Like many of my friends, I was never a “minivan” person. I didn’t think they were cool. I thought they signified that I was only a taxi for my kids. Well, the 2021 Honda Odyssey has changed my impression of what a minivan is. It’s the Boss Mom (or dad) car every family needs. Honda calls it the “all purpose family room.” I also call it “mom’s best friend.” It’s there when I need it, plays my favorite music and podcasts, doesn’t mind if I complain, and I can just be myself.
Does the 2021 Honda Odyssey Measure Up?
Having owned a 3-row Honda Pilot for many years, I thought there was no way the Honda Odyssey could measure up. Well it does! I even own an Audi Q5 and there are some features in the Honda Odyssey that I prefer. I never thought I’d say that. Check out the Odyssey’s compare page to see how it stacks up against the Chrysler Pacifica and the Kia Sedona. It’s the winner hands down.
Mom’s 7 Favorite Features
There are really so many things to love about this car that it’s hard to choose my favorite features. Here are the main features that top my list.
1. The 2021 Honda Odyssey is a Pleasure to Drive
Unlike other Honda vehicles, I expected the Honda Odyssey to feel more like a “boat” like other minivans I’ve driven. By boat I mean that the car just doesn’t hug the road and feels sort of “floaty.” This minivan proved me wrong with excellent road handling and control. The Odyssey handles turns with ease and has responsive breaking without feeling abrupt.
2. Connectivity is King
In this technologically advanced world, my car needs to easily connect to all of our gadgets. The infotainment system taps into both Apple and Android smart phones with Apple Car Play and Android Auto integration. USB ports abound so everyone can keep their devices charged as well. If you have AT&T, you can add a data plan to turn your Odyssey into a WiFi hotspot as well. My kids LOVE this feature!
There’s even a cabin control app so that passengers can adjust the temperature while you keep your eyes on the road. The app also includes a family playlist feature so that everyone has a chance to play their favorite music.
The satellite navigation system uses offline maps so you’ll always know where you are going even in places with limited cell phone access.
3. Space, Space and More Space
First, the 3rd row in the Odyssey is considerably better than any 3rd row I’ve experienced in even larger SUVs. My son is now 6’2″ so he needs lots of space. He found both the 2nd and 3rd rows to be quite comfortable. My daughter liked that she could escape to the third row to get away from her brother. Teenagers! My husband is 6’4″ and loves the ample driving space and headroom.
The storage in the back of the car, even with all seats upright is huge. You can easily stow the 3rd row “Magic Seats” flat or with a 60/40 split depending on your needs. The second row seats can be completely removed for 158 cubic feet of cargo space.
I also like the 2nd row Magic Slide seats. With the squeeze of a lever, you can move both seats to the left or the right, equally apart or centered together.
4. A Retreat for Mom
Never before have I considered a car to be a true retreat. The 2021 Honda Odyssey really is. I took multiple opportunities to find a lovely place to park and relax. With so many seating configurations, I could easily relax in any row or even in the cargo space. If I’d had the vehicle for a bit longer, I would have taken it to the beach or on a picnic. No need to bring anyone else, right? All moms need some “me time.”
This car also provided plenty of space for the things I always have in the car. My purse, drinks, sunglasses, keys and phone. It’s all right by my side.
5. Safety comes standard
Many of the cars I’ve owned and reviewed have great safety features, but not all of them come standard like in all models of the 2021 Honda Odyssey. This is really important to me with a new driver in the family. Honda’s safety bundle is referred to as the “Honda Sensing Suite.” And how “sweet” these features are.
Helps You Avoid Collisions
The Collision Mitigation Braking System helps bring the vehicle to a stop when it senses that a front end collision is unavoidable. While this doesn’t mean you won’t crash at all, it does lower the speed so that if a crash does happen it’s at a much lower speed.
The Blind Spot Information System also helps alert you to a car that you might not see before deciding to change lanes.
Helps You Stay on the Road
The Road Departure Mitigation System senses if the vehicle is drifting out of detected lane markers without signaling. It will gently steer the car back in line or provide breaking to help keep you from leaving the road entirely.
The Lane Keeping Assist System feature is similar and really helpful for long drives. It helps keep your vehicle in the center of detected lanes. Not to be confused with “self driving,” you do need to keep your hands on the wheel.
We all know we should keep our eyes on the road, but there are so many distractions these days. I like the peace of mind that the Honda Odyssey is looking out for me.
The Best Cruise Control I’ve Tried
Honda’s Adaptive Cruise Control is one of the main features I like better than my Audi. In fact, it’s the best cruise control I’ve tried in a while. It’s great for long drives to help maintain a cruising speed and the Low Speed Follow feature lets you adjust the following speed behind a detected vehicle. This really comes in handy in low speed traffic or if someone cuts into your lane. Features are easy to set and use since they are all on the steering wheel.
Excellent Back-up Camera
When you put the car in reverse, the center screen shows the bright and clear rear view of the car. You can also choose from 3 different angles for a better view of what’s behind you. The car also audibly signals if it senses something you might not see.
Check the back seat
We’ve all heard the stories of someone mistakenly leaving a child or pet in the car only to have terrible consequences. Honda’s Rear Seat Reminder provides a visual alert to remind you to check the rear seat after you put the car in park.
6. Engineered like an SUV
I was concerned that the Odyssey might not have the power I’m accustomed to with my SUVs. With a standard V6 engine, the Odyssey has the power for brisk acceleration and passing. The Odyssey did not disappoint in real-world use around town. There are a few turns in my area that are nearly impossible without the boost of power this Honda provides.
7. Great in the Snow
While I didn’t get to drive this car in the snow, I’m happy to know that it has Snow Mode. We need features like this for our New England winters. The traction control system gets recalibrated in icy, snowing conditions.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey Won Me Over
As you can probably tell by now, this car has made me a minivan lover. I don’t care if other moms don’t think it’s cool. They haven’t gotten behind the wheel of this baby. Once they do, I bet they’ll be converted too. For more information check out the 2021 Honda Odyssey online or visit your local dealer.
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