Odyssey Touring Elite-04

The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite will be making its debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, setting the new ‘ultimate family vehicle’ standard. Refreshed for 2014, the Odyssey Touring Elite provides safety upgrades, sharpened exterior styling and a revised interior with new features and tech.

Noting unusual for an annual update, but there’s one new feature that caused us to sit up. The 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite will mark the debut of HondaVAC, the first-ever in-vehicle vacuum system. Developed in conjunction with industry-leader Shop-Vac, the system consists of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag, with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space in the rear cargo area’s wall.

Honda says that the HondaVAC’s electric motor never needs an outlet or recharging, can operate continuously when the engine is running, and will continue to operate for up to eight minutes when the vehicle is turned off. Families with young children (and the unavoidable mess they leave behind) will find this in-car vacuum very useful, we can imagine.

Odyssey Touring Elite-03

Vacuum aside, the US-made Odyssey comes with HondaLink featuring Aha Mobile interface. HondaLink, which debuted on the 2013 Honda Accord in America, enables owners to connect to cloud-based content.

The free HondaLink smartphone app uses the owner’s favorite online content to create live, personalised radio stations, gets you news feeds from Facebook and Twitter, and allows one to check out restaurant reviews or find the nearest Starbucks, for instance.

Also included for the soccer mum are driver assistive and visibility technologies such as an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), although we’re predicting that none will be used as often as the HondaVAC.