The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested three 2018-19 minivans, the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. They focused on “Passenger side” front crash tests similar to real world scenarios.
IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby says, “A vehicle may go off the road, strike a tree, or an object at the side of the road. Where only a portion of the front of the vehicle actually gets crushed.”
In these “Small overlap” tests, the Sienna only received a marginal rating overall and a poor rating for structure.
“In essence, the safety cage around the right front passenger has started to fall apart,” according to Zuby.
In a written statement, Toyota, in part, called the test a “Severe, specialized test that goes beyond federal vehicle safety requirements” but pointed to steps taken “To improve the performance of Toyota vehicles” in the small overlap test.
The Pacifica earned a marginal rating for structure with an acceptable rating overall for passenger side protection.
The Odyssey fared best, scoring “Acceptable” on structure and a “Good” overall.
“We’d ideally like to see all vehicles rating good overall,” says Zuby, “but those that rate acceptable don’t have too many problems.”
In fact, the Odyssey and Pacifica each received the top safety pick award for front crash protection overall.
Zuby says, “We know the carmakers are getting the message and making improvements to get better ratings in our crash tests.”
Helping safety conscious consumers.
The institute also tested the ‘ease of use’ for the mini-van “Latch” hardware used with child restraints. It rated the Odyssey as “Good”. The Dodge Caravan, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna rated “Acceptable”.
The Chrysler Pacifica earned a “Marginal” score.