Small Pickups Disappoint in Crash Tests

No mid-size pickup truck earned an award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in a recent round of testing.

A total of eight small pickups were evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with four earning good ratings for occupant protection in all five crashworthiness evaluations. But the lack of an automatic emergency braking system and poor-rated headlights resulted in no safety awards given out. For the tests, IIHS evaluated two body styles of each pickup: crew cab and extended cab.

The top performer in the small overlap test for these 2017 models is the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab (crew cab), which was also the only small pickup to earn a good rating for structure in the small overlap test. Results on the Access Cab (extended cab) model were similar, except it received an acceptable rating for structure due to some additional occupant compartment intrusion.

Both the Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab and the GMC Canyon Crew Cab earn good ratings for occupant protection in the small overlap front crash test. The Extended Cab variants earn an acceptable rating.

SEE ALSO: Nissan Titan Disappoints in IIHS Crash Tests

Both Nissan Frontier variants received marginal ratings on the small overlap front crash test. They did however, earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, and roof strength test, while having acceptable-rated head restraints.

Unfortunately for all the small pickups tested, none are available with anything other than poor-rated headlights. Only the Colorado and Canyon are available with an optional forward collision warning system that receives a basic rating for front crash prevention.

Toyota did say the 2018 Tacoma will have a standard autobrake system with pedestrian detection and upgraded headlights that include high-beam assist, which automatically switches between high beams and low beams depending on the presence of other vehicles.

“This group of small pickups performed better in the small overlap front test than many of their larger pickup cousins,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s executive vice president and chief research officer. “The exception was the Nissan Frontier, which hasn’t had a structural redesign since the 2005 model year.”

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