DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

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Volvo XC90 earns Top Safety Pick PLUS

2014 Volvo XC 90

2014 Volvo XC 90

BY GERRY MILES

There’s not been much news at Volvo since Irv Gordon passed the three million mile mark in his vaunted P1800 this summer.  The new models are mainly refreshed and with the promise of new power trains and such on the way, this may amount to a large yawn – since Volvo is as synonymous with safety as some golden arches are with hamburgers – it would be more remarkable if they didn’t receive a top safety listing.

That preamble said, or typed, the 2014 Volvo XC90 luxury SUV earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Institute’s top safety award.

To earn TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must pass a series of crashworthiness evaluations, including the small overlap front test — a real-life scenario that replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object.

In its evaluation of the XC90’s performance, IIHS noted:

  • Good structural performance in the small overlap front test
  • Low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of high severity
  • Side torso and side curtain airbags both deployed.

“The XC90’s structural performance was good in the small overlap front test, and the driver’s space was maintained well,” said IIHS in a released statement. “While many vehicles have had to undergo significant structural changes to earn good ratings in the small overlap test, the XC90 has had the same basic platform since 2003.”

An all-new XC90 will debut at the end of 2014 and go on sale in 2015. 

Honda’s Safety Coupe (and sedan): only small 2013s atop IIHS overlap frontal crash ratings

2013 Honda Civic EX-L Coupe.

2013 Honda Civic EX-L Coupe.

  • 2013 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe are Small Car Segment Class-Leaders
  • Civic currently holds highest overall IIHS rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+

BY GERRY MILES

Can there ever be enough good safety news if you’re an automaker? I think not.

The folks at Honda must be doing their own version of Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance” after learning both the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe were the only small cars to received a “good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap front crash test.

They were also the only small cars to earn a Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS and a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score in NHTSA’s new car assessment program (NCAP).

“Honda continues to lead the industry in crash test performance, and after watching the videos, I think every compact car shopper should view the results of the new IIHS small overlap front crash tests before deciding on their next car,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “For customers looking to buy a compact car that achieves an overall GOOD rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal test, Civic is currently the only choice.”

The IIHS’ new small overlap front crash test (sometimes called a ‘narrow offset’ test) is an aggressive test designed to simulate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole at high speed. The reinforced ACE™ body structure found on the 2013 Civic further enhances the absorption of frontal crash energy through a wider range of these offset and oblique collision scenarios.

2013 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan.

2013 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan.

Standard safety equipment on all Civic models include:

  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control
  • an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • side curtain airbags; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and driver and front passenger side airbags.

Honda Vehicle Ratings by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

2013 Honda TOP SAFETY PICK+: 

Honda Accord Coupe
Honda Accord Sedan
Honda Civic Coupe
Honda Civic Sedan

2013 Honda TOP SAFETY PICKS:

Honda Fit
Honda Crosstour
Honda Civic Sedan
Honda CR-Z
Honda CR-V
Honda Insight 
Honda Pilot
Honda Odyssey
Honda Ridgeline

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2014 Beetle nets 2013 Top Safety IIHS pick

2014 VW Beetle

2014 VW Beetle

  • VW snags 9TH Top Safety Pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

  •  2013 Top Safety Pick applies to the 2013 model year Beetle built after March 2013 and all 2014 model year Beetles.

BY GERRY MILES

While there was an undercurrent to why Beatle Paul McCartney spoke the words “number nine” if an album was played backwards, you’ll forgive the folks at Volkswagen of America for repeating something similar in a positive way after the 2014 Beetle snagged the firm’s ninth IIHS Top Safety pick.

VW’s iconic Beetle earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK rating for vehicles that score highly in IIHS moderate overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. Only vehicles with head protection airbags AND Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and head protection airbags are eligible to get IIHS top scores.

The Beetle has a rigid body structure utilizing ultra-high-strength, hot-formed steels in the crash-load paths and seamless laser welds, and standard ESC. Its Intelligent Crash Response System shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collision.

“Volkswagen is passionate about safety,” said Mark McNabb, chief operating officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “To have IIHS recognize the Volkswagen Beetle as a Top Safety Pick is a great statement for the brand. The fact that we now have nine 2013 Top Safety Picks is a testament to our commitment to continually improve the safety and quality of our vehicles.”

Other 2013 Volkswagen models to receive the accolade are:

  • CC 2.0T
  • Jetta
  • Jetta SportWagen
  • Passat
  • Tiguan
  • Touareg
  • 4-door Golf/GTI models
  • VW Passat received the top accolade of “Top Safety Pick +.”

