Safety First

These are the safest pickup trucks in the U.S. according to IIHS

Photo courtesy of GMC

Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in the United States in a number of categories including crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation, and child seat anchors.

In each of those categories, there are subsets of ratings that take a closer look at things like the how the vehicle performs in six different types of crash tests, how well the vehicle's headlights perform, and how easy it is to use the child seat LATCH connections.

Clicking through on each set of ratings will reveal a more detailed look at the types of injuries that were measured, distance illuminated, and location of LATCH connections, among other information. You'll also see a variety of photos from the IIHS crash tests.

If there are no major structural or technical changes to a vehicle from model year to model year, the results carry over.

The ratings below include the most up-to-date information as of February 20, 2020.

Please note, the Jeep Gladiator has not yet been tested by IIHS. Nissan's 2020 Titan has also not yet been tested.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Basic
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Acceptable
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Acceptable
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Basic
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado - Regular Cab

IIHS testing of the regular cab version of the Chevrolet Colorado is incomplete. However, they have rated the truck's head restraints and seats as Moderate. Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado - Extended Cab

  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Ford F-150 - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Not tested
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Ford F-150 - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Not tested
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Ford Ranger - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Acceptable
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Marginal
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Superior
      • Vehicle-to-pedestrian (Standard): Advanced
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 GMC Canyon - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Basic
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 GMC Canyon - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Acceptable
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Acceptable
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Basic
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Not available
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Not available
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 - Extended Cab

  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Classic - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Head restraints & seats: Poor
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Honda Ridgeline - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Acceptable
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights (varies by trim level): Good/Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Nissan Frontier - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Marginal
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Acceptable
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle: Not available
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Nissan Frontier - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Marginal
    • Moderate overlap front: Marginal
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Acceptable
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Poor
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle: Not available
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Ram 1500 - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights (varies by trim level): Good/Marginal
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Ram 1500 - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Marginal
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Optional): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Toyota Tacoma - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights (varies by trim level): Good/Moderate
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Toyota Tacoma - Crew Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Good
    • Moderate overlap front: Acceptable
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights (varies by trim level): Good/Marginal
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

2020 Toyota Tundra - Extended Cab

  • Crashworthiness
    • Small overlap front: driver-side: Acceptable
    • Moderate overlap front: Good
    • Side: Good
    • Roof strength: Good
    • Head restraints & seats: Good
  • Crash avoidance & mitigation
    • Headlights: Marginal
    • Front crash prevention
      • Vehicle-to-vehicle (Standard): Superior
  • Child seat anchors
    • LATCH ease of use: Marginal
Click here to see the full ratings.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Hong Kong gained its independence, Dolly the sheep was cloned, Princess Diana passed away. 1997 was a pivotal years for the sport utility vehicle segment as well. It marked the introduction of the Honda CR-V, the model that would go on to rival the Toyota RAV4 in popularity. Honda recently released rankings to show the ten best-selling crossovers since the debut of the CR-V.

Subaru Forester

1998 Subaru Forester

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru has sold just over 2 million Foresters since it went on sale in 1998, succeeding the Subaru Bighorn, which was also sold as the Isuzu Trooper. The Forester is still one of the top-selling models in the U.S. Subaru sold nearly 30,000 of them in the first two months of 2020.

Lexus RX

1998 Lexus RX

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus RX is the original luxury crossover and you'll still see many of them on the road after over a decade of use. It got into the game a year later than the CR-V, first being sold in the U.S. in 1998. Still, it's been slightly more popular than the Forester with sales over 2 million in the last 23 years.

Honda Pilot

2004 Honda Pilot

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda's popular three-row SUV started its life with a boxy shape that helped it stand out from the crowd in 2002 (2004 model shown above). The second-gen Pilot got even boxier. It's currently in its third generation, which has shifted the look of the model to a more traditional shape with modern tech and family-friendly features. Honda has sold around 2,200,000 Pilots during the last 18 years.

Nissan Rogue

2007 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Rogue was introduced just 12 years ago. Since 2007, around 2.5 million of them have been sold. The Rogue is perennially one of the top-selling SUVs in the country and is Nissan's best-selling vehicle in the U.S.

Toyota Highlander

2001 Toyota Highlander \u200b

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Highlander has been around for six years longer than the Nissan Rogue. It debuted in 2000 and went on sale in January 2001 as a 2001 model in the U.S. At first it was a two-row model but since 2004 it has been available as a three-row SUV, eventually evolving into a three-row only format.

