By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 9.1
If you're buying a minivan, the rationale is likely more pragmatic than passionate. Few drivers lust after a box on wheels, but you can't fit a growing family in a Corvette. The good news is, today's minivans brim with goodies and perform better than you'd suspect. Among the gold standard for such people movers is the 2014 Honda Odyssey. Like the Nissan Quest, the Odyssey's exterior styling strays from the more traditional rounded shapes of the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Town & Country, but inside, the Honda shines with features and functionality (yes, there's even a built-in vacuum cleaner). Add a strong yet efficient engine and outstanding safety and reliability records, and the Odyssey can win over many a minivan critic.
If an SUV is too big and fuel-thirsty, the Odyssey will provide all the room you need and then some, not to mention easy-access sliding side doors. When it comes to fuel economy, the Odyssey's highway rating of 28 mpg handily trumps that of its rivals.
Starting at nearly $30,000 and ballooning to over $45,000 if you must have the vacuum, the Odyssey isn't the least-expensive minivan on the market. Dodge's Grand Caravan and Kia's Sedona are more value-oriented. Need all-wheel drive? Sienna's the only one to offer it. For something small, nimble and inexpensive, see the Mazda5.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey has slight revisions to its front and rear exterior, and prominent interior updates that include a standard power front-passenger seat and available safety features like lane-departure warning. Top trims receive a built-in vacuum cleaner dubbed "HondaVAC." All Odysseys now use a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Driving Impressions The Honda Odyssey is an easy vehicle to live with. Its 248-horsepower V6 isn't the strongest in this segment, but it offers good acceleration and even more impressive fuel economy...that garners a class-leading 28 mpg highway rating. The 6-speed automatic transmission that's now standard on all models is a smooth operator. The Odyssey's suspension soaks up road imperfections to provide a comfortable ride even when the van is loaded with passengers and gear. In our battery of tests, we took the Odyssey to the last place you're likely to find one: a track. In that setting, where we pushed Honda's minivan far beyond ordinary limits, the Odyssey surprised us by handling everything we threw at it, including emergency handling maneuvers, multiple rapid stops and exceptionally quick turns.
Offering a bounty of conveniences, the 2014 Honda Odyssey is a blessing for busy parents. Among the standouts are the easy-folding 3rd-row seat, an in-dash beverage cooler, and a flip-up ring that turns any plastic bag into a dedicated trash bag.
THEATER-LIKE REAR-SEAT ENTERTAINMENT WITH 5.1 SURROUND SOUND AND HDMI PORT
As if a widescreen monitor with dual-screen capabilities and an HDMI port for gaming consoles weren't entertaining enough, add in surround sound audio and the back of the Odyssey becomes a cinema on wheels.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan makes the most of its generous interior space. Along with its 60/40 split 3rd-row "Magic Seat" that folds into the floor with one pull, the 2nd-row seats can slide outward 1.5 inches, permitting three child safety seats to be placed side by side. In base LX trim, the Odyssey seats seven people, with all other trims holding up to eight. Another helpful feature is the center seat in the second row that moves forward, allowing a child to be closer to parents in the front seats. Storage bins abound, as do cup holders for all rows.Exterior
The 2014 Odyssey has a low, wide appearance that makes it look more hunkered-down, at least for a minivan. Angular lines and sheet metal prevail, and it's hard to miss the "lightning bolt" side beltline. We'll leave it to your eyes to decide if the package holds personal appeal. On a less-subjective note, slight revisions to the 2014 Odyssey's rear taillight housing and front grille and lower fascia keep it contemporary. The Odyssey rides on 17-inch wheels or larger, 18-inch versions in top-line Touring trims. EX-L and higher trims add the arm-saving benefit of a power tailgate.
Even a base-trim 2014 Odyssey includes a long list of standard features. Among them are power front seats, a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with an 8-inch color interface screen, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. Step up trim levels and you get features like 3-zone automatic climate control, power sliding doors, push-button start, Honda's LaneWatch camera system, a moonroof, leather, and navigation. The top-line Touring Elite trim brings a 16.2-inch wide-view rear-seat monitor to captivate the kids, blind-spot monitoring and the HondaVAC, a vacuum made in conjunction with Shop-Vac that can operate continuously with the engine running or up to 8 minutes with it off to clean up snacks that inevitably spill.
