New Crash Test Reports Reveal Which Minivans Are Keeping Families Safe

family in minivan

Buying a car can be a stressful experience on its own, but purchasing one as a parent opens up a whole new can of worms.  More than ever we're concerned about safety, because we're not going to drive our most precious cargo around in just any old vehicle. The minivan has pretty much become a symbol of the American family in terms of transportation. The purchase of that vehicle with the extra row and more storage space means the number of people dependent upon us has grown. We also expect that mini-van to carry our brood around safely and securely.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a new crash test report that's of major significance for anyone who currently drives a minivan or is in the market for one. They tested three major players in the category -- the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna -- to see how each would fare in the event of an actual accident while on the road.

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The results are a tad bit concerning, particularly for one make and model.

Consumer Reports published the IIHS findings which showed that the Honda Odyssey was the top performer in a crash test, earning the top rating of Good. Safety testers were impressed with its Odyssey driver- and passenger-side protection, as well as featuring seat belts that work well for securing car seats.

FAMILY in minivan
Credit: iStock / Kalinovskiy

The Pacifica did okay, but didn't receive nearly as much praise as the Odyssey. It received a rating of Acceptable (which is a tier under the Good category), largely scoring high marks but getting points deducted for the vehicle's overall structure.

The Toyota Sienna, unfortunately, was handed a Poor mark because its passenger-side protection was lacking, according to the IIHS. They asserted that this posed a risk of leg injuries to passengers if a real-life crash were to occur.

Food for thought as you navigate the roads from school to sports practices and everything in between. We can only hope that these continued crash tests will encourage car makers to continue improving on their family-friendly autos so that one day all makes and models will receive the same high praise as the Honda Odyssey.

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