Changes to 2021 Honda Models Dominated by Safety Enhancements

Thom Blackett | Dec 14, 2020

For 2021, the Honda lineup features fewer manual transmissions, the hiatus of a beloved sport compact, a broad focus on safety upgrades, and mild-to-moderate styling changes for the Accord sedan, Odyssey minivan, and Ridgeline pickup.

2021 Honda Ridgeline Gray with HPD Parts

2021 Honda Accord Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Honda’s popular sedan returns for 2021 in gas and hybrid configurations, including a new Sport Special Edition model equipped with more features and the familiar turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A couple of trim levels are discontinued, as is the manual transmission that was offered on the 2020 Accord Sport.

Other tweaks for 2021 include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with wireless capability for higher trim levels. Those variants also benefit from the addition of two rear USB ports. All Accords feature a restyled front end, an 8-inch infotainment screen, and a rear-seat reminder designed to ensure children are never accidentally left in the vehicle. Equally important is a new-for-2021 low-speed braking control system that prevents contact with obstacles in front of or behind the car. Again, this bit of tech is reserved for the more expensive Accord models. 

Honda applies all of these changes to the Accord Hybrid, too, which also gets what Honda promises is improved throttle response and, with Touring trim, standard 19-inch aluminum wheels. 

2021 Honda Civic Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Perhaps the most noteworthy changes to the 2021 Honda Civic are the discontinuation of the two-door coupe and a pause in sporty Si model production. Expect the later to return with the arrival of an all-new 2022 Civic, while the former is scrapped due to poor sales. 

Like the Accord, the Civic Sedan no longer offers a manual transmission. The Civic hatchback carries over unchanged, while the Civic Type R gains a new Limited Edition version featuring BBS alloy wheels, Michelin Cup 2 tires, recalibrated suspension and steering systems, and a 46-pound drop in curb weight courtesy of less sound-deadening material. 

2021 Honda Clarity Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Honda makes no notable changes to the 2021 Honda Clarity lineup. For California residents, Honda continues to make the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell available for lease only, while the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is offered for lease or purchase nationwide. 

2021 Honda CR-V Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

The hot-selling Honda CR-V is available for 2021 in multiple trim levels with the option of front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD). Last year’s new CR-V Hybrid model also returns, though the more expensive EX replaces the LX as the entry-level trim. As a result, base prices for the hybrid have effectively risen by about $2,500. 

2021 Honda Insight Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

There’s little news to report for the 2021 Honda Insight compact hybrid sedan, except for the introduction of Radiant Red Metallic paint and the discontinuation of LaneWatch in favor of a traditional blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic warning.

2021 Honda HR-V Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Similar to the larger CR-V, the 2021 Honda HR-V continues into the 2021 model year with no significant updates. Rear privacy glass is now standard on the HR-V Sport, which is positioned one rung above the base LX but below EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels. All are offered in FWD or AWD guise with power coming from a 141-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2021 Honda Odyssey Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Though casual observers likely won’t notice, Honda updates the Odyssey’s styling for 2021 with a new grille, standard LED headlights for all trim levels, redesigned wheels, and other minor modifications. Inside, front passenger power lumbar support is now standard for most trims, second-row seats fold flatter making them easier to remove while also providing more usable cargo space, top-of-the-line Odyssey Elite versions get Acura-grade leather upholstery, and there are now up to five USB charging ports. On the safety front, a new rear-seat reminder debuts and consolidated control of the Honda Sensing functions results in fewer buttons. Other upgrades include standard traffic-sign recognition, pedestrian detection for the forward collision warning system, and improved adaptive cruise control. 

2021 Honda Passport Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Honda reintroduced the Passport three years ago, and the midsize 5-passenger SUV sees only one notable change for 2021. Honda’s 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is now standard on all trim levels, including the base Sport. 

2021 Honda Pilot Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

A 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a fuel-saving stop/start system is standard on every 2021 Honda Pilot model. This replaces the 6-speed automatic that had been included with lower trim levels. Every 2021 Pilot also gets automatic climate control and, oddly, buyers may choose to have their Pilot Black Edition finished in Platinum White Pearl paint. A new Special Edition trim is based on the EX-L but includes a few extras like a hands-free power tailgate and 20-inch alloy wheels.

2021 Honda Ridgeline Changes - Find the best Honda deals!

Often criticized for not looking tough enough, the Ridgeline pickup greets the 2021 model year with a more aggressive appearance highlighted by a taller grille, sculpted front bumper, dual exhaust tips, and standard 18-inch alloy wheels coupled with a slightly wider track. Should that fail to add appropriate levels of ruggedness, buyers can add Honda Performance Development (HPD) parts to dial up the 2021 Ridgeline’s visual attitude. Inside, Honda updates the upholstery and improves the audio system by adding a volume knob.

Honda is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 14, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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