2014 Honda Odyssey Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 02, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • Updated exterior styling
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • Seating for up to 8 occupants
  • 5 available trim levels
  • Optional interior vacuum cleaner
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 28 mpg on the highway
  • New safety features
  • Up to 148.5 cu. ft. of cargo space

Introduction

Despite the proliferation of 3-row crossovers and SUVs, not to mention decades of being unfairly stigmatized, the family-friendly and immensely versatile minivan lives on. One example, the Honda Odyssey, debuts for 2014 with updated exterior styling, improved interior materials, increased fuel economy, added safety technology, and the market's first built-in vacuum cleaner.

Exterior Features

It takes a sharp eye to notice the details that distinguish the 2014 Honda Odyssey from the 2013 model. The updated version features black trim within the headlights and around the grille, an aluminum hood with more pronounced rise over the engine, revised optional fog lights, and LED taillights that are now red on top and clear on the bottom (they were clear/red on the 2013 Odyssey). Buyers also have the choice of two new colors: Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl.

The base Odyssey LX is fitted with 17-inch steel wheels and power-adjustable outside mirrors, while the EX features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear power-sliding doors, and heated mirrors. The EX-L adds a power tailgate and power tilt/slide moonroof.

One notch above the EX-L is the Honda Odyssey Touring, which boasts 18-inch alloy wheels, reverse tilt-down turn signal mirrors, and front and rear park-assist sensors. A Touring Elite trim level adds HID headlights.

Interior Features

According to Honda, the 2014 Odyssey LX and EX's standard cloth upholstery has been upgraded in terms of quality, and new white backlighting improves the readability of the gauges. In addition to those features, the LX offers a 7-speaker, 240-watt sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and streaming audio, rearview camera, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, smartphone-linked email and text message capability, and power front seats with 8-way adjustment for the driver and 4-way adjustment for the passenger.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey EX takes things up a notch with standard push-button start, new touch-screen display for the instrument panel, 270-watt audio system including Internet radio when paired with an iPhone or Android device, and tri-zone climate control.

Leather upholstery is the primary differentiator for the Odyssey EX-L, though this trim level also features heated front seats, satellite radio, and a cooler located under the instrument panel.

From there, the Odyssey Touring ups the ante with a rearview camera that now delivers wide and birds-eye views, 246-watt sound system with 15 GB for music files, rear-seat entertainment system with updated controls and improved monitor resolution, touch-screen navigation system, memory settings for two drivers, and a 115-volt power outlet.

For the ultimate in minivan creature comforts, Honda offers the Odyssey Touring Elite. This is where buyers will find a 12-speaker, 650-watt surround-sound system with HD Radio service, as well as the new built-in vacuum cleaner. Hardwired into the van and located on the driver's side of the cargo area, the HondaVac system includes multiple attachments, a hose capable of reaching anywhere inside the Odyssey, 8-minute run time to limit drain on the battery (no time limit when the engine is running), catch canister, and replaceable waste bags. Buyers should note that this feature is recommended for dry vacuuming only, not spilled juice or wet mud.

Optional Features

The Odyssey EX-L can be upgraded with the touch-screen navigation system or rear-seat entertainment system. Other features, such as all-weather floor mats and trailer hitches, are available as dealer-installed accessories.

Under the Hood

Like its predecessor, the FWD 2014 Honda Odyssey is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 248 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque and features efficient cylinder-deactivation technology. However, the 6-speed automatic transmission that had previously been reserved for upper trim levels is now standard across the lineup.

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2014 Honda Odyssey are 19/28/22 mpg (city/highway/combined), which represents a 1-mpg gain over the 2013 model.

Safety

A host of new or more widely available safety features accompany the updated 2014 Honda Odyssey, with highlights including a standard wide-view driver's mirror, cabin reinforced with generous use of high-strength steel, blind-spot monitoring system on all but the base Odyssey LX, forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems on the EX-L and above, and wiper-activated headlights. These items are in addition to 6 air bags, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2014 Honda Odyssey.
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