Three out of seven large pickup trucks IIHS evaluated in a new round of crash tests earned an acceptable or higher rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.

IIHS evaluated two body styles of each 2016 model-year pickup — crew cab and extended cab. Crew cabs have four full doors and two full rows of seating. Extended cabs have two full front doors, two smaller rear doors and compact second-row seats.

IIHS last year decided it would test the two most popular variants of large pickups instead of just one after discovering that the Ford F-150 extended cab, known as the SuperCab, lacked structural countermeasures that helped the crew cab, known as the SuperCrew, earn the top rating of good in the small overlap test. The test replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the center line.


Ford improved the 2016 model F-150 SuperCab to clinch a good rating in the small overlap crash test, up from the 2015 model’s marginal rating. The F-150 is the only large pickup in the latest test group to earn the Institute’s top rating in the test. It joins the F-150 SuperCrew in earning a 2016 Top Safety Pick award when equipped with Ford’s optional basic-rated forward collision warning system.

“Ford is leading the way among large pickup manufacturers when it comes to protecting people in a range of crashes and offering technology to warn drivers of imminent frontal crashes,” said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute’s Vehicle Research Center. “We commend Ford for taking last year’s test results to heart and upgrading protection for SuperCab occupants in small overlap crashes.”

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Double Cab and the Toyota Tundra Double Cab both earned an acceptable rating for occupant protection in a small overlap crash. Survival space for the driver in both of these extended-cab pickups was maintained reasonably well overall, contributing to their acceptable ratings for structure.

The story was different for the larger crew cabs. The Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and the Tundra CrewMax earned a marginal rating in the small overlap front test. Both models had considerable intrusion into the occupant compartment that compromised survival space for the driver.

The worst-performing pickups in the small overlap test were the Ram 1500 Crew Cab and the Ram 1500 Quad Cab. Both earned a marginal rating overall and a poor rating for structure.

All of the pickups except the F-150 had moderate to severe intrusion into the driver footwell area during the small overlap test.

“Drivers in these pickups would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage following a small overlap crash. We encourage manufacturers to redesign their pickups to resist intrusion in the lower occupant compartment to safeguard people from serious leg and foot injuries that might require months of rehabilitation,” Arbelaez said.

Visit the IIHS website for full results of the pickup safety tests.