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2021 Honda Odyssey, 2020 Ford Explorer Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award

2021 Honda Odyssey, 2020 Ford Explorer
Photo: Honda / Ford
A minivan and an SUV that flunked its last test now own the best-possible designation from the American Institute for Highway Safety Automotive expert , Updated:

The IIHS gives the 2021 Honda Odyssey and 2020 Ford Explorer its best-possible Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) award.

By this time of the year, the 2020 models are all out there on the market and the vast majority of them have been put through the wringer by the folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Back in February we looked at the models that had been deemed safe enough to receive that designation up to that point in 2020. Now, we look at the latest vehicles models to join the club.

To qualify for a 2020 TSP+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in six crashworthiness evaluations, including the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

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2021 Honda Odyssey

2021 Honda Odyssey
2021 Honda Odyssey
Photo: Honda

Honda’s minivan becomes the first of its format to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award in 2020. The 2021 edition notable comes equipped be default with the Honda Sensing package. That suite includes a collision mitigation braking system with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation incorporating lane departure warning, lane keeping assist system and adaptive cruise control.  

As well, the Odyssey’s standard front crash prevention system earned Superior ratings from the Institute in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian avoidance tests.

2020 Ford Explorer

2020 Ford Explorer
2020 Ford Explorer
Photo: Ford

The midsize SUV merits its choice of a Top Safety Pick+ on the basis of its improved performance in the driver-side small overlap front crash test. Some will recall the model’s earlier inability to earn a Good rating in the test, due to intrusion into the footwell that raised the risk of injury to the driver’s left leg. Ford made adjustments to the front subframe (applicable in models built after May 2020).

Beyond that, the Explorer got Acceptable ratings for its two available headlight systems – good enough for the IIHS experts. As well, the SUV comes with a standard front crash prevention system that earns a Superior rating in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. A second, optional system also rates Superior for vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention, but only earns an Advanced rating for pedestrian detection.

Other models that have earned the Top Safety Pick+ rating since we last looked at the IIHS list back in February? Here they are:

2020 Audi A6 Allroad
2020 Genesis G90
2020 Volvo XC90
2020 Audi e-tron Sportback

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Derek Boshouwers
Articles By
Derek Boshouwers
  • Over 5 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 50 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 30 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists