Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on Apr 4, 2013 06:00 AM
It is with great relief that I am able to announce that I'm not in the market for a minivan. Because if I were, there is no doubt in my mind that my wife would plead for Honda's 2014 Odyssey. And there's only so much pleading a guy can take and next thing you know he's heading to the dealership.
Why? Because Honda is the first automaker ever to feature an in-vehicle vacuum...and when you think about it, that makes an awful lot of sense for anyone trying to sell minivans.
Extremetech.com reports that the Odyssey's most striking feature is its 'HondaVac'. It’s a built-in vacuum cleaner in the cargo area that will be available on the high-end Honda Odyssey Touring Elite, which will set buyers back around $45,000 when it goes on sale this summer.
The folks at ExtremeTech say that if you can get past the soccer mom image, minivans are most fuel-efficient, space-efficient way to haul seven or eight people around. The Odyssey is a solid highway cruiser with bonus driver aids and beefed up infotainment. Car buffs will appreciate the cylinder shutdown for fueleconomy and active noise cancellation.
The HondaVac was built in conjunction with Shop-Vac. It runs for up to eight minutes when the car is off, longer if the engine is on. The motor and dirt collection basket are in the inside bulkhead just behind the left right wheel.
The hose and accessories store inside so nothing is visible when it’s put away. Honda says it’s a dry-vac, meaning if someone spills soda, you couldn’t suck that up with the HondaVac. The hose reaches to the very far reaches of the front footwells, about a dozen feet away. In demonstrations, the unit was quieter that most shop vacuum systems. Additionally, as you would expect, Honda says the feature represents “several hundred dollars” of components and value.
Honda has not yet detailed which of the Odyssey Touring Elite features will be offered on lower trim lines. One criticism knock of the Honda Odyssey is that in the past if you wanted options that are becoming more desirable on mid-price cars, you have to spend a ton to get them. To get the onboard navigation for instance, you need to buy the $38,000 model, about $8,000 more than the entry-level Odyssey.
Nonetheless, the HondaVac is a clear indication that the company knows its audience. Moms are driving this vehicle more than anyone else in the family, for the most part, and they're transporting kids here and there an awful lot of the time. Kids of all ages.
And when they don't have the kids in tow, they might be grocery shopping, or dad might be hauling top soil and mulch and fertilizer and weedkiller stuff home from Lowe's or Home Depot. You know what that means... the vacuum is a great benefit and a huge convenience.