2021 Honda Odyssey Review: Bon Voyage

Go back to page 2 :Design and Appearance, Interior and Features

Space and Practicality

To us it’s always been a perfect size for Singapore: It’s a large MPV, so significantly bigger than something like the VW Touran and around the same size as the VW Sharan or Toyota Previa, but not quite as big as extra-big Japanese MPVs like the Nissan Elgrand and Toyota Alphard.

In real-life terms, that translates to a great MPV experience: There’s tremendous headroom so you don’t have to worry about accompanying taller folk, and packing in a netball team (seven adults, driver included) is actually possible.

Second row fits three adults sanely

This is an eight-seater because the last row is a three-person bench, so that row’s seating is similar to that of a small or compact SUV – two people will fit in comfort, three if you rub shoulders. 

Two are good in the last row, three with squeezing

Sliding doors are a once-experienced-can’t-live-without convenience, and entry into the last row is relatively simple thanks to the sliding second row. 

Big windows and airy headroom help add a sense of space to the interior, and while the EX lacks the sunroof of the EXV model, the EX still an air-con blower control in the second row, with ceiling-mounted vents for the second and third rows. 

With all seats in play, there’s still 330-litres of boot space, which extends downward into the floor. When the third row is folded away it occupies that space for an entirely flat floor. As noted in our review of the pre-facelift model, Honda doesn’t have a figure for the space you get with the third row out of sight and the second row fully-forward, but it’s at least 1,800-litres by our estimation. An Odyssey would be a boon during house moving.

Driving Experience

As mentioned in our news story, mechanically the Odyssey remains the same as before: 2.4-litre inline four, CVT, same platform, suspension and everything. 

That is a blessing in disguise, as driving the Odyssey in SUV Mad 2021 shows just how much a car benefits from a clear, precise engineering objective: In this case it’s ‘carry seven or eight people in comfort without trying to look like a Dakar Raid car at the same time’.

That smoothness makes the Odyssey very easy to get to grips with, an impression bolstered by the car’s excellent driver visibility. As mentioned, the Odyssey’s throne-like front seats are elevated, easily on par with that of an SUV, and the large windows spell for clear sight lines. 

Despite the big windows and sliding doors, there isn’t much rattling or vibration in the cabin at speed, and you can see why Odysseys are popular with families who do Malaysian driveaways since it’ll sit stably at highway speeds all day without giving you noise fatigue.

You’d never attempt gymkhana in a big MPV like this one, but the Honda is a neat handler and pleasingly agile for what it is. We’ve grown to expect good dynamics from any car with that ‘H’ on the front, and the Odyssey is no different.

In comparison to smaller-capacity turbo engines, the 2.4-litre mill’s smoothness is unrivalled, and entirely jerk-free. It’s also surprisingly frugal : Our drive covered 200km (around 60 percent highway) and we clocked in 9.5L/100km, which is what we typically expect from a mid or big SUV.

Design and Appearance, Interior and Features
Space and Practicality, Driving Experience
Pricing, Competitors, and Conclusion

Continue to page 4: What’s the Odyssey up against in 2021 and should you buy it?

about the author

Derryn Wong
Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.