The current generation Honda Odyssey has been on sale in the Philippine market since 2015. To keep it updated amid newer competition, Honda has unveiled a heavily facelifted version of their premium MPV. The 2021 Honda Odyssey features a new front and rear fascia, along with a couple of technology enhancements.
As a recap, the Philippine-market Odyssey comes from Japan, which is completely unrelated to the North American version. The comprehensive exterior changes are limited to the front and rear fascias, though. For a more imposing look, the new Odyssey gets a sportier grille. Interestingly, Honda decided not to follow the trend of adding ever-larger grilles to cars because this new grille is actually shorter. The new front is paired with full LED headlamps as standard. Shown here in the photos is the top-of-the-line Absolute variant, so expect the lower variants to feature fewer embellishments. The sides remain unchanged, but Honda has added a new feature for the power sliding doors, which we’ll talk about later. At the back, the new Odyssey gets a slightly revised rear design, featuring a new trunk, sleeker LED taillights, and a new rear bumper.
Honda has also extensively revised the dashboard of the new Odyssey. The three-tiered dashboard makes room for a bigger floating touch screen infotainment system designed by Gathers. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Gathers is Honda’s own infotainment system brand in Japan. Of course, the expected upgrade in interior materials is there, along with a new digital gauge cluster and steering wheel design–both of which are from the all-new Honda Accord. The top-of-the-line Absolute variant shown here features a 7-seater configuration. As expected, the lower variants feature eight seats due to the second-row bench seats.
The usability of the 2021 Honda Odyssey has also been enhanced. For instance, the power sliding doors can now be opened with a mere swiping gesture at the blue LED light indicators. Is it Absolute-ly (pun intended) necessary? We don’t think so, but it does add a layer of convenience to the premium MPV. On top of this, the Honda has also added a hands-free power liftgate, wherein a simple wave of the foot under the rear bumper will automatically open up the tailgate.
Powertrain details of the 2021 Honda Odyssey have not yet been fully revealed. What we do know, however, is that it’ll be powered by either a 2.4-liter i-VTEC naturally-aspirated gasoline engine that produces 173 hp and 225 Nm of torque or a dual-motor hybrid system. While the Odyssey’s electrified powertrain used to be branded as i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive), this new system is now called e:HEV as part of Honda’s new branding strategy for its electrified vehicles. Whether the change in branding means it has a new hybrid powertrain is still unknown at this point.
The 2.4-liter i-VTEC motor is then mated to a CVT in front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, while the e:HEV’s transmission is quite unique because the engine does not directly propel the front wheels. Yes, the hybrid version is strictly FWD only.
In Japan, the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assist systems is equipped as standard on all variants. Part of Honda Sensing are features such as automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, just to name a few.
The 2021 Honda Odyssey is expected to go on sale in Japan before the year ends. Considering that Honda Cars Philippines sources our Odysseys from Japan, it won’t be a surprise if the Japanese automaker decided to launch its new premium MPV here.