Overview

   

Before crossovers became all the rage, minivans were the choice of young families, and others who needed to maximize seating along with comfort. The Honda Odyssey, though, has always maintained its place in the automotive world, with its innovative reconfigurable seating setup, ample storage options, and overall versatility. It was also the first vehicle ever with an available factory vacuum cleaner. Now that it's been refreshed for 2021, it puts up even stronger competition for the expanding sea of utility vehicles and looks ready to take them on, with its more confident updated exterior. Other changes for this new model year include improved climate control, seating updates for the EX-L, and an available rear-seat camera - the industry's first. The cabin is quiet, spacious, and versatile, with removable second-row seats and a stowable third-row seat that make this minivan quite user-friendly, especially with its low load floor.

   
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Powertrain and Trim Levels

   

The five 2021 Odyssey trims are the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Their powertrain, a 280 horsepower six-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, is EPA rated to achieve 19 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway.

   

The list of standard equipment on the seven-passenger LX is ample, with automatic climate control, push-button start, powered front seats, second-row captain's chairs, a 60/40-split third-row Magic Seat, two 12-volt outlets, and LED headlights. The EX upgrades its climate control to triple-zone and adds heated front seats, LED fog lights, power-slide doors, heated exterior mirrors, and a second-row Magic Seat bench that fits three across, raising capacity to eight. The EX-L receives driver's-seat and side-mirror memory, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power tailgate, a one-touch power moonroof, leather seats (although the third row remains as cloth), and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Touring is enhanced with front and rear parking, body-colored side sills, and ambient interior lighting, while the Elite's additional bells and whistles are highlighted by a heated steering wheel, ventilated driver and front passenger seats, and a hands-free rear liftgate.

   
   
   

Technology for Connectivity and Safety

The 2021 Honda Odyssey is packed with features to keep its occupants connected, charged up, and as safe as possible. The base infotainment system has a seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use and music streaming, and a 5-inch touchscreen; there's a USB charge port in the center console. The EX ups the ante with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, high-def radio, and HondaLink services; its touchscreen is also increased to 8 inches. Integrated navigation is added to the Touring trim along with a Wi-Fi hotspot, an intercom system (Cabin Talk), and a Blu-Ray player with wireless headphones and child monitor (CabinWatch) behind the front row. The Elite gets wireless charging and a premium 11-speaker audio system.

Driver aids are also abundant, with all '21 Odysseys getting the Honda Sensing active safety suite. On the base trim that means collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. The EX adds automatic high beams, lane keep assist, dynamic cruise control with low-speed follow, and traffic sign recognition, and the trims above that all get a blind-spot/rear cross-traffic monitor.

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