Minivans put to the test

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Another round of front passenger side crash tests is offering some mixed results for minivan makers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested three 2018-19 minivans, the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna, focusing on “passenger side” front crash tests, similar to real world scenarios.

“A vehicle may go off the road, strike a tree, or an object at the side of the road, where only a portion of the front of the vehicle gets crushed,” said David Zuby from IIHS.

In these “small overlap” tests, the Sienna only received a marginal rating overall and a poor rating for structure, with Zuby saying the safety cage around the right front passenger side started to fall apart.

The Pacifica earned a marginal rating for structure, with an acceptable rating overall for passenger side protection. 

The Odyssey fared best, scoring “acceptable” on structure and a “good” overall.

“We’d ideally like to see all vehicles rating good overall. But those that rate acceptable don’t have too many problems,” said Zuby.

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