Turns out a minivan may not be the safest way to transport a family.
When it comes to minivans, safety is likely one of the most important features among potential buyers. Primarily used to transport children, it makes sense for minivans to prioritize safety. That's why the latest test by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) was so important. The IIHS tested the 2018 Honda Odyssey, 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, and 2018 Toyota Sienna in its infamous passenger small-overlap test, and the result were shocking. This test is notoriously difficult to pass and many vehicles have failed because of it. We'd think that minivans would perform well here, but the results speak for themselves.
In the small overlap test, the Honda Odyssey received a "good" rating, the Pacifica followed with an "acceptable" rating, and the Sienna performed poorly with a "marginal" rating. The Sienna scored poorly because it allowed structural intrusion into the cabin, resulting in leg injuries to the crash test dummy. Toyota modified the structure of the Sienna in 2015 on the driver's side but didn't make the same modifications to the passenger side. The Sienna is also the oldest minivan in the test, which could explain its less-than-stellar performance.
The newer Pacifica faired better in the test because its intrusions had a low risk of harm to the passenger. The Odyssey had the best performance because the passenger wouldn't have had any injuries. So there you go, if you are shopping for a minivan and want the safest option, take a look at the IIHS Top Safety Pick Honda Odyssey.