2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Test Drive

?2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite adds Safety Upgrades and innovations?

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Honda?s award-winning and class-leading Odyssey minivan benefited from a complete redesign for the 2011 model year, displaying a more distinctive style; an interior that delivered more versatility and functionality, and a powertrain that yielded improved fuel economy ratings. The 2014 Honda Odyssey ups the ante with several upgrades in safety features and innovations, including HondaVAC?, the first in-car vacuum.

Long recognized for its innovation in packaging, responsive handling attributes, comfortable occupant accommodation, state-of-the-art safety features, long lasting residual value, high build quality and refinement, the Odyssey represents what Honda is referring to as its vision of the ?ultimate in family transportation?. I guess that really depends on one?s family values along with taste in design, and vehicle needs and requirements. Admittedly, the mere mention of the term minivan tends to ?turn off? many individuals, but there are also devout fans of the multi-purpose craft, and I happen to be one of them. Once a seemingly fading vehicular segment, the minivan is without a doubt making a resurgence in popularity. Forget the Soccer Mom label, the minivan is perhaps the most versatile vehicle on the planet for anyone who has no intention of venturing off-road and who has a concern for the environment, and disdains SUVs.

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Competition in the minivan market segment continues to grow at a progressively rapid pace, evidenced by several newly designed entries from several manufacturers. All are improved and have become more appealing in terms of design and content.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey continues with an aerodynamic form, displaying a low roofline, while sacrificing little, if any vertical interior space. The vehicle?s profile is distinguishable by its unique ?lightning-bolt? beltline that serves to deliver a sportier look, but also happens to benefit outward visibility for third row occupants. The overall form tapers rearward in an all-encompassing mono-volume shape, and body-to-wheel proportions tend to reduce the perception of vertical height, with pronounced fender flares accenting the Odyssey?s purposeful, low, planted and aggressive stance. Projector-beam headlamps and form-fit fog-lamps are available for an even more upscale flavor and appearance on specific models.

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The 2014 Odyssey still comes in five levels of trim: the base model LX; the EX; an EX-L; the Touring; and the top-of-the-line Touring Elite. All levels of trim provide eight-passenger seating except for the LX, which is only, accommodates seven.

The power source for all Odysseys continues to be a 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve i-
VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management and electronic multi-point
fuel injection. The engine is positioned transversely up front and makes 248
horsepower at 5,700 rpm while producing 250 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm.
Power is delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission on
all models except the Touring and Touring Elite, which are both equipped with a six-speed automatic.

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Major highlights of the 2014 Honda Odyssey include the distinctive exterior
Styling; functional seating that offers a second-row wide mode and
easier operation of the 60/40 split 3rd Row Magic Seat; the class-leading five
LATCH positions for child restraint seats (LX only offers four); the six-speed
transmission as standard for Odyssey on Touring models; and the admirable fuel
economy.

Standard safety features include: front, front-side and side-curtain airbags with roll-over sensor; Vehicle Stability Assist?; ABS; EBD; BA; Tire Pressure Monitoring System; Daytime running lights; Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure; active front head restraints; Blind Spot Information System; front and rear parking sensors; and more.

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For the 2014 model year, the Odyssey delivers a host of technology, with a rearview camera, 8-inch, full-color i-MID display and Bluetooth? HandsFreeLink? as standard on the entry-level LX model. A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System2 with Voice Recognition is available on the Odyssey EX-L and standard on the Odyssey Touring, featuring an 8-inch, high-resolution VGA color display and GPS technology to provide turn-by-turn guidance. The system also includes subscription-free FM Traffic data and a Zagat? restaurant guide.

