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2014 Honda Odyssey: A minivan with built-in vacuum

A Honda Motor Co. representative demonstrates the vacuum

(Credit: Bloomberg News)

So staid is the minivan sector that the term “world premiere,” and the excitement it connotes, is practically inapplicable to a new minivan. Even moreso when it applies to Honda, whose vehicles already border on ubiquity.

But the Japanese automaker managed to bring some buzz to the New York Auto Show last week when it unveiled its revamped 2014 Odyssey minivan. The family vehicle comes with...

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Families in focus during 2013 New York Auto Show

Visitors to the 2013 New York International Auto

(Credit: Nancy Borowick)

Don’t be alarmed as you notice SpongeBob SquarePants and built-in vehicle vacuums taking precedence over engine cylinders and transmissions at the New York Auto Show. It’s all part of car manufacturers’ renewed focus on the family car buyer.

Toyota, Honda, BMW, Chrysler Group and General Motors all took the 2013 New York International Auto Show as a chance to appeal to family-oriented consumers...

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