Crash Tests

GM improves safety on redesigned minivans

The insurance industry says crash tests show some newly redesigned General Motors minivan models offer better protection for occupants than do earlier versions.

The models are the 2005 Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV-Six, Saturn Relay and Buick Terraza. The Uplander and its three corporate cousins have earned the top overall rating of good from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The industry-funded group notes that GM's earlier minivan designs were among the worst-performing vehicles in the institute's frontal offset crash tests.

Also, the institute gives the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey its best pick in the frontal tests. The models received the top rating of good. In tests of small pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier were rated good.