Like other Honda products, major additional features such as leather interior and navigation are tied to trim levels. Traditional option packages are nonexistent for the Odyssey, and individual options are few. Among them are backup sensors, remote engine-start, a trailer hitch, and a variety of roof attachments for cargo boxes and sports gear. One particularly interesting add-on is a tent that attaches to the rear that will literally enable car camping. Top-line Touring trims can make an even bigger statement by rolling on 18-inch black alloy wheels.
The 2014 Odyssey is powered by a 248-horsepower V6. That power rating trails its rivals, but is still more than enough to move Honda's minivan with ease. More important than potency for Odyssey buyers, this engine is the most efficient of its rivals with a highway fuel-economy rating of 28 mpg. Helping the Odyssey attain that figure is its Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off cylinders depending upon driving conditions for maximum fuel efficiency. All Honda Odysseys now use the 6-speed automatic transmission that was formerly limited to top-line versions. At the pump, the 2014 Odyssey drinks regular unleaded.
248 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
250 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2014 Honda Odyssey LX minivan starts at $29,655 for an LX model and spans to over $45,000 for the Touring Elite version. The Odyssey's base price is higher than that of the Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest, and slightly lower than that of the Chrysler Town & Country. It is far beyond the value leader in this segment – the Dodge Grand Caravan with its roughly $21,000 starting price. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Honda Odyssey. Down the road, we expect the Odyssey's resale value to remain strong, but not quite match that of the Toyota Sienna.
By Barb (IL) on Thursday, August 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "wish the back seat safety belts were stationary"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is our second Odyssey and we've loved them both. Sold the older one to our best friends, we trusted it that much. This one will still be under warranty for another 5,000 miles and will sell it outright with no worries. Looking forward to the 2014."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Imranhasan (IL) on Saturday, August 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Honda reliability, comfortable seating, quit cabin"
Cons: "city milage not great. Slow pick up on speed"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is our second Odyssey. The first one has 206,000 on it. The 2013 comes with great features and reliability. The interior is very quit, noticeably different from the old one ;)and also by Infinity I35. Seating is comfortable for 8 passengers."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By zoe014 (MA) on Sunday, July 28, 2013
I want this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Have done research and have inquired with trusted mechanics who tell me that the Odyssey has had transmission problems for years - was recalled once but the problems still exist. Don't want to get a car that has known problems and not addressed by Honda - too bad - they used to have a great reputation"
14 people out of 42 found this review helpful
By Honda Girl (FL) on Sunday, July 21, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Best car I have ever owned. Traded - My approximate mileage is 89,000
Pros: "Good Quality in and out, lots of room."
Cons: "Absolutely None!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Leased my Odyssey in 2007. We decided to buy it off lease because it is such a great vehicle. Just performed regular maintenance. The only mechanical thing replaced was the power steering pump at around 82,000 miles. My kids are now teenagers and driving their own cars, so we can now down size a bit. I just traded my 07 for a new Honda CRV. I hope the CRV is just as good of a car as my Odyssey. I loved my Odyssey I'm sure it still has many more years left on it. I'm going to miss it!"
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By George39 (FL) on Sunday, May 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, easy driving, great road car"
Cons: "road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My single complaint is road noise at freeway speeds. Everything else is as good or better than I hoped for."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By TallyEsq (FL) on Saturday, May 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, sliding doors, quite, safety"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The price was right for an Odyssey due to low APR and dealer incentives. Like just about everything except the rear entertainment system. Passengers in the second two rows can barely hear the music and DVDs. Took it back to dealer and they said it was "working properly", called Honda and they said people in second two rows should wear earphones. Very unhappy about this. I wanted RES to entertain my kids with DVDs and music; but they cannot enjoy it. Would be better off getting a lesser model and let them watch their iPad. Not sure if Touring and Touring Elite have this same design defect."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful