The wraps came off of a modestly refreshed 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan in New York, and in addition to a tidier exterior and other internal upgrades, the top-line Touring Elite gained a cool new convenience feature that should help owners keep its modestly revised inner sanctum looking equally clean.
While no changes took place in the powertrain department, all 2014 Odyssey models share in a series of cosmetic changes meant to enhance the curb appeal of this well-mannered 8-passenger hauler. The new look starts with a revamped front fascia that boasts a more prominent twin-bar grille, darker-finish housings for the projector beam headlamps and recast chrome-trimmed fog lamps. Moving rearward, the 2014 Odyssey also gets a more deeply sculpted hood made of lightweight aluminum as well new two-tone side mirror caps and revamped LED taillamps.
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Less visible but no less critical, the 2014 Odyssey lineup further benefits from a number of focused structural upgrades intended to ensure that it will embellish its current NHTSA 5-Star overall rating and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick status by garnering a Top Safety Pick+ rating in the IIHS's new and even-more-demanding small-overlap frontal crash test regimen. The 2014 Touring Elite also enhances its roster of safety features by adding Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning systems as well as an Expanded View Driver's Mirror.
Inside, a mini remake brings several richer-looking trims, including a restyled center stack that serves as home base for several new bits of connectivity-facilitating technology in all Odyssey models, although Honda did not specify exactly what lesser versions of the vehicle will be adding. We do known that the Touring Elite adds keyless Smart Entry with Push Button Start, HD Radio, an SMS text messaging function and the HondaLink system that allows those inside to make quick connections that allow easy access to a wealth of cloud-based information.
Arguably the most endearing -- and exclusive -- feature added to the standards roster of the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite is the new HondaVAC system. Developed in conjunction with the folks at Shop-Vac, it consists of a powerful vacuum unit with a canister bag and replaceable filter, an integrated hose and various nozzles and other accessories, all of which are designed to tuck neatly into a dedicated space on the driver-side bulkhead of the rear cargo bay when not in use. Honda says the HondaVAC can operate continuously when the Odyssey's engine is running and for up to eight minutes when it's turned off. A boon to parents of young children or people with a cadre of messy friends, it's capable of reaching all corners of the Odyssey's expansive cabin and never requires any supplemental recharging.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey is set to arrive in dealers this summer. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.
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