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Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica score with IIHS, Toyota Sienna falls short

Both the Honda and Chrysler ended up earning the Top Safety Pick accolade.

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Every so often, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will gather a bunch of vehicles from the same segment and release their safety evaluations at the same time. Today, it's all about minivans -- or rather, three of the four you can buy new in the US.

The IIHS on Thursday released its evaluations for the 2018 versions of the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. The first two did well enough to each earn a Top Safety Pick designation, while the Sienna -- the oldest minivan of the group -- fell short of that.

The 2018 Honda Odyssey fared the best of any minivan. It received Good ratings in every single crash test, including the recently introduced small-overlap front passenger crash test. It also earned the top Superior rating for its crash-avoidance systems, as well as a Good+ rating for its child seat anchors. Its optional LED headlights earned an Acceptable rating, enough to grant the minivan Top Safety Pick -- it would need a Good rating for Top Safety Pick+. The Odyssey had been given TSP+ for 2017, but subsequent adjustments to the requirements moved it down to TSP.

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica wasn't too far behind the Odyssey. Its passenger-side small overlap front crash test was only good enough to earn an Acceptable rating, but that's still within the realm of eligibility for Top Safety Pick. Just like the Odyssey, it received a Superior rating for its crash-avoidance systems and an Acceptable rating for its headlights. However, its child seat anchors were rated Marginal because they were hard to find and occasionally too deep in the seat.

And then there's the 2018 Toyota Sienna. There are a couple reasons it didn't reach the Top Safety Pick level. First, its passenger-side small overlap crash test resulted in a Marginal rating. But even if that test didn't exist, its Acceptable rating in the older driver-side small overlap crash test would disqualify it, as well. It did, however, receive a Superior rating for crash avoidance and the same Acceptable rating in headlights as the other two minivans.