What do you expect from a modern family vehicle? For many, the obvious answer is the use of advanced technology to make the drive safer and more comfortable. That said, there exists a point where every vehicle offers an overwhelming amount of technology, and it becomes difficult to distinguish the difference between one technologically advanced vehicle and another equally advanced vehicle. Today, we will be comparing two popular high-tech family vehicles – the 2021 Honda Odyssey vs 2021 Toyota Sienna. Both of these models were redesigned for the 2021 model year and they are filled with high tech features. Which one of these spacious and luxurious options has the better technology experience, and why?
How Has Technology Changed?
Today, technology is an expectation rather than a luxury. In the past, features like automatic braking and backup cameras seemed like exotic safety features that only a small selection of expensive vehicles would offer, but now these features are standard across the lineup for manufacturers like Honda and Toyota. However, looking at the long lists of features available in modern vehicles can confuse many buyers who are unsure what to look for in their next vehicle. This entire situation can leave one wondering how we should be viewing technology in a vehicle, and the best way to view technology is by comparing the differences.
Manufacturers can only provide so many features before a vehicle becomes too expensive to sell. That means not every possible technology can be added, and different manufacturers make different choices as to what to prioritize. So it can only be expected that there would be differences in the overall technology experience from one vehicle to another. For example, while one vehicle may offer better entertainment features – like a fully equipped infotainment center with back seat monitors for the kids – another may offer a wider array of standard safety technology.
What Does This Look Like in the 2021 Honda Odyssey?
The experience found in the 2021 Honda Odyssey can best be described as sleek yet familiar, making for a rather refreshing drive with traditional luxuries and efficient technological innovations. Features like a full suite of driver-assistance technology to make for a vehicle that enhances driver awareness and makes for a smooth and safe driving experience. In other words, the most noteworthy part of the technology experience of the 2021 Honda Odyssey is how the vehicle manages to blend the subtle smoothness in design while boosting the smooth feeling with technology where the actual design cannot; a plan which uses technology in a more behind the scenes way.
This can be seen in Honda’s use of extensive noise cancellation in the vehicle’s cabin. More specifically, the 2021 Honda Odyssey uses a mix of sound insulation materials in the actual design of the cabin and an active noise-cancellation system to further enhance the effects of the vehicle’s material makeup. This is perfect for the family that needs the silence of a comforting drive, and this is achieved by the Honda’s keen usage of technology in this more in-the-shadows way.
Furthermore, the 2021 Honda Odyssey utilizes innovations that represent the height of convenience for a family vehicle. Mentality-wise, the 2021 Honda Odyssey looks to use technology to make managing the interior of the vehicle easier because, at its heart, handling a family is already difficult enough. These include enhanced connectivity such as a Wi-Fi hotspot and smartphone controls. The Cabin Watch system is especially convenient and unique to the Odyssey, using cameras to allow you to keep an eye on your kids without taking your attention off the road. Overall, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is a refined drive that is built to have higher performance and easier, more innovative interior management.
What About the 2021 Toyota Sienna?
The 2021 Toyota Sienna’s design is incredibly bold and flamboyant as far as technology is concerned. Or at least, the vehicle doesn’t offer the same comfortable and familiar experience that the 2021 Honda Odyssey does. This does have its pros and cons. The renovation of the interior to include a large hub for infotainment and seating can result in a more futuristic feel with lots of obvious technology. However, that design can also be less hospitable and intuitive than what you will find in the Honda Odyssey, and some may even feel that the Sienna is trying too hard to look different.
The 2021 Toyota Sienna does have a small advantage in interior technology, with its 9-inch infotainment display and 12-speaker JBL sound system. However, the Honda Odyssey isn’t far behind with amenities like its 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and 11-speaker premium audio setup. So while the Sienna does offer a seemingly more luxurious interior, the Odyssey is far from outmatched on the cabin technology front and provides an overall unique and refined driving experience.
How Do They Compare To Each Other?
Naturally, basing an argument purely on technology may not be entirely decisive in the modern era. In the past, technology was a commodity that primarily targeted safety. While modern technology has branched out considerably from those days, what is clear is that the 2021 Honda Odyssey offers an experience that can be enjoyed by a wider audience than that of the 2021 Toyota Sienna.
Both vehicles offer a heavy increase in terms of connectivity, with Wi-Fi compatibility being a feature in both. However, by a small margin, the 2021 Honda Odyssey’s usage of smartphone connectivity and other minor features makes the vehicle’s features more all-encompassing than those of its competitor. Nonetheless, both vehicles are neck-and-neck in this area, and an argument this close is too close to call with certainty. To determine a winner, we will have to look beyond just infotainment technology.
On the other hand, the style of comfort technology in both models is far more distinct. The 2021 Odyssey offers a more undercover selection of comfort features, such as Honda’s usage of sound isolating systems to make for a quieter drive. As far as the 2021 Sienna is concerned, Toyota’s usage of more bold choices in comfort technology like a more prominent infotainment interface makes for a more luxurious feeling in the cabin. Bottom line, while the Sienna may provide a more futuristic look and feel, the Odyssey will likely be the vehicle of choice for families who desire the substance of a drive that is smooth and refined.
Who Is The Real Winner?
As can be seen, technology is a real issue in the modern family vehicle segment. While past vehicles have been defined by clear innovations, modern vehicles offer a huge array of advanced technologies that can be overwhelming to buyers. However, there are always differences in technological experiences, like the more refined experience in the 2021 Honda Odyssey with its set of supportive comfort features that increase the underlying quality of the vehicle’s driving experience. In contrast, the 2021 Toyota Sienna offers extreme styling inside and out, catching the eye with aggressive styling and in your face interior design. All in all, both vehicles offer an amazing experience despite their different uses of technology. However, most families will be happier with the practical comfort of the 2021 Honda Odyssey.