The right minivan will have plenty of room for the whole family, plus plenty of features to keep little ones busy on long trips. It also needs storage–the more storage, the better. The 2021 Honda Odyssey is a solid competitor in the midsize minivan category, with excellent safety features and a few new updates to the already popular vehicle.
What’s new in the 2021 Honda Odyssey?
The fifth-generation, 2021 Honda Odyssey is slightly redesigned. A clean, sleek front grille, new wheels, and updated tail lights are the major exterior design updates.
Inside the Odyssey, drivers will find a few nifty new features. Grocery hooks have been added to the back of the third-row seats. Charging phones is a little easier with the updated center console–it now has a small space where a charging cable can run without being pinched in the closed lid. Touring and Elite models now have an additional USB port in the third row, bringing the charging accessibility to five.
A rear-seat reminder feature is another new addition to the 2021 Odyssey. This feature is slightly different from other vehicles, as it automatically switches to the rear seat camera when the warning pops up. All 2021 models will now come equipped with the Honda Sensing driver-assist features. Piping around the leather seats adds an elegant touch to Elite models, and EX trims and higher have updated multicolor floor mats.
The Odyssey still maintains its title of the quickest accelerating minivan, moving from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds. Drivers will feel more reassured while braking, as the pedal is slightly stiffer, and its stroke is reduced by 20 percent.
What’s the problem with the 2021 Honda Odyssey?
The 2021 Odyssey is a fantastic choice for families with children. It’s spacious and roomy enough for everyone, and there’s plenty of cabin storage. So it’s perfect for family trips and shuttling kids and their friends to activities. However, it’s not great for those looking to move a lot of cargo.
The Odyssey’s lack of Stow N’ Go seats makes it difficult to load the minivan up with large cargo. The seats are removable, but they are heavy and awkward to take out. Even when the seats are removed from the vehicle, the floor is not flat for cargo. A competitor offers a better option for families who want to use their minivan to move things and take family trips.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has Stow N’ Go seats that fold up flat into the floor. When you’re not storing the seats, the large cargo bins on the floor are available for even more storage. The Pacifica is the only minivan in its class to offer that kind of cargo space.
Is the 2021 Odyssey a good overall choice for families?
The 2020 Honda Odyssey was ranked #4 of 9 midsize minivans by Consumer Reports, and since there weren’t many changes made to the 2021 model, it’s likely very similar. The Odyssey delivers a smooth, quiet ride, with plenty of power to climb hills and drive on highways. Fuel economy is decent at 22 mpg overall.
The vehicle is definitely built for families with children. The infotainment system includes kid-friendly features like the “How much farther?” app that shows kiddos in the rear seats a real-time “flight tracker” that displays the trip. The app saves parents the headache of the dreaded “Are we there yet?” question thousands of times in one trip.
Although it doesn’t have the incredibly convenient Stow N’ Go seating that you find the Pacifica, the Odyssey does have a fair amount of cabin storage inside of it. The Odyssey includes a bin that slides out of the center console, map sleeves behind the first row of seats, and containers in the door panels.