Honda’s minivan first to get top IIHS safety rating

The 2014 Honda Odyssey has achieved a top safety rating that the refreshed minivan was designed to achieve.

It becomes the first minivan to receive the top safety pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Honda executives announced today. Having the safest minivan in the field is important to consumers who buy them to transport children.

Although the 2014 represents a mid-cycle refresh, much of the steel body is new or modified with high strength steel that cuts weight. This allowed the minivan to perform better in tests, including the new “small overlap test” where the minivan strikes a barrier with the front quarter panel. The front of the vehicle crumples as designed, while the driver is protected by the rigidity of the cabin structure and deployment of front and side curtain airbags.

The Acura MDX also has the same body structure improvements, said Chuck Thomas, chief engineer for automotive safety with Honda R&D Americas.

Honda now does its own small-overlap research and testing in Japan and Ohio, Thomas said.

The automaker has a growing number of top safety pick vehicles and hopes to soon add the Acura MDX, RLX and others to the list, said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning for American Honda.

Meanwhile, Honda is launching a new advertising campaign for the minivan Sept. 3. The new tagline is “start something special” and the spots have characters voiced by actors Neil Patrick Harris and Rainn Wilson.

The 2014 Odyssey went on sale last month.

 

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobomontgomeryhonda.com

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