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.