The One Feature That Makes The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Worth Every Penny

Front 3/4 view of the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

"Cheap minivan" has become something of an oxymoron.  You're talking more than $25,000 to start for the base model of anything other than a Dodge Grand Caravan, a long-in-the-tooth design that can be had for the bargain-basement price of $20,595.

$28,825 (plus destination and handling) is what it takes to even say hello to the lowest of the five Honda Odyssey trim levels, the LX.  Leaping to the other end of the spectrum and getting a minivan with all the bells and whistles...the new-millenium equivalent of a loaded Country Squire...that's more. A lot more.

The base price of the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite is...

Rear 3/4 view of 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.


Yes, that's a chunk.  But it's also (as minivans go) a very nice ride.  The 3.5-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission has more than adequate power.  Fuel economy is decent at 19 city/28 highway.

And when you just leapfrog over the four lower trims and go for the Touring Elite, you eliminate any issues over what options to take or leave.  Honda, like an ancient mystic, will simply make you one with everything.

Interior view of 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite interior.

In addition to all the expected airbags and handling and braking assists that you'd expect to keep little Noah and Sophia safe from harm, you get a leather-trimmed interior, navigation with voice recognition and a multi-view rear camera, a 16.2-inch wide screen DVD entertainment system for the rear seat passengers, an 850-watt 12-speaker audio system with subwoofer, hard disk drive, HDRadio, XM Satellite radio, a Pandora interface, USB and Bluetooth, text messaging functionality, the HondaLink app suite, pushbutton start, steering wheel controls, a tilting and telescoping steering column, tri-zone climate control, a 10-way power driver's seat (4-way power for the front passenger), heated front seats, power outlets galore, a moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, power sliding doors and tailgate, auto on/off auto-leveling HID headlights, heated power mirrors and.....

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite with HondaVa
2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite with HondaVac.

A built-in vacuum.

My kids are grown, but I gotta tell you, 15 years ago, HondaVac alone would have swung the deal for me. Cheerios, french fries, popcorn, sand..... What took them so long?

Bottom line:  If you're going to do a minivan and have the means to do it right, this is one of two you should be looking at.  The other is the Toyota Sienna...and there's a fresh review of a 2014 Sienna coming in this space very soon.

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