2014 Honda Odyssey Review and Prices
The 2014 Honda Odyssey is the best minivan for you if you want a top-flight people mover with freshened styling and additional features.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey gets slightly revised styling and new safety and convenience items. And every model – not just the most expensive – now delivers the efficiency of a six-speed automatic transmission instead of a five-speed. Finally, the 2014 Odyssey is the first minivan available with a built-in vacuum cleaner -- the HondaVac. The interior is also updated as part of Odyssey’s first changes since its model-year 2011 redesign.
Should you buy a 2014 Honda Odyssey or wait for the 2015 Honda Odyssey? Minivans are life-stage purchases, so if your circumstances call for carrying up to eight or transporting endless combinations of people and cargo, don’t hesitate to buy a 2014 Odyssey. Still warm from its midcycle updates, the 2015 Odyssey won’t change in any way worth waiting for. But it will almost certainly cost more than a 2014 Odyssey.
2014 Honda Odyssey Changes back to top
Styling: The 2014 Honda Odyssey doesn’t change dimensions and retains its basic profile, including the unique “lightning-bolt” character line at the base of its rear side glass.
The 2014 Odyssey does get a slightly revised grille that replaces a trio of thin horizontal bars with a pair of thicker ones. The front fascia is modestly reshaped. The hood and front fenders also are new and while they look little different, they’re now made of aluminum to save weight.
Odyssey’s exterior mirrors get a two-tone finish, and the headlight housings are darker. At the rear, the taillights gain LED bars.
Inside, new surface finishes are intended to brighten the cabin and a new central dashboard “stack” showcases some of the new features.
Honda also upgrades the 2014 Odyssey’s structure in an effort to achieve top marks in new offset-frontal-crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an insurance industry-funded research group.
The 2014 Odyssey’s exterior dimensions remain well within the minivan norm while its interior is again among the most spacious in the class. And while that zig-zag character line makes it look a little like the rear portion of the body has suffered a stress fracture, the payoff is large rear side windows that improve outward visibility and let in more light.
The entry-level 2014 Odyssey LX continues with seating for seven. All other 2014 Odyssey models remain among the few minivans capable of carrying up to eight. That’s thanks to a removable, 10-inch-wide cushioned section in the center of their second row. The outboard portions of the second row are capable of sliding laterally a few inches, creating enough width to fit three child safety seats; two more can be latched into the third-row seat.
Every Odyssey includes Honda’s i-MID, or “intelligent Multi-Information Display.” This is an 8-inch screen in the upper-center of the dashboard that furnishes audio, phone, and climate information. The screen also hosts map and guidance data on models equipped with the navigation system.
Bins and pockets for brick-a-brac again abound. And cargo volume remains among best in class with 38.4 cubic feet behind the third row, 93.1 with the third-row dropped into its rear floor well, and 148.5 with the second-row also stowed. Honda, however, does not equip the 2014 Odyssey with second-row seats to match the Stow ’n Go fold-into-the-floor system standard on the rival Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.
Honda reprises a lineup of familiar Odyssey trim grades. The 2014 roster begins with the LX seven-seat base model. Up a rung is the better-equipped 2014 Honda Odyssey EX. It’s followed by the 2014 Odyssey EX-L with leather upholstery.
The EX-L grouping has been Odyssey’s most popular, with the single best selling version the EX-L with Rear Entertainment. It takes its name from a DVD system with a 9 inch ceiling screen. The third 2014 EX-L iteration is the Odyssey EX-L with Navigation. Instead of the DVD player and screen, this model has Honda’s voice-activated navigation system.
To get leather upholstery and both the DVD and navigation systems in one Odyssey you need to move up to the 2014 Touring model.
Remaining atop the 2014 Odyssey line is the Touring Elite. It packs every available Odyssey feature, including the HondaVac and a premium DVD entertainment system with Honda’s “Ultrawide” 16.2-inch-diameter ceiling screen capable of simultaneously displaying input from two separate video sources.
Mechanical: Honda does the right thing and installs a six-speed automatic transmission in all 2014 Odyssey models, not just in the Touring and Touring Elite.
Honda had relegated LX, EX, and EX-L Odysseys to a five-speed automatic transmission since this fourth-generation’s model-year 2011 debut. In transmissions, more gear ratios increase opportunities to optimize engine efficiency and fuel economy. Every Odyssey rival has a six-speed automatic or its equivalent.
Honda continues to treat 2014 Odyssey models equally when it comes to the engine. All return with a smooth-running 3.5-liter V-6 with 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. (Consider torque the energy that gets a vehicle moving, horsepower as the force that keeps it moving.)
