These days, it's pretty common to hear about a car getting five stars or high scores in a crash test. Anything less that that sounds unimaginable (and unacceptable, even) these days. There a lot of modern cars can protect you in a crash, but what about vans?

The Toyota Alphard is one of the safest luxury vans you can buy image

One of them is the Toyota Alphard, and it just won praises from the Japan New Car Assessment Program or JNCAP. Not only did the luxury van score top marks in occupant protection, it even fared well in pedestrian protection and even preventive safety. Granted, JNCAP used its even more luxurious twin, the Vellfire, but the two are identical so the performance of that model and the Alphard have been rolled into one. So just how well did it score?

In occupant protection, the Alphard/Vellfire posted a score of 90.82 points thanks to low load forces on the head, neck, chest, and legs. JNCAP even gave good marks for its 'rescuability', as all doors can still be easily opened after a crash. It also performed well in the offset barrier test (which simulates a car to car head-on crash at 60 km/h), the side impact test, and rear-end collision test. For pedestrian protection, it managed 73.99 points, which is not just impressive for a car, but more so for a van.

But what further boosted the Alphard's score is the accident prevention features the van has. Standard on the Japan-spec Alphard is Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). TSS reins in the vehicle in an even of an emergency braking situation, such as a car suddenly pulling out of an intersection or a pedestrian suddenly crossing the street. With TSS, the system also works at night and JNCAP lauded its consistent performance even under low light conditions.

For now, Toyota Safety Sense is not available on any model sold here in the Philippines. Perhaps it's about time Toyota slowly introduce it to our market. But rest assured that Toyota Philippines sells some of the safest cars in the country. Models like the Vios, Rush, Camry, and Fortuner, have a five-star safety rating from our region's equivalent of JNCAP, the ASEAN New Car Assesment Program or ASEAN NCAP.