Safest Family SUVs for 2017

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Safest 2016-2017 5-passenger SUVs for Families

In Part I, we awarded the safest 3-row vehicles for 6 or more passengers.  In this part, we will look at 5-passenger SUVs for families who don’t need a 3rd row of seating for one reason or another.

To make this year’s list of qualifiers reasonably short for 5-passenger vehicles, our standards are a little stricter than for 3-row SUVs.  In particular, the vehicles must have a Top Safety Pick+ award (for either 2016 or 2017) and 5-stars in all three NHTSA 2017 crash ratings.  That means a lot of very safe vehicles will just miss the cut!  If your SUV is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it is unsafe.  It just means it didn’t quite get the top results like our qualifiers or, in some cases, has not yet been fully crash tested by the NHTSA or IIHS.

  • Must be an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2016 or 2017
  • Must have NHTSA 5-star crash ratings (overall, frontal, side) for 2017.
  • NHTSA rollover rating of 4-stars or above.

There are some new entrants this year, with improved designs and features qualifying for top crash test results.  We may add other models to this list once both the IIHS and NHTSA issue complete crash testing results.  Our qualifiers:

  1. 2016-2017 Acura RDXXC60
  2. 2016-2017 Hyundai Tucson*
  3. 2016-2017 Lincoln MKX*
  4. 2016-2017 Mazda CX-3
  5. 2015-2017 Subaru Outback
  6. 2014-2017 Volvo XC60
  7. 2016-2017 Volvo XC90*

*We include some models that qualified for a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2016.  They do not meet the IIHS requirements for the 2017 award only due to marginal, poor or untested headlights.

Safest SUV for 2017:

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Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Carseat Review – twice as nice!

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chicco-fit2-legato-stock-imageChicco is launching their new Fit2 Rear-Facing Only Infant & Toddler Seat this month and I was lucky enough to receive one of the very first production models for review. This may have been my favorite Christmas present but don’t tell my husband or kids that I said that. 😀

Fit2 is an innovative new product that fits children in 2 stages, infant and toddler. Initially, it’s an infant seat rated down to 4 pounds. Just like the popular KeyFit infant carseat, the Chicco Fit2 will be an excellent option for newborns and preemies too. But unlike other infant seats, Fit2 transitions into a stage 2, rear-facing seat for toddlers 9-24 months. The “magic” is in the base which has a infant setting and a toddler setting. The infant setting places the carrier in a reclined position that is necessary for newborns and younger babies. The more upright setting is appropriate for toddlers 9-24 months who are crawling or walking already, and offers the child some extra legroom.

I’m sure many of our savvy readers are wondering if this is just some gimmick or if Fit2 can really deliver on its promise to fit toddlers comfortably up to 24 months. Well… wonder no more because this seat delivers and I’m officially in love. I’m talking pink sparkly hearts with rainbows and unicorns love. 😛

Fit2 retains everything we know and love about the KeyFit and adds a 7-position no-rethread harness, an anti-rebound bar on the base (Chicco refers to this as a “stabilizer bar”), premium Italian fabrics (it’s actually made in Italy), European beltpath routing for installations without the base and you can get a lot more use out of it before your kiddo outgrows it. How do you say, “winner, winner, chicken dinner” in Italian?

Chicco Fit2 Specs & Requirements:

Safest Family Minivans and SUVs for 2017 with 3rd Row Seats

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Safest 2017 Family Vehicles with Three Rows of Seating

Are safety and seating more than a couple kids your top considerations in selecting a new vehicle?  You aren’t alone!  The winner for the last two years, the 2014-2016 Acura MDX, is still a contender to retain its title for 2017.

For 2017, the IIHS not only requires a “Good” result in the newer small overlap crash test to qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ rating, but now also requires at least an “Acceptable” headlight rating.  The IIHS also demands a front crash prevention system.  These systems are not all created equal, some are only basic warnings that no longer qualify for an award, while advanced ones can actually brake in emergency situations and some are more likely to avoid a crash than lesser systems.  To earn the “TSP+” award, an auto-brake system with an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating is still required.

The NHTSA ratings remain the same, but they no longer allow consumers to see the five individual crash test results for each vehicle.  Instead, you may now only see the overall rating and a composite frontal (driver and passenger tests) and side rating (driver, passenger and rear pole impact tests).

There are plenty of very safe vehicles.  Most midsize crossover SUVs and minivans provide excellent protection for occupants, likely better than anything on the road 15 years ago.  Side curtain airbags and stability control are now standard features.  In addition to frontal crash protection systems, advanced safety features like emergency crash notification, lane departure warning, cross traffic warning and blind spot warning systems are becoming more common on non-luxury models.  A lot of very save models just miss the cut!  If your car is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it is unsafe!  Requirements:

 

iihstsp

So how do we filter the list of so many family vehicles that have earned safety awards?  It’s pretty easy:

  • Must qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2016 or 2017
  • Must have an NHTSA 5-star overall rating
  • No individual NHTSA crash ratings of 3-stars or less
  • Must have at least 6 passenger seats

What vehicles make the cut?  At least 10 so far, an improvement from last year as a few more manufacturers have added active front crash protection systems in this segment.  Models that lack complete NHTSA testing but may be added to this list later include the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2017 GMC Acadia.  As a testament to how safe all these vehicles are for families, with one exception, we recommend all of the the 2017 qualifiers:

  1. 2014-2017 Acura MDX
  2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
  3. 2016-2017 Honda Pilot
  4. 2016-2017 Infiniti QX60*
  5. 2017 Kia Sorento*
  6. 2017 Kia Sedona*
  7. 2014-2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
  8. 2017 Nissan Pathfinder*
  9. 2014-2017 Toyota Highlander*
  10. 2017 Volvo XC90*

*We include some models that qualified or would have qualified for a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2016.  They do not meet the IIHS requirements for the 2017 award only due to marginal, poor or untested headlights.

And the Safest 2017 3-row Family Vehicle is:

Honda Odyssey Recalls: 2011 to 2016 models

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2011 Odyssey Touring EliteOwn a newer Honda Odyssey?  If so, please check the information below to see if yours is affected by one of two recent recalls that involve the 2nd row seats.  Either the 2nd row outboard seats (model years 2011-2016) or 2nd row center seat (late model year 2016) may not lock into position.  This poses a risk to any passenger in affected seats.

 


 
Second Row Outboard Seats may Stay Unlocked – An unlocked second row outboard seat increases the risk of injury to the seat occupant during a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V933000

Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) – Official Honda Press Release

Components SEATS

Potential Number of Units Affected 633,753

Summary

Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2011-2016 Odyssey vehicles manufactured August 17, 2010, to October 1, 2015. The affected vehicles have second row outboard seats that have a release lever that allows the seats to move for easier access to the third row of seats. This release lever may remain in the unlocked position allowing the seats to move unexpectedly.

Remedy

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional bracket and spring to both second row outboard seats, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 23, 2017. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is KD5.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Seat Adjuster may Stick Unlocked/FMVSS 207 – An unlocked second row center seat may increase the risk of injury to the seat occupant in the event of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V932000

Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) – Official Honda Press Release

Components SEATS

Potential Number of Units Affected 7,549

Summary

Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2016 Odyssey vehicles manufactured September 23, 2016, to October 24, 2016. The affected vehicles have a second row center seat with a horizontal adjuster bar that may stick in the unlocked position, allowing the seat to unexpectedly slide. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, “Seat Systems.”

Remedy

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the slide function and replace the horizontal position adjustment bar, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 23, 2017. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is KD4.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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