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Ford Windstar Van Wins, Pontiac Trans Sport Loses in Crash Tests


The Insurance Institute for Highway safety tested eight new minivans in a 40 mph crash situation. The winner was the Ford Windstar, which earned a "good" rating. The loser was the Pontiac Trans Sport, which suffered a massive collapse of its passenger compartment in the crash test.

The poor performance of the Pontiac was attributed to an underbody beam supporting the engine. In an accident this beam acts like a battering ram driving backward and contributing to the collapse of the occupant compartment instead of crumpling.

Other findings:

Mazda MPV: Marginal because of damage to the occupant compartment. Dodge Caravan: Marginal due to damage to dummies feet Honda Odyssey: Marginal...damage to foot area Toyota Previa: Poor...potential leg injury Chevy Astro: Poor...injury potential Nissan Quest: Marginal..potential leg injury.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel