IIHS Selects First Minivan as “Top Safety Pick Plus”

Detroit News

For the first time, the Insur­ance Insti­tute for High­way Safe­ty test­ed a mini­van in its search for the “Top Safe­ty Pick Plus” and the mini­van won top pick.

Find out which mini­van passed all five crash eval­u­a­tions with high hon­ors.

The 2014 Hon­da Odyssey on Thurs­day was award­ed the Insur­ance Insti­tute for High­way Safe­ty ‘s top award — the “Top Safe­ty Pick Plus” the first mini­van to win the award.

It passed all five IIHS crash eval­u­a­tions, includ­ing the new chal­leng­ing small over­lap front test. It also passed crash tests cov­er­ing mod­er­ate over­lap front, small over­lap front, side, rollover and rear impacts.

The 2014 Odyssey is the first mini­van IIHS has test­ed. The insur­ance indus­try fund­ed group prods automak­ers to build safer cars. IIHS rat­ings are used by many poten­tial car buy­ers and automak­ers often adver­tise high test scores.

Hon­da asked IIHS to test the Odyssey to high­light struc­tur­al changes the automak­er made to improve occu­pant pro­tec­tion in a small over­lap front crash. When IIHS con­ducts a test at a manufacturer’s request, the automak­er reim­burs­es IIHS for the cost of the vehi­cle.

Hon­da intro­duced the upgrad­ed Odyssey as a 2014 mod­el. While Hon­da didn’t make major styling changes, the new mod­el has advanced high-strength steel in the front door frames, floor pan and front wheel wells cre­at­ing a more rigid occu­pant com­part­ment. The side cur­tain airbags extend far­ther for­ward to offer com­pre­hen­sive head pro­tec­tion in both a side crash and a small over­lap front crash.

“Safe­ty is high on the list for par­ents when it comes to shop­ping for a fam­i­ly vehi­cle,” said IIHS Pres­i­dent Adri­an Lund. “Con­sumers look for mod­els with the high­est safe­ty rat­ings. Hon­da is ahead of many of its com­peti­tors in build­ing state-of-the-art crash-wor­thi­ness into its vehi­cles.”

Hon­da attrib­ut­es refine­ments and the use of stronger mate­ri­als in its advanced com­pat­i­bil­i­ty engi­neer­ing body struc­ture to absorb­ing crash ener­gy and keep­ing the cab­in intact to pre­vent injuries to vehi­cle occu­pants, said Chuck Thomas, chief engi­neer of auto­mo­tive safe­ty for Honda’s research and devel­op­ment arm for the Amer­i­c­as.

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