Only one of the four minivans – all sold in the United States – that underwent the front overlap test of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety managed to get a passing score. While the latest model of the Toyota Sienna scored “acceptable,” the Dodge Grand Caravan (MY2008-2015), the Chrysler Town & Country, and the Nissan Quest (MY2011-2015) minivans got a “poor” score.
The 2015 Toyota Sienna joins the Honda Odyssey (good) -- which underwent the small overall test earlier -- as the only minivans to gain the IIHS "Top Safety Pick-Plus" rating used heavily in marketing new vehicles.
David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, remarked while minivans are among parents -- a group that tends to be safety conscious – the institute so far seen two models offering decent protection in small overlap crashes.
The makers of the three other minivans were quick to defend the safeness of their offerings. According to Chrysler Group, it continues to improve every performance aspect of its vehicles, noting that no single test determines overall vehicle safety.
It noted that previous model-year vehicles received the highest performance ratings given by the IIHS in tests simulating the four main crash types — side, rollover, rear and moderate-overlap front.
On the other hand, Nissan said that it is committed to vehicle safety, pointing out that the Quest still earned a "good" rating from IIHS in the front moderate overlap and side impact tests.