The 2014 Honda Odyssey offers a built-in vacuum cleaner called HondaVAC. If you're a parent and minivan owner, you'll understand immediately the gravity of such a thing. Gone are the days of having to wait to get home to vacuum up those Cheerios, where the chore inevitably gets forgotten, and the cereal bits get ground into a carpet-ruining paste that never ever comes out. Working with ShopVac, Honda's integrated system operates continuously while the engine is running, or up to eight minutes if the engine is off.
There's other stuff, too. The interior gets a thorough reworking in addition, with a new center console, available features such as Aha Radio, and new safety features such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning. The 2014 Honda Odyssey's structure has also been redesigned with the intent of achieving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ honor, the highest possible ranking. The exterior has been subtly redesigned with a new aluminum hood and fenders, new lower bumper, and new taillights. The Odyssey Touring Elite model even gets pushbutton ignition and Hondalink, which integrates with your smartphone to deliver customized audio channels.
Who It's For
Soccer moms and dads will love the new 2014 Honda Odyssey. It's the same minivan we know and love, but with just enough enhancements and improvements to keep it at the front of the pack. Despite the new features, the 2014 Honda Odyssey is mostly carryover, but that's really OK. We expect the same flexiblity and functionality of the current Odyssey, and with one of the highest fuel economy ratings in its class, the Odyssey delivers comfort, space, and efficiency for any family.
There's more going on than just the in-vehicle vacuum cleaner, which is far and away the coolest minivan feature to come along since power sliding doors. Among the most notable are:
- An Expanded View driver's mirror, which borrows from the new Accord to enhance the Odyssey's outward visibility
- Aha internet radio
- Hondalink, which allows drivers to hear updates to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media through their smartphones
What We Think
Our news director Keith Buglewicz is a current Odyssey owner, although his is now 10 years old. But his reaction to HondaVAC was immediately positive, and we think that most minivan owners will probably feel the same way. The only drawback is that you have to opt for the most expensive version of the Odyssey, a vehicle that already costs more than $40,000. When paying coin like that, maybe an in-car vacuum isn't so frivolous after all; it could be a necessity.
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