Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
An entry-level Odyssey can be had for less than $30,000 but to snag yourself the abovementioned vacuum you’ve got to step up the range-topping Touring Elite model. That means you’d better be prepared to part with $45,280, including 830 hard-earned bucks for shipping and handling fees.
Fortunately this highfalutin’ Honda is equipped with everything except the kitchen sink (maybe that’s next). You want tri-zone automatic climate control with air filtration? You got it. How about navigation, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth and push-button start? All that jazz is included, too. You even get a 10-way adjustable power driver’s chair, electric windows, locks and mirrors, integrated third-row sunshades, leather trimmings and much more. For an additional $375 a breast-pump attachment is available for the aptly named HondaVAC (actually, we made that up).
When it comes to safety your most precious possessions will be well protected. The Oddity is safer than the confines of a padded bomb shelter 100 feet below ground level. It’s got forward collision warning, a new-fangled lane-departure buzzer, three-row side-curtain air bags, active head restraints and more. Tally everything up and the results are impressive: Honda’s van earned Top Safety Pick Plus status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Under their truncated bonnets all Odysseys are propelled by a VTEC-infused 3.5-liter V6. The engine delivers 248 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, a little bit less oomph than what’s provided by similarly sized powerplants from other manufacturers. Fortunately it’s a smoothie as bent-sixes go and pretty efficient.
The EPA rates Honda’s Odyssey at 19 MPG in the city and 28 on the highway. Combined it clocks in at 22. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board and certainly helps the van achieve those thrifty figures.