2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite First Test
It’s Cool and It Sucks. Stuff off the Carpet.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan’s refresh adds the usual styling and safety updates as well as placing the six-speed automatic transmission across the board, but the biggest news may be the new built-in HondaVac available on the top-of-the-line Elite model -- at least Honda hopes so. With the HondaVac, the automaker is targeting busy families that want to clean on the go; basically that’s everyone interested in a minivan. We spent a couple weeks in a loaded 2014 Honda Odyssey to test the HondaVac as well as its performance at the track.
With the 2014 refresh, Honda hasn’t strayed too far from with the revised model’s looks. Cosmetic updates to the 2014 Odyssey include black-trimmed headlight and black-surround grille, available fog lights, body-color side mirrors, more chrome trim as well as a refreshed rear styling with LED taillights and clear lenses. A revised aluminum hood, fenders and front suspension pieces help reduce overall vehicle weight.
Along with Honda’s next-generation ACE body structure, the 2014 Odyssey gets high-strength steel in the A-, B-, and C-pillars, roof rails, floor rails, front body area, and front subframe. Honda claims the 2014 Odyssey’s front door opening is stronger and more resistant to deformation in a frontal collision. The structural updates help the 2014 Odyssey earn a “Good” rating in all of the IIHS’ safety tests, including the small front overlap test. It also won a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Other new safety tech includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) on EX-L, Touring, and Touring Elite models as well as headlights that automatically turn on when the windshield wipers are activated.
Our fully-loaded Odyssey Touring Elite tester also included hands-free keyless entry with push-button start, automatic-sliding side doors and rear hatch, 650-watt, 12-speaker audio system with subwoofer, navigation, satellite radio, Pandora, Bluetooth phone and audio, SMS text messaging, 12-volt power and a 115-volt power outlet, and a rear entertainment system with 16.2-inch screen and audio/video inputs. Other features include leather seating, heated front seats with 10-way power driver’s seat with memory and four-way front passenger seat, tri-zone climate control (driver, front passenger, rear), and a rear-view camera.
Along with the new HondaVac, the Odyssey Touring Elite comes with a center-console-mounted Cool Box (also standard on EX-L and Touring). Although the Cool Box excels at keeping cold drinks cool, it doesn’t cool warm drinks very quickly. Mounted in the rear driver-side panel behind the third row, the HondaVac, on the other hand, works better than expected. The HondaVac’s hose stretches all the way to the front seat floor and tidies up the interior nicely, while the canister is mounted below with its own access panel.
All Odyssey minivans are powered by a 248-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with 250 lb-ft of torque and for 2014, all models get the six-speed automatic transmission. At the track, the 4590-pound 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite reached 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and finished the quarter-mile in 16.1 seconds at 87.7 mph. The Odyssey stopped from 60 mph in 124 feet. In handling, the our tester pulled 0.76 g average around the skidpad and lapped the figure-eight in 28.3 seconds at 0.54 g average. The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite is EPA-rated 19/28 mpg city/highway.
Those acceleration times are slightly off our 4519-pound 2011 Odyssey Touring Elite long-termer’s times. That minivan hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and nailed the quarter-mile in 15.7 seconds at 89.2 mph. The new model, however stopped shorter and posted better handling numbers than our long-term tester, which stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet, pulled 0.73 g average on the skidpad, and lapped the figure-eight in 28.8 seconds at 0.57 g average.
Though not as fast or nimble, the 2014 Odyssey minivan doesn’t drive much different than our 2013 Honda Accord Sport sedan on the streets – not bad for a 202.9-inch-long eight-passenger minivan. With its three-across seating for the second- and third-row seats and generous legroom, the Odyssey can accommodate three adults and 38.4 cubic feet of cargo. The third-row seats fold flat into the rear cargo area floor, opening the cargo capacity up to 93.1 cubic feet. With the second-row seatbacks folded forward and the seat base moved up to the back of the front seats, the Odyssey can handle 148.5 cubic feet of cargo.
With innovative features like the Cool Box and the new HondaVac, Honda is trying to stay ahead of the competition in the minivan segment. We’re impressed with the HondaVac’s operation and ease of use, but we wish it were available on lesser trim levels or as a stand-alone option for those not ready to spend $45,280 on a family vehicle. With its 2014 model-year updates, the Honda Odyssey remains the fun-to-drive people hauler it has been since 2011, and now we can say it's cool and sucks at the same time.
|2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$45,280|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 8-pass, 4-door van|
|ENGINE||3.5L/248-hp/250-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4590 lb (56/44%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||202.9 x 79.2 x 68.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.9 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||16.1 sec @ 87.7 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||124 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.76 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.3 sec @ 0.54 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||19/28 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||177/120 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.87 lb/mile|