Five safe minivans crowned by safety institute
If you drive a Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Volkswagen Routan, Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, then you have one of the safest minivans on the road today.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s newest crash test results, these five minivans earned high marks for front and side rollover protection and rear crash protection. They also have electronic stability control.
The institute noted some lower-scoring minivans, giving the Kia Sedona a poor rating and the Nissan Quest an acceptable rating.
The ratings apply to 2012 models.
“Safety-conscious parents shopping for a family hauler should be pleased with today’s minivan choices,” says David Zuby, the institute’s chief resource officer. “At the same time, the ratings show that major differences remain in this segment when it comes to protection in a rollover crash.”
In 2009, more than 8,000 people were killed in rollover crashes, according to the institute.
Rollover protection depends on roof strength, which is measured by pushing a metal plate against one corner of a vehicle’s roof at a constant speed, according to the institute. To earn a good rating, the roof must withstand a force equal to four times the vehicle’s weight before it caves in 5 inches. Put another way, it must have a strength-to-weight ratio of at least 4. The Town & Country, for instance, had a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.51.