2021 Honda Odyssey loads minivan favorite with more active safety tech

Honda has revealed the newest version of its minivan, with the 2021 Odyssey promising more flexibility inside along with an upgrade to the standard active safety tech. Honda Sensing will be standard-fit across every 2021 Odyssey trim, with features like Low-Speed Follow, Pedestrian Emergency Braking, and Traffic Sign Recognition being added to the suite.

That's on top of adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane departure and lane keeping assistance, and road departure mitigation. EX trim and above adds blind spot warnings, while Odyssey Touring trim throws in front parking sensors to go with those on the rear.

Outside, there are new LED headlamps, which Honda says are both more powerful and efficient. The front bumper has been tweaked, too, with new fog lamp housings, while the grille is blacked-out with a chrome trim strip. At the back there's matching gloss-black rear window trim and chrome.

Odyssey Touring gets 19-inch wheels, and Odyssey Elite gets machined and painted Shark Gray 19-inch wheels. Four new colors – Platinum White Pearl, Deep Scarlet Pearl, Pacific Pewter Metallic, and Forest Mist Metallic – are being added, each a $395 upgrade.

Inside, EX and above keep the Magic Slide seats. Now, though, there are near-flat folding outboard seats, which should be easier to remove. Three-across mode has lower anchors and upper tethers on all second-row seats; without the center seat there's a pass-through route to the third row. Or, you can push the two middle row seats together, or spread them out further.

In the trunk, there are now grocery bag hooks on the back of the third row seats. Honda has added extra center console cord management, while Odyssey EX-L and above get leather seats on all rows with contrast stitching. Odyssey Touring and Elite get new piano black interior trim and a fifth USB charging port, in the third row. CabinWatch and CabinTalk are better integrated into the Display Audio infotainment system.

As for the 2021 Odyssey Elite, that has perforated leather for the first and second row, along with new dashboard trim. There are also auto-dimming side mirrors.

Carried over is the 3.5-liter V6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. That packs 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, and can switch between three- and six-cylinder modes depending on load. EPA fuel ratings are 19 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. There's a 5-star NHTSA overall rating, and Honda says it's envisioning a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS.

Altogether it's refinement rather than reinvention for the 2021 Odyssey, though that's probably all that Honda needed to do. The new model is expected to arrive in dealerships from August 3, priced from $31,790 (plus $1,120 destination) for the 2021 Odyssey LX. The 2021 Odyssey EX will be $35,190, the 2021 Odyssey EX-L from $38,460, and the 2021 Odyssey Touring from $42,500. Finally, the 2021 Odyssey Elite starts at $47,820.