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Safety is the top priority of nearly every family when shopping for a vehicle. It’s no wonder why so many people ask, “what is the safest minivan?” The 2021 Honda Odyssey is a popular choice, as it’s loaded with plenty of driver-assistance technologies. But does it protect your loved ones better than other vans on the market? Fortunately, it seems like we have a definitive answer, thanks to some of the industry’s most trusted experts. 

Leading authorities have long held the Odyssey in high regard due to its affordability and wealth of features. Meanwhile, the most recent iteration might just be the best version yet. Honda updated the Odyssey with a mid-cycle refresh, giving it even more technology and a sleeker design for the 2021 model year.

Families looking to upgrade to the new Odyssey will be able to drive with peace of mind. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) listed the 2021 Honda Odyssey as the safest minivan of 2020.

How did the organization come to this conclusion, and what makes the 2021 Honda Odyssey so safe? Let’s examine this minivan’s safety features in further detail to find out.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey is packed with smart safety systems

A silver 2021 Honda Odyssey parked in front of a playground
The 2021 Honda Odyssey on display | Photo via Honda

Driver-assistance technologies have made the streets safer than ever before. These smart systems use radar and cameras to identify dangerous situations and alert the driver. Some features even help take evasive measures, such as automatically applying the brakes.

The Odyssey has utilized these technologies for several years now. However, the 2021 Honda Odyssey made these driver-assist technologies more accessible than ever before. Its base trim level, which has a starting MSRP of $31,790, comes with almost every safety feature the minivan has to offer. These include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning.

Those who jump up to the EX trim, starting at $35,190, will gain a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. This system warns the driver of any other cars or objects they might not see, whether it be on their side or behind them.

Meanwhile, the top-tier Touring and Elite models have quirky family-friendly features like an on-board PA system to help communicate with the kids in the back. Nothing helps promote safe driving like a quiet ride, right?

What do the experts have to say?

It’s not surprising that critics are so impressed with the 2021 Honda Odyssey. On top of having the most impressive suite of standard safety systems, it also delivers outstanding fuel economy and driving dynamics for a minivan. Plus, its interior is rich with high-quality materials and cutting-edge technologies.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey was the only model in its class to earn the IIHS’s highest honor of being a Top Safety Pick +. It earned a rating of “good” in all six crashworthiness tests, but its headlights didn’t fare as well, achieving a score of “average.”

The U.S. News & World Report also praised the Honda Odyssey, ranking it the best minivan of 2020 and 2021. Notably, the publication gave the minivan a safety score of 9.8 out of 10 and commended its long list of driver-assist technologies.

Is the 2021 Honda Odyssey the proper fit for your family?

Let’s be honest. The Honda Odyssey has been the unofficial poster vehicle for families for decades. It’s seen in school parking lots across the country and in at least one driveway in your friendly suburban neighborhood. It’s always been safe to say it will accommodate families because of its sheer size and ease of use, but now it can add safety to its list of accolades. 

The 2021 Honda Odyssey bears the fresh new face vans that have long since needed. If your family is in the market for a new minivan, look no further than the latest iteration of an old favorite.


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