By David Thomas on February 3, 2010
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a new report saying that of the five small pickups it tested for roof strength in crash tests, only the Nissan Frontier earned its top rating of Good. The Ford Ranger was the only other truck to pass, with a rating of Acceptable. The Dodge Dakota, Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado earned Marginal ratings, the second-lowest score.
Even though the Frontier — also sold as the Suzuki Equator — earned top scores in the roof crush test, it didn’t get a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS because it earned an Acceptable rating in rear crash tests for neck injury instead of Good, which it received in front and side crash tests as well as the rollover test.
The Ranger and the Tacoma also saw top scores in side crash tests, but during the Dakota’s test, the optional side airbags failed to deploy. The IIHS said this is the first time that has ever happened in a side crash test.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David