“2021 Honda Odyssey Elite”
Top selling minivan is refreshed and refreshing
There are a multitude of participants in the minivan game. The Chrysler/Plymouth minivan pioneered the movement. FCA (for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) launched the Chrysler Pacifica an all-new minivan for 2017, which seemed likely to take the lead in the minivan race with new styling and a host of new features. Enter the Honda Odyssey.
Move over FCA. The Honda Odyssey has been the best selling minivan in America for the past ten years and seems to be in no danger of relinquishing its title, with equally, if not more attractive styling and even more features in their 2021 Honda Odyssey Elite.
Honda wasn’t first to the minivan party, but as the Japanese automaker has always tended to make sure that they have a better mousetrap before launching a new product, and making solid improvements with each new model year.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey offers five distinctive levels of trim: a base LX; the EX; an EX-L, the upscale Touring; and the flagship Elite. Base pricing will range from $31,790 to $47,820 adding a $1,120 Destination and Handling fee.
The new 2021 Honda Odyssey features refreshed exterior styling cues and new wheel selections, enhanced interior de sign treatments with exclusive trim for Elite models, and advanced safety and driver-assisted technology including standard, updated Honda Sensing®, along with Rear Seat Reminder with Cabin Watch®.
The base model seats 7 passengers, while all other trim levels seat up to eight passengers with reconfigurable seating variations.
Power for the entire new Odyssey lineup is provided by a front transversely mounted 3.5-liter (3471cc), SOHC, 24-valve I-VTEC? Direct Fuel Injected engine with VCM, a Drive-by-Wire Throttle System, and an ECO Assist System.
The engine produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while also developing 262 pound feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. A nine-speed automatic transmission gears power to the front wheels in LX through EX-L Nav-RES models, while Touring and Elite models are equipped with a 10-speed automatic shift-by-wire transmission with paddle shifters.
The primary focus of the Honda Odyssey team in its development was to create a vehicle that would keep all members of the family happy, from children to adults in terms of both styling and functionality, with new features and technology.
AERODYNAMIC EXTERIOR STYLING
Visually, this latest Odyssey’s exterior takes on a more aerodynamic form, beginning with Honda’s restyled signature “flying wing” grille, and front bumper fascia, a sculpted front fascia and hood flanked by available revised front lighting with available LED headlights. and new black trim under the rear window.
In profile, the Odyssey displays a chiseled “lightning bolt” beltline, shoulder and pronounced wheel wells with a connecting, sweeping mid-body character line. Both the “B” and “C” pillars are blacked out with a blacked out lower section of the “D” pillar that showcases a floating roof effect. There is a bright trim strip that separates the glass and shoulder, that wraps around from “A” pillar to “A” pillar, with no upper trim. The hood flows into the sharply angled windshield, continuing gently over the roof. The rearward sloped tailgate displays a low, wide stance.
Entering the spacious cabin, one finds several significant features: easily removable Magic Slide 2nd row seats the move fore and aft and slide from side to side for ease of entry to the third row now folds nearly flat, even with child seats in place; a full suite of updated Honda Sensing technologies; a display audio touchscreen interface with customizable placement of icons; a 12-way power front driver’s seat; LED daytime running lights; auto high beam; and remote engine start; and driver and passenger’s knee airbag. There’s also an electronic parking brake and gear selector, automatic climate control, push button start and acoustic spray foam and thicker side door glass for enhanced cabin quietness.
Depending upon trim level, the new Odyssey comes with a power tailgate with a programmable lift height, leather seating surfaces and a leather-wrapped steering wheel on upper trim levels, a power moonroof and a two-setting memory driver’s seat. The Nav system is a Garmin designed satellite unit, and the advanced rear entertainment system provides wireless streaming and a Blu-Ray player. There’s 4G LTE with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a wireless charging pad on the console (iPhones require an adapter). Almost forgot, a vacuum cleaner is on board as well, along with an industry-first Rear Seat Reminder with integrated camera.
Hold on, there’s more. Cabin communication is enhanced throughout: Cabin watch, with rear facing cameras for monitoring occupant activity in the two rear rows; Cabin Talk, which allows the driver to interrupt rear seat programming, or simply to talk; and ”How much Further’- a program that allows kids to keep track of trip progress on their own without bugging Mom and Dad. We could go on and on, but you get the drift, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is a “dream come true” family transportation craft that’s geared to keep every family member satisfied and entertained on lengthy adventure sojourns.
The base cost of our test Odyssey was $47,820. With the final total coming to $49,335. The exterior was finished in Silver metallic, with the interior executed in Beige and Charcoal tones, featuring satin finish metallic accents.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan in Elite trim delivers the complete package for enjoyable family travel, and if there’s something that the Elite Odyssey doesn’t have, it’s a good bet that you really don’t need it. Okay, there’s no toilet, but there’s room for a Porta-Potty if you don’t want to stop for bio-breaks.
Piloting the new Odyssey is like driving a luxury sedan with sporty attributes, but with the added practicality, flexibility and versatility of an SUV. The Odyssey’s primary purpose is not auto crossing, but it is stable and planted enough should you be so inclined. It is responsive in acceleration, shifts smoothly up and down through its ten gears, reacts to steering input without hesitation (enough to alarm passengers when not forewarned), and the ride quality is just right, neither too firm or too soft.
In the final analysis, this latest iteration Honda Odyssey – in Elite trim is a clear winner in every respect, and is justifiably entitled to wear the “King of the Minivan” crown.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2021 Honda Odyssey Elite
Base Price: $47,820.
Price as Tested: $49,335.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter (3471cc) , SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC? Direct Fuel Injection with VCM, Drive-by-Wire Throttle System, ECO Assist System.
Horsepower (bhp): 280 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 262 @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic- Shift-by-wire and Paddle Shifters.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 26.5 mm solid stabilizer bar.
Rear – Compact Trailing Arm with 20 mm 3.5 tubular stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted Four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA and TPMS.
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza 235/55 R19 101H mounted on 5-stylized “V”-swirl spoke alloy wheels with polished face and painted inners.
Wheelbase: 118.1 inches
Length Overall: 205.2 inches
Width: 78.5 inches
Height: 69.6 inches
Curb Weight: 4,603 lbs.
Turning Circle: 39.64 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city-28 mpg highway / 22 combined
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
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