2016 Honda Pilot nabs Top Safety Pick+ rating

Honda’s redesigned 2016 Pilot was awarded the top rating in five crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as well as the highest distinction for its performance when equipped with front collision-prevention technology.

As a result, the Pilot was named a Top Safety Pick + by the institute.

The Pilot, which just started arriving in showrooms, received the top score of “good” in tests of side impact, roof strength and head restraints as well as the moderate front-overlap crash — in which the vehicle strikes a stationary barrier covering about half of its front end.

The new Pilot also received a “good” score in the small front-overlap test, when the stationary barrier impacts a small portion of the vehicle’s front end. It is considered a difficult test to pass with a good rating and a type of accident that is a significant cause of severe injuries.

To spread the impact of a front crash, the Pilot features a redesigned bumper beam and a front structure in the shape of two wish bones — which Honda calls a 3-bone design, said Brian Bautsch, the lead safety engineer for the 2016 Pilot.

Between the bumper beam and the occupant compartment is a structure that crumples in a crash, absorbing energy and mitigating the amount of impact transmitted to the rest of the vehicle.

Finally, the occupant compartment is protected by stiff door rings made of ultra high-strength steel, Bautsch said.

Honda’s crash-prevention technologies, which include adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, were rated “superior” by IIHS.

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