The two most popular vehicle safety rating agencies have a major flaw: They focus only on front occupant safety. But what about the safety of rear passengers? In a new program started in 2021, Consumer Reports evaluated 40 vehicles to find the cars that were best at protecting backseat passengers. CR found that the 2021 Toyota Sienna is tops when it comes to rear-seat safety.
Rear-Safety Test Factors
Consumer Reports’ rear-seat safety test takes many factors into account like how easy it is to install a child seat and a booster seat. It also considers rear occupant alerts, rear seat belt reminders, advanced belt restraints, and head restraints systems for reducing whiplash.
The findings across the board were somewhat alarming. Most vehicles did not score well. However, there were a few notable exceptions, especially the 2021 Toyota Sienna, which had the highest score out of all the models that Consumer Reports tested.
Top Safety Pick+ Award
According to Consumer Reports, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which awarded the 2021 Toyota Sienna its coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, is planning to expand its testing to rear-seat occupants as well. Expect automakers to make a bigger effort to protect rear passengers as a result — but in the meantime, it seems that Toyota has a head start.
Visit Lustine Toyota in Woodbridge, Virginia, to learn more about how safety, style, and performance make the Toyota Sienna an ideal ride for families both big and small!