You know an automaker is confident about the safety of its vehicles when it asks one of the top crash test agencies to destroy one of its newest models. That's exactly what happened with the 2014 Honda Odyssey. According the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Honda requested that the agency run the updated Odyssey through its full barrage of tests, and for good reason.

Aside from slight styling upgrades and a new optional HondaVac built-in vacuum cleaner, the 2014 Odyssey was also given a more rigid passenger compartment using high-strength steel to help better protect occupants. It obviously worked. Following the crash tests, the 2014 Odyssey became the first minivan to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating, but, more importantly, it did so with "Good" ratings in all five crash categories (four "Goods" and one "Acceptable" are enough for the TSP+). Impressive.

Scroll down for the crash-test video from the IIHS along with a press release.
2014 Honda Odyssey IIHS Crash Test

Show full PR text
Honda Odyssey is first minivan to earn the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award

ARLINGTON, Va. - The 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan earns the Institute's top safety designation for good performance in all five IIHS crash evaluations, including the challenging small overlap front test. The Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in the moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, rollover and rear crash evaluations.

The 2014 Odyssey is the first minivan the Institute has evaluated in the small overlap front test. Honda asked the Institute to test the Odyssey to highlight structural changes the automaker made to improve occupant protection in a small overlap front crash. When the Institute conducts a test at a manufacturer's request, the automaker reimburses IIHS for the cost of the vehicle.

Honda introduced the upgraded Odyssey as a 2014 model. While there are no major styling changes, the new model has advanced high-strength steel in the front door frames, floor pan and front wheel wells for a more rigid occupant compartment. The side curtain airbags extend farther forward to offer comprehensive head protection in both a side crash and a small overlap front crash. Even with these modifications, the Odyssey's weight didn't change much because Honda engineers were able to reduce weight elsewhere to compensate for the strengthened structure.

"Safety is high on the list for parents when it comes to shopping for a family vehicle," says Institute President Adrian Lund. "Consumers look for models with the highest safety ratings. Honda is ahead of many of its competitors in building state-of-the-art crashworthiness into its vehicles."
Honda and Acura brands have earned six TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards among 20 current models that the Institute has rated. They are the Honda Accord 2-door and 4-door, Civic 2-door and 4-door, Odyssey and Acura TL. Winners must earn good ratings for occupant protection in 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test.

The Institute added the small overlap test to its lineup of vehicle safety evaluations last year. It replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy is belted in the driver seat.

