The 2014 Honda Odyssey: Vacuum Cleaner tested

I usually don’t spend a lot of time reviewing Minivans as frankly, I detest the body-style and have no intention of ever owning one. Secondly, they are not a very inspiring design to gee up the automotive buying public. However, if there was a Minivan built that I was going to write about, it would be the 2014 Honda Odyssey – the vacuum cleaner that comes with a Minivan attached!

Minivans are simple to design and build as the target parameters are laid out in front of you. Roomy, economical and safe. That’s pretty much it. Nothing more – nothing less. The 2014 Honda Odyssey fits the bill on all counts. It’s powered by a 3.5L V6 creating 245Hp that is essentially the same a the 2013 version with a 6-speed automatic transmission as opposed to a 5-speed in the older model. With an EPA fuel rating of 19/28mpg it is streets ahead of its competition and with a Top Rating from the IIHS provided by curtain-mounted side air-bags and an excellent performance in crash testing, the Odyssey has all bases covered. I’m not discussing speed numbers as who wants to run a Minivan flat-out with a cargo full of travel soccer players anyway? Suffice it to say that power is there when required.

For many years, Chrysler built a Minivan that was the standard in the industry but over time, other manufacturers such as Honda have begun to catch up in a big way. Roominess is a glowing feature of the 2014 Honda Odyssey. Many times, vehicles which claim to be eight-passenger haulers usually only do so by cramming all the occupants in with a shoehorn but in this case, even tall passengers have comfortable leg-room when sitting in the rear seats. The Odyssey also comes loaded with a Rear-View Camera as Standard, a Navigation System in the Grand Tourer, and of course, the HondaVac which took the breath away of many observers when the 2014 Honda Odyssey was launched at the New York International Auto Show earlier in the year.

Concerns still persist with the steering on this Honda and when loaded, there is a momentary lapse in real power on take-off, but it more than makes up for those deficiencies with the classy interior, and options to keep the butts of young children firmly in those rear seats. Also, some experts have noticed that the Toyota Sienna seems to have more power than its Honda counterpart and AWD is not available on the Odyssey. Again though, the Honda has driving technology assistance with Honda LaneWatch and a Collision Monitoring System that makes up for that.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey is a more expensive option than the competition and with families quickly migrating to crossovers from Minivans, the Odyssey has some work to do to convince the public of its value. At $45,000 and some change for the EX and EX-L versions, this is no small change but with all things considered, this Minivan rates as excellent value for money, particularly when you realize that the ALG Residual Rating makes it retain its value over a three year period better than the opposition.

I still won’t buy a Minivan but I do need a vacuum cleaner!

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