Honda has announced the 2021 Odyssey minivan, with a brace of smaller, detail changes aimed at keeping the people mover at the top of its class.
The Odyssey has been the top retail-selling minivan in the US for an entire decade. This mid-cycle freshening doesn’t mess with that proven formula, but refines it instead.
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exterior update, with the biggest changes happening at the nose. Honda has tidied up the grille design, with a single strip of chrome above it and the new, wider headlights. The bumper is also cleaner, with slit-like intakes at the corners replacing the larger trapezoidal intakes of the current model. The Elite model gains new 19-inch alloy wheels as well.
The interior is where the bulk of this year’s upgrades happen. A big focus is on safety: Honda Sensing is now standard across the board, instead of on the EX and above in 2020. The safety suite includes numerous driving aids such as emergency braking and lane keep assist. For the 2021 Odyssey adaptive cruise control and pedestrian emergency braking bolsters the lineup.
SEE ALSO: 2018 Honda Odyssey Review
Honda is also predicting a five-star NHTSA safety score and a Top Safety Pick from IIHS, maintaining the 2020 model’s current ratings from both organizations.
Another new safety feature is a rear-seat reminder, which flashes a warning to drivers to check the way-back when leaving the vehicle. Touring and Elite trims go one step further, using the CabinWatch rear seat camera to show the back seat on the infotainment screen in addition to the warning.
SEE ALSO: Honda Odyssey vs Toyota Sienna: Which Minivan is Right for You?
Other interior updates include flat-folding second-row seatbacks, which makes it easier to remove them—if not a match for Chrysler’s Stow ‘N Go system. New trim colors show up in the EX and above, whereas EX-L and above gain restyled, contrast-stitched seating. Power lumbar support will now be available for the front passenger. Touring and Elite trims add piano black trim—the bane of photographers everywhere—to the dash and door.