New crash test results are out for minivans. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested three 2018 - 2019 models for how well they protect passenger side occupants.
The passenger side crash test sends a vehicle into a barrier at 40 miles per hour, with just the front corner of the minivan hitting it.
The Honda Odyssey came out on top with a "good" rating. The Chrysler Pacifica earned an "acceptable" rating and the Toyota Sienna got a "marginal" rating.
The institute found manufacturers are making fast improvements in passenger side safety.
The institute also highlighted the LATCH system of attachment hardware for child restraints that is intended to simplify installation. Child restraints installed with LATCH are more likely to be put in correctly than restraints installed using the vehicle safety belt, IIHS research has shown.
According to IIHS, even with LATCH, installation errors are common. The Institute's LATCH ratings are based on key ease-of-use criteria that have been shown to minimize mistakes in installing lower attachment straps and top tethers. The top tether keeps the child seat from pitching forward in a crash, and all forward-facing restraints need them.
Among 2018-19 minivans evaluated, the Odyssey was the only one to earn a "GOOD+" rating for LATCH ease of use. The "GOOD+" rating is for vehicles that meet the criteria for a "GOOD" rating and provide additional seating positions with easy-to-use LATCH hardware. The eight-passenger 2019 Odyssey offers five LATCH-equipped seating positions, three in the second row and two in the third row.
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