Small Pickups Fall Short of IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Awards
A lack of active safety systems & poor headlights cause shortcomingsby Mark McNabb, on
Modern trucks are vastly safer than older vehicles, yet the Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety continues to move the bar. As such, four variants of the most popular mid-size pickups fail to meet the independent agency’s highest rating for crash survivability and headlight performance. Eight pickups were tested, including both extended and crew cab versions of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier.
Of the eight trucks tested, four did not earn the IIHS’ best rating of “Good” in the front small-overlap crash test. These are the extended cab version of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, along with both cab configurations of the aging Nissan Frontier. The GM twins both earned an Acceptable rating, while the Nissan only earned a Marginal. The Frontier continued to score low in both the structural category and in the possibility of the driver sustaining lower leg and foot injuries. That’s not surprising considering the Frontier is 12 years old, having last been redesigned for the 2005 model year. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab earned a Good overall rating and a Good rating in each sub-category except for an Acceptable rating in potential lower leg and foot injuries. Even still, the Tacoma lacks any front crash prevention systems, excluding it from the IIHS’ Top Safety awards. Only the GM twins offer any such system, and even it only alerts the driver rather than stopping the truck, earning it only a Basic rating. Lastly, not a single mid-size pickup scored better than a Poor rating in headlight performance. It is understandable, though, as the IIHS only began testing headlights for the 2017 model year.
Continue reading for charts of the IIHS ratings.
|FRONT small overlap||FRONT moderate overlap||SIDE||ROOF STRENGTH||HEAD RESTRAINTS & SEATS||FRONT CRASH PREVENTION||HEADLIGHTS||LATCH|
|Chevrolet Colorado (Crew Cab)||G||G||G||G||G||Basic with optional equipment||P||M|
|GMC Canyon (Crew Cab)||G||G||G||G||G||Basic with optional equipment||P|
|Toyota Tacoma (Double Cab)||G||G||G||G||G||P||M|
|Toyota Tacoma (Access Cab)||G||G||G||G||G||P||M|
|Chevrolet Colorado (Extended Cab)||A||G||A||G||G||Basic with optional equipment||P||A|
|GMC Canyon (Extended Cab)||A||G||A||G||G||Basic with optional equipment||P|
|Nissan Frontier (King Cab)||M||G||G||G||A||P||A|
|Nissan Frontier (Crew Cab)||M||G||G||G||A||P||M|
Note: G - ood ; A- cceptable; M- arginal; P- oor
Read our full review on the Chevrolet Colorado.
Read our full review on the GMC Canyon.
Read our full review on the Toyota Tacoma.
Read our full review on the Nissan Frontier.