2021 Honda Odyssey facelift launches in Japan

New looks inside and out, but little-changed under the surface for Honda’s people mover

The current-generation Honda Odyssey has just passed seven years on sale globally – a full model-cycle for most brands, but in this instance it’s just hit its mid-life update.

While not strictly the middle of its expected model-run, the 2021 Honda Odyssey arrives as a second update for the model, with a more comprehensive rework than the last 2017 update.

Among the most obvious changes are the styling tweaks at the front and rear, with a more bluff front end, including new sheet metal for the bonnet and front guards, a less sloped bonnet line, larger headlights and a more traditional two-section grille and bumper intake in place of the previous all-in-one treatment.

At the rear, changes are a little more subtle, but there’s a new tailgate, with some of the previous brightwork removed, and new tail lights with a less angular appearance. The heavily vented front and rear bumpers have also been tamed.

Inside, the new Odyssey features a redesigned dash with a more formal design approach, including a huge slab of faux wood on the upper instrument panel. The lower dash and doos appear to use carry-over parts, but with new trims and finishes for a more upmarket look and feel.

Ahead of the driver the previous 3.5-inch display has been subbed out for a 7.0-inch info screen, mounted alongside an analogue speedometer. At a glance it appears the infotainment screen may have also been upsized, though Honda Japan hasn’t given any details regarding screen size.

Other new key features include a hands-free power tailgate, gesture control for the sliding doors (which can be opened and closed with a wave of a hand past a sensor in the door glass), and “reservation lock”, that can close all powered doors and fully lock the vehicle once the process is complete.

Honda has also tweaked the Honda Sensing safety and driver assistance package, which now includes forward and backward false start suppression, to avoid parking speed accidents with nearby objects.

Collision mitigation braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist with departure waking, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and traffic sign recognition are also included for the Japanese market.

Mechanically, the new Odyssey is little changed, with the same 129kW/225Nm 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine (as sold in Australia), or a 2.0-litre ‘dual motor’ hybrid with claimed maximum combined outputs of 135kW and 315Nm (also a carry-over, though not sold here).

So far in 2020, Honda has sold 882 Odysseys (to the end of October) down 37.7 per cent on 2019 figures, however the segment as a whole is down 42.6 per cent. The Kia Carnival is the best-seller in the segment with 3263 sales, the Odyssey maintains second place, while the LDV G10 holds third with 573 sales.

A spokesperson from Honda Australia told CarAdvice that “it is too early for us to confirm specific details around an update for Odyssey locally.”

They also reassured that, for now “Odyssey remains an ongoing part of our model line-up and will continue to play a supporting role to the core models of CR-V, HR-V and Civic.”

Below: The current Odyssey

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