California Autos Examiner

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kia Sedona Goes Gold

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released some crash test results this week. You can read the full press release here, but I want to focus on the achievements of the Kia Sedona. To quote the IIHS:

"The Sedona is the best minivan we've tested," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "Other minivans have earned good front and side ratings, but they haven't achieved a satisfactory level of rear crash protection. The Sedona stands out as the first to get a clean sweep of good ratings across the board."

I've often wondered why minivans have had such weak whiplash protection. Look at any Saab or Volvo and you'll see headrests that swing forward in the event of a rear impact. Some cars use pyrotechnics to achieve this, others are purely mechanical but they are all very helpful in saving your neck from injury. I was especially surprised when Honda "Safety for Everyone" didn't include safer headrests in their new Odyssey. I presume that all the "magic seat" and "stow 'n go" wizardry prevents a lot of this headrest technology for the rear passengers, but the front seats should have this safety device and Kia has done just that. Hats off to Kia and hopefully this award will awaken all minivan manufacturers to step up. Until that time Kia can reap the benefits of being the only "Gold Top Safety Pick" in the minivan category.

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