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Discussion Starter #1
I've been spending alot of time researching minivans on the forums and on the net. Is it me, or does noone ever watch TV anymore or read magazines?

I've seen tons of programs on cable (cable and regular channels) like Dateline, discovery, MSNBC, and read a couple articles down the line, and ALL of them dispelled any of the crash tests as being accurate. Two programs come to mind as they were pretty long, where they took actual death and injury statistics and compared them to crash tests, and they found that like 50% of the time the cars that faired worse in the crash tests actually had low fatality and injury rates. They even did their own tests with real cars, vans, etc and got totally different results.

I think it's great to research the expected performance of your car in a crash, but I think that most people are putting way too much faith in the results.
 

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You're right too much emphasis IS put on the results of these tests. It's nearly impossible to predict the outcome of a real world accident. But it's better than nothing. And besides...the Odyssey is doing great so far. I can't complain.

-nemogira

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2000 CCS EX-NAVI
 

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I would agree with you that sometimes we put too much faith in crash test scores. But at the same time I don't think you can completely discount them. They are the most objective information we have, and they can help us choose a relatively safer vehicle.
In addition a link off links page can get you to seatbelt.com that tried to rate vehicles by combined crash test ratings and curb weight to get a sort of safety index. http://www.seatbelt.com/car_ratings.html Obviously these are not the final authority either, but they are another piece of information. If you look at it the Odyssey does very well on this also. It was ranked #6 out of 105 cars.
On a subjective note, I recently followed a link to www.copartfinder.com. This is a site that lets you search salvage vehicles. Looking at pictures of the wrecked odysseys, it appears as if they do a good job of insulating the passenger area from wrecks.
All this being said, I have to agree that it does not predict the specific conditions of an individual wreck. And you can not know what the injury outcome would be. I think we all just want to feel we have done what we can to protect our families in the case of an accident.

Travis
 

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The problem with the death and injury statistics is that they have a large factor of driver profile in them. By themselves, the injury and fatality statistics are not good indicators of crashworthiness or crash avoidance. That is not to say they aren't useful at all. Obviously, there may something to consider if one or two vehicles do very poorly compared to most other vehicles in the same class.

The NHTSA, IIHS and foreign crash tests are resonable indicators of crashworthiness for a few of the most typical types of accidents. Obviously, they are only indirect indicators of the numerous types of collisions at different speeds and angles.

The background information at the NHTSA and IIHS sites is very good reading in this regard. I would tend to ignore "news" programs like Dateline. They will hype any minor discrepancy, and are known to rig their tests (i.e. adding an ignition device to start a fire in those poorly designed GM trucks).

Crash avoidance is another big consideration. Unlike crash tests, many of these factors are subjective and more difficult to compare.

I pay a lot of attention to crash tests and crash avoidance features. I can't say I will put all that much faith into them in an absolute sense, but relatively speaking, every little improvement helps. Since crashes are among the top causes of injuries and death for children and younger adults, this is one risk I can minimize with better vehicle selection.

Incidentally, I have a new car buying guide at:

http://www.car-safety.org/carguide.html

All comments appreciated.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 06-02-2001).]
 

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Well said Travis, Caviller.

I personally would like to emphasise my car buying decision on those crash worthiness and safety features. A car can cost a couple of ten thousands of dollars, and to me, 28,000 bucks is a lot of money. I am not spending thousands on a "weak" car that may contribute to my (GOD forbid!) death. I would like to have the best protection I can get from the car. I want to have the confidence the car would be (GOD forbid!) totally wrecked BUT leaving the occupants and me in as little harm as possible - better yet, unharmed. I want to see the money I pay was spent on protecting me and not some silly gadgets (I love gadgets and toys but that comes second)

Just re-read what Travis and Caviller wrote they make a lot of sense in their solid arguments.

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[This message has been edited by abyez (edited 06-02-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My comments above are specifically directed to those that hinge their complete buying experience on the crash tests only, and note that I said "on forums and on the net", as in I wasn't specifically talking about this forum or another, but in general. The moment these people see a 4 star rating in some instance, they run to the 5 star vehicle. As stated by caviller, there are so many factors which effect real world crashes that you cannot, IMHO, rely soley on crash tests to determine the total vehicle crash scenario. I will agree that the Odyssey, taken alot into account, is the best choise obviously, but if the Odyssey had poor brakes, poor handling, or poor visability (which other vehicles [not just minivans] unfortunately have), then the 5 star ratings would not, in my mind, hold alot of water.
 

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I think if you have kids, then crash test results should be an important factor when choosing a van. The Ody has proven itself to perform equal or better than most vans in its category. I think Honda does brag alot about there vans when it comes to crash test ratings... maybe thats why they seem to sell plenty of them. I know in my case, I would not be prepared to invest $$$ in a car/van has very poor results...
 

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Of course, when you look at the photos from the Ford F-150 Offset frontal crash test results released yesterday, it makes me quite glad to have gone with the Ody instead of the F-150 Super Crew.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by waltp:
Of course, when you look at the photos from the Ford F-150 Offset frontal crash test results released yesterday, it makes me quite glad to have gone with the Ody instead of the F-150 Super Crew.</font>
I work for Mitsubishi and can get a discount. We almost bought a Montero Sport until we saw the crash tests. Absolutely hideous. Great looking little SUV though.

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Jim
'01 GG EX
 

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Funny you say that Jim, because I'd noticed simularities between the styling of the Montero Sport and The Odyssey. Particularially the rear pillars and the crease along the bodyside.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bobf58:
Funny you say that Jim, because I'd noticed simularities between the styling of the Montero Sport and The Odyssey. Particularially the rear pillars and the crease along the bodyside.</font>
Yeah I feel that way too. But I think the Montero looks more muscular...the Ody is more like a "female" and slick version of the Montero.
OK before anyone start spitting out their thoughts, I want to say that BEAUTY is very subjective and it depends on the "eye of the beholder".

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I just returned from a conference on carseats. I saw some pretty grizzly photos and videos of real-life and simulated crashes. For those times you can't avoid an accident, please be sure to select a crashworthy vehicle and be sure your children are properly restrained in appropriate seats. Best (safest) practice now dictates that this goes up to about 80 pounds...

I'm not suggesting people avoid vehicles that do not receive all 5-star ratings in the NHTSA tests and "Good" ratings in the IIHS tests. I am suggesting you think again about selecting a vehicle that averages less than 4-stars or gets any 2-star or "marginal" ratings. In almost all these cases, you can find a vehicle that does much better in the crash tests, and has similar functionality and accident avoidance capability.

And, please, please, PLEASE make sure your children are properly restrained in a suitable carseat. Re-read your instructions thoroughly and double check your seats. And please anchor or tie down any loose items in your trunk or cargo area. Hopefully, you don't have to see the same case histories that I saw to reach this conclusion:-(
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The problem with the death and injury statistics is that they have a large factor of driver profile in them.</font>
Good point, the wall street journal awhile back did a similar comparison to the one that travis mentioned by taking into account the weight of the vehicle for their score and the Camaro was at the top of their coupe rating and yet it had the highest fatality rate of any of the cars. This was due to the drivers of the car, not the car. A larger percentage of the wrecks with them were high speed ones.
 
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