Automotive

Published on July 30th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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2021 Honda Odyssey Adds New Tech And Safety Features

Honda’s highly successful people mover gets a new face and more tech. 

The Honda Odyssey, America’s best selling minivan for the past 10 years, has just received a refresh to keep it up to date in this highly competitive segment. 

Most notable on the Odyssey refresh is the new front look, that is now more aggressive and purposeful, compared to the friendlier face of old. This is thanks to a new front grille and bumper, that borrows cues from its SUV stablemates, in addition to the restyled LED headlights and fog lights. 

As this is just a facelift, the rest of the Odyssey remains largely the same. The side profile and the rear remains untouched from the pre-facelift version. The only difference would be the new style alloy wheels and some black trim under the rear windows. 

That being said, this Japanese people mover has always been the more handsome MPV of the bunch, with its lowered stance and floating roof design that gives it a more sleek look compared to its other rivals. The rear too bears similarities to the American-spec Honda Accord. 

On the inside, this refreshed minivan adds a new rear seat reminder system as standard on all models. A feature that is integrated to the pioneering CabinWatch and CabinTalk child viewing and rear seat communication system. In addition to that, the refreshed Odyssey will now feature second row seats that fold nearly flat, to make them easier to remove when loading large items. 

And yes, the Odyssey’s built in vacuum-cleaner, the HondaVAC remains. 

As for safety, Honda also upgraded it’s Honda Sensing safety suite to now include Low-Speed Follow, Pedestrian Emergency Braking, and Traffic Sign Recognition to aide drivers of the Odyssey on the road. 

Powered by a 3.5 litre V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, this 280 hp Honda 7-seater only starts at a reasonable $31,790 (RM 134,800). 

However before any Malaysian dads get excited, it is worth noting that this American Honda Odyssey is totally different to the one sold here. That being said though, if this American-spec Japanese minivan were to make it here, it would certainly be a more distinct car than the Alphard alternative sold by Honda Malaysia today.

More information can be found 

Going on sale August 3, the refreshed for 2021 Honda Odyssey receives numerous updates to styling, along with upgraded technology and safety features to further strengthen its position as America’s retail best-selling minivan for the past 10 years, the top choice of American families looking for the ultimate fun family vehicle. Prices for the 2021 Odyssey start with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $31,790 (not including $1,120 destination and handling charge).

A restyled grille and front bumper fascia, revised front lighting and new black trim under the rear window give Odyssey a fresh exterior look. Inside, Odyssey offers upgrades to functionality and luxury: The second-row seats on all Odyssey trims now fold nearly flat, making them easier to remove while enhancing cargo-carrying options, and expanding on the flexibility of Odyssey’s exclusive Magic Slide™ second-row seats.

Odyssey EX and higher trim levels also get restyled seats and new tri-color floor mats, while EX-L and above receive and power lumbar support for the front passenger seat and contrast seat stitching. Odyssey Touring and Elite also get new piano black trim on the dash, doors and front door handles, while Elite receives additional luxury touches.

A new Rear Seat Reminder system is standard and can also be integrated with the available CabinWatch® child viewing system, an industry first. For the first time, Odysseys equipped with CabinTalk® and CabinWatch® can use both systems simultaneously, and the upgrade will be retroactively applied to similarly-equipped 2018-2020 model Odysseys through an over-the-air update.

Also, important upgrades to Honda Sensing® add Low-Speed Follow, Pedestrian Emergency Braking, and Traffic Sign Recognition to the newly standard suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies.

As America’s best retail-selling minivan 10 years running, American consumers have purchased more than 1.1 million Odyssey minivans during that time, and Odyssey has consistently set the standard for family-friendly features, space and sporty driving performance in a minivan. Odyssey was the first to introduce minivan innovations such as third-row seats that fold into the floor, the first built-in vacuum cleaner, HondaVAC®, and the first in-cabin rear seat viewing system, CabinWatch®.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey is made exclusively at Honda’s Lincoln, Ala. auto plant, alongside Pilot, Passport, and Ridgeline, using domestic and globally-sourced parts. Its V6 engine is also manufactured in Alabama, with its 10-speed automatic transmission manufactured exclusively at Honda’s Tallapoosa, Ga. facility.

