The Honda Odyssey, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Mini Cooper Countryman are the latest vehicles to earn the 2011 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Earning that designation means a car has performed well in all of the Institute's tests, including a front crash test, side-impact test, head-restraint design, and its stringent roof-crush test. IIHS rates cars in all these tests on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. Vehicles that earn the Top Safety Pick award score Good in all areas tested and must offer electronic stability control.
The Odyssey is the second minivan (after the Toyota Sienna) to earn the award since the Institute tightened its criteria to include a roof strength test in rollover crashes. The Odyssey withstood a force more than 5 times the minivan's weight. The current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.
The three GM large SUVs--Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia--withstood a force equal to 4 times the vehicle's weight, but the Top Safety Pick award only applies to models manufactured after January 2011, because of changes GM made to improve roof strength.
The Mini Cooper Countryman, a new crossover from Mini, also earned the top award and is the second model from BMW (the other is the 2011 BMW 5 Series) to achieve this rating since the Institute added the roof strength test. The Countryman's roof withstood a force equal to nearly 5 times the car's weight. (See our Just in blog on the new Countryman).
Find out which other 2011 vehicles earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award.
Learn more about car safety.