The 2014 Honda Odyssey is the first minivan to achieve the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest commendation, Top Safety Pick+. The Odyssey, which was refreshed for 2014, received the TSP+ award after scoring "Good" in front, side, and roof-crush tests, as well as passing the rigorous small-overlap test with a "Good" rating.
The small-overlap test involves a crash where only 25 percent of the vehicle's frontal area hits an object, simulating crashes with trees or poles, and only vehicles that pass the small-overlap crash receive the IIHS's Top Safety Pick+ award. It has proven far more demanding than previous crash tests, and no other minivan has received the TSP+ designation, but the 2014 Honda Odyssey was specifically engineered to meet the test. Honda revamped the van's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) crash structure with significantly more bracing inside the front fenders. To offset the weight added by the strengthening, the Odyssey's hood and front fenders are now made from aluminum. The Odyssey's side-curtain airbags were also redesigned with an additional front pocket that helps "catch" an occupant's head if it is flung forward during an accident.
The 2014 Honda Odyssey was introduced at the New York auto show with a long list of small changes. An optional vacuum in the cargo area, called HondaVac, can help clean up errant crumbs dropped by children. Other tweaks include a new grille and lower front fascia, LED accents for the rear taillights, the addition of the HondaLink touchscreen infotainment system, and the availability of the LaneWatch blind-spot cameras that debuted on the 2013 Honda Accord. Pricing for the 2014 Honda Odyssey starts at $29,655, including destination.
Including the Odyssey, a total of three Honda vehicles and one Acura have received the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, while an additional seven Honda models and four Acuras are rated as Top Safety Picks.
To promote the HondaVac, Honda has released a series of new TV commercials highlighting the vacuum's cleaning power. The clips feature the voice talents of actors Rainn Wilson and Neil Patrick Harris, and portray anthropomorphic gummy bears, animal crackers, and dust mites "living" inside the 2014 Honda Odyssey that fall victim to the HondaVac. You can see three of the new commercials embedded below. The new advertising campaign is called "Start Something Special," and will also involve online tie-ins with the Angry Birds and Words With Friends games.