For much of its 30 years on sale, the Honda Odyssey has welcomed families to the minivan segment with clever features and a reputation for the kind of mechanical reliability that makes it a safe purchase. Though minivan sales have suffered in recent years, the Odyssey continues enticing shoppers to stick with the family bus. The eight-seater is Honda at its old-school best, with a quick-accelerating V-6 engine, a refined ride, solid handling, heaps of room, and excellent practical features. Its novel Magic Slide seat system allows you to position the second-row seats in a variety of ways—including a configuration that’ll keep feuding kiddies appropriately separated. The third row disappears into a recess in the floor to allow for more cargo space. The cabin lacks the plethora of tech features found in rivals like the Chrysler Pacifica or the Kia Carnival but the Odyssey’s infotainment suite offers more than just the necessities. There’s an optional rear-seat entertainment system that not only keeps youngsters occupied but also has an in-car camera with a view of the rear quarters and a PA system that lets parents to speak to the youngsters through their headphones or the car speakers. Look out, kids; now moms and dads really do have eyes in the back of their heads.
What’s New for 2024?
There are no changes for the 2024 model year.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
If you’re on the fence about buying a minivan and need some extra swagger to help digest the choice, try the blacked-out Sport trim. Otherwise, go with the EX-L. The base EX comes well equipped, but the EX-L adds luxury features that families will love, such as leather seats, extra USB ports in the rear, and a power-operated rear liftgate.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The only engine available in any Odyssey is a 3.5-liter V-6 making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Modest numbers for a 4,500-pound hauler, but Honda engineers tuned the ten-speed automatic to provide the best reflexes. The result is a fleet-footed, efficient, and polished sweetheart that drives contentedly. The Odyssey even changes direction with such crispness that drivers might forget they’re piloting a three-row people box. We wouldn’t mind a bit more feedback from the light yet direct steering, but the Odyssey remains the best-driving entry in the segment. Every Odyssey we’ve tested delivered a comfortable ride, but we felt the 18-inch wheels fitted to an EX-L trim we tested gave us a more isolation from bad pavement than the 19-inchers on the top Elite trim.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Odyssey is rated at 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, according to the EPA. In our real-world highway testing, our test vehicle outperformed its EPA estimate, delivering 30 mpg. For comparison, our long-term Pacifica managed 33 mpg. For more information about the Odyssey’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Odyssey has a lot of what parental units need. A quiet cabin helps maintain parental calm, the available in-cabin camera and PA system help maintain parental control, the household power outlets and HDMI interface keep parental options open. The Odyssey’s second and third rows are among the roomiest in the class. Those Magic Slide seats in the second-row are far more comfortable than the Pacifica’s Stow-and-Go second-row seats, and the Honda’s chairs can move both side-to-side and fore-and-aft, allowing for multiple configurations that keep the peace when sibling rivalries escalate. The price for that comfort is a bit less practicality and ultimate cargo space. Each Magic Seat weighs 68 pounds making removal a workout, and the sliding tracks on the floor create small obstacles for loading cargo. When we removed the Magic Seats and stowed the third row in our Odyssey tester, we were able to fit one fewer carry-on suitcase than we could in the Pacifica.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Odysseys get an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system called Display Audio. The software allows for customization of the menu layout and smartphone connectivity not only via Bluetooth, but also via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Standard on both the Touring and Elite is a rear-seat entertainment system with built-in streaming apps.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Honda Sensing is a suite of driver-assistance technology that comes standard on all Odyssey models. It includes features such as blind-spot warning, forward collision warning, and traffic sign recognition. For more information about the Odyssey’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Honda’s standard warranty package on the Odyssey mirrors that of most of rivals, with nothing that stands out from the competition. The Kia Carnival is the warranty winner here, with a 10-year policy for its powertrain and a limited warranty that lasts two years longer than any of its rivals.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for two years or 24,000 miles
2021 Honda Odyssey
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 8-passenger, 4-door van
PRICE AS TESTED
$48,940 (base price: $32,910)
SOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
212 in3, 3471 cm3
280 hp @ 6000 rpm
262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.6-in vented disc/13.0-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL440, 235/55R-19 101H M+S
Wheelbase: 118.1 in
Length: 205.2 in
Width: 78.5 in
Height: 69.6 in
Passenger volume: 163 ft3
Cargo volume: 33 ft3
Curb weight: 4574 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.5 sec
100 mph: 16.6 sec
110 mph: 20.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.5 sec
1/4 mile: 15.1 sec @ 96 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 111 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 182 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.76 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 21 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/19/28 mpg
More Features and Specs