The 2018 Toyota Sienna Comes up Short in IIHS Crash Testing

Passenger side crash testing reveals some major weaknesses.

byBrian Evans|
Toyota News photo


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, has released results from its latest round of passenger-side small overlap front crash testing. Out of the three minivans tested, the Toyota Sienna performed the worst in the new trial. 

According to the IIHS, Toyota made changes to the driver side in 2015 to improve protection but did not make the same changes to the passenger side, leaving it more vulnerable. 

The IIHS put the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna down the track to meet their fate. The Honda Odyssey performed the strongest out of the three, with the lowest amount of intrusion, followed by the Chrysler Pacifica; both earned the Top Safety Pick Award, missing out on the "+" after their headlights were only rated acceptable. 

The Toyota Sienna came up short in the testing, suffering from significant intrusion into the cabin during the test, up to 20 inches in certain areas. The airbags performed as designed and expected, but the dashboard was pushed into the dummy's knees during the testing. The overall passenger-side rating for the Sienna was marginal, with the structure receiving a poor rating due to the intrusion.

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Back in 2012, the IIHS introduced driver-side small overlap crash testing and manufacturers began adjusting their vehicle designs to better protect the driver. In 2017, the IIHS added the passenger-side small overlap crash test to ensure that both sides are getting equal protection. The IIHS said that it has found many manufacturers are making improvements to achieve a good or acceptable rating in the passenger side test as it is now part of the requirements to earn a 2018 Top Safety Pick+ Award. The official list of Top Safety Picks for 2018 can be found in a previous report by The Drive if you're on the hunt for a safe car.

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