Sienna L is about $850 more than the Odyssey LX, but is a stronger value out of the gate with three-zone climate control and a full suite of driver and safety assists as standard. Limited trim goes for $44,535—less than the Odyssey’s top price—but the desirable rear-seat entertainment centre is included in Sienna XLE Premium and SE Premium trims, at $41,480 and $43,885, respectively.
|Price Range (Incl Dest.) /||$31,910 - $48,540|
|Engine /||3.5-liter V6|
|Power (hp) /||280|
|Torque (lb-ft) /||262|
|Fuel Economy (mpg, city/hwy/combined) /||19 / 28 / 22.6|
|Drivetrain /||10AT / FWD|
Our Final Verdict
The Odyssey is not the strongest value in the minivan class; in fact, it’s in the bottom half of the field in that regard. Its adventurous styling could be a turn-off, but don’t pass judgment until you’ve had a good look at the Odyssey up close. The Honda Odyssey’s real edge is its sportier-than-average driving feel, which we think helps it stand apart as well as the Toyota Sienna’s AWD option.
|Space and Comfort||9.0|