Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

The Honda Odyssey was the only minivan to earn the highest safety rating in new crash tests by the insurance industry.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town and Country, and Dodge Caravan all garnered the lowest rating on the small overlap front crash test. In each of those tests, the crash caused the minivan's structure to collapse. The Nissan Quest was called "one of the worst crash tests we've ever seen" by a lead executive at IIHS, according to CNBC. Test dummies riding in the Quest had to be pried out of the wreck with a crowbar.

The small overlap test is a severe test that replicates what happens when a vehicle's front corner collides with another object at 40 miles per hour. Minivans have a hard time protecting occupants in such crashes, as they are built on car frames but tend to be much larger and heavier than cars.

The Toyota Sienna earned an "acceptable" rating. The group said its structure was weak but the dummy was protected by its side air bags.

IIHS plans to test one other minivan - the Kia Sedona - in the coming weeks.

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