Honda’s 2014 CR-V is on sale for $22,945

2014 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD.

2014 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD.

BY GERRY MILES

Given that last year’s CR-V had the new styling shape, whereby the backside looked like Marty Feldman’s take on Quasimodo in “Young Frankenstein” years ago – so said some, there’s little that’s new in the strong-selling compact cute ute that has helped buoy and broaden Honda’s line so well for so long in 2014.

Oh yeah there’s new prices, of course. The 2014 CR-V is on sale today with MSRP starting at $22,945 for the two-wheel-drive LX edition up to $30,445 for the EX-L with Navi and all-wheel-drive (AWD) and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

All CR-Vs are driven by a 2.4-liter, 185 hp, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 163 lb-ft. of torque (SAE net), mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The front-drive CR-V has EPA ratings of 23/31/26 mpg city/highway/combined while the AWD numbers dip a bit: 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined.

The full press release follows below.

TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013 – The Honda CR-V returns for the 2014 model year as one of the most fun and functional compact SUVs in America. With its upscale styling, excellent fuel efficiency and its impressive list of standard convenience features, the 2014 Honda CR-V remains the smartest choice in its segment. The CR-V provides car-like interior comfort, a smooth, quiet ride and innovative features, making it a great fit for families or anyone with an active lifestyle.

The Honda CR-V has earned a host of favorable ratings, including a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-star Overall Vehicle Score1 and a 2013 TOP SAFETY PICK designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It has also garnered awards and accolades from Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, U.S. News & World Report and others. The CR-V finished 2013 as the best-selling SUV in America. The 2014 Honda CR-V goes on sale today, with prices starting at $22,945.2

The CR-V model lineup carries over for 2014, starting with the remarkably well-equipped CR-V LX with standard one-pull fold-flat rear seats, cruise control, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink™, air conditioning, rearview camera, 160-watt 4-speaker audio system with Pandora® interface (with compatible smartphones) and more. The CR-V EX, the most popular trim, adds premium features including a power moonroof, upgraded 6-speaker audio system and 17-inch alloy wheels.

2014 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD interior.

2014 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD interior.

The EX-L adds a leather-trimmed interior, a 328-watt 7-speaker audio system with XM® Radio3 and much more. Also available on the CR-V EX-L are a Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System4 with Voice Recognition™ and FM Traffic, or a DVD Rear Entertainment System5. Real Time AWD (all-wheel drive) is available on all models.

2014 Honda CR-V Pricing and EPA Data
Model Transmission MSRP2 EPA MPG Ratings6
City/Hwy/Combined
CR-V LX (2WD) 5-Speed Automatic $22,945 23/31/26
CR-V LX (AWD) 5-Speed Automatic $24,195 22/30/25
CR-V EX (2WD) 5-Speed Automatic $25,045 23/31/26
CR-V EX (AWD) 5-Speed Automatic $26,295 22/30/25
CR-V EX-L (2WD) 5-Speed Automatic $27,695 23/31/26
CR-V EX-L (AWD) 5-Speed Automatic $28,945 22/30/25
CR-V EX-L w/ Rear Ent. Sys. (2WD) 5-Speed Automatic $28,395 23/31/26
CR-V EX-L w/ Rear Ent. Sys. (4WD) 5-Speed Automatic $29,645 22/30/25
CR-V EX-L w/ Navi (2WD) 5-Speed Automatic $29,195 23/31/26
CR-V EX-L w/ Navi (AWD) 5-Speed Automatic $30,445 22/30/25

Body
All CR-V models feature an exterior Expanded-View Driver’s Mirror that adds an additional 5.5 degrees of visibility at the outer edge of the mirror’s field of view, which can assist the driver in detecting other vehicles or road conditions that they might not otherwise see in a conventional mirror.

Versatile Interior
The CR-V’s roomy 5-passenger interior has lots of storage room and utility whereby the innovative Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seatback can be quickly folded using release levers located near the tailgate opening or a pull-strap accessible from either rear door.

The CR-V features sophisticated instrumentation that includes a standard full-color “intelligent” Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that offers a range of customizable features via fingertip controls on the steering wheel. A multi-angle rearview camera, standard on all models, provides a choice of three different views on the i-MID or optional navigation screen.

