Best of Show: 2014 Honda Odyssey Elite
Competition is tight in the minivan segment, with each manufacturer setting new standards by improving styling, introducing functional features, upgrading safety, and installing more powerful engines.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey Elite wins the Best of Show at the 2013 New York International Auto Show for one very cool feature: the all-new HondaVAC tucked into the wayback. Developed in conjunction with Shop-Vac, the HondaVAC features a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag, and nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area.
Standard on the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite trim level, the super cool HondaVAC promises to make quick cleanups a snap no matter where you are, offering powerful cleaning suction with an integrated hose and cleaning attachments that reach into every corner of the Odyssey's cabin.
Hate cleaning up after those summertime trips to the beach? You can clean the sand off the entire brood, as the HondaVAC system's powerful electric motor never needs an outlet or recharging, can operate continuously when the engine is running, and will continue to operate for up to eight minutes when the vehicle is turned off for additional family clean-up duties.
Beyond the HondaVAC, the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite has been thoroughly refreshed to provide safety upgrades, sharpened exterior styling, and a revised interior with a host of new features and technologies.
Structural upgrades are expected to help it achieve top marks in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) new small-overlap frontal crash test, which is part of IIHS's new TOP SAFETY PICK+ protocol. The refreshed Odyssey Touring Elite will also come equipped with advanced Honda driver assistive and visibility technologies such as an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
HondaLink™, which debuted on the 2013 Honda Accord, enables Odyssey owners to connect quickly and easily to a wealth of cloud-based content such as the Aha™ Mobile interface. The 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.
The 2014 Odyssey will go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer.
2013 New York Auto Show photos by Scott Harris