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Is the 2021 Honda Odyssey safe? The IIHS thinks so. It’s a Top Safety Pick+. Just what is a Top Safety Pick+, and is that + sign important? Let’s look at why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety bestowed its highest award onto the 2021 Honda Odyssey

A navy 2021 Honda Odyssey against a white background.
2021 Honda Odyssey | Honda

What is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+?

To be awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must score at least a good or higher in all of the IIHS crashworthy ratings. These include the driver-side small overlap front, the passenger-side small overlap front, and the moderate overlap front. In addition to these front crash testings, the vehicle must get a good or higher in the side crash tests, roof strength, and head restraint tests. 

Additionally, the vehicle must have an advanced or superior in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. Headlights, often overlooked by car shoppers, must be good or acceptable on all trim levels. Oftentimes one trim level has good headlight ratings while another trim level does not. 

The 2021 Honda Odyssey gets a good rating in the important small overlap crash front tests

The 2021 Honda Odyssey has a good rating in the IIHS’ small overlap front: driver side crash test.  The IIHS does a small overlap front crash test on the driver and passenger sides of vehicles. The small overlap front: driverside test measures how well a car does when the front left corner of the vehicle hits something like a tree or another car. 

The IIHS started doing small overlap front: driver-side crash tests when they discovered that the front corners of cars weren’t as safe as the crush zones. In response, car manufacturers began improving the safety of the driver side of the car. 

However, many car manufacturers didn’t carry these safety improvements over to the passenger side of the car. The IIHS then implemented the small overlap front: passenger side test as well.

The 2021 Honda Odyssey also got a good overall score for the small overlap front: passenger-side test. It’s worth noting that under this category, the structure and safety cage only has an acceptable rating. All other subcategories in the passenger side small overlap test are good.

What else makes the 2021 Honda Odyssey a Top Safety Pick+?

The moderate overlap test ratings are all good, as are the subcategories within the moderate overlap category. Side crash test ratings are also all good, as is the roof strength and seat restraints. 

The front crash prevention for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian are both superior, which is the highest safety rating they can. Advanced safety features are important for avoiding a crash. As more car manufacturers are making these standard in their vehicles, it’s nice to see that they’re testing well.

The headlights in the 2021 Honda Odyssey are only acceptable on all trims. That’s a shame because having good headlights is important, but it doesn’t preclude the Honda Odyssey from getting a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Overall, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is a solid choice for a minivan. Its excellent safety ratings are certainly a huge advantage to this best-selling van. Hopefully in the future the headlights will get a little better. Then the Odyssey just might be perfect. 


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