2014 Honda Odyssey offers such interior amenities
as a built-in vacuum.
job, guys — three runs in the last inning for a
dramatic comeback win.
was it necessary to track half the infield dirt onto the
back seat carpet? Winning is a dirty job, but somebody
has to do it.
to worry with the new 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan: It has
its own vacuum cleaner. That’s right: No need to run
to the local filling station and search your pockets for
quarters, only to find the dang thing’s out of order
stored neatly in the rear-cargo bulkhead and has a neat
flex hose that stretches 10 feet — long enough to get
all the way to the front seats. It comes with two
attachments and suction that, while not as strong as
commercial ones, is sufficient for most dirt and leaves,
cookie crumbs and fries.
that’s not all that is new this year. Odyssey upgrades
the standards list with an 8-inch color display inside,
upgraded audio with Bluetooth and Pandora interface, and
four-way power seats for the front passenger, too.
center stack with a touch screen replaces last year’s
buttons. Still, the infotainment functions are a little
cumbersome to wade through.
cabin is roomy with the usual cup holders and niches for
stuff. And it’s versatile: The second row can be
reconstructed to include a center aisle for access to
the third row, or can be benchlike to accommodate three
car seats in a row. The second row can slide 5.5 inches
for easier reach from the front to finger-warn the
third row folds into the floor for an expanded cargo
area. Remove the second row seats — not exactly an
easy task — for 148 cubic feet of cargo space.
the Odyssey looks pretty much the same, save for some
minor touches to the front fascia — like the grille
and aluminum hood — and rear.
the road, Odyssey’s comfort and handling are as
impressive as its family-friendly interior. First off,
it feels much smaller than it is, feeling more like a
nimble midsize sedan at times. The tight turning radius
makes U-turns a breeze.
front-wheel-drive Odyssey returns with the same
3.5-liter V-6 that puts out 248 horses and feels more
than up to most roadway challenges. The 4,613-pound van,
loaded with five passengers and suitcases en route to
the airport, was not a burden. Acceleration from the
stoplight was sufficient, and there was enough oomph to
pass when necessary.
six-speed automatic tranny was a smooth shifter and
quick to downshift for extra power. And steering is
regarded as among the most responsive in its class, so
no gripes there, either.
figures I can gripe about. While they are not in the
teens like many in the SUV crowd, the 3.5 doesn’t do
as well as I would hope — especially on the highway
journeys. Combined city-highway mileage of around 22 mpg
is what you might expect, but highway mileage alone didn’t
fare much better for me around 23.
safety features inspire confidence on the road, though.
"What’s that little yellow triangle on the
side-view mirror?" my son’s girlfriend asked.
would be Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot warning system
letting us know when it’s safe to merge, I said.
Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems
also are standard on the Touring and Touring Elite
a rearview camera is standard across the board for
assistance in backing out of the driveway or mall
Odyssey comes in five trim levels. The entry-level LX
has steel wheels but does have full power accessories,
cruise control, eight-way power seats and 8-inch info
display. The midrange EX gets the alloy wheels plus
power-sliding doors, the LaneWatch blind-spot system,
power lumbar support for the driver and the fully
adjustable second-row seat.
up is the EX-L which has what most will want: power
liftgate, sunroof, leather seats and forward-collision
comes the Touring, which offers 18-inch alloys, front
and rear parking sensors and standard nav and rear
entertainment system. The Touring Elite has an upgraded
rear-entertainment package and 12-speaker audio plus, as
standard, the vacuum cleaner.
vehicle fits everyone’s needs. If you need more power,
Toyota’s Sienna has a stronger V-6. And the Dodge
Caravan, though less equipped, offers substantial
the Odyssey is the only van that will keep Mom and Dad
happy when the gang piles in from the ball field.
tested, including destination charge: $45,280