This V-6 again employs Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system to maximize fuel efficiency by automatically idling two or three cylinders in low demand driving conditions and then instantaneously restoring all six when power is needed.
The six-speed automatic transmission only enhances performance that makes Odyssey drive more like a large sedan than a big box on wheels. It easily accelerates to highway speeds and passes with confidence. In the Honda tradition, ride quality is taut but never jarring and steering and handling response arguably top the minivan class. The 2014 Touring and Touring Elite do maintain a slight margin in overall road manners over the other Odyssey models by virtue of their 18-inch wheels and tires versus 17s.
The rival Toyota Sienna remains the only 2014 minivan to offer all-wheel drive (AWD) in addition to front-wheel drive. All other minivans, including the 2014 Odyssey, have front-wheel drive, which positions the weight of the engine and transmission above the tires that both steer and provide propulsion.
Efficient packaging and good poor-weather traction are advantages of front-wheel drive. Improved sloppy-surface grip is AWD’s ace. But the extra AWD components add mileage-robbing weight and take up space at the rear that could be used for cargo or third-row foot room.
Features: New-to-Odyssey safety features for model-year 2014 include forward-collision and lane-departure warning. The former senses a possible frontal collision and alerts the driver to take evasive action. The latter delivers an alert when it detects unplanned veering. Also aboard is Honda’s LaneWatch, which displays a video image of the right-side blind spot on a dashboard screen.
And 2014 marks the debut of HondaVac, which the carmaker bills as the first-ever in-vehicle vacuum system. Developed in conjunction with the familiar Shop-Vac brand, it’s an exclusive standard feature for the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite. HondaVac is composed of a vacuum, replaceable filter, and canister bag. The flexible hose and nozzle accessories store in a dedicated bin in the rear cargo bulkhead and can reach every corner of the cabin. The system’s electric motor can operate continuously when the engine is running and for up to eight minutes after the engine is turned off.
The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite also comes with this minivan’s first pushbutton ignition, digital HD Radio, and SMS text-messaging function.
Making their first Odyssey appearance are HondaLink and LaneWatch. Their on every 2014 model above the LX level. HondaLink features the Aha mobile interface and enables Odyssey owners to connect to a wealth of cloud-based content. The free HondaLink smartphone app uses the owner’s online content to create live, personalized radio stations. It can deliver updates and news feeds from Facebook and Twitter, as well as restaurant locations and reviews. HondaLink brings this minivan in line with a level of connectivity becoming common across all automotive segments.
Unique to Honda, the clever LaneWatch system is activated by the turn signal or a button on the signal stalk. It uses a video camera in the right-side mirror to project an image of the right-side blind spot on the dashboard screen.
Overall, the 2014 Odyssey is again available with just about every comfort, convenience, and infotainment feature automakers have thought up. Nonetheless, Honda’s policy is to shun stand-alone options in favor of a fixed suite of features that define each model. Advantages are ordering simplicity and assembly quality. And although the features allocated to each model seem to reflect the wishes of most buyers at each price point, Honda shoppers can find themselves compelled to move up the model line to get a particular feature they want – only to pay for some they don’t.
Standard on every 2014 Odyssey is keyless remote entry, a power driver’s seat, manual tilt/telescope steering wheel, air conditioning, cruise control, tinted rear privacy glass, and power mirrors, locks, and windows. In the dashboard is a pull-out “media shelf” for cell phones, iPods and the like; 12-volt power outlets are nearby.
Beginning at the EX level, standard features include power sliding side doors, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, outside temperature indicator, second-row pull-up side-window sunshades, and alloy wheels. EX models and above also include Honda’s “trash ring,” a plastic hoop that flips from the rear of the front-center console as a frame for a standard plastic shopping bag.
All 2014 Odysseys come with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a USB iPod interface, two-gigabytes of CD music storage, and a single-disc in-dash CD player with auxiliary plug. Satellite radio is standard starting with the EX-L grade. The EX-L with Navigation model and the Touring and Touring Elite include a 15-gigabyte hard drive, as well as Honda’s Song by Voice system that uses spoken commands to access artist, song, playlist, or genre from the hard drive or a linked iPod.
Exclusive to EX-L and the Touring models are leather upholstery, heated front seats, power moonroof, power tailgate, and navigation and rear-DVD entertainment systems. The seven-seat Odyssey LX comes with 12 beverage holders. The eight-passenger models have 15, but all include receptacles that adjust to accommodate skinny Red Bull cans or Big Gulp cups.
