Odyssey in drive to Dermer service

The ’21 Honda Odyssey has new grille, headlamps. (Bud Wells photo)

Sporting new design to its grille and headlamps, the 2021 Honda Odyssey showed up at my place in, also, a new hue – forest mist metallic.

The Odyssey is one of three strong minivans battling it out amidst lessening market share for that category. The rivals are the Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna.

Janice and Wally Dermer.

I drove the Odyssey on a Wednesday morning to Sterling where Jan and I joined in a memorial service at Riverside Cemetery for Walter “Wally”Dermer, 85, of Aurora. Wally, raised on a farm at Atwood, in the 1950s attended Sterling High School and Northeastern Junior College, where he was an outstanding wrestler. After his marriage to Janice Ashby in 1958, they moved to Aurora, where they raised three sons and a daughter, Stephen (deceased), Jeff, Mark and Melanie.  Officiating the memorial service was Craig Fortunato, community life pastor at LifePointe Church in Fort Collins.

The drive across U.S. 34 to Wiggins and along I-76 to Sterling produced good fuel mileage from the Honda’s 280-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine with variable cylinder management and 10-speed automatic transmission. For more than 330 miles in seven days, the Odyssey averaged 24.4 miles per gallon.

An interior redesign for the ’21 model enables the second row of seats to fold almost flat for easier removal. That middle row features MagicSlide in which two bucket seats will slide sideways individually with the pull of a handle. Up front, a busy audio/navigation display offers ease of selection. Small inboard armrests on the front seats weren’t particularly comfortable and proved difficult to adjust.

The 203.2 inches of overall length for the Honda van is near the same as that of the Chrysler Pacifica; they’re 3 inches longer than the Toyota Sienna. The roomy Odyssey opens up 38.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded.

Standard on all Odysseys in the coming year is HondaSensing safety technology of collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise, lane-keeping, traffic sign recognition and other driver-assist features.

The Odyssey Elite model, built at Lincoln, Ala., carried sticker price of $49,335.