Comprehensive Safety
As standard equipment, every CR-V incorporates:

  • a VSA® electronic stability control system
  • ABS with Brake Assist
  • driver and front-passenger airbags
  • side-curtain airbags with roll-over sensor
  • front-side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • front seat design that can help reduce the severity of neck injury in the event of a rear collision.

An Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure helps make the CR-V highly effective at absorbing and dispersing the energy of a frontal crash.

Powertrain
All CR-V models are powered by a 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque (SAE net), paired with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission. Real Time AWD with the Intelligent Control System further harnesses available traction in low-grip driving conditions. The CR-V has an EPA fuel economy6rating of 23/31/26 mpg city/highway/combined for the front-wheel-drive model and 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined for the AWD model.

Responsive Chassis
With its front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link fully independent suspension, the CR-V chassis is designed to maximize driving enjoyment, passenger comfort and confidence. All CR-V models feature Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) that works with the standard VSA and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in slippery road conditions and automatically initiate steering-wheel inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction.

Manufacturing
In the U.S., CR-Vs are manufactured at the Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio from domestic and globally sourced parts.

Connect with Honda:
For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/cr-v/
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130,000 US Volvos sold with Auto Brake Technology, 1M globally

Volvo City Safety Brake

Volvo City Safety Brake

Today, the sales of Volvo cars equipped with systems for automatic braking passed the 1 million mark — another milestone that confirms Volvo Car Group’s world-leading position within automotive safety. More than 130,000 were sold in the United States.

  • Volvo Cars’ technology for automatic braking includes several world firsts:
  • City Safety, which is standard* and works at speeds up to 31 mph
  • Collision Warning with full auto brake
  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake.

Auto brake efficiency documented

The efficiency of Volvo Cars’ approach has recently been highlighted:

  • The benefits of the groundbreaking City Safety technology — featuring automatic braking in low speed situations — were documented in a 2012 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report, which stated a reduction in insurance claim frequencies.
  • In a 2012 IIHS survey of 500 U.S. Volvo owners, a majority of them liked their vehicle’s crash avoidance features and credit the technology with keeping them safe and preventing crashes.
  • The owners’ experiences also aligned with data from the Highway Loss Data Institute, which found that “the rate of property damage liability claims for Volvos with standard City Safety is lower than for other vehicles in the same class.”
  • Findings by the Swedish insurance company Folksam show City Safety reduces injuries by 64 percent for people in cars hit from behind on roads with a 50 km/h (31 mph) speed limit. In situations in which City Safety has been activated, but the crash has not been completely avoided, the injury reduction is around 40 percent.
Pedestrian Cyclist Auto Brake

Pedestrian Cyclist Auto Brake

Focus on more support for the driver

The focuses of Volvo Car Group’s present research within auto brake technology include also making more systems efficient while driving at night. Upcoming solutions will also cover more objects and situations.

“With smart interaction and new advanced solutions we will continue to contribute to further helping avoid collisions from occurring. Moreover, in our most recent car models we have reduced moderate to severe injuries by two-thirds compared with the rate for the older car models. And we are working continuously on new solutions that will bring the figure down even further,” says Thomas Broberg.

Pedestrian Auto Brake

Pedestrian Auto Brake

Looking toward the future

Volvo’s 2014 model lineup will feature the world’s first Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake. Recently this summer Volvo also announced a number of user-friendly technologies that will be featured in the all-new XC90, arriving in late 2014, bolstering its innovation leadership in auto safety. These include:

  • Pedestrian Detection in darkness: A world first that makes the detection and auto brake technology work effectively also when driving in darkness. The technology includes detection and auto brake for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Road edge and barrier detection with steer assist: A feature that detects if the car is about to drive off the road and autonomously applies steering torque to bring the vehicle back on track. Being able to monitor where the physical road ends is a world first. This means that the technology also works on roads without side markings.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with steer assist: A technology that helps the driver stay in the lane and follow the rhythm of the traffic. The new system automatically follows the vehicle ahead.

* Currently standard on S60, XC60, XC70 and S80

SOURCE: Volvo Press Release

’14 Honda Odyssey due at dealers by July 2

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

BY GERRY MILES

When Honda introduced the Odyssey in NY years ago, the press kit featured King Kong climbing a skyscraper as it overtook Gotham. It turned out to be an apt description as perhaps the standard-bearer of minivans is oft considered to be the Honda.

The 2014 edition is slated next month in dealerships with a raft of styling changes, a 6-speed automatic in every trim level to boost fuel efficiency and the world’s first in-car vacuum the HondaVac, allowing everyone to keep the family truck clean.

