As we mentioned in our last update, we sent our 2021 honda odyssey on a couple of California-to-Arizona road trips to log the break-in miles needed before we collect our baseline test numbers.
The spec box below has the final figures captured by our testers and their trusty data-loggers, but context is everything. And there’s plenty of that in our latest category-killing Big Test, where a higher-end honda odyssey Elite went up against its loaded competition, from the Toyota Sienna to the Chrysler Pacifica to the Kia Carnival.
In that comparison, the front-wheel-drive Odyssey Elite hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which our slightly less swanky Odyssey EX-L matched, on its way to a tenth-of-a-second-quicker 15.1-second quarter mile. Associate road test editor Erick Ayapana handled this set of tests, and he found the best launches were achieved by pressing both the gas and brake pedal and then releasing the brake at 1,800 rpm. “Launch is soft, but you still need to manage wheelspin a tad,” he said, also noting the consistent performance and lovely sound of the Honda’s 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6.
In our 60-0-mph braking test, the EX-L stopped 4 feet shorter than the Elite (119 versus 123 feet). Ayapana found the brake pedal to be “soft and springy” but otherwise drama free. “The Odyssey displays good body control and minimal dive or lateral movements,” he said.
Too bad we can’t say the same about the handling. In our figure-eight test, the Odyssey turned in a lackluster 28.9-second run at an average of 0.57 g. That’s slightly better than the Elite did on its test day, but our EX-L would still be the slowest and least grippy in its competitive set. Why? Road test editor Chris Walton blames the electronic killjoys. “This used to be the ‘fun’ minivan, but it’s severely hampered by no-defeat stability control. Sad. It will only go precisely 35 mph around the skidpad,” he said.
But it’s not all bad. Walton gives credit to the Odyssey’s precise steering feel and strong, predictable brakes. “Makes it easy to be consistent,” he said.
Test numbers banked, it’s time to get on with living with our Odyssey, which has emerged as the MVP MPV in our long-term fleet. Seems everyone has a need for a voluminous people and things hauler. In our next update, find out how our Odyssey handles a six-person, three-generation family, including a professional sliding-door-hanger named Luca.
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