New RAM 1500 Earns Highest IIHS Safety Rating

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 12, 2019

Pickup trucks are a lot of things – versatile, durable, rugged, powerful – but one thing they aren’t is safe. No pickup truck has earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Until now, that is, as the all-new RAM 1500 has become the first to earn the institute’s highest safety rating.

As with the majority of other vehicles that have earned the award, the rating only applies to specific models. Nonetheless, to earn the award, the 1500 had to earn Good ratings in all six of the IIHS’ crash tests, have headlights that earned a rating of Good, and have a front crash prevention system that’s found to at least be Acceptable. The RAM 1500’s system earned a Superior rating.

The Top Safety Pick+ designation only applies to high-end Laramie Longhorn and Limited trims. Those trims come with bi-function LED headlights that earned the IIHS’ Good rating. Lower trims, like the Tradesman, Big Horn, and Lone Star have quad halogen headlights. Those earned a Marginal rating. The optional LED headlights for lower trims earned the same Marginal rating as the standard headlights.

The IIHS had tested the redesigned RAM 1500 before, where it failed to qualify for an award because its headlights were rated to be Poor and Marginal. RAM’s engineers modified the curve-adaptive LED headlights for models built after May 2019. The changes helped the pickup massively.

Getting into a RAM 1500 that meets the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ requirements isn’t a cheap proposition. While the base Tradesman costs $33,590 (including destination), a range-topping Limited is priced at $55,110. A Laramie Longhorn is a little cheaper, with a starting price tag of $52,335.

Before you start scratching your head and really wondering whether the RAM 1500 is the first to earn the IIHS’ highest rating – yes, this is the first full-size pickup to ever win the award. The only other pickup that gets close is the Honda Ridgeline, which is a Top Safety Pick. The passenger-side small overlap front tests was the Ridgeline’s weak point.

The Ford F-150 missed out on an award because of its Poor-rated headlights, while the all-new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 failed to make the cut because of the passenger-side small overlap front test and headlights that were found to be Poor. The GMC Sierra 1500 had the same flaws as its corporate cousin.

The new RAM 1500 has been a hit for the brand. Earlier this April, reports claimed that RAM had finally managed to squeeze past the Silverado 1500 in sales. In the full-size pickup realm, it’s always been F-150 first, Silverado 1500 second, and RAM 1500 third. Being the first to be named a Top Safety Pick+ will probably help the RAM 1500 draw some sales away from Chevrolet.

Learn more about the 1500 »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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