The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite comes with a state-of-the-art, factory-integrated Rear Entertainment System that includes an ultra-wide 16.2-inch flip-down LCD screen and a 12-speaker, 650-watt sound system capable of reproducing Dolby? Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. A High-Definition Multimedia Interface video input and two wireless headphones for rear passengers are also provided. The Odyssey Touring Elite adds the Blind Spot Information system which helps alert the driver when other vehicles are detected in set zones to the left and right of the vehicle. In addition, the Touring Elite debuts HondaVAC?, the first-ever-in-vehicle vacuum system, which is part of a thorough refresh of the Honda Odyssey for the 2014 model year.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey brings an array of improvements to Honda?s minivan, which include structural upgrades. The refreshed Odyssey Touring Elite? will also come equipped with advanced Honda driver assist and visibility technologies such as an Expanded View Driver?s Mirror, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

The 2014 Odyssey displays a sleeker, more sophisticated exterior styling with a new, and more deeply sculpted aluminum hood, new aluminum front fenders, a new bolder twin-bar grille, and a revised lower front fascia with integrated chrome-trimmed fog lights. Also new are two-tone mirror housings, darker-finish projector-beam headlight housings, LED taillight bars and new badging ? all contributing to a more premium look.

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Moving to the interior, the 2014 Odyssey, there are new finishes that brighten the cabin and an all-new center stack showcases a host of new features. Additional standard technology on the Odyssey Touring Elite? brings new levels of ease and connectivity to owners, including keyless Smart Entry with Push Button Start, HD Radio?, an SMS text messaging function, and HondaLink? featuring Aha? Mobile interface. A free HondaLink? smartphone app uses the owner?s favorite online content to create live, personalized radio stations, allowing drivers to put away their phones and hear updates and news feeds from Facebook and Twitter, as well as check out restaurant reviews or find the closest coffee shop.

My 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite was finished outside in Alabaster Silver metallic, while the inside was executed in Grey and Black tones. The base sticker was set at $44,450, which, with the Destination and Handling charge, bumped the total to $45,280. The inventory list of standard equipment seemed endless, and if it wasn?t on the list you probably don?t need it, or can at least do without it.

SUMMARY: The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite serves up an impressive menu of desirable qualities, not the least of which is the ideal height for ease of entry and exit. Gear storage is optimum, with cubbies and bins galore. Cupholders are in abundance and well placed. Seating is easily reconfigurable, stowing and repositioning without a hassle, and providing maximum versatility to deal with a variety of passenger/cargo needs, for the ultimate in functionality.

In terms of performance, the Odyssey delivers satisfying acceleration, smooth shifting, a comfortable ride quality and sedan-like handling characteristics with Variable Assist rack-and-pinion steering, and the Touring Elite delivers virtually all the amenities necessary for a rewarding cross-country trek. Features such as: the Navigation system with voice recognition and multi-view rear camera and FM traffic; an ultra-wide 16.2-inch DVD rear entertainment system with HDMI and wireless headsets, USB interface, Bluetooth connectivity; XM satellite radio; power moonroof with tilt feature; dual power sliding side doors; power tailgate; heated power door mirrors with turn indicators; and remote entry with security system, truly do make for the ?Ultimate in Family Transportation.

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The Odyssey includes Bluetooth? HandsFreeLink?, the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) with an 8-inch TFT screen, a 2-GB CD Library and a USB Audio Interface. Bottom-line, if you can?t enjoy a long trip in the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, then you should probably stay at home, because you?re more than likely impossible to please, and you probably don?t really enjoy travel.
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $44,450.
Price as Tested: $45,280.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6 with Variable Cylinder Management, electronic multi-point fuel injection and Drive by Wire™ Throttle system.
Horsepower (bhp): 248 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 250 @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut with 24mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multilink Double-wishbone

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, VSA, BA, and EBD.Tires: Michelin Primacy MXV4 – P235/60 R18 102T mounted on 5-dual-slotted spoke alloy wheels.Wheelbase:118.1 inchesLength Overall:202.9 inchesWidth:79.2 inchesHeight:68.4 inchesCurb Weight:4,613 lbs.Fuel Capacity:Fuel Capacity:21.0 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:19 mpg city / 28 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:Not listed.0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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