When people are looking for a new truck, they often pour over payload and towing numbers, bemoaning the different numbers for different trims. Then, they look at reliability ratings. But how about safety? Since pickup trucks are the new family hauler, pickup truck safety should also be top of mind.
So, we took a look at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test ratings to compare all the trucks in the full-size segment. What we found surprised us.
There is only one full-size truck to get a Top Safety Pick from IIHS, and get this, it’s the 2021 Ram 1500. While the Ram truck has been notorious for reliability issues in previous generations, the redesigned model is really starting to shine with better dependability and now the best crash test scores.
There are a couple other takeaways from this data, and the first isn’t visible just by looking at this table. The Nissan Titan was redesigned for 2020, and its IIHS results actually dropped in one area: the small overlap front passenger test. It went from Good to Acceptable.
The second shocker? Toyota Tundra. What the heck? While this truck usually gets high marks for reliability, it’s getting downright awful scores in crash tests. IMHO, any vehicle that gets Poor anything should be automatically redesigned. And Marginal rankings for driver safety? No thank you.
Sure, this is the oldest full-size truck right now, but still. That 2022 redesign can’t come soon enough.
Finally, we need to mention one caveat: the 2021 Ford F-150 hasn’t been tested by either IIHS or NHTSA yet since it’s an all-new model. We expect it will mirror the Ram 1500 scores, and if it doesn’t get a Top Safety Pick Award, we’d be surprised. So, stay tuned. We’ll update this article when we get the info.
|2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew||2021 Ford F-150 Crew||2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew||2021 Nissan Titan Crew||2021 Ram 1500 Crew||2021 Toyota Tundra Crew|
|IIHS Small Overlap Front Driver||G||n/a||G||G||G||M|
|IIHS Small Overlap Front Passenger||M||n/a||M||A||G||P|
|IIHS Moderate Overlap Front||G||n/a||G||G||G||G|
|IIHS Roof Strength||G||G||G||G||G||A|
|IIHS Head Restraints & Seats||G||n/a||G||G||G||G|
|IIHS Front Crash Prevention (vehicle-to-vehicle)||Superior||n/a||Superior||Superior||Superior||Superior|
|IIHS Front Crash Prevention (vehicle-to-pedestrian)||n/a||n/a||n/a||Superior||Advanced||n/a|
|NHTSA Overall Rating||4 Stars||n/a||4 Stars||4 Stars||5 Stars||4 Stars|
|NHTSA Frontal Crash||4 Stars||n/a||4 Stars||4 Stars||4 Stars||4 Stars|
|NHTSA Side Crash||5 Stars||n/a||5 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars|
|NHTSA Rollover||4 Stars||n/a||4 Stars||3 Stars||4 Stars||3 Stars|
* Note: In the above IIHS scores, G = Good, A = Acceptable, M = Marginal and P = Poor, with G being the highest ranking and P being the lowest. Also note, when discussing crash prevention, Superior is better than Advanced.
The bottom line on full-size pickup truck safety
While capability will likely be the primary driver in a truck purchase – especially for those who tow – safety ratings should be high on your priority list as well. The more you care, the more automakers will care and the safer all trucks will become.