The Honda Odyssey has been a perennial leader in its segment for many years and it soldiers on generation after generation, getting better as time goes on. So I wasn’t too surprised that, during my week with it as a press car loan, I ended up liking the 2021 Odyssey and all of its tech-savvy features and luxurious charm. Keep in mind that this is coming from a single guy with no kids to cart around.
The “soccer mom” stigma never made sense to me
I’m pretty sure by now that every one that is of driving age has heard of the classic minivan stigma in that minivans are “mommy mobiles” and if you drive one and are not a mom with half of a kids soccer team to fill the seats, then you’re just uncool. Well then, call me “uncool” because if the 2021 Honda Odyssey is the future of what’s to come for the minivan segment, then I believe that the stigma should disappear altogether.
That’s a bold statement, considering there are still millions of people that will never be caught dead driving a minivan. But honestly, the Honda Odyssey is one of the easiest and most comfortable vehicles I’ve ever driven. It’s like a living room on wheels and unlike a giant SUV, it sits lower to the ground and takes hurried unprotected left turns with ease when attempting to beat oncoming traffic.
In fact, one stab of the throttle and you’ll feel all 280 horses from its eager V6 engine pick up quickly, motivating this family hauler onto the freeway with ease. And if you listen closely as it goes through all 10 of the gears in its automatic transmission, you can hear the glorious sound of VTEC. Now that’s a minivan.
The Odyssey is a minivan, but it’s not just for budding families
Responsive engine aside, I couldn’t help but marvel at how luxurious the top-trim Odyssey Touring feels when you sit inside of it. Sure, the aforementioned term “living room on wheels” is totally cliché, but when was the last time you were able to sit in your car and actually not mind the thought of going on a 10-hour road trip with seven of your closest friends? Possibly, never?
In that case, I urge you to sit in a minivan like the Honda Odyssey and not feel the need to go anywhere far. Your passengers won’t mind, either, at the second-row captain’s chairs are just as comfortable as the front row, and the third row is even large enough to adequately fit a couple of adults. Take a road trip in one of these and you’ll feel like a kid again, in a good way.
It’s smooth and quiet
In addition to the comfort amenities, I noticed that the Odyssey is very quiet at just about any speed. You can easily hold a conversation with the person next to you while on the freeway and if you need to keep an eye on your buddies or talk to anyone in the third row, you can always use the CabinWatch and CabinTalk features. They are mainly there so that you can yell at your kids, but it works just as well when you need to ask your friend in the way back for a cold soda from the cooler.
Case in point, the Honda Odyssey is awesome and will most likely continue to be for years to come. And while some may argue that Honda needs to make an all-wheel-drive version, I would say that it’s not completely necessary as I was able to traverse some snowy ground with the aid of “snow mode.”
And at the end of the week, I will say that I was a little sad to see the Odyssey leave. After all, it’s like a childhood friend, a college buddy, and a babysitter all in one. However, as a single guy with no kids, I’ll just look at the Odyssey as a vehicular sidekick as I use the handy HondaVac to clean up after my messy friends.