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Originally Published: March 26, 2013 5:00 PM
Modified: March 26, 2013 10:35 PM
MARK RECHTIN

Why the '14 Honda Odyssey won't be a crummy minivan

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The HondaVAC's electric motor does not need an outlet or recharging.
Mark Rechtin is West Coast editor of Automotive News.

NEW YORK -- Don't take this the wrong way, but the 2014 Honda Odyssey sucks. Literally.

For its midcycle freshening, the Odyssey is including the "HondaVAC," which Honda claims is the first-ever in-vehicle vacuum system.

Available in the Odyssey Touring Elite trim level, the HondaVAC will be marketed to young families whose kids' Cheerios often find their way into minivan crevices.

The HondaVAC was developed in conjunction with longtime vacuum brand Shop-Vac. It is composed of a vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag. The vacuum and its nozzle accessories are integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area. The hose and attachments can reach every corner of the interior.

The HondaVAC's electric motor does not need an outlet or recharging. It can operate continuously when the engine is running and can continue to operate for up to eight minutes when the vehicle is turned off.

The 2014 Odyssey also includes front structural upgrades designed to put its safety rating at the top of the revised Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small-overlap crash tests.

Other safety additions include an expanded driver's mirror and forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems. Honda declined to say on which trim levels those safety features will be standard or optional.

The midcycle change for the Odyssey also features a "sleeker, more sophisticated" exterior design, with restyled front and rear fascias. Honda also is upgrading the telematics features in the higher-trim versions.

The 2014 Odyssey goes on sale this summer.

For the company's press release on the vehicle, click here.

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