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Is Toyota’s safety rating for minivans better than Dodge’s?

Things to remember...

  • The IIHS is one of the leading automotive organizations that publish automotive safety ratings based on an in-depth analysis of reliable, accurate findings
  • When debating between buying the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan and the 2017 Toyota Sienna, you may notice that these vehicles have similar safety ratings in almost all sub-categories reviewed
  • Of the five minivans reviewed by the IIHS for 2017, the Grand Caravan and the Sienna had the lowest safety ratings overall

Minivans are ideal family vehicles because of their ample passenger seating space and overall ease of use, and you may be in the market to buy a new minivan for your family soon.

When preparing to buy a new family vehicle, you may understandably be focused on finding a vehicle that ranks highly in the area of safety, but it can be challenging to analyze all of the safety data yourself.

When you want to quickly and easily learn which minivans ranked highest in the area of safety in 20017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Data Loss Institute is an excellent resource to refer to.

The IIHS analyzes safety data for many different vehicle classes each year. In 2017, it reviewed safety details for five popular minivan models, including the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Toyota Sienna.

If you are focused on deciding between these two stylish, functional minivan models, you may be interested to learn how they stack up against each other in the area of safety.

Compare car insurance quotes for both of these models of minivans. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above to get started.

Table of Contents

An Analysis of Safety Ratings for the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Toyota Sienna

In 2017, the IIHS analyzed safety details for five minivans in the area of three primary safety categories. These categories are:

  • Crashworthiness
  • Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The first two categories mentioned here have multiple sub-categories that you can review to learn even more about the level of safety that these and other minivan models can provide to you.

For each category or sub-category, the vehicles have been rated between good, average, marginal, or poor, and one category rates vehicles between the ranges of basic and advanced.

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Crashworthiness of minivan models is critical, and the IIHS has divided its findings for this primary category into five distinctive sub-categories. These are:

  • Roof Strength
  • Side
  • Front Small Overlap
  • Front Moderate Overlap
  • Head Restraints and Seats

This year’s Dodge Caravan had the highest rating of good for four of the sub-categories, but it had a poor rating for Front Small Overlap.

On the other hand, the Toyota Sienna had a good rating for four sub-categories in this group, and it had an average rating for Front Small Overlap.

Note that a few other vehicles had better ratings for Crashworthiness. In fact, the top three minivan models on the IIHS list had a good rating for all five of the sub-categories.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category are broken down by the IIHS into two sub-categories, and these are Headlights and Front Crash Prevention.

The Toyota Sienna received a middle-of-the-road mark of advanced for Front Crash Prevention, but it was not reviewed for the Headlights sub-category.

In addition, the Dodge Grand Caravan did not receive a rating for either of these sub-categories.

Keep in mind that the top three minivans analyzed by IIHS had the highest rating possible for the Front Crash Prevention section, and two of these models also ranked highly in the Headlights area.

LATCH for Child Seat Anchors

The LATCH category is not comprised of sub-categories, and it describes the ease of use associated with latches for the child seat anchors. Both the Grand Caravan and the Sienna earned an average rating in this area. 

One other model of minivan received a higher rating in this important safety area.

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

Because some minivans have higher ratings in some of the IIHS sub-categories and lower ratings in others, it can be challenging to determine on your own which of these two models is a clear winner in safety.

However, when you want to find the absolute safest minivan to drive, keep in mind that neither of these two minivans was given the 2017 Top Safety Pick or 2017 Top Safety Pick+ honor. In fact, they ranked at the bottom of the list of the minivan models that were analyzed.

Is Toyota safer than Dodge in 2017 for minivans?

The safety rating of a minivan is certainly a primary factor to consider when you are preparing to buy a vehicle that will be your main family vehicle.

The Toyota Sienna rated only slightly better than the Dodge Grand Caravan. The primary difference in ratings was in the area of Front Small Overlap.

The safety analysis from the IIHS is a great resource to turn to when you are looking for comprehensive and reliable details to base your buying decision on.

However, other factors should also be reviewed before you finalize your plans, such as fuel economy, repair costs, insurance costs, and more.

Requesting an online quote for several leading minivan models may be necessary before you can fully determine which minivan you should purchase. Ensure that you only request insurance quotes from trusted and reputable insurance companies for the best results.

Safety factors could influence auto insurance costs for minivans, but other factors, such as the power of your minivan’s engine and your own driving record, can also play a role in the rate you are charged to insure your new minivan.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the very best coverage for the very best rate. Enter your zip code below to begin comparing.


  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us
  2. https://www.dodge.com/grand-caravan.html
  3. https://www.toyota.com/sienna/
  4. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/class-summary/minivans
  5. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/frontal-crash-tests
  6. https://www.iii.org/article/infographic-what-determines-the-cost-of-my-auto-insurance

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