Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


2014 Honda Odyssey: Vacuuming Is Child's Play

Make a mess in this minivan—I dare you

2014 Honda Odyssey Vacuum Test

In my opinion, there’s only so much you can do to make a minivan exciting. A minivan, according to Google, is quite simply a “small van, a people carrier.” The 2014 Honda Odyssey is positioned as a minivan with all the bells and whistles—and a built-in vacuum cleaner. Yep, built-in. So our Odyssey clients with this feature have no excuse for driving around in a dirty minivan! That’s a lot of pressure, I must say.

Honda Odyssey profile

I gave my two boys a bucket of popcorn each and gave them complete freedom in making the minivan as messy as possible! Oh, what joy! I was impressed. The vacuum took care of the popcorn, no problem—and even my youngest son wanted to do the vacuuming. Anytime something can convince my kids to do chores, I’m sold!

Honda Odyssey Vacuum

The 2014 Honda Odyssey has a small Shop Vac in the trunk area with the vacuum hose long enough to reach the driver area.

Honda Odyssey Shop Vac  Honda Odyssey Vacuum Accessories  Honda Odyssey Vacuum Hose

Well, looks like we won’t need our vacuum cleaner; we loaded it up and off it went to my mom’s place for her to use.

Check out the cargo space:

Honda Odyssey Cargo Space

In terms of flexibility, the rear ‘Magic Seat’ easily tumbles down to provide more trunk space when you’re not using the van as a ‘people carrier.’ Since the Magic Seat is a split fold, you’ve got more options with who and what you carry – and how many.

Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 1  Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 2  Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 3  Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 4  Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 5  Honda Odyssey Magic Seat Step 6

The Odyssey also features a widescreen DVD player with a remote control. Perfect for a little break time at our shop.

Honda Odyssey Ultrawide DVD  Honda Odyssey AutoNiche Break

The middle bench seats are child-car-seat-friendly. With a relatively flat bottom and flush headrest, you should have no problems achieving the correct angle. The headrest does come out in case you need to remove it when installing the car seat forward-facing. Built-in sunshades are a great safety touch as they don’t become flying projectiles during a collision. Also very handy is the standard Honda conversation mirror—that way you can keep tabs on your little ones behind you.

Honda Odyssey  middle bench  Honda Odyssey booster seat  Honda Odyssey sun shade  Honda Odyssey conversation mirror

Up front the dual screen navigation/information panel took a bit for me to get used to. The instrument panel had the usual gauges that I like to see (I love analog gauges), but take a look at the panel with the key on and you’ll see how many warning lights the Odyssey has. Thankfully they kept the lights to a minimum when you’re driving.

Honda Odyssey centre console  Honda Odyssey front dash  Honda Odyssey instrument panel key on  Honda Odyssey instrument panel driving

I will say this: the built-in Cool Box is pretty neat. It keeps drinks and snacks chilled during those long summer road trips. Nice touch.

Honda Odyssey Cool Box

The front centre storage console is removable in case you need more space, and its flat top with a non-slip surface holds a take-out cup tray perfectly.

Honda Odyssey front centre console

One thing I wasn’t fond of is that the Odyssey’s door controls are to the left of the driver. If you’re in the passenger seat, you wouldn’t have easy access to the controls in case you wanted to help open the doors.

Honda Odyssey door controls

Under the hood, basic do-it-yourself maintenance items were clearly visible and the owner’s manual was full of information. They had instructions on replacing light bulbs, remote transmitter care, checking and maintaining tires, as well as jump starting and information on exhaust gas hazards, to name a few. The Honda Odyssey also has maintenance item codes which make it easy to know what needs to be done when you bring the van in for service.

Honda Odyssey engine bay

All in all, we had a good ride with the Honda Odyssey and I can see why our clients like it. Starting price is $29,990 CAD. Any vehicle that encourages my kids to vacuum is definitely worth considering!