The Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town & Country and its twin, the Dodge Grand Caravan, all received the lowest score of poor in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap crash test. This test simulates what happens when a vehicle's front corner collides with another car or a utility pole and has been a tough one for automakers.
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"Minivans are popular among parents, a group that tends to be safety conscious, but we've only seen two so far that offer decent protection in small overlap crashes," said IIHS chief research officer David Zuby in a press release.
Those two minivans are the Honda Odyssey, which received the top score of good in the small overlap test, and the updated-for-2015 Toyota Sienna, with its acceptable score. IIHS scores are good, acceptable, marginal and poor. Both the Odyssey and the Sienna have received IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus designations, which is the agency's highest award. The 2015 Kia Sedona, which recently arrived at dealerships, wasn't tested by IIHS because the automaker plans to make changes to the minivan to improve its small overall protection. IIHS plans to test it as soon as it's available.