Honda is embarking on a new Odyssey later this year, or at least a refresh of the current model that gives the van a new nose, LED lights, a host of trim upgrades, and some new safety features. The minivan also gets second-row seats that now fold flat to make them easier to remove.
Since this is a minivan, which means the most important job is hauling precious cargo, we'll start with the new safety features. The biggest one here is a new Rear-Seat Reminder system that's designed to make sure nobody gets left behind. It gives an alert and a chime to remind drivers to check the rear seats before getting out, but on top trims with a CabinWatch rear-facing camera, the infotainment screen will bring up the cabin camera view to let you see what's still in your van. Honda says that integration of camera and warning is the first in the industry.
The Honda Sensing suite of active safety features is standard on all trim levels, but for 2021 it will add low-speed follow to the adaptive cruise control system as well as pedestrian emergency braking.
Inside, the second-row of seats now fold flat, which adds cargo-carrying versatility to the van, but should also make the seats easier to remove. Previously, they would fold only to about 45 degrees. Other interior revisions include new climate controls to improve usability, new piano black trim on the front doors, new tri-colour floor mats, new front seats with contrast stitching, and power lumbar for the front passenger. Touring trim vans add perforated leather seats for the first and second row, along with exclusive wood trim, second-row seatback pockets, illuminated USB ports, and special 19-inch wheels.
The 2021 version's styling us updated with new LED headlights and a blacked-out grille with chrome strip as well as a redesigned front fascia and fog lights. There's new gloss-black trim at the back to echo the new grille. The 280-hp 3.5L V6 and 10-speed automatic are unchanged.
Honda's revised van was set to debut to the public at the New York International Auto Show next month, but that event has been pushed to August so we're not sure of Honda's current plans. The 2021 Honda Odyssey is set to go on sale later this year.