The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica earned the highest marks from the IIHS in crash safety for any minivan yet, the insurance-funded agency announced Tuesday.
The Pacifica earned the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, the first rating for the new minivan from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The IIHS noted that the safety rating applies for minivans built after August 2016, after FCA made small changes to the van's door hinges to keep them from opening during a front crash.
In testing, the Pacifica earned top "Good" ratings in every category, including the difficult small-overlap crash test, which improved on the outgoing Chrysler Town and Country's "Poor" rating in that crash. The Pacifica also earned top "Superior" rating for its front crash prevention systems, which avoided a crash at 12 mph and 25 mph.
The automaker said the efficiency of its combined radar- and camera-based automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems would be useful for future car development.
“As AEB capability proliferates across our vehicle lineup, we are committed to using sensor-fusion technology,” Mike Dahl, head of safety for FCA, said in a statement. “It is a significant stepping stone in our exploration of autonomous-vehicle development, the next horizon for occupant safety."
The Pacifica's automatic emergency braking is part of an $1,995 optional safety package on Touring L Plus and Limited models, which start at more than $38,000.
The Chrysler Pacifica is the only minivan to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award so far. The Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona are both rated as Top Safety Picks by the IIHS.