2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite

Drive It Anytime, Any Place
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
December 16, 2013 Updated: December 16, 2013

When you think of a minivan, you don’t generally think of something that is stylish and sophisticated. But then, this Odyssey is anything but ordinary. Front seats are heated and leather trimmed. The cabin is controlled by customizable temperature settings for both driver and passengers. Just press the touch screen which opens access to a library of music options.

Whether you need a vehicle for a night on the town, ferrying kids to soccer practice, or taking the gang and their bikes to the desert, Odyssey is the car for you.

The most outstanding feature of Odyssey is the amount of space. Three folks fit easily into the second row seating, while on the full third row, fold down the center armrest to fit two large passengers comfortably. Or, you can take advantage of the One-Motion 60/40 Split third row Magic Seat, which allows you to tuck the third row away partially or completely. Just decide based on your cargo.

The Odyssey even provides up to five positions for lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) for compatible child seats.

Odyssey has a low and wide profile that has a stud-athletic stance. There is a powerful 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6 engine, coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A standard engine feature called Variable Cylinder Management System helps Odyssey achieve 28-mpg EPA on the highway by de-activating some cylinders when less power will suffice.

Steering is effortless; the ride is smooth and very quiet, when you discard the happy sounds of the passengers. It appears that Honda has taken a standard minivan, added the luxury features of a sedan, and blended it with an engine to deliver power as needed. 

Other standard features on this Touring Elite model include 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a tri-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and air filtration system, and steering wheel-mounted controls. Added to these luxuries are state of the art technologies like Honda DVD Ultrawide Rear Entertainment, Blind Spot Information System, HD radio, and high intensity discharge headlights. These features all contribute to the birth of the Odyssey Touring Elite. 

Taking the grandkids to see Santa can be a wonderful experience for everyone except maybe Granddad. Spilled popcorn, cookie crumbs, and candy wrappers were left to clean up after our pilgrimage. Grandmother reminded me that Odyssey had a vacuum cleaner located in the driver’s side rear of the vehicle, which can reach all the way up to the front. This HondaVAC included two handy attachments, as well as a removable waste bin. Grandmother had everything cleaned in a jiffy. After all, the device was her discovery. Even the two rolling cat-eye marbles disappeared up the vacuum hose.

Odyssey has push-button start to get you going. There is an upper instrument panel window that is easily read while displaying navigation items with beautiful colored maps. Down below, a new touch screen gives access to an array of audio options, such as Pandora, Bluetooth, and HondaLink hands-free connectivity. 

The power moonroof with tilt features allow the outside panorama to be viewed from the inside, while the cabin inside captures wonderful musical sounds.

Rearview camera is standard on all models. The multi-angle rearview camera on higher trims is unique in that it is capable of displaying three different angles, including normal, wide, and top-down.

Odyssey is family safe, family comfortable, family designed, and loaded with technology that will thrill, challenge, and please all occupants. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $44,450 for the Odyssey Touring Elite.

Durhl Caussey writes a column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or dcaussey@ssbcglobal.net.

Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey