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There are a whole slew of pickup trucks on the market. Most of them are made by well-known, solid car manufacturers. Maybe you’ve been looking at the 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 and the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500. Is the Dodge Ram safer than the GMC Sierra? Or is the GMC Sierra safer than the Dodge Ram? Let’s compare IIHS crash test ratings to get a clearer picture of these two trucks.

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 | Dodge

The 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick

A red 2021 Dodge Ram between piles of dirt.
2021 Dodge Ram | Dodge

An IIHS Top Safety Pick is awarded to a vehicle which gets good ratings in the driver-side and passenger-side small overlap front crash ratings, and moderate overlap front crash ratings. A vehicle must also get a good rating in the side crash tests, roof strength and head restraint tests. 

Additionally, a vehicle must get a superior or advanced rating for front crash prevention in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. A Top Safety Pick must also have acceptable or good headlights available. 

The 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 scored well in each of these tests. The IIHS Top Safety Pick applies only to the large, crew cab Dodge Ram pickups with optional crash prevention and certain headlights. 

On the other hand, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 got a good overall rating in the small overlap front: driver side crash test. However, it only received an acceptable rating in the structure and safety cage crash test. 

The overall evaluation of the small overlap front: passenger side tests for the Dodge Ram 1500 was good, but the structure and safety cage was only acceptable. The GMC Sierra 1500 was much worse, scoring a marginal overall evaluation.  Not only that, but the structure and safety cage rating is poor, which is the worst rating a vehicle can get. 

How were the moderate overlap tests for the Dodge Ram and the GMC Sierra?

A dark gray 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 driving down a highway.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 | GMC

To conduct the moderate overlap frontal test, the IIHS creates a situation similar to what would happen if two same-size vehicles hit each other at just under 40 mph. Forty percent of the width of the vehicle strikes an aluminum honeycomb barrier on the driver side.

The 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 scored a good rating in the moderate overlap tests.. On the other hand, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 got all good ratings except for the leg/foot, right, which received a marginal rating. Both trucks got good side crash test ratings.

How was the roof strength, head restraints and seats?

If you’ve thought about roof strength when car shopping, you’re probably already on top of all these crash test ratings. If not, pay attention: the roof strength is an important factor in a rollover crash.

Both the 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 and the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 scored a good result for roof strength. They also got good scores in the overall evaluation for power leather seats, as well as good dynamic ratings and seat/head restraint geometry. 

How did the Dodge Ram and GMC Sierra do in crash prevention?

A red 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 on the beach.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 | GMC

The Ram 1500 scored a superior rating in the overall vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation with the optional Advanced Safety Group or Level 1 Safety Group. In both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS test, the Ram 1500 was able to avoid a collision. 

A variety of trim levels were tested in the vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention. The Ram 1500 scored advanced and in the 12 mph crossing child test, the Ram 1500 avoided a collision. In the 25 mph test, the speed was reduced by 21%. 

In the crossing adult 12 mph and 25 mph tests, the Ram was able to avoid a collision. It also avoided a collision in the parallel adult 25 mph test. However, in the 37 mph, the Ram 1500 didn’t slow down. A warning was issued 2.4 seconds before the collision. 

The GMC Sierra 1500 did well in this test too. It got a superior vehicle-to-vehicle overall evaluation. The GMC Sierra 1500 met the requirements for forward collision warning. It avoided a collision in the 12 mph IIHS test and the 25 mph IIHS test. 

The 2021 Dodge Ram 1500s better crash test ratings and IIHS Top Safety Pick make it a better choice than the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 for a pickup truck. If you’re torn between the two trucks, go with the safer one.


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