If you frequently haul your friends or have a large family, a minivan is the classic, albeit less “cool,” mode of transportation. I admit that when I hear minivan, my brain recodes and processes that as “mommy-mobile,” not that there is anything wrong with that. But, I think we can all agree that a van has less swag factor than most other vehicles -- except that Honda’s 2014 Odyssey has some truly incredible features.
Check out all of the buttons on this dashboard! Overwhelmed? Start with just the steering wheel. I counted 11 buttons and that’s just on the surface of the steering wheel. You’ve still got the switches and levers and more for lights, blinkers, wipers and who knows what else in addition to whatever those front-facing buttons do. By looking at this image, you wouldn’t guess that it’s a minivan. It looks like a teched-out and much roomier version of my Honda Fit from this angle. (Full disclosure moment: I drive a Honda, my second and I. Love. It.)
The new Odyssey has the standard “bells and whistles” add-ons like satellite navigation, leather interior, auxiliary input (for our myriad devices), Blu tooth technology, and all the rest. It’s got additional snazzy-factor including a 7” audio touch screen, Push Button Start, and Lane Departure and Forward Collision warnings.
What stands out as the most memorable -- and why-in-the-world-didn’t-someone-do-this-before-now?! -- is the built-in vacuum. What? Yes. It’s so obvious. The thing I want most in my car is a self-cleaning feature. Folks, we have arrived. After working on the design with ShopVac, the new product has been dubbed the HondaVac, the Bennifer of car care.
According to Honda’s website, this feature is available only on the Touring edition. That’s the tricked-out, flashy one that will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $47,000.
I remember how ground-breaking it was when Toyota put first aid kits in their 4-Runners. It made me want to get one and then do really sporting stuff in it so that I would maybe need a bandage before I made it home.
The HondaVac doesn’t make me want to run out and dirty up my car. No, I’m increasingly proficient at that on my own. If they make this an accessory kit option for the Fit, that will become the new Number One item on my wish list, replacing a sweet pair of coral flats.
What will they think of next? What other handy appliances should our cars have? I'm leaning toward toaster or bread warmer to make my morning commute more pleasant. If they somehow made these seats turn into a bed, we'd never need to leave.