Consumer Reports’ No. 3 Minivan Still Has the Best Road Test Score So What Brings it Down?

Consumer Reports’ No. 3 minivan is the 2021 Honda Odyssey. Long has the Odyssey been a family staple when it comes to piling in and heading out. It’s also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. And even though the Odyssey came in beneath the No. 1 2021 Toyota Sienna and No. 2 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, it actually had the best road-test score. So what weak spots were enough to bring it down a few notches? 

View from the back seat of the cabin of a new Honda Odyssey
2021 Honda Odyssey | Honda

What is the best 2021 minivan? 

The 2021 Honda Odyssey and the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica both earned the best 2021 minivan road test score of 85. However, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica’s better predicted owner satisfaction gave it an edge. In fact, the two popular minivan models have the same score of 68 overall. 

So, technically the two are tied for second. That said, Consumer Reports chose to organize the list with the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica a slot above the 2021 Honda Odyssey. It’s not likely a coincidence that it happened this way, as the vehicles are carefully driven, reviewed, and then ranked accordingly by the CR team. 

The 2021 Toyota Sienna scored 70 overall. That makes this new hybrid family hauler the best 2021 minivan for ticking all of the boxes and receiving the highest cumulative score. But what placed the Honda Odyssey below the Pacifica? 

Is the 2021 Honda Odyssey a good minivan?

2021 Honda Odyssey review
2021 Honda Odyssey | Honda

Yes, the 2021 Honda Odyssey remains one of the top choices, and a popular one at that. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Odyssey is priced from $31,790-$47,820. This puts it about average in terms of new minivan prices. The CR review team praises the 2021 Odyssey for its quiet and refined ride. 

Plus, the 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan has a comfortable and versatile interior with plenty of space––which is exactly what we expect for a minivan. Additionally, Honda’s van comes with a healthy list of standard tech and safety features which include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

The 280 hp V6 engine provides plenty of power for highway passing and the rare late-to-school morning. Plus the 2021 model year improves the Odyssey’s average mpg rating to 22 mpg overall. Consumer Reports shows a predicted reliability rating of 2/5 and a predicted owner satisfaction rating of 3/5. 

Which is the best 2021 Odyssey trim level to buy? 

2021 Honda Odyssey is one of the best minivans on the market
2021 Honda Odyssey | Honda

The Japanese automaker offers five trim levels. The LX base model misses out on some of the fineries but still offers the full Honda safety suite. That said, Consumer Reports suggests spending the extra few grand to bump it up to the EX Odyssey. 

The 2021 Honda Odyssey EX model includes a larger display screen and more tech like standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The range topping Elite trim approaches land yacht status with a luxuriously trimmed interior and the full nine yards in terms of tech, entertainment, and safety. 

Why isn’t it the best minivan? 

The 2021 Honda Odyssey is a great van. However, there are some things that kept it from the top spot in Consumer Reports ratings. For one, the lower predicted reliability ratings held it back. 

Furthermore, it does not offer the option for an all-wheel drive or a hybrid powertrain like its top competitors the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. Still, it’s a close call as all three options are compelling. In the end, it will ultimately come to which new minivan feels right for you. 

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