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Every year, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests various vehicles for crashworthiness. The ones that perform well earn the IIHS’ top car safety awards. This year, the four safest pickup trucks earned Top Safety Pick awards, a step below the highest designation, Top Safety Pick+. Which pickups won, and how well did each perform in IIHS testing?

Which 2022 pickup trucks won the IIHS Top Safety Pick award?

Safe pickup truck: 2022 Ram 1500 IIHS Top Safety Pick
2022 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel | Stellantis

For 2022, the IIHS awarded four truck models with Top Safety Pick. First, the new Hyundai Santa Cruz Crew Cab won in the small truck category. 

The Ford F-150 boasts two winning models: Crew Cab and Extended Cab. Both earned Top Safety Pick in the large pickup segment. Last, the Ram 1500 Crew Cab also scored Top Safety Pick in the large truck category. 

How well did each truck perform in IIHS crash tests?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, the only small pickup truck to score an IIHS award in its class, earned good ratings in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Though the SE and SEL trims received a poor rating for their headlights, the SEL Premium and Limited trims earned good ratings for headlights. In the rest of its crash tests, the Santa Cruz scored good ratings.

The Ford-150 Crew Cab received a good rating in all the crashworthiness tests. It also got a superior rating in all vehicle-to-vehicle evaluations. However, when it came to the vehicle-to-pedestrian, it got a superior rating for the standard system and an advanced rating for the optional system. 

It scored a marginal rating for the child seat anchor and good, acceptable, and poor ratings for headlight performance depending upon the various trim levels. The Ford F-150 Extended Cab received the same scores as the Crew cab, except the former didn’t receive a rating for the child seat anchor test. 

The fourth model among the safest pickup trucks is the 2022 Ram 1500. It received good ratings in all crashworthiness tests and for headlight performance on the Longhorn, Limited, and TRX trims. However, the Tradesman, Bighorn, Lone Star, and HFE models received marginal scores for headlights. 

It’s important to note that all trucks on this list received the Top Safety Pick award, but none earned the highest achievement, Top Safety Pick+. Not one of the pickups the IIHS tested scored an advanced or superior rating in standard headlight performance, preventing them from winning Top Safety Pick+.

But in the end, all four trucks proved they could withstand all IIHS crash tests.

The difference between IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+

Regarding Top Safety Pick, the IIHS requires a vehicle to get good ratings on the driver’s and passenger’s side small overlap front tests, moderate overlap front, head restraints, and roof strength. 

A vehicle should also score an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention, vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. The last criterion for this rating is an acceptable or good score for available headlight performance. 

Other Top Safety Pick award winners for 2022 are the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Hyundai Sonata, and Subaru Impreza.

The Top Safety Pick+ award goes to vehicles that meet the same criteria as the Top Safety Pick distinction except for one thing. To achieve the highest award, the model must also earn an acceptable or good rating for standard headlight performance. 

Examples are the Subaru Outback, Toyota Camry, Volvo V6, Audi A6, and Hyundai Venue.