Is Chrysler’s safety rating for minivans better than Kia’s?

The Chrysler Pacifica minivan beat the Kia Sedona, with better headlights and child seat anchors. Safety features can lower auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • In the 21st century, minivans have become a symbol for families who enjoy features such as the in-floor storage, conversation mirrors, foldable third row of seats, tire pressure sensors, adjustable pedals, and more
  • As manufacturers are forced to divide their attention between what the competitors are doing, how to come up with new improvements, and what the buyers are looking for, it may be hard to keep up with basic necessities that a minivan should have
  • One such mandatory necessity is safety. To ensure that this requirement is met, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, founded even before minivans were around in 1959, does real-world experiments that will show vehicles’ abilities
  • To showcase how the IIHS goes about their testing, some of the best minivans can be analyzed side-to-side, such as Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona

When a minivan is brought up, one will generally think of a contemporary household with a couple of children and a ton of luggage. Even though this is not the only portion of the market that purchases these vehicles, it is the most common one.

Since parents with professional careers are in need of convenience and time-saving tools, minivans enable them to transport a great number of people, take all the belongings necessary, and relish a smooth ride.

One factor, however, that many minivans get knocked down for is their reduced safety.

While large brands are focused on making the most out of mini-features, large-scale constraints such as collision performance, crash prevention, and more get bypassed.

Since no driver wishes to test a vehicle’s safety unless an unfortunate event brings this upon them, all they have to do is review the IIHS reports.

This institute completes full-frontal collisions, pressure exams, and observation analyses needed to properly label a vehicle as safe or unsafe.

Compare car insurance quotes for different minivan types by using our free rate tool above. Enter your zip code to begin.

Types of Tests

There are three categories that vehicles are evaluated on. The first one is crashworthiness which tells one how a car handled the most common types of accidents.

Vehicles that perform substantially will get a “good” grade, those having some shortcomings can be review “acceptable” or “moderate,” and if the test is a complete failure there will be a “poor” grade assigned.

Next, crash prevention is looked at to see if a vehicle can mitigate a collision beforehand. Those capable of this will get a “superior” score, while the ones who fail to do so will be rated as “basic”.

Anything in the middle will get an “advanced” rating. The last category is child anchors that represent how well a vehicle’s latches are positioned. The grading scale for this test mirrors the scores of crashworthiness.


Both models dominated this test and achieved tied results.

The moderate and small overlap front test, side and roof strength, and head restraints were all given a “good” score for Pacifica and Sedona.

This score demonstrates the ability to preserve the survival space, a roof weight-to-strength ratio of above four, great air-bag efficiency preventing major injuries, and more.

The perfect crashworthiness performance marks the third year in a row that Kia’s accomplished this, while Chrysler has no apparent history.


Crash Prevention and Mitigation

The trend of equal performance somewhat continues throughout this category as well. Both models scored 6/6 points for crash avoidance as they avoided a collision in the 12-mph test and the 25-mph test while having sound frontal collision warnings.

A difference occurs when headlights are compared.

Although Pacifica only achieved an “acceptable” score, this still granted it a large-margin victory over Sedona whose headlights were “poor.” Since this makes it a two-category edge, one could say that Chrysler has found a way to dominate this division.

Child Seat Anchor or LATCH

The last comparison continues the trend that Pacifica started with headlights domination.

Sedona had some issues with its latches as they were given criticism for being hard to locate, thus graded with an “acceptable” score.

Pacifica had no problems of this sort whatsoever. The model received a “good plus” score that reflects perfectly placed latches and a few extra ones that were not mandatory. Hence, Pacifica won this category with a moderate margin.

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2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

What rarely happens is that both vehicles compared will be given one of these two awards, although this example shows the opposite. Kia Sedona was given a Top Safety Pick since it had perfect crashworthiness test mixed with superior crash prevention abilities.

Pacifica got a Top Safety Pick Plus due to its acceptable headlights score on top of the other two scores it had in common with the Sedona.

Comparatively speaking, one can say that Chrysler Pacifica won the match-up against Kia Sedona.

It outscored in the area of headlights performance and child seat anchors where Kia will have to make some minor improvements.

Ultimately, however, both models performed substantially as they were dually recognized for high IIHS awards mentioned previously and had some very impressive statistics.

Compare car insurance quotes for both of these excellent minivan choices. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to get started.

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