Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Sucking Sound in the 2014 Honda Odyssey Is Supposed to Be There

Honda apparently had an Ah-ha moment when product planners came up with a feature that probably had more people than me wondering why no one had thought of it before.

I recently drove the 2014 Honda Odyssey for a week. Granted, my test minivan was the top-of-the-line Touring Elite; so, there was plenty to dazzle me. It's jam-packed with all manner of goodies. Of course with the delivery charge it commands a horse-choking $45,280. But if you need and want a high-end people hauler, the Odyssey Touring Elite should do nicely.

A 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 pulls it around using a six-speed automatic transmission to distribute output to the front wheels. The EPA reckons it will deliver 19 mpg in city driving; while, hustling down the highway will increase that to 28 mpg. Let's see: multiply by three and carry the one....umm that works out to 22 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Not too shabby for a minivan.

My one disappointment, and the single thing that would keep me from recommending it over some competitors, is that the second-row seat still doesn't fold flat into the floor. To achieve that flat cargo surface, the second-row seats must be removed. It's not a job so daunting that most of us can't accomplish it, but it's a pain in the rump. Then again, many families never need their minivan for bigger job-jar chores and won't care if the second-row seats fold flat or not. But, I do.

This was just a minor refresh year for Odyssey, so maybe there is still hope with the next complete redesign.

Now, back to that Ah-ha thingy.

Honda actually builds a functioning vacuum cleaner into the Odyssey. It's optional in all trim levels, except the Touring Elite in which it is, of course, standard.

Located in a compartment in the driver's-side wall of the cargo area, it has more than enough flexible plastic hose to reach all the way to the floor of the front-passenger seat.

This is nothing short of brilliant! The passenger compartment of many minivans owned by families I know look like the floor of a movie theater after two back-to-back Saturday matinee showings of “Monsters, Inc.” I've got some friends who every time they arrive somewhere in the minivan, they stand around picking crap off one another's clothes like so many Baboons.

I tossed a number of things onto the floor of my test Honda and found the vacuum sucked it all up.

Small wonder, upon further investigation, I found that the actual power unit is a mini shop-vac.

I was, however, disappointed to learn that the commercials touting an available hair-cutting attachment for the HondaVac called HondaHAIR is a hoax. I think the world has been awaiting this vehicular FlowBee for decades and I, for one, am crestfallen.

It's nice to know that Honda has a sense of humor after all.


  1. You want something that actually would vacuum AWAY your hair?

  2. That ship sailed long ago. Pretty creative, though.