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 Mac on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable and drives well with decent mileage"
Cons: "Not enough leg room in front or middle seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The dash console is too wide and blocks your right leg into an upright position. The front seat tracks need more travel. Not enough room in the middle row if you are using car seats for children. This vehicle is not suitable for tall drivers and does not have a full power seat on the passenger side; an inexcusable lack in a vehicle that stickered for over $41,000. It also requires synthetic oil which makes oil changes very expensive."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By willy3 on Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, Cargo Room, Resale Value,Accessibility"
Cons: "It is a mini van :)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We had a 2011 EX-L Res and just traded it in for a new one. We love this car. We test drove a lot of other vehicles, mostly SUVs and Minivans and nothing matched it when we went down our list of specifications. If you care about gas mileage, holding its value, cargo room as well as ease of use for young children, nothing compares."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By dubalim on Saturday, January 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Blind spot monitors, parking proximity sensors."
Cons: "Almost everything else"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I do NOT like this van. It certainly is no touring vehicle, and not at all fun to drive. Ride is very harsh and uncomfortable, 3rd row seats rattle when up, highly touted electronics not user friendly and at times unreliable, no control of 6 speed transmission except one manual downshift to 4th, back up camera minimally usable. Mileage varies all over depending on weather conditions. Bought this as a ramp van conversion for wheel chair user for top of the line experience...bad mistake."
3 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Penguin822 on Monday, January 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "easy to drive"
Cons: "heat comes up slowly"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Even though my family demands required that I buy a minivan, I can say that this is the best CAR that I've ever owned! It is the second Odyssey I've owned -- I just traded in the old one for a new model. I didn't have to shop around. This van is extremely comfortable and easy to drive. It has all the conveniences you would want in a van. I have been raving about it the whole time I've owned it!"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By brian on Sunday, December 08, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: need to repair
Pros: "comfortable riding, good driving control"
Cons: "mechanical problem"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"1. There was lube oil leak just after we brought odyssey Ex-L. After fixing the problem, same problem happened again. 2. There was some wind noise, when the speed is going higher. 3. Driving control is good comfortable."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Alex_the_man on Thursday, December 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,900overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"So me and my wife were very happy to get the new car. this was back in February. not 2 days laster we needed to go back as the car was shaking like crazy soon as we would get near 50 mph. they made some changes and it got better, but 2 weeks laster we ned to go again for same problem. we were told that thats the way its suppose to be. I didn't believe that brand new car suppose to shake so bad and thats so unstable at relatively low speeds. since than we had to take the car for service and recall and both times this was addressed with dealer and both times there was no improvement. the last visit we payed 100$ to reinstall all the tiers again. and guess what there was no improvement. I am extremely disappointed with the way this car drives and I would not recommend this to anyone."
16 people out of 28 found this review helpful