IIHS releases list of safest minivans

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NEW YORK — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with a new round of crash tests and this time the group looked at minivans.

Researchers tested three minivans – the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna – to see how they performed in crash tests on the front corner of the passenger side.

The Odyssey came out on top with a “Good” overall rating while the Pacifica was given an “Acceptable” rating.

“Both the Honda Odessey and Chrysler Pacifica are IIHS Top Safety Picks. They have good ratings in all of our other crash tests.”

David Zuby is the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

He said the seatbelts and airbags performed well in all the minivans, but the Toyota Sienna received a “Marginal” rating overall.

“The safety cage collapsed so much that we measured front parts of the vehicle structure moving back toward the passenger dummy as much as than 20 inches.”

Researchers also tested five minivans to see how easy it was to install car seats using the vehicles built in L.A.T.C.H. hardware, which stands for lower anchors and tethers for children.

“It is a system that all cars are required to have on board. It was required to make it easier for parents to install child restraints.”

Like the crash test, the Honda Odyssey received the highest grade for ease of use. The Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna finished with an “Acceptable.”

The Chrysler Pacifica received a “Marginal” rating.

The IIHS says, overall, latch ratings have improved over the past three years. So has crash test performance as auto makers continue to build safer vehicles.


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