Chevrolet Equinox

2003 Chevrolet Equinox debut Detroit Auto Show

Photo by Getty Images

Chevrolet has sold over 3 million Equinoxes since the model first came to market in 2004 as a 2005 model year SUV. At first it was a midsize crossover, then it was downsized to a compact model, making it about the same size as the Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue.

Toyota RAV4

1997 Toyota RAV4

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota was one of the pioneers in the segment, launching the RAV4 in 1994. The company has sold over 4 million RAV4s since 1997 as the model has gotten bigger, safer, and more capable. Toyota has offered a variety of RAV4 models over the years from two-door variants to soft top RAV4s. It was the top-selling SUV model in 2019.

Ford Escape

2001 Ford Escape

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Escape has only been around since 2001 and its fourth-generation was introduced late last year. The model has evolved from a boxy four-door family hauler to a sleek SUV with abundant cargo capacity and an available hybrid powertrain. Ford has sold around 4.3 million Escapes since the turn of the century.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. (J-921)

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Cherokee blurs the line between SUV and crossover most on this list, but there's no doubt it's one of the most popular, no matter what you call it. Jeep has sold more Grand Cherokees since 1997 than Ford has Escapes, around 4.5 million.

Honda CR-V

1997 Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In the 23 years since it debuted, Honda has sold over 5 million CR-Vs making the model the most popular crossover in the U.S. The company recently debuted the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, filling a gap in the market.


The Hyundai Nexo is noted for its well-designed headlights.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its results from the latest round of testing. Five vehicles came out on top earning the highest headlight score across all trim levels.

How does IIHS test? According to their website:

IIHS engineers measure the reach of a vehicle's headlights as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Sensors on the track measure how far from the vehicle the light extends with an intensity of at least 5 lux. A lux is a unit of illuminance, or the amount of light falling on a surface. For comparison, a full moon on a cloudless night illuminates the ground below to about 1 lux.

Both low beams and high beams are measured on five approaches, shown in the graphic below:
- Straightaway
- Gradual left curve (800-foot radius)
- Gradual right curve (800-foot radius)
- Sharp left curve (500-foot radius)
- Sharp right curve (500-foot radius)

On each approach, visibility measurements are taken on the right edge of the roadway. On the curves, measurements also are taken on the left edge of the travel lane. On the straightaway, the second measurement is taken at a point corresponding to the left edge of a two-lane road. This allows the engineers to gauge the illumination on both the right and left side of a straightaway, which are typically quite different. With most headlights, there is a steep drop-off in light on the left side of a straight road in order to prevent glare to oncoming vehicles.

Glare for oncoming vehicles is also measured from low beams in each scenario. Engineers record the percentage by which it exceeds a set threshold.

Headlights are tested as received from the dealer. Although many headlight problems could be resolved by adjusting the aim of the lamps, IIHS doesn't change headlight aim. Few vehicle owners adjust the vertical aim of their headlights, so leaving the aim the way it was set at the factory makes the testing more realistic. Horizontal aim also is important, but in most vehicles it can't be changed after the initial factory setting.

Readings are taken 10 inches from the ground for visibility and 3 feet, 7 inches from the ground for glare.

IIHS testers use a system of demerits to rate the headlights. Low beams are weighted more heavily than high beams. Straighway readings are weighted more heavily than curved ratings because crashes happen most often on straight roads. Vehicles equipped with high-beam assist get their low beam demerits reduced.

All the vehicles on this list earned a perfect "Good" score in IIHS headlight testing across all trim levels.

2020 Honda Insight

2020 Honda Insight

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2020 Honda Insight comes standard with multi-element LED headlights. The Insight starts at $22,930.

Hyundai Nexo

2020 Hyundai Nexo

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2020 Hyundai Nexo comes standard with LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights. Automatic headlights are also standard. Hyundai prices the Nexo starting at $58,735.

Lexus NX

2019 Lexus NX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Lexus has equipped the 2020 Lexus NX with standard automatic headlights. Premium triple-beam LED headlights and enhanced LED daytime running lights with integrated turn indicators are available. The Lexus NX starts at $36,870.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with LED steering responsive headlights and LED fog lights. The Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $35,145.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $39,990 and comes standard with LED headlights and taillights. Automatic high beams are standard and fog lights are available.