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2020 Ram 1500 Snags Segment-First Top Safety Pick+ Rating

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/10/2019 Motor Trend Staff

a car parked on the side of a road: 2020 Ram 1500 Black Edition front three quarter
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has bestowed the 2020 Ram 1500 crew cab pickup with its coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating—the safety watchdog group's highest honor. Among its list of "large pickups," the current leader is the 2019 Honda Ridgeline, which earns the Top Safety Pick rating (minus the +), because it only ranks "acceptable" in the small-overlap front passenger-side crash results (to earn the + all crash test results must be "good"). The current Ram 1500 extended cab and crew cab models already earn "good" ratings in all six crash categories (small-overlap front driver and passenger side, moderate overlap front, side-impact, and roof crush), but its headlamps ranked marginal and poor (optional and base). TSP+ also requires "good" headlamps.

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But new adaptive LED projector headlamps with high-beam assist introduced last May have upped the trucks' performance sufficiently to earn a "good" headlamp rating, which in turn earns IIHS's vaunted TSP+ rating for Ram 1500 crew cab models built since that time with that feature and with Ram's Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology and Forward Collision Mitigation.

the engine of a car© Motor Trend Staff

As we noted when the trucks were first shown in January, 2018, the front of the Ram's entirely new ladder frame features cleverly engineered octagonal-section frame-rail extensions. These are mandrel-bent and welded from tailor-rolled sheet steel blanks that vary from 3 to 2 mm thick going forward to ensure they crumple in a gradual, controlled manner. Finally, these cleverly engineered frame-rail extensions are splayed outward to better capture small-offset crash forces and route them through the sturdiest parts of the frame.

This year a TSP+ rating can be earned with an "advanced" or "superior" rating for front crash prevention equipment, but soon that requirement will be tightened to allow only superior systems to earn the TSP+ rating. With its full suite of collision prevention technologies, the Ram 1500 already earns the superior rating. The optional Forward Collision Mitigation feature boasts sensor-fusion technology that combines camera capability with radar detection to predict the likelihood of a forward impact and then first warns the driver to take action to avoid the collision and then, if insufficient action is taken, it can apply the brakes to limit the damage or risk of injury.

a car parked on the side of a road: 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel 8© Motor Trend Staff 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel 8

Among the Ram's competitors, the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan crew cabs each earn "good" ratings in all the crash tests, while earning poor and marginal headlamp ratings (respectively). The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra crew cab trucks rank marginal in small-overlap passenger-side crash results and poor in headlamp performance. Toyota's Tundra has work to do in all small-overlap crashes and in headlamp performance.

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