Most people would say the minivan is out of style, replaced with sport utility vehicles. Though that may be true for some vans, there’s one exception. The 2021 Honda Odyssey has enough under its belt to compete with the best of three-row SUVs.
CNET recently reviewed the 2021 Honda Odyssey and found it to be a good choice. And with the right bells and whistles, this minivan is one of the best crossover alternatives on the market today.
What’s good about the 2021 Honda Odyssey?
One of the best features you’ll find in the 2021 Honda Odyssey is its 3.5-liter V6 engine. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, it provides plenty of power for quick acceleration and smooth transitions onto the highway.
The 2021 Odyssey also comes with a snow-mode feature that allows you to travel on slippery surfaces. It works by recalibrating traction controls to offer more grip and prevent sliding.
This minivan also boasts plenty of standard features. Blind-spot monitoring, however, isn’t standard with the base model. There are other impressive options. One is traffic sign recognition, which helps keep track of traffic signs it can read.
Where does the Honda Odyssey fall short?
The 2021 Honda Odyssey comes in front-wheel drive only. There’s no option to upgrade to an all-wheel drivetrain, which would make this minivan even better as a crossover alternative. However, the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna offer AWD.
The Odyssey also doesn’t come in a hybrid model, so fuel economy ratings aren’t as good as the Pacifica and Sienna. You can get 19 mpg on city roads and 28 mpg on highways in the Odyssey. The Sienna hybrid tops that with 36 mpg combined, and the Pacifica has an all-electric rating of 82 MPGe.
You can get some useful features with the Odyssey’s Elite trim, but it might not be worth the money. This package is packed with smart features such as CabinWatch and CabinTalk, allowing those in the front seats to keep their eyes and ears on back-row passengers through a camera and RES headphones. The Elite also boasts a rear entertainment system and ventilated front seats. There’s even a vacuum cleaner. But this high trim model will cost you nearly $50,000.
The Odyssey would be better if it had something similar to the Pacifica’s Stow N’ Go seat feature. It allows for more storage space when you tuck the seats into the floor.
What makes the Odyssey the perfect alternative to a three-row crossover?
Minivans boast plenty of space, which makes them great for families that need to haul around many people and items. Cargo capacity behind the 2021 Honda Odyssey’s rear seating measures 38.6 cubic feet. If you fold down the rear seats, you can get up to 91 cubic feet for larger items. Plus, it offers plenty of legroom and headroom, which crossovers, especially three-row models, often lack.
The Odyssey has a decent interior as well. The front and second-row seats in higher trims have leather material. This makes them pretty durable for daily wear-and-tear from kids getting in and out of the van. And don’t forget those convenient sliding rear passenger doors for easy access to the second and third rows.
As far as cool features go, the Honda Odyssey offers many useful ones. If you’re traveling with kids, that camera system comes in handy to check on them in the back. Even in the darkness of night, you’ll know what exactly they’re up to.
In the end, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is still a minivan, but it offers more convenience than a crossover. And with all of its great features, it makes an excellent alternative.