It will go on sale with a starting MSRP of $28,825, representing only a $150 increase in base price for a thoroughly revised Odyssey equipped with additional standard features for increased convenience.

The rest of the press release with all the minutiae can be found below.

With the addition of a standard 6-speed automatic transmission paired to the 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), the Odyssey further solidifies its place as the fuel economy leader in the minivan segment with all 2014 models offering EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/28 mpg1city/highway (model-year 2013 EPA ratings were 18/27 mpg on all models except Touring and Touring Elite).Further enhancing occupant safety, the 2014 Odyssey receives the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The reinforced frontal structure improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. With the revised structure, the 2014 Odyssey is anticipated to earn the highest rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the stringent new IIHS small overlap frontal collision test. The Odyssey is expected to be the first minivan to earn a TSP+ from IIHS.

For 2014, the Odyssey continues with its successful model grade strategy: five different available trim levels include the well-equipped base LX model, EX, the leather-trimmed EX-L, the feature-packed Touring, and the line-topping Odyssey Touring Elite. A DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES) and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition3 are available on EX-L models and above.

New exterior colors for 2014 are Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl. Interior colors include Beige, Gray and Truffle for the new high-quality fabric that features a refined and dynamic new weave pattern on LX and EX models, while the EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite feature leather upholstery. A full range of genuine Honda accessories is also available.

New Features by Trim Level:

Odyssey LX:

  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • 4-way power front passenger seat
  • Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
  • One-touch turn signals
  • Next-generation Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • Bluetooth® streaming audio
  • Pandora® interface
  • Short Message Service (SMS) text function

Odyssey EX adds:

  • LaneWatch™ blind spot display
  • Push button start with keyless access system
  • HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ compatibility
  • Wiper-linked headlights

Odyssey EX-L and EX-L RES add:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Odyssey EX-L Navi and Touring add:

  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera

Odyssey Touring Elite adds:

  • HondaVAC™ integrated vacuum system
  • HD Radio™
  • Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio

Advancing the Odyssey
In redesigning the Odyssey for 2014, Honda’s goal was to reinforce and expand upon the vehicle’s already great features, including the exceptional value for money that already defines the Odyssey for its target buyers: Gen X and Gen Y families. Odyssey aims to surprise and delight by adding upgrades and amenities, making it once again the top pick among individual buyers.

Powertrain
The 2014 Odyssey features a 3.5-liter, 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 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. EPA fuel economy ratings are now 19/28 mpg1 city/highway for all trim levels, up 1 mpg in both city and highway for the LX, EX and EX-L trims. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions certification4 remains an impressive ULEV-2.

Body
Refined and youthful, sporty and advanced, 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-color 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.

Weight savings come from the use of aluminum for the hood, front fenders and front suspension lower control arms. The LX model features 17-inch steel wheels with premium covers, while EX and EX-L models utilize 17-inch premium aluminum alloy wheels. Touring and Touring Elite models feature 18-inch premium sport aluminum alloy wheels.

The 2014 Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have a wiper-linked headlight system that automatically turns on the headlights when the front wipers are activated. In addition, new standard one-touch turn signals improve convenience for the driver when making routine lane changes. With this system, one flick of the turn-signal lever provides three blinks of the turn signals – ideal for changing lanes. Pressing the lever past the “click point” provides continuous blinking.

A new keyless entry system with push button start on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite allows the driver to approach the vehicle, open the door and start the engine – all without touching a key. The system only requires the driver have possession of the key fob. The system also simplifies opening the sliding side doors and tailgate – locking all doors when leaving the vehicle requires only touching the lock button on any door handle.

Interior
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.

All 2014 Odyssey models and trim levels get an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror. The driver’s side mirror provides a 19-percent increase in visible area, offering an enhanced view of objects that might otherwise be hidden in the vehicle’s blind spot. Included on Odyssey EX, EX-L and Touring models, the Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display provides an expanded rear view of the passenger side roadway. The system uses a camera mounted on the bottom of the passenger door mirror, which when activated by the right turn signal or the signal-stalk LaneWatch™ button, displays a live, 80-degree view of the passenger-side roadway, compared to 18- to 22-degrees typical of a standard door mirror.

A rearview camera is standard on all Odyssey models. Odyssey LX, EX and EX-L models feature a single-angle “Normal View” display, while EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models have a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with wide, normal and top-down views – all with improved optical quality. All rearview camera systems feature guidelines.

