The Honda Odyessy has been called “the best family vehicle ever made.” But come the 2021 release of the all-new Toyota Sienna and 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, the minivan competition will heat up. Without available AWD or a hybrid option, can the 2021 Honda Odyssey stand up to the competition?
In order to really get in the game and defeat its strongest opponents, the Honda Odyssey may need to step it up. Piping on the elite interior trim may not be enough. Beautiful, reliable, and dignified as this minivan family favorite is, it may not offer enough to be the top in its class for the 2021 model year.
The 2021 Toyota Sienna
The all-new Toyota Sienna redesign brings us a fourth generation of the “Swagger Wagon.” Toyota has decided to completely nix the V6. In place of the third-gen powertrain, the 2021 Sienna will be offered as a completely hybrid minivan. A 2.5 liter 4-cylinder under the hood paired with electric batteries produces 243 horsepower.
This is a loss from the previous 296 horsepower engine. But Toyota claims that what Edmunds calls a “thrifty” hybrid powertrain will still tow up to 3,500 pounds. It’s the same system used for Toyota’s RAV4, Avalon, and Highlander.
This powertrain will also get a combined 33 miles per gallon. Additionally, it is expected to have better accelerating at slow city speeds with a stop-to-go that won’t feel sluggish. The 2021 Toyota Sienna is also going to continue offering the AWD option.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica
Edmunds says the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is “more attractive inside and out.” This minivan has a list of trims and options so long it will make you dizzy in a good way. You can basically create your own perfect minivan. Of course, it also has the stow and go feature which allows the seats to fold down flush into the floor and disappear at the touch of a button.
“It’s a close battle between the Honda and the Pacifica Hybrid.”the Edmunds Experts | 2020
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will continue to offer a plug in hybrid verson. Additionally, an AWD option will be added to the already numerous choices. It will let you down if you want a hybrid with AWD––only the all-new Toyota Sienna can do that.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey was the top dog minivan of 2020. Edmunds said it “edges out the Chrysler when it comes to cargo space, clever storage solutions and comfort.” For 2021 it gets a more aggressive look for the grille. It will mirror the style of the Honda Ridgeline and the Honda Pilot.
It has incredible passenger and cargo room and the V6 is a tested and reliable engine with plenty of power. The quilted leather and contrasting upsclae piping detail on the upholstery is fancy. But the Odyssey is really falling short in terms of options. There is not a hybrid or an AWD version available.
The Honda Odyssey will never stop being a great minivan. But in terms of modernity, it is not keeping up. Its style is finding consistency (finally, Honda). Additionally, The Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, and Honda Odyssey offer a rich amount of modern tech with state of the art infotainment and back seat entertainment.
They are safe with lots of standard driver-assist features. Each of these 2021 minivans will rise above nearly every SUV as a family vehicle. But the 2021 Odyssey is trailing behind. It lacks both a hybrid and an AWD availability. We don’t think it will beat the 2021 Sienna and the 2021 Pacifica.