Safety: Most Midsize Pickups Are Rated Poorly, Toyota Tacoma is Best of the Bunch (IIHS)

2017 toyota tacoma iihs crash safety rating
2017 Toyota Tacoma : IIHS small overlap crash test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently completed a thorough evaluation of most midsize pickup trucks currently on sale in 2017. The 2017 Toyota Tacoma performed better than its competitors. The institute tested eight trucks it total: four extended cabs and four crew cabs. The results were fairly surprising. Not a single midsize truck they tested earned the top safety ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick or IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Four out of the eight trucks earned a Good over all rating. What gives?

One of the main reasons for no top safety ratings among the midsizers is the a lack of automated emergency braking systems. The 2017 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon offer a collision warning system, but the truck does not apply the brakes in an emergency. This also means that none of them have an adaptive cruise control system.

If automated braking is important to you, you should wait until the 2018 Toyota Tacoma comes out this fall. It will have Toyota’s latest TSS technology.


All of the pickups the IIHS tested had a Poor headlight rating. The institute began to test headlight effectiveness last year. It’s worth noting that crew cab model performed slightly better than their smaller (extended cab) counterparts. Not all trucks are created equal.

If you are wondering why the Nissan Frontier (crew and king cab) performed poorly in the IIHS small overlap crash test. It’s because this particular crash test was put into practice just a few years ago, many years after the current Nissan Frontier was designed and developed. It’s another reason for Nissan to upgrade the aging midsize truck platform.

Check out this IIHS crash testing and performance overview of all midsize pickups trucks, and take a look at the individual truck crash tests below.

When watching the following small overlap crash tests, take note of the top view. It’s interesting to see how the cab and bed are moving in relation to each other during the crash.

2017 Toyota Tacoma

2017 Chevy Colorado

2017 Nissan Frontier