Midsize Trucks Miss Top Safety Ratings In IIHS Tests
8 September 2017 - motor1
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has tested crew cab and extended cab body styles of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma midsize pickups, and the trucks came away with mixed results.
None of them scored the agency's Top Safety Pick honor, let alone the even more difficult Top Safety Pick Plus award. However, the lack of top ratings was generally due to the lack of automatic emergency braking or poor headlights, and a few vehicles even earned a Good result in the often challenging small-overlap front crash test.
Since they are the same vehicles other than the badge, it's not surprising the respective body styles of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon have identical crash test scores. The Crew Cab variants each have Good results in the small-overlap front crash test. However, the Extended Cab versions score Acceptable grades – one step lower than Good.
Nissan hasn't given the Frontier structural upgrades since 2005, and this was quite evident in the crash test. Both the King Cab and Crew Cab variants have a Marginal score – one grade above the lowest Poor grade. According to IIHS, the 2017 examples have longer side curtain airbags, which help protect the head in a crash.
However, the collision caused a considerable 17 inches (43 centimeters) of intrusion into the passenger compartment on the Crew Cab and 14 inches (36 cm) on the King Cab. This would have resulted in "serious injuries" to the legs and foot, according to the IIHS.
Both body styles of the Toyota Tacoma get Good scores in the small overlap test.
IIHS requires Good scores in all of its crash tests, plus an Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention system, to get a Top Safety Pick award. In addition, the headlights need a Good or Acceptable rating to be a Top Safety Pick Plus.
None of the pickups currently have the required crash prevention tech to be a Top Safety Pick. The Colorado and Canyon's system scores only Basic. The Frontier doesn't offer it at all. According to IIHS, the Tacoma gets standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian headlights for the 2018 model year.
The situation is even worse for the trucks' headlights because all of them get Poor ratings – the worst possible score.