Is Honda’s safety rating for midsize SUVs better than Dodge’s?

Honda's midsize SUV received a top safety rating from the IIHS, while Dodge's midsize SUV did not. Upgrade your car's safety features to lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Sports Utility Vehicles are produced in a way that enables large parties to use them for easy transportation
  • Safety with SUVs is amplified when one considers a number of children that get transported with these vehicles every day
  • Honda Pilot and Dodge Durango are Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs that are made to fit six to seven people, have solid engines, and are embodiments of reliability
  • A way to keep producers accountable for their vehicles is showcased by the example that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety sets

As many SUVs tend to have reduced safety because the add-on features that increase the weight of the vehicle, keeping the standards high can save lives.

Further, new drivers who have not dealt with a car this large before might have issues adapting to the spaciousness, and sometimes those can result in an accident.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how these different vehicles premiums would differ for you. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Dodge Durango Versus Honda Pilot

Founded in 1959, this company operates out of Virginia where it utilizes a state-of-the-art facility and conducts collisions tests on many vehicles. Presently, it is under the leadership of Adrian Lund who has joined the Institute in 1981 and continued the legacy of Brian O’Neill.

The research that is conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ensures that SUVs, amongst other car types, are up to par and market-ready.

Therefore, comparing the safety between Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot will mean placing ratings side-by-side for:


As the comparison begins, Honda immediately takes the lead. The first category, crashworthiness, is based on five tests (front small and moderate overlap collision, side and roof strength, and head restraints) that can achieve ratings such as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good.

The Japanese vehicle was awarded all five good scores for its showing of superior security during the tests in this area.

The small overlap front collision demonstrated a stable survival space that prevented injuries to the driver. Also, the roof’s weight-to-strength ratio was 5.22, which is well above the threshold for the highest score which is four.

Dodge, on the other hand, only obtained a marginal rating in the small overlap test. Courtesy of non-effective airbags that let the driver’s head hit the A-pillar, the test showed how one can be exposed to extensive injuries in case of an accident.

Also, the lower body would be affected because the left leg and foot are highly exposed to an injury of compression.

Therefore, Honda Pilot maintained its perfect crashworthiness rating for the second year in a row. Dodge, unfortunately, went on to receive a below-average grade for the small overlap test for the seventh time in a row, while other tests were all done well.

Crash Prevention & Mitigation

Next, the crash prevention abilities of these SUVs were evaluated through a 12-mph and a 25-mph test. Or this is what would have happened if Dodge did not fail to get its auto brake tested.

Hence, Dodge only received one point and the lowest score possible (basic), while Honda received five points and the highest grade attainable (superior).

Since the rating scale for this test has six points in total, Honda came short in the 25-mph test. The speed reduction achieved here was only 12 miles per hour, which may not necessarily be enough to avoid a collision.

Regardless, this was still better than not having any score as seen in the case of Durango.

Headlights were somewhat miserable for the Dodge SUV as the score attained was marginal. Honda went a little above and received an acceptable rating for certain trims. Therefore, Dodge failed to outperform the Japanese model once more.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

Lastly, the latches that are placed in the vehicles get evaluated for approachability. There is no particular point-scale and grades are the same as in crashworthiness reviews.

Dodge and Honda finally matched equally as they both received an acceptable rating for their latches. The Pilot, however, had twice as many latch-seating positions available since Durango only possessed two.

With its four anchors, Honda experienced issues in the area of maneuvering around the latches as well as the locations that are hard to find.

Dodge was downgraded from a good review because there was other hardware that could be mistaken for a latch. Other than that, however, there were no major issues with the American brand’s child seat anchors.

One could even declare it the winner of this category if Honda did not have so many additional latches.

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2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

As a part of the safety review process, the Institute will recognize those vehicles who went above-and-beyond to demonstrate responsibility.

Thus, safety awards are given to vehicles with perfect crashworthiness and advanced/superior crash prevention.

In the case of Honda Pilot and Dodge Durango, the Japanese model met all the requirements to be declared a Top Safety Pick Plus.

Dodge, unfortunately, failed to get a good grade for its small overlap test which disqualified it from either of these recognitions.

As accidents occur, drivers are forced to turn to their insurance companies for help with repairs, claims, and more.

Since there are hundreds of insurance corporations in the U.S. only, people purchasing SUVs, or any car in general, should turn to websites that provide comprehensive, multi-company analyses.

This way, one can glance through different premiums, deductibles, and other coverage characteristics of numerous companies, all in one place. Hence why the convenience of this method is superior to many others.

The Winner

Going back to the comparison discussed, Honda obviously won. Although the victory did not come effortlessly, Durango made it easy since it showed a marginal performance in the small overlap test, had basic crash prevention capabilities, and marginal headlights.

Therefore, Honda maintained its status as one of the most prominent SUVs in the market.

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