Watch Honda Odyssey, Other Minivans Struggle In IIHS Rear Seat Test

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of putting the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, and Toyota Sienna minivans through the agency’s more challenging moderate overlap front crash test. They did not do very well.

From best to worst, the IIHS rates vehicles as Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. The table below shows how these minivans performed:

ModelOverall Rating
2023 Chrysler PacificaMarginal
2023 Kia CarnivalMarginal
2023 Toyota SiennaMarginal
2023 Honda OdysseyPoor

The updated moderate overlap front crash test now evaluates second-row passenger safety. All of these models get a Good score for protecting the driver. The issue is safeguarding the person in the back. The IIHS uses a crash dummy back there that simulates a small woman or a 12-year-old child.

“Back seat safety is important for all vehicles, but it’s especially vital for those, like minivans, that customers are choosing specifically to transport their families,” said IIHS President David Harkey in the announcement of the results. 

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All four minivans left second-row occupants vulnerable to chest agencies. IIHS reported this was due to “excessive belt forces or poor belt positioning.” In some cases, these injuries could be life-threatening.

The Sienna was the only one of these vehicles with belt pretensioners and force limiters. However, the backseat dummy slid beneath the lap belt, and the shoulder belt went towards the neck.

The Pacifica has a problem because the side curtain airbag did not deploy.

The forces on the dummy’s neck were higher on the Carnival than for the Pacifica and Sienna. This could increase the risk of head or neck injuries, according to the IIHS.

The sensors on the dummy in the Odyssey’s second-row showed even higher forces on the head and neck than for the Carnival. There was also the possibility of the head striking the front seatback.

The IIHS has been putting various groups of vehicles through the tougher moderate overlap front crash test throughout the year. Not many models have scored the top Good score so far. They include the Honda Accord, Ford Explorer, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Subaru Ascent, and Tesla Model Y.

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