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Redesign takes 2016 Honda Pilot to IIHS Top Safety Pick+ list

ARLINGTON, Va. — The redesigned Honda Pilot, a midsize SUV, has aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap front test. With an available front crash prevention system earning a superior rating, it qualifies for the 2015 Top Safety Pick+ award.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The redesigned Honda Pilot, a midsize SUV, has aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap front test. With an available front crash prevention system earning a superior rating, it qualifies for the 2015 Top Safety Pick+ award.

The 2016 model's good small overlap performance is a dramatic change from the earlier generation Pilot, which rated poor.

In the test of the latest model, the driver space held up well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the parking brake pedal. The dummy's movement was well-controlled, with the front and side curtain airbags working well together to keep the dummy in place and protect the head from contact with intruding structure and outside objects. Measures taken from the dummy showed a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

In contrast, when the 2014 Pilot was tested, the driver space was seriously compromised. The parking brake pedal moved nearly 17 inches inward, and the door hinge pillar moved in about 14 inches. The dummy's head barely contacted the front airbag before sliding off to the left, as the steering column moved to the right and toward the driver. The side curtain airbag didn't extend far enough forward to protect the head.

Like the old version, the new Pilot has good ratings in the Institute's four other crashworthiness evaluations — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. 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 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.

The Pilot's optional system is rated superior. The autobrake prevented a collision in the Institute's 12 mph track test and cut the vehicle's speed in half in the 25 mph test. The system also includes a forward collision warning feature that meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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