After recently being named a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey has become the first minivan to earn top scores in the new, more stringent crash-testing regimes from both the IIHS and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
The IIHS recognition goes only to vehicles that are equipped with electronic stability control and achieve the highest possible scores in the group's evaluations of front, side and rear crash protection, as well as its new, more rigorous roof-strength test for gauging rollover protection. Previously, the Odyssey had become one of the very first vehicles to achieve a NHTSA "Overall Vehicle Score" of five stars as part of the government's New Car Assessment Program. NHTSA awarded Honda's minivan five-star ratings at all seating positions in front- and side-crash safety tests'”including a new test for side-pole impacts'”along with four stars for rollover protection.
Key enablers of the Odyssey's comprehensive approach to occupant safety include Honda's ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure. The ACE system leverages a network of connected structural elements in the Odyssey to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle, with a focus on reducing forces that may be transferred to the passenger compartment.
In addition, the completely redesigned minivan features electronic safety systems like Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control and an anti-lock brake system (ABS), plus a full suite of passenger restraint measures that include:
- Three-row side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors
- Dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags
- A driver's front side airbag
- A front passenger side airbag with an occupant position detection system
- Three-point seatbelts at all seating positions with front pretensioners and load limiters
Honda's commitment to vehicle safety extends to pedestrians as well. The automaker has specifically designed the front of the Odyssey to help absorb energy in the event of such a collision, which Honda research shows can "dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival." Among these injury-mitigation features:
- The Odyssey's hood has been designed to bend in case of contact with either an adult or child pedestrian, not remain rigid.
- Additional clearance was added between the Odyssey's hood and its harder engine parts.
- A unique, energy-absorbing section structure was incorporated at the base of the minivan's windshield.
- Its front fender mounts and supports were specifically designed to showcase energy-absorbing properties.
- All windshield-pivots and hood hinges also are deformable.