2019 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Boosts Its Safety Payload

The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 crew-cab full-size pickup truck is hauling a lot more safety, getting much better scores than the 2018 model, according to testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The new Ram aced the requisite crash tests and front crash prevention system scoring, but fell short of an IIHS Top Safety Pick award only because its score in the tough new headlight testing was just a marginal rating.

Related: What’s the Safest Half-Ton Pickup Truck for 2018?

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The 2019 Ram earned the top score of good in all six crashworthiness tests, including evaluations for front and side crashes, head restraints and seats, roof strength, and driver- and passenger-side small overlap front crashes. Meanwhile, the Ram’s front crash prevention system with automatic emergency braking — a newly available option for 2019 — got the top score of superior from IIHS for avoiding crashes from 12 and 25 mph.

These scores are a big improvement on the 2018 model. The truck previously scored just marginal in roof strength, and IIHS added that the 2018 Ram 1500 crew cab, as well as the extended cab, “were the worst performers of any 2018 vehicle in roof strength.” It also scored just marginal in the driver-side small overlap front crash tests (the passenger-side version of the test is new, and the 2018 did not undergo that evaluation).

What did not improve for 2019 was a marginal score for all the available headlight systems, the same as the best score for the 2018’s headlights. To be a Top Safety Pick requires a good or acceptable score for the headlights.

Related: IIHS Toughens Up Crash-Test Standards for 2018

Headlights have been a difficult test for both full-size and mid-size pickups, with the 2019 Honda Ridgeline, an IIHS Top Safety Pick, standing alone in managing a top score of good, and only the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 even getting a second-best acceptable score. You can compare all IIHS results for large pickups here and smaller pickups here.

The 2019 Ram 1500 extended cab has not yet been crash-tested, but the IIHS headlight and front collision system ratings carry over to that model.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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