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

When it comes to minivan safety, the Kia Sedona falls short of the Honda Odyssey. The Sedona received a 2017 Top Safety Pick award, but the Odyssey got a Top Safety Pick+.

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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: Nov 3, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Researching the safety ratings of minivans, like the Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey, can help the buyer anticipate the change in the cost of auto insurance
  • When choosing between the Sedona and Odyssey, consumers can use the IIHS/HDLI’s safety ratings to determine which of these vehicles is safer than other
  • According to the IIHS/HDLI’s safety ratings, the Honda Odyssey is a safer option than the Kia Sedona

When it’s time to shop for a minivan most buyers are looking for a safe vehicle that accommodates their entire family. Many people avoid researching safety ratings because they assume that car companies are being honest when they advertise their vehicles as safe options.

This assumption is not always true, but there are ways to find accurate safety ratings from a reliable source.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Data Loss Institute (HDLI) can provide consumers with credible safety ratings in order to help them shop for a safe vehicle.

Good safety ratings can result in lower auto insurance in addition to knowing that your family will be effectively protected.

Comparing car insurance quotes will help you find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code above to get started.

IIHS/HDLI Safety Ratings

The IIHS/HDLI has a vehicle research center that it uses to perform the specific tests necessary to evaluate the safety features of each vehicle. The two minivans that will be compared in this study are the 2018 Honda Odyssey and the 2017 Kia Sedona.

Both of these minivan models will be evaluated based on the following:

  • crash avoidance and mitigation
  • child seat anchors
  • crashworthiness

Each of these categories will receive either good, acceptable, marginal, or poor ratings based on their performances.

Under the crash avoidance and mitigation category, front crash prevention will be rated with different levels of basic, advanced, and superior ratings.



People generally don’t anticipate getting into car crashes every day when they go for a drive. If it does happen, a vehicle’s crashworthiness is what determines how much the passengers will be impacted.

The IIHS/HDLI thoroughly examines the following:

  • sides
  • front small overlap
  • roof strength
  • front moderate overlap
  • head restraints and seats

Both the Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey earned “good” ratings for every single one of these subcategories.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

Crash avoidance and mitigation is a very important category because it helps the driver to avoid getting into crashes in the first place.

The IIHS/HDLI evaluates the front crash prevention and headlights of each vehicle in order to determine how effective they are for avoiding collisions.

Both the Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona earned “superior” ratings with an indication that the ratings were earned with optional equipment. For headlights, the Kia Sedona received a “poor” rating. The Honda Odyssey managed to earn an “acceptable” rating only for certain trims.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

This section of the IIHS/HDLI’s tests focuses on how easy it is to install car seats and child restraints with the hardware provided in each vehicle.

Most vehicles are required by federal regulations to have at least two rear seats with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH). This is especially important for minivans because they’re popular among parents with multiple children.

The IIHS/HDLI evaluates the accessibility of the lower anchors, necessary force, the clearance angle, and the appearance of other hardware that may confuse the installer.

The Kia Sedona earned an “acceptable” rating, but the Honda Odyssey managed to obtain a rare “good+” rating for its extra LATCH positions.

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Top Safety Pick Awards

After executing all of these tests, the IIHS/HDLI uses its findings to award vehicles with one of their Top Safety Pick awards if they feel they are worthy.

Vehicles that receive Top Safety Pick awards have proven that they are among the safest vehicles that you could possibly drive. The Kia Sedona was awarded a 2017 Top Safety Pick award, but the Honda Odyssey took it a step further and earned a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award.

Is the Kia Sedona safer than the Honda Odyssey?

The Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey both earned identical ratings in all subcategories of crashworthiness and front crash prevention.

The two vehicles’ ratings showed division in the headlights and child seat anchors categories when the Kia Sedona fell short of the Honda Odyssey’s ratings in both areas.

The difference in Top Safety Pick awards also expresses that the Honda Odyssey is a safer option than the Kia Sedona.

Before you buy, take the time to compare free car insurance quotes for every vehicle you’re considering. Enter your zip code below to get started.

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