For 2014 the Honda Odyssey is now the fourth generation Odyssey redesign and very good it is too. Now lower, wider and less boxy with more rake to the rear C-pillars giving the vehicle a sportier  with a dramatic zigzag tapering character line to the rear.  It is still a minivan, but with some style and a hint of sportiness to which it now aspires.    Key changes to the 2014 Odyssey minivan include the addition of a standard 6-speed automatic transmission on all trims resulting in class-leading fuel-economy ratings for a V6 minivan, enhanced safety equipment, cleaner front and rear exterior styling, plus revised instrumentation and electronic controls.

Cosmetically, the Odyssey’s refreshed styling adds new premium elements for 2014. Highlights include new black-trimmed headlights, new available fog lights, a new muscular hood, and black-surround grille for an upscale appearance. New body-colour matched side mirrors and additional bright chrome trim add to the premium appearance. New rear styling and LED taillights with clear lenses and eye-catching perimeter “light pipes” add to the polished look.

The Odyssey line up comprises the top line Touring Trim as tested equipped with such luxury features as a rear entertainment system that featured the huge 16.2 in. ultra-wide display with the function to show two different sources at the same time, such as a movie and video game. One also gains a navigation system with voice recognition, 650-watt AM/FM/CD hard disk drive-based 15GB (HDD) premium audio system with 12 speakers including subwoofer and 5.1 surround sound theatre mode. PIC 2014 Honda Odyssey:

For the first time all 2014 Odyssey models will include a 4-way power passenger seat, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror and an SMS text messaging function. New available features include the Honda exclusive LaneWatch™ blind spot display, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Additionally, Odyssey Touring models will now come standard with the much-anticipated HondaVAC™, the world’s first in-vehicle vacuum cleaner, which allows customers the ability to quickly and easily clean-up dirt and debris from every corner of the minivan.

Two new packages have been added to the Odyssey line-up in Canada for 2014; an EX-L Navi and SE. The Canadian-exclusive SE includes all of the standard features of the LX plus 17” aluminum alloy wheels, front centre console and 8-passenger seating.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey will have a starting MSRP1 of $29,990. This represents zero increase in base price for a thoroughly revised Odyssey equipped with additional standard features for increased convenience.

With the addition of a standard 6-speed automatic transmission paired to the 3.5-litre, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), the Odyssey further solidifies its place as a fuel economy leader in the minivan segment with all 2014 models.

For 2014, the Odyssey continues with its successful model grade strategy: six different available trim levels include the well-equipped base LX model, Canadian-exclusive SE, EX, EX-L RES, EX-L Navi and the line-topping Odyssey Touring. A DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES) is also available on EX models.

The 2014 Odyssey features a 3.5-litre, 24-valve V-6 engine producing 248 hp at 5,700 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Honda’s i-VTEC® enhances power delivery while Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) helps maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

With the 2014 model, Honda has targeted best-in-class V6 fuel economy ratings for all trim levels. As a result, the transmission has been upgraded to a 6-speed automatic across the model range, replacing the 5-speed automatic previously found on the LX, EX and EX-L. Transport Canada fuel economy ratings are now 10.9 / 7.1 L/100km2 city/highway for all trim levels, an improvement of 0.8 L/100km city and 0.1 L/100km highway for LX, EX, and EX-L RES trims.

Interior wise there is now redesigned instrumentation, new trim and fabric, and upgraded electronic features and functionality make the 2014 Odyssey interior ideal for families. Design changes include upgraded meter illumination and interior lighting, chrome-trimmed instrument dials and door handles, a new available 7-inch touch-screen, and a repositioned DVD player for the available Rear Entertainment System. Updated styling and a change from blue to white halo lighting make the instrumentation easier to read. Similar changes make the climate control easier to operate.

Base Odyssey LX includes such features as cruise control, remote entry system, manual air conditioning, eight-way power adjustable driver’s  seat with manual lumbar, front centre floor tray, sunglasses holder, floor mats (front and second row), one-motion 60/40 split 3rd-row seat, power side mirrors, two-speed/variable intermittent windshield wipers, intermittent rear wiper/washer, rear window defroster, power windows with auto-up/down driver’s and front-passenger’s windows, tilt and telescopic steering column, 10 beverage holders and maintenance minder system.

The Odyssey’s 3.5-litre V6 engine also produces slightly more horsepower and torque – 248 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, up four hp and five lb-ft over the previous model. Also new is VCM (Variable cylinder management) which can shut down up to three engine cylinders in low power situations to help save fuel. Power-train wise, a six-speed automatic transmission is standard on higher models, while others make do with a five-speed transmission.

The Honda Odyssey Touring fuel economy is rated at 10.9 L/100 km in the city and 7.1 on the highway, while all other Odysseys are rated at 11.7 and 7.2 L/100km city/highway. On our highway test we found the 3.5-litre engine and the six-speed transmission powerful, smooth and unstressed. The trademark quietness and refined cabin are still present and it is not hard not see why this Minivan is so sought after. Highly recommended.

2014 Honda Odyssey priced from (LX) $29,990 to $47,990