Toyota Sienna and Avalon earn top safety picks


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced that the all-new Toyota Sienna van and redesigned 2011 Avalon full-size sedan have each earned Top Safety Pick awards. 

The Top Safety Pick nod is the highest safety designation awarded by the IIHS.

To qualify for the award, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of “good” in the IIHS’ front, side and rear impact tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.

Testing has also become more stringent this year with the inclusion of a rollover test. 

“Sienna is the first and currently the only minivan to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick since the rollover test was added to the criteria,” Toyota said in a release today. 

To earn a “good” rollover rating, a roof must be able to support the equivalent of four times the vehicle’s weight compared with the current federal standard of 1.5. In the IIHS testing, the Sienna roof withstood a force equal to 4.12 times its vehicle weight.

The Avalon’s roof withstood 4.07 times its vehicle weight. 

The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.