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The facelifted 2021 Honda Odyssey will arrive in showrooms on August 3, and it will be a bit dearer to the pocketbook than the outgoing minivan. A new base price of $31,790 (plus $1,120 destination) makes it $1,000 more expensive than the 2020 model, but it also represents more minivan for the money

While the base 2020 Odyssey LX used to make do with simple halogen headlights and no collision intervention technology, all 2021 trims will get standard LED lighting and Honda Sensing active safety and driver-assistance technology. Those LED lamps are also a new addition to the EX and EX-L trim levels (which already came standard with Honda Sensing). As such, prices for those models rise only $400, to $35,190 (EX) and $38,460 (EX-L). The 2021 Odyssey Touring is $42,500, down a surprising $2,560 relative to 2020, while the Odyssey Elite’s price rises $400 to $47,820.

Safety First

Not only is Honda Sensing now standard on every Odyssey trim level, it’s also been optimized with an improved sensor that adds pedestrian detection to the forward collision monitoring and automatic emergency braking system. Traffic sign recognition is another new addition to the suite of active safety features that also includes lane departure warning, lane-keep assistance, and road departure mitigation.

That’s a comprehensive suite of safety and driver-assist technology for a $31,000 minivan. The likewise-facelifted 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will get similar standard tech, although it will come with the blind-spot monitoring that will only be standard on Odysseys EX and above. Of course, pricing for the 2021 Pacifica hasn’t been announced yet, though the 2020 model starts at $34,405.

Gallery: 2021 Honda Odyssey

The hybrid-only 2021 Toyota Sienna will also boast standard safety features that mirror the Odyssey, with pricing likewise unannounced – the 2020 model started at $31,640. The only way to get forward collision warning in a 2021 Kia Sedona is to jump into the much more expensive SX trim ($41,500). As such, we predict the Odyssey LX to be the cheapest way to get active safety in a 2021 minivan – and one of the least expensive three-row vehicles of any kind with driver-assist.

Family-Friendly Interior Tweaks

Cabin refinements for 2021 include a redesigned second row folds flatter than before for easier removal and improved cargo flexibility – although the Pacifica’s Stow-N-Go seating is likely still the versatility champion in this area. The backs of the third-row seats now feature integrated shopping bag hooks, a nifty feature seen on other minivans that helps keep groceries upright and unspilled when driving home.

2021 Honda Odyssey Interior
2021 Honda Odyssey Interior

The Odyssey EX gets redesigned seats, while the leather-lined EX-L is made more comfortable thanks to adjustable front-passenger lumbar and more stylish with contrast-color stitching on all three rows. The EX-L and above also get storage pockets on the second-row outboard seatbacks, perfect places for little Brangelina to stash spare gummy bears or organic whole-grain oat cereal rings.

The Odyssey Touring and Elite get piano-black trim for 2021, as well as a USB charger for the third row (bringing the total to five). Meanwhile, the top-rung Elite gets contrast piping for its leather upholstery – perforated in the first and second rows, thanks.

2021 Honda Odyssey Interior
2021 Honda Odyssey Interior
2021 Honda Odyssey Interior

Honda is proud of the Odyssey’s standard three-place middle row with a removable center seat, which reportedly can accommodate three child restraints thanks to anchoring tethers in each position. On EX models and above, Honda Magic Slide comes standard, allowing the two outboard seats to slide together or to one side or the other, improving passenger space and loading flexibility when the center seat is removed.

2021 Honda Odyssey Interior

The minivan's other top trump card, the onboard HondaVac crumb picker-upper, will be standard on the top-rung Elite only for 2021, even though it used to be found on the Touring as well. That could be part of why that model's price got slashed for the upcoming model year, and we wish Honda would offer the vacuum cleaner as an option on lower trims.  

Carpool Contender

The 2021 Odyssey won’t be the only updated van on the market, joining the facelifted Chrysler Pacifica and wholly redesigned Toyota Sienna. A new Kia Sedona is also expected for 2022, helping keep the dwindling – but still important – minivan market fresh. Against such contenders, the nicely priced Odyssey should be a reasonable value as one of the cheapest vans on the market (only the Chrysler Voyager is appreciably less expensive, and it won’t come with most active safety tech).

We should get behind the wheel of the 2021 Honda Odyssey soon, and we’ll report back when we do. Driving-wise, it should behave very similarly to the current van, particularly since it's motivated by the same 3.5-liter V6 and 10-speed automatic, a pairing that routes 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet (209 kilowatts and 355 newton-meters) to the front wheels.

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