In the Odyssey test, the driver's space was maintained reasonably well. Injury measures on the dummy indicated a low risk of injury in a crash of this severity. Because the structure helped keep the steering column stable, the front airbag stayed in front of the driver dummy during the crash to provide good protection. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with the side structure and outside objects.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      I find it funny when people see a car gets a good crash rating and see's pictures of cars crumpled up and automatically assumes its not safe just from the "looks" of it. Cars should come out looking like KITT does after turbo boosting through a wall I guess.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        zach
        • 1 Year Ago
        It was a hubcap dude.
          Harry A. Mitchell II
          @zach
          Dude, if that's a hubcap then I'm the Pope.
          joe shmoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @zach
          it was an alloy wheel. and I don't like these tests. Seems that if you crashed the car 3 times in the same way, you'd get 3 different results- I mean, if the overlap was 1-2 inches different, you'd get different mangled results. Also, most cabins remain intact, but some get poor ratings. A bigger airbag at the A-pillar might give better score? Also, this odyssey dummy has a busted knee.
      rjwatsonmotors
      • 1 Year Ago
      After the crash that built-in vacuum cleaner could really be handy....
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rjwatsonmotors
        Made me laugh out loud at my desk.
      normc32
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't believe this is pushing 5,000 lbs when optioned up! My parents didn't like the added weight did when they traded in a Chevy Venture for a Uplander. Now he buys old Chrysler minivans with V6 as they are still under 4,000 lbs and handles well.
        Drakkon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @normc32
        Chevy Venture had its product life shortened because it did so poorly in crash tests. Weight is not the only factor, obviously.
        NightFlight
        • 1 Year Ago
        @normc32
        The Venture and Uplanders were absolute, utter pieces of garbage. Since we are in a safety themed article, I feel it is necessary to post a link to the crash test of the Venture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDQrPnAhSmI Yeah, that's disgusting. These are great vans if you want your parents to be dead.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NightFlight
          [blocked]
      mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure whats a passing grade. But that van folded like tissue.
        Jason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mike
        If you watch the inboard footage, you'll see the actual cabin remain pretty intact after that impact. Can't judge by that picture, the front is designed to fold like that to absorb the energy and transfer around.
      mchica
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not surprised, Honda usually does well in safety tests.
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mchica
        Wasn't the case up until the late 1990s. Back then Hondas were infamous for "thin body shell" which the older generation would dismiss as being equivalent to "unsafe." Check out some of the earlier IIHS offset tests of Hondas; they're not pretty.
      npier598
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota execs are now officially in a crisis. Well done Honda. Not only did the Odyssey pass with flying colors (just like the Acccord and Civic), Honda confidently initiated the test so that they'd have an edge on the competition. The only thing Toyota asks the IIHS for is to delay crash tests until they've had time to tweak their vehicles. Still hasn't worked for them as they do not have a single product that's been given a good rating (and only one that's acceptable).
        Jake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @npier598
        Any job openings in Honda marketing these days?
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          @ gtv4rudy The Dodge Caravan and T&C also have a fleet ratio that is the highest in the industry. Honda is below 3% IIRC.
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          They hardly sold any of these odd looking Odysseys unfortunately maybe this explains it..
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          @ gtv4rudy Weird, you say they hardly sold any of these but they are the second best selling van in the segment. Use real data next time, not your opinion.
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          I'm comparing it to the Dodge Caravan.
          MJC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          The truth hurts, huh?
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          oh yea, it hurts sooooo much.
      Kimura
      • 1 Year Ago
      For comparison, I would love to see the old Montana/Venture do the small overlap test.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kimura
        [blocked]
          mchica
          • 1 Year Ago
          Nah Cardboard wouldn't be fair, too strong. More like a Paper Mache Egg with wheels.
        mchica
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kimura
        Funny how everyone remembers how bad the vans were. The Blazer clones weren't much better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTbA0fhBark
      Famsert
      • 1 Year Ago
      As someone who just got involved in an accident involving a pole, I can safely say that I will only be buying another top safety pick+ (likely from Honda) from now on. The years of pain and disability that I would've experienced in a less safe car isn't worth it.
      pghcc2006
      • 1 Year Ago
      Before i get a lecture on physics can i just say that while i understand the reasoning behind and the effectives of crumple zones, that much destruction still gives me the creeps. On a basic level i guess i'd still would rather my vehicle smash through something rather then fold up.
        Mike F.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pghcc2006
        You may be right for small objects like mailboxes. In a big heavy old car you wouldn't feel it. But if you hit a big oak tree or a truck, your car comes to a stop. All that forward inertia has to go somewhere. If your car is rigid, it has extremely high deceleration, so you get slammed against your seat belt much harder. Plus other weird stuff starts happening, like the engine comes through the firewall, or your seat comes off its mounts. It's all just much more violent than if the front of the car compresses at the crumple zone, which slows the deceleration. An analogy is having springs and dampers (shocks/struts) in your suspension vs. having none. Riding without a suspension would violently bounce you all over the place, but a proper spring and damper takes all that harshness away. Only the crumple zone spring and damper is a one time use system.
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pghcc2006
        That only applies to an object that CAN be smashed through. Your Hummer and a rigid concrete wall would turn you into luncheon meat (Spam) without crumple zones.
        Drakkon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pghcc2006
        So your soft tissue can absorb and dissipate all that energy instead? You have a lot of faith in what type of objects your body would be capable of smashing through. Remember, a 1960s ambulance brought more white sheets than stretchers...
          lasertekk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Drakkon
          If a copy of the teen safety film 'Red Asphalt' is still available, watch it. Those framed cars from the 60's and most of the 70's would turn the occupants in hamburger meat (hence the term 'bring out the meat wagon') and the driver would be wearing a sizzling engine on his lap. Not the best of times.
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Drakkon
          We used to joke around calling the knobs and buttons on those older vehicles "cookie cutters". You could always tell when someone was in an accident in one, because they'd have cuts and skin missing in the shape of what they came into contact with.
      Mike F.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Safest minivan ever! (a la Tesla)
      muspod
      • 1 Year Ago
      whoever comes out with an all electric minivan will be king. Tesla? Nissan? Toyota?
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