To be named a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn the top rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side, rollover and rear impact tests, and at least Acceptable in the small overlap front test. IIHS gives ratings of Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor.
IIHS President Adrian Lund says in a statement, “Safety is high on the list for parents when it comes to shopping for a family vehicle. Consumers look for models with the highest safety ratings. Honda is ahead of many of its competitors in building state-of-the-art crashworthiness into its vehicles.”
According to Bloomberg, the Honda Odyssey had previously failed the small overlap front crash test. While the test was being developed, Honda sent a 2012 Odyssey to be crash tested. It did not do well. If the test had been official, the 2012 Odyssey would have scored a Poor. In order to perform better on the test, Honda added higher-strength steel to the Odyssey’s frame, as well as new side-curtain air bags.
The Top Safety Pick+ designation is new for 2013, created after IIHS began including the small overlap frontal crash test. In the test, the outer front quarter of a vehicle traveling at 40 mph hits a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier. IIHS says, “The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole.”
CNBC reports that, “Small overlap collisions are among the most common and deadliest accidents.”
Some automakers have done a good job updating their cars to score well on the small overlap front test, reports Automotive News. The 2014 Subaru Legacy, Outback and Forester are Top Safety Pick+ vehicles, as are the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, 2013 Acura TL, 2013 Nissan Altima, 2013 Ford Fusion and 2014 Mazda6, as well as several other vehicles. However, other automakers have struggled with the test. Automotive News says that Toyota has had a particularly difficult time reengineering its cars to pass the test. We reported that the 2013 Toyota RAV4 earned a Poor score on the test, even after IIHS gave Toyota extra time to improve the vehicle’s safety structure. The 2014 Scion tC is the only Toyota vehicle so far that has been named a Top Safety Pick+.
The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has only rated the 2014 Honda Odyssey for rollover so far, and it received four out of five stars.
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