Five minivan models have earned the 2011 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The winners are the safest vehicles around, with better rollover crash protection than other models. Other qualifying factors include the highest ratings for side, frontal, and rear crash protection, along with electronic stability control.
On the top of the list is the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Volkswagen Routan. Roof strength is the defining factor in rollover protection, and is gauged using pressure applied via a metal plate. Good ratings are issued to vehicles that can hold up on a five inch give to forces 4 times their weight.
With three of the top five making 2012 model year improvements, the minivan segment appears to be catering to its market with enhanced safety features. ESC is also now a requirement for all passenger vehicles, also. As it is estimated that having it will reduce the number of fatalities in rollover crashes, a strong roof is still the most effective preventative measure.
– By: Alexandra Koken