HondaVAC™
The Odyssey Touring Elite features the first minivan in-vehicle vacuum cleaner system, HondaVac™ which is designed to help families keep the minivan interior neat and clean. Engineered for dry use, the HondaVAC™ operates on the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system, and its performance easily surpasses that of a handheld rechargeable vacuums.

Integrated in the rear cargo area of the vehicle, the HondaVAC™ includes an extendable hose that can reach every corner of the vehicle. Two separate head attachments expand versatility, while a removable debris canister and replaceable filter bag makes maintaining the vacuum easy. To protect the vehicle battery’s state of charge, the HondaVAC™ runs up to eight minutes with the ignition turned to the Accessory setting – or continuously if the engine is running.

Audio & Entertainment
Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have new intuitive touch panel controls that reduce button clutter on the center stack. An upper 8-inch display and a lower 7-inch display provide a simpler overall interface improving usability.

When paired to a compatible cellular phone, Aha™ and Pandora® interfaces are available on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models. XM® Radio is included in EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, a HDD audio system comes on the EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models, and a rear DVD player is standard in EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models. The Touring Elite also features HD Radio and new Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio.

Audio system output is 240 watts for Odyssey LX, 270 watts for EX, EX-L and EX-L RES, and 246 watts for EX-L Navi and Touring. The premium audio system in the Odyssey Touring Elite has 650 watts. All audio systems have seven speakers except for the Touring Elite, which features 12 speakers.

Simplified pairing and enhanced functionality with smart phones improve the Odyssey’s telematics for 2014. HandFreeLink® is included on all models, and Bluetooth® audio streaming, SMS and email functions are available with compatible smartphones. Additional features include a phonebook, call history, speed dial and contact picture. Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite include HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ which offers content from hundreds of channels through a tethered compatible smartphone.

The Rear Entertainment System (RES) on the EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models features upgraded control layout and screen quality. This system features improved placement of the DVD player and more intuitive operation for the rear audio controls. Screen resolution is VGA on EX-L RES and Touring models, and the Touring Elite’s upgraded ultra-widescreen offers four times higher resolution.

Safety
With the application of the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, significant structural changes to the unit-body were made, including more extensive use of high-strength steel in the A-, B- and C-pillars, roof rails, floor rails, front body area, and front subframe. As a result, the front door opening is now stronger, with less chance of deformation in a frontal collision.

The previous Odyssey achieved a top Good rating in IIHS Front Crash, Side Crash, Rear Crash and Roof Crush tests. For 2014, the Odyssey is targeted to add a GOOD rating in the IIHS’s rigorous new Small Overlap Barrier Test and be among the first minivans to receive the highest IIHS rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+.

Newly available on the Odyssey, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) help the driver indentify potential collision situations. Using the Odyssey’s front camera module, FCW warns of a possible collision with a vehicle detected in front, while LDW notifies the driver of departures from detected lanes5. The two systems are packaged together on Odyssey EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, and provide visual and audible warnings.

North American Development and Manufacturing
The Odyssey represents Honda’s robust product development capabilities in North America with its design, engineering and assembly all taking place in the U.S., using domestically and globally sourced parts. Designed in Los Angeles and engineered at Honda R&D America’s in Ohio, the Odyssey is manufactured6 by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Inc. Currently, 95 percent of all Hondas sold in the U.S., are built in North America.

2014 Honda Odyssey Pricing and EPA Data
Model Transmission MSRP2 EPA Rated
City/Hwy/Combined MPG1
Odyssey LX 6-Speed Automatic $28,825 19/28/22
Odyssey EX 6-Speed Automatic $32,125 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L 6-Speed Automatic $35,625 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ RES 6-Speed Automatic $37,225 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ Navi 6-Speed Automatic $37,625 19/28/22
Odyssey Touring 6-Speed Automatic $41,880 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L Touring Elite 6-Speed Automatic $44,450 19/28/22

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1 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

2 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) excluding tax, license, registration, $830 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

3 Certain functions that rely on a satellite signal will not work correctly in Hawaii and Alaska. These functions include but are not limited to automatic clock updates and time zone adjustments.

4 ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) models as certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

5 FCW cannot detect all objects ahead and may not detect a given object; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and other factors. System operation affected by high interior heat. FCW does not include a braking function. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions. LDW only alerts drivers when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use. LDW may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. System operation affected by extreme interior heat. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions.

6 The Odyssey is built using domestically and globally sourced parts.

The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license; Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries; Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

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