Following the latest round of testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), five 2012 model minivans have received the organization's Top Safety Pick accolade. In addition to posting the requisite "good" performance in a comprehensive battery of other IIHS crash tests, these vehicles also earned top scores for the superior protection they afford passengers in the case of a rollover accident.
The three newest models singled out for particular merit were the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Volkswagen Routan. All share a common structure that was redesigned for 2012 to materially improve roof-crush resistance. They join current IIHS Top Safety Pick winners, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, at the head of the 2012 minivan class. Two other minivans fell short of the benchmark "good" rating when it came to rollover protection. The 2012 Nissan Quest received an "acceptable" grade while the 2012 Kia Sedona, which was last redesigned in 2006, earned a "poor" mark.
"Safety-conscious parents shopping for a family hauler should be pleased with today's minivan choices," says David Zuby, the Institute's chief research officer. "At the same time, the ratings show that major differences remain in this segment when it comes to protection in a rollover crash."