Improved Crash Test Scores Earns the 2016 Honda Pilot a Top Safety Pick+ Award

Improved Crash Test Scores Earns the 2016 Honda Pilot a Top Safety Pick+ Award
Image: Honda
August 31, 2015

Improvements to the redesigned Honda Pilot helped it garner a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2016 model got a Good rating in the small overlap front test, a dramatic improvement from the 2014 model's Poor score. The available front crash prevention system earned a superior rating, qualifying it for the extra "plus."

Introduced in 2012, the small overlap front test replicates a crash in which the front corner of a car comes into contact with a fixed object like a tree or guardrail.

In tests for the latest model, IIHS says the driver space held up well, with maximum intrusion of four inches at the parking brake pedal. This is a big difference from the 2014 model in which the brake pedal moved nearly 17 inches inward and the door hinge pillar moved in about 14 inches.

The front and side curtain airbags worked well to keep the dummy in place and protect the head from contact with other objects. In the 2014 model, the dummy's head barely contacted the front airbag before sliding off. The side curtain airbag didn't extend far enough forward to protect the head.

Measurements taken from the dummy showed a low risk of any significant injures in a similar real-world crash with the 2016 model.

Like the old version, the new Pilot has good ratings in the Institute's four other crashworthiness evaluations. When equipped with front crash prevention, the redesigned SUV qualifies for Top Safety Pick+.

Vehicles must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating and good ratings in the four other tests — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints -- to qualify for Top Safety Pick. The plus sign is awarded to vehicles that also have an available front crash prevention system earning an advanced or superior rating.