Minivans do poorly in IIHS crash test focusing on 2nd row passengers

Maybe minivans are better for cargo… :grimacing:

But meanwhile tons of folks on here getting Wranglers every day 2023 Jeep Wrangler


Yeah, but I think many/most people know a Wrangler isn’t going to do well in a crash test? I assume Wranglers are a death trap (while also probably acting as a battering ram, should you be in another car on the receiving end).

It’s kind of shocking (IMHO) that minivans do SO poorly.

And they have some of the worst drivers operating them, usually full of screaming distractions too.


Which ones, the Wranglers or the minivans??? :wink:


It would be interesting to see every mainstream vehicle’s performance on these tests plotted along a line that measures real-life risk of negative outcomes like serious injury or death per hundred million vehicle miles, or some other objective metric.

When you shop for “safety” you aren’t buying much of anything, because you’re looking for trivial improvements for outcomes on incidents that you’re statistically almost certain not to encounter over your lifetime, much less during the limited duration while you have that specific vehicle.

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It would depend on whether the test was designed before or after the vehicle was designed. If I had to guess, I would say that the current minivans that debuted in MY19 or MY20, they had their designs were frozen by 2016-2017 ish.

The least surprising nugget was that the airbag on the CJDR vehicle failed to deploy.


Absurd people aren’t tested again for driving capabilities at the age of 70 or so. Especially considering they have the same death rates as the countries youngest and worst drivers. Curious if insurance rates rise to levels that 17 yr olds pay when you hit 80…?

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Leave it to the IIHS to shine a light on the cost cutting that goes on in vehicle safety.
First off these vehicles are in compliance with federally mandated standards (not the best when to comes to safety and self regulation of commercial organizations) as thats the only standard thats required by law (You can expect all of the brands to include this in their public statements, I can bet you on this). The IIHS is a 3p organization, that has its own tests and really highlights whether brands are truly safety focused from the get go (Volvo comes to mind), or are bare minimum boyz when it comes to safety.

Their first swipe was when they launched SORB, and Toyota lost its proverbial pants (last gen Rav4 only protected the driver).

Their next swipe was when they did SORB on pickup trucks and Ford lost its pants (turns out if you buy base model single cabs, you dont deserve to have legs).

This time its minivans, and guess everyone had some kind of shortcomings. The older player like Honda I understand, What surprised me was Toyota, the biggest player who touts the advanced next GEN TGNA-K architecture has marginal ratings. Note this isnt their first F* up. Chrysler doing Chrysler poor QC things, not a surprise. Kia also surprised me, as they throw cash at everything, yet there safety tests are marginal; its as though they only sought to introduce nicer interior design, and left safety off the table.

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The Korean conglomerate that basically controls Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis: they have several top safety picks.

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The IIHS headlight test is the one consumers should care most about. The difference between good headlights and bad headlights is going to produce a non trivial difference in outcomes. Especially for people with less than perfect depth perception and vision/corrected vision. The rest of the testing is at the margin.

And of course tires aren’t tested and are probably more important than any safety feature. Stopping distance on good tires with good tread is way shorter than cheap tires with low tread.


Fatalities and serious injuries per miles driven had been coming down for 20+ years until the pandemic.

Imagine if flying involved 5,000 deaths per year which is just a fraction of road deaths.

What is the difference in outcomes from the worst to the best headlights?

Reduction in collisions from 2 to 1 per billion miles? That’s trival.

2 to 1 per million miles? Still trivial. Most people don’t drive a million miles in a lifetime.

That’s my point. This is nibbling at the extreme margins.

They started going back up in 2015 but yes driving is much safer than it used to be. And driving to airport is most dangerous part of any trip.

Incremental improvement yields compounding results. We could all be driving Ford Pintos and most of us would not see any negative effect from its poor design or exploding fuel tank. It’s all a question of trade offs. I’m happy to pay a bit more for a serious of incremental improvements. Of course that’s easy for me to say with an above average household income.

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I’m persuadable with statistics, which is why I phrased my comments that way.

“Better is better” isn’t really a coherent argument, unless you reject the law of diminishing returns.

Of course. Same as for pretty much any electronic/manufactured good. The question is where do you draw the line on cost vs utility . I just think the line for worthwhile safety features is a little beyond where you do. It’s all subjective.

I am a big fan of statistics but I don’t think they work here. I’d compare non trivial costing at the margin safety features to life insurance. Both are financially irrational and unlikely to ever be used. Would you also argue that life insurance is also something people with dependents (children or non-working spouse) don’t need.

Where the cost of further improvements can no longer produce meaningful benefits. Law of diminishing returns.

So I respectfully disagree. :slight_smile:

This is situational based on the family’s other resources.

Life insurance would be a preposterous expense for our household, since there would be no dependency on it if one of us dies, and would offer only a marginal improvement to the survivor’s lifestyle (we don’t live lavishly and I wouldn’t expect that to change).

So it isn’t worth the premium. Law of diminishing returns.

Please don’t misunderstand, I make irrational choices all the time, but I have enough self awareness to recognize them (at least some of the time). :slight_smile:

Regarding “…would offer only a marginal improvement to the survivor’s lifestyle (we don’t live lavishly and I wouldn’t expect that to change).”

It sounds like you just need to bump up the payout for your term life coverage. Like, give your wife a reason to cut your brake lines then send you on errands near the train tracks.

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I think each of those brands in their respective parent companies have top safety picks as well. What surprises me is that, even with the top safety picks in each roster, the minivan, the vehicle that I think most carry their most precious cargo, they decide implement cost cutting for safety tech. Side note, the Sienna and Odessey are Top Safety+ winners in the class.

True, I dont understand fully what the difference is. IIHS has some info provided that I will attach here that helps in the headlight test.

Vehicles with good-rated headlights have 19 percent fewer nighttime single-vehicle crashes than vehicles with poor-rated headlights. Acceptable and marginal headlights are associated with reductions of about 15 and 10 percent. These numbers are based on a 2021 analysis of police-reported crashes.

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Doesn’t help that Wranglers do not have side airbags.