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Honda continues to prove that minivan ownership can be a delightful proposition, if you can get over the fact you’re driving a minivan. Smart car buyers looking for the ultimate in vehicle versatility would be very wise to consider the Odyssey, the winner in the Minivan category of the Daily News Autos Awards.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2016 HONDA ODYSSEY IN OUR BUYER’S GUIDE HERE.

We know the stigma that’s attached to minivan ownership. Forget it, because the Odyssey is one of the handiest means of transportation you’ll ever find. Starting at $30,300 (including destination fee), the 2016 Odyssey comes with one engine and one choice of gearbox. The 248-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and 6-speed automatic deliver smooth acceleration and, because this is a Honda, impressive fuel economy. On the highway, the Odyssey returns an EPA estimated 28 mpg.

The rear cargo hatch and sliding side doors reveal a cabin with seating for up to 8 people. If cargo room is your biggest concern, however, fold the second and third-row seating down and bask in the Odyssey’s 148 cu. ft. of load-lugging space. Really, it makes you wonder why more people don’t buy minivans.

Smart car buyers looking for the ultimate in vehicle versatility would be very wise to consider the Odyssey, the winner in the Minivan category of the Daily News Autos Awards.HONDA/WIECK

Smart car buyers looking for the ultimate in vehicle versatility would be very wise to consider the Odyssey, the winner in the Minivan category of the Daily News Autos Awards.

Honda also has a trick up its sleeve. The available HondaVac is a built-in vacuum cleaner – it’s a dream come true for anyone who hates a crumb-covered car. And if keeping your loved ones safe and secure is important (and really, it should be), you can rest assured knowing the 2016 Odyssey achieves 5-star crash-test ratings in government safety testing.

Other recommended models in the Minivan category include the quirky Ford Transit Connect Wagon, the rock-solid Toyota Sienna, Mercedes-Benz’ rugged Metris, along with the all-new and quite handsome Kia Sedona. Despite being due for replacement with the 2017 model year, the current Honda Odyssey still takes top honors amongst its direct rivals.

BY NICK KURCZEWSKI of NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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