2014 Honda Odyssey Prices back to top
Base-price range for the 2014 Honda Odyssey is $29,655-$45,280.That range keeps it among the most expensive minivans, but one that suits the tastes of its upscale audience. And that audience is broad: through the first six months of 2013, Odyssey was America’s No. 1 selling minivan, ahead of the Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town & Country.
About 50 percent of Odyssey buyers choose one of the three EX-L levels. The single most popular is the EX-L with Rear Entertainment System, at some 23 percent of volume. The Touring and Touring Elite account for about 22 percent of Odyssey sales, the EX roughly 20 percent, the LX around 9 percent.
As with most Hondas, Odyssey “base” prices are higher than those of direct competitors. Rivals optioned to match comparable levels of equipment don’t tend to cost significantly less. But factory incentives and dealer discounts are slim on the Odyssey, so it traditionally sells closer than the competition to manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
The 2014 Odyssey LX is priced at $29,655 and includes the standard equipment outlined in the Features section above. (All base prices in this review include the manufacturer’s mandatory destination fee; Honda’s fee for the 2014 Odyssey is $830.)
Honda prices the 2014 Odyssey EX at $32,955. The EX adds to the LX the additional equipment described in the Features section above.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey EX-L is priced at $36,455 and has leather instead of cloth upholstery (the third-row is vinyl), plus heated front seats, the power liftgate, and a power moonroof. Odysseys at this level and above also have a “cool box,” a refrigerated front compartment that can hold four 20-ounce beverages.
Segregating Odyssey’s DVD entertainment and navigation systems creates the 2014 EX-L with Rear Entertainment System, priced at $38,055, and the 2014 EX-L with Navigation, priced at $38,455.
The least expensive 2014 Odyssey with both a DVD and navigation system is the Touring grade, priced at $42,170. It also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, and a memory power driver’s seat.
The flagship 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite is priced at $45,280. It includes all the features of the Touring model, plus xenon headlamps, the 16.2-inch Ultrawide DVD screen, and blind-spot detection that visually alerts of vehicles in adjacent lanes.
2014 Honda Odyssey Fuel Economy back to top
The 2014 Honda Odyssey retains its title as America’s most fuel efficient conventionally sized minivan.
EPA fuel-economy ratings are unchanged for 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring and Touring Elite models. They previously used the six-speed automatic transmission and again rate 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined.
Advancing from a five-speed automatic to the six-speed the 2014 Odyssey LX, EX. and EX-Ls now also rate 19/28/22 mpg. By comparison, these models with the five-speed automatic rated 18/27/21 mpg city/highway/combined.
2014 Honda Odyssey Release Date back to top
The 2014 Honda Odyssey went on sale in summer 2013.
What's next for the 2014 Honda Odyssey back to top
Honda appears to have this fourth-generation Odyssey on the same product schedule as its 2005-2010 predecessor. It delivers a midcycle freshening for model-year 2014 and likely plans a full redesign for model-year 2017.
The 2014 Odyssey’s midcycle touchup is typical: minor styling alterations but no change to overall shape or dimensions. Upgrades to features and cabin décor are aboard, as well -- all in the name of stoking interest as a model advances through its design cycle.
2014 Honda Odyssey Competition back to top
Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan: These seven-passenger minivans share a basic design and Chrysler Group’s Pentastar V-6 engine. Both have front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Caravan tackles the family-value strata of the market. Town & Country pursues upscale buyers similar to those drawn to the Odyssey. Both Grand Caravan and Town & Country furnish refined performance and good utility. Their future is cloudy, however. Management reportedly is on-again, off-again about a plan to shelve either the Chrysler- or Dodge-branded version to avoid redundancy. The decision could be in showrooms for model-year 2015.
Toyota Sienna: Sienna chases the same upmarket import demographic as the Odyssey and is the only competitor to match the Honda’s eight-passenger capacity. The 2014 Sienna returns with V-6 power and a choice of front-wheel drive or class-exclusive all-wheel drive. This Toyota goes toe to toe with Odyssey for overall utility and features. And it favors a slightly softer driving nature and simpler ergonomics. Like the Honda, Sienna’s next full redesigned likely will come for model-year 2017.
Nissan Quest: Quest comes out of left field with a distinct sense of rocket-age styling and use of a continuously variable transmission to perform the duties of a conventional automatic. It’s been a slow seller but is surprisingly competitive, with roomy comfort for seven and fine performance courtesy of a well-tuned suspension and a willing V-6 engine. Nissan solves the cargo challenge by folding the second and third seating rows into a floor that’s slightly elevated, thereby creating a flat load surface. It’s not as elegant a solution as that employed by the competition but isn’t a deal-breaker. No changes are expected for several model years.