If you’re shopping for a safe family vehicle, you now have five more to consider. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named five minivans Top Safety Picks. The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Volkswagen Routan all earned the award for their top scores of “good” in front, side, rear and rollover crash protection, as well as having electronic stability control (ESC) standard. ESC is required by the government on all 2012 and newer vehicles.
The IIHS says these minivans all earned Top Safety Pick status after a new round of testing for rollover protection for a group of minivans. The Town & Country, Grand Caravan and Routan are all built on the same platform, and “underwent changes for the 2012 model year that affected roof strength, so this rollover rating only applies to 2012 models,” the IIHS says in a statement. Chrysler Group recently announced the Dodge Grand Caravan would be eliminated from Dodge’s lineup and replaced with a crossover vehicle in 2013.
The IIHS also tested the Nissan Quest and Kia Sedona minivans, but their scores didn’t earn them a Top Safety Pick designation. The 2012 Quest received the highest score of “good” in front, side and rear tests, and the second highest score of “acceptable” in roof strength tests. The 2012 Sedona also scored “good” in front, side and rear tests, but received the lowest score of “poor” in roof strength tests. The IIHS says that roof strength is important because in a rollover crash, a stronger roof will crush less and reduce the risk that passengers will be injured by the roof itself or be ejected from the vehicle.
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