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Nothing 'mini' about the made in America 2014 Honda Odyssey

Let's start by admitting that I was more than a bit hesitant to write a review about the 2014 Odyssey. After-all it’s Honda’s fuel hog people mover. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised as you discover the urban ‘transformer’ of the automotive world. This is not your grandmother’s Dodge Caravan.


Manufactured in Lincoln Ala. since 1999, the North American Honda Odyssey is larger than its Japanese counterpart. This All American people mover is super sized. The Honda not so minivan has received numerous consumer and industry accolades. And, is the top selling minivan in the North America.

Brought to you by the folks that manufacture the 2014 Civic and Accord line in North America, the Honda Odyssey, while not being offered as a hybrid, is quickly becoming the benchmark of quality and value in the world of luxury family and corporate transportation.

Weighing in at 4613 lbs, the 2014 Odyssey has been super sized to accommodate a large cargo (with the "single action" folding row seating down,) or up to eight passengers in relative comfort. There's nothing "mini" about it.

The Touring Elite that I reviewed had the interior fit and finish of an executive jet. And while it didn't approach the $29 million price point of a used Cessna Citation or Learjet, It did flirt with $ 50,000.00 fully optioned with tax and license included. To put the lofty price tag into perspective, think limousine with mobile theater accommodations for Billy and Suzy, that can double duty as an office or utility lumber rack for mom and dad. Can you find a cheaper Chrysler Town and Country? Maybe, do they still make them?

While I’m less than impressed by the Odyssey’s exterior impression of a Chrysler Pacifica , I was taken by the interior ergonomics meets high tech electronic interface. The Elite offers everything imaginable in the world of automotive electronics, including voice command navigation, F.M. weather watch and Bluetooth ( hands free) communications interface.

I’ve always appreciated the Odyssey’s soft touch electric side entry door, and quick flip convertible row seating and cargo accommodations. For 2014 you will find a power tail ( lift) gate, single touch folding seats as well as touch control opening sunroof. How about a built in vacuum cleaner?

Really… O.K., the Elite has one of those too. For me, I have to ignore the dash mounted shift lever. Its placed there ? I don’t know, it’s a Honda engineering decision. While it’s handy, I personally find it to be visually distracting. So, leave the 6 speed automatic in drive. All trim levels of the Odyssey starting with the base LX comes( msrp $28,825) with a traction control, and ride stabilization. Safe car...

For those busy texting while driving, (No) the 2014 Odyssey is also equipped with front end collision warning, Lane departure warning and roll over warning. All good things for a mother distracted by the kids in the second and third row seating.

Well, the specification list is a little lengthy, so you can view the link here. As to power and handling, the Odyssey’s 3.5 liter V6 24 valve sohc i-VTEC produces loads of torque in a very usable mid-range. While your kids don’t care, what this means to you is that the van will move down the road under any condition with ease. O.K, 248 hp and 250 ft-lb torque at 4800 rpms.

But more importantly, the minivan maintains its 2013 low center of gravity, and stands a mere 5 ft 8’’ above the pavement. It sports a decent suspension; usable power and 2 x 16’’ pull down flatscreens for the kids. A back up camera with navigation for mom and a 5 way electric captains chair for dad or the family chauffeur.

While it may not be as intimidating as a slightly used Hummer, the 2014 Odyssey can transfer a group of close associates in enviable comfort at a very reasonable highway mpg of 26. Remember you’re rolling 2.5 tons + passenger and cargo load down the road. And by the way, if that’s not enough information to peak your curiosity, the 2014 Odyssey has a 3500 lb tow rating.

And that’s why I consider the 2014 Honda Odyssey to be a true urban transformer. Family hauler, mobile office and weekend getaway vehicle. The Odyssey can do it all.

If you own an Odyssey like my sister in law does, I’d like to read about your Odyssey experience( good or bad) here. Your thought provoking comment is always welcome at Torque News.


Parks McCants    November 28, 2013 - 1:16AM

For those that require the finest " flex space" minivan on the road today, I recommend taking a thoughtful look at the 2014 Honda Odyssey. Do you own one now? I'd like to read about your experience with the Odyssey here on Torque News.

Robert McNeill (not verified)    March 17, 2014 - 6:20PM

We bought a new minivan to replace an aging 1999 Ford Windstar and we chose a 2014 Honda Odyssey because it was the only minivan to pass the IIHS "small offset" crash test. []. Further, as a happy surprise, the gas mileage computer showed 34.5 mpg at the end of a 180-mile trip from New York to Massachusetts. Sure, it gets 17-20 mpg in cold-engine short-trip driving but when it really counts the Honda equals the long-trip mileage of our 2001 VW sedan. Amazing.