The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested five small crew cab pickups, and they struggled in the agency's updated moderate overlap front evaluation with consideration for rear passenger safety. None of them received the group's top score of Good.
The table below shows the vehicles and their score. The agency's ratings from best to worst are Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor:
|2022-23 Nissan Frontier crew cab
|2022-23 Ford Ranger crew cab
|2022 Chevrolet Colorado crew cab
|2022-23 Jeep Gladiator
|2022-23 Toyota Tacoma crew cab
All of these trucks provided Good safety for the driver, but the results for the rear passenger caused the low scores. The Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma had an issue where the restraints in the back seat allowed the dummy's head to go too close to the front seatback.
The problem with the Jeep Gladiator was that it didn't come with a side curtain airbag, which increased the risk of the rear dummy hitting something in the cabin during a collision.
The Ford Ranger had an issue where the rear dummy slid beneath the lap belt. It moved up from the pelvis to the abdomen, which increased the risk of internal injuries.
"Our updated moderate overlap front crash test proved to be challenging for small pickups," said IIHS President David Harkey. "A common problem was that the rear passenger dummy's head came dangerously close to the front seatback, and in many cases, dummy measurements indicated a risk of neck or chest injuries. All these things tell us that the rear seat belts need improvement."
The IIHS introduced the revised moderate overlap front test after the agency found the risk of fatal injuries was higher for occupants in the back than in the front. The institute believed this was because automakers had optimized driver for safety.
These pickups aren't the only vehicles to struggle in the more challenging crash test. When the IIHS evaluated small cars, none of them earned a Good score. Four mid-size SUVs got Good ratings. Two small SUVs scored the top grade.