Three large pickup trucks and two minivans recently drove off with 2023 Top Safety Pick+ recognition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Specifically, the pickup winners included the Toyota Tundra crew cab, Toyota Tundra extended cab, and the electric Rivian R1T crew cab. The two minivans to earn top honors are the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
Noteworthy, the 2023 evaluations by IIHS engineers are tougher than ever. The pickups and minivans underwent three traditional crashworthiness evaluations — the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, and original moderate overlap front tests. All five vehicles earned good scores in each test —giving them a good start toward Top Safety Pick+ honors.
However, the IIHS says history shows that when criteria get stricter, vehicles get safer. That’s why now the IIHS is challenging automakers to build on the safety gains they’ve already achieved by undergoing a new side crash test as well as meeting stricter standards for headlights and pedestrian front crash prevention.
High-speed side crashes result in far too many fatalities, so the new updated side crash test addresses that issue. It utilizes a new striking barrier that is closer to the weight of today’s SUVs than the old barrier and more closely mimics the damage they create.
The updated test involves 82% more energy than the original test. Vehicles must earn a good rating in this evaluation to capture coveted “plus” status. All three pickups and both minivans aced the test!
The five vehicles also scored well in IIHS’ new nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation, and all come equipped with acceptable or good headlights, giving them the final element needed to be named a Top Safety Pick+ winner.