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2013 New York Auto Show: Refreshed Honda Odyssey cleans up well

March 27, 2013|By David Undercoffler
  • The refreshed 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite comes with the HondaVac, an integrated vacuum developed in conjunction with ShopVac.
The refreshed 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite comes with the HondaVac,… (Honda / Wieck )

It’s not every day an automaker promotes a feature that sucks.

But Honda unveiled a refreshed version of its popular Odyssey minivan at the 2013 New York Auto Show with a unique option -- a vacuum cleaner built into the rear cargo area.

It's the first vacuum-equipped vehicle to hit the market, ready to suck up all the snacks and drinks spilled by the kids. Honda said it worked with Shop-Vac to design the HondaVac, with a replaceable filter and bag.

The contraption fits into two small compartments built into the left side of the rear cargo area. The top bin holds the hose and attachments, while the bottom section holds the canister.

PHOTOS: Honda Odyssey Touring Elite cleans up with integrated vacuum

This vacuum can reach every corner of the Odyssey’s interior, according to Honda. The automaker said it will run indefinitely with the motor on, or for up to eight minutes when it's off.

PHOTOS: Highlights of the 2013 New York Auto Show

Only the fully-loaded 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite model will come with the HondaVac.

Though the refreshed Touring Elite model was the only Odyssey Honda brought to the New York show, all trim levels will get their own improvements. This includes structural changes aimed at making them better able to withstand the new offset crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2014 Odysseys also get aluminum front fenders, and a slightly revised grille and front bumper.

The Touring Elite model has LED taillights and a new center console that replaced the cluttered setup that Highway 1 found troubling when we reviewed the Odyssey in early 2011.

Honda wouldn’t confirm whether these changes would be on the other models.

The Touring Elite’s powertrain remains the same: a 3.5-liter V-6 makes 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It pushes this power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

While the rest of Honda’s Odyssey trim levels have only a five-speed transmission, it’s largely expected that Honda will announce soon a switch to a six-speed gearbox for the entire lineup.

Honda said the 2014 Odyssey models will hit dealerships this summer. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 2014 models, but to get the Odyssey that sucks, you’ll need to spend at least $44,000. That’s a Honda that cleans up indeed.

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