Exterior Design Changes 

All 2021 Odysseys now feature more powerful and efficient LED headlights as part of a new front-end design that includes a new front bumper fascia with redesigned fog light housings, and a bold new blackout grille topped by a chrome strip. The design is echoed in the rear with new gloss-black trim under the rear window, accented by a chrome strip. Odyssey Touring gets 19-inch wheels for the first time, while the Odyssey Elite receives newly styled, machined and painted Shark Gray 19-inch alloy wheels. For the 2021 model year, the premium colors Platinum White Pearl, Deep Scarlet Pearl, Pacific Pewter Metallic, and Forest Mist Metallic are available for $395.

Interior Upgrades

With its exclusive Magic Slide™ seats, available in EX and higher trim levels, Odyssey offers the ultimate in second-row seating flexibility, and for 2021 that flexibility is expanded with outboard seats that fold nearly flat, making them easier to remove for maximum cargo space. The standard three-across mode offers enough room to fit three child seats, and each second row position is equipped with lower anchors and upper tethers. Remove the center seat, and you have Wide Mode, which creates a wide pass through to the third row. With the click of a handle mounted on the outboard seats, the two can be pushed together at the middle for Buddy Mode, or moved to either side for Super Mode, allowing easy outboard access to the third row.

Odyssey’s cargo management is further improved for 2021 with the addition of grocery bag hooks on the back of the third-row seats in the rear cargo area, and an updated center console with slots to help manage charging cords for smartphones or other devices. Also for EX and above trims, the Cabin Control™ app has been redesigned with an easier-to-use interface.

Odyssey EX and above trim levels come standard with new tri-color floor mats that not only give Odyssey a more upscale look, but help maintain that look by hiding dirt better. Odyssey EX-L and up add new contrast stitching on the leather seats in all three rows, new storage pockets on the second row outboard seatbacks, and the front passenger seat receives adjustable lumbar support.

For Odyssey Touring and Elite, there’s new piano-black interior trim and a new USB charging port in the third row, for a total of five throughout the vehicle. Also, the CabinWatch® and CabinTalk® features have been more seamlessly integrated in the Display Audio system, and two additional parking sensors in front expanded the sensing zone.

The 2021 Odyssey Elite receives additional exclusive updates, giving owners a more luxurious driving experience. These include perforated leather for the first and second rows seats, with contrast stitching and piping on all three rows. Elite trims also feature exclusive dash trim with a deeper metallic look, plus newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels and auto-dimming side mirrors.

Honda Sensing® controls have been simplified with the use of a single integrated system switch to control Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Departure Warning, rather than separate controls for these functions. The single switch also controls the blind spot information system. Mounted on the dash to the left of the driver, a single press opens a menu on the Odyssey’s TFT meter display, where the driver can then turn functions on and off using steering wheel controls.

Powertrain 

Odyssey drivers benefit from the confidence-inspiring power of a standard 3.5-liter V6 i-VTEC® engine producing 280 horsepower (SAE net), mated to Honda’s refined and responsive 10-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency is aided by Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®), with the capacity to seamlessly switch between three- and six-cylinder operation, helping Odyssey receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/28/22 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies 

In addition to becoming standard across the lineup, Odyssey’s Honda Sensing® suite is updated with expanded features and capability: a more advanced front radar unit enables Pedestrian Emergency Braking; Traffic Sign Recognition is newly added; and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) now includes Low-Speed Follow, which extends the automatic following capability to stop-and-go traffic situations down to 0 mph. The new Electric Brake Booster that enables ACC also enhances pedal feel for more confident braking.

Odyssey’s new Rear Seat Reminder system alerts drivers to check their rear seating area when exiting the vehicle after placing children, pets or other precious cargo there. When the vehicle is switched off, a chime sounds, and a message to check the rear seating area appears on the instrument panel. On Touring and Elite trims, the Rear-Seat Reminder system is integrated with the CabinWatch® rear-seat camera system, the first integration of a rear-seat camera into a Rear Seat Reminder system in the industry. When activated, in addition to the audible and text warnings, the Rear-Seat Reminder uses the CabinWatch® camera to display the rear seating area on the center console’s Display Audio screen.

Tragically, every year in the United States dozens of children die in vehicles from heat-related illnesses. In 2019, Honda joined other major automakers in pledging to install RSR systems in all of their vehicles by 2025, and Honda expects most of its models to feature the system by 2022.

The 2021 Odyssey earns a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and is targeted to receive a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, including the highest available rating of “Good” in all IIHS collision tests thanks to its second-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) structural design, and a “Superior” rating for frontal cash prevention. Also, the updated standard LED headlights have been designed to provide improved illumination, and are anticipated to achieve a score of “Good” in the rigorous IIHS headlight standard.

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About the Author

Amateur automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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