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When it comes to buying used trucks, it can be challenging to do as there are so many affordable ones on the market. If you’re looking for a used family truck that will meet your needs, there’s one pickup that stands out as the perfect choice. The 2021 Ram 1500 has it all, including an impressive safety award. What award is it, and what makes this truck so safe?What truck earned the Top Safety Pick award in 2020?

Back in 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had guidelines a vehicle needed to meet in order to earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safet Pick+ award. The rules were strict, but not quite like the ones the organization uses today on modern trucks, cars, and SUVs. First, the vehicles had to receive a ‘Good’ rating on certain crash tests. Those include:

  • Driver-side small overlap front
  • Passenger-side small overlap front
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side crash tests
  • Roof strength
  • Head restraint tests

For vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention tests, the vehicle needed to get either an Advanced or a Superior rating. Lastly, the model being evaluated would have to have an Acceptable or Good rating on available headlights for the vehicle. The difference between this award and the Top Safety Pick+ back then was one minor change, and that was to get an Acceptable or Good rating for standard headlights.  

Today, the IIHS has changed the rules a bit to be stricter due to the new side crash tests and pedestrian crash protection systems found on newer vehicles. 

What are the specs of the 2021 Ram 1500 pickup?

The particular model of the 2021 Ram 1500 that received the Top Safety Pick award was the Crew cab configuration, so if you want the safest version of the truck you’ll need to pick this body style. The pickups tested were from various trims of the Ram 1500, which include the Tradesman, the Big Horn, Laramie, and Rebel, according to IIHS

Powering up the base model, the Tradesman, you get a 3.6-liter V6 engine combined with a mild hybrid system producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Paired with it is an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination allows the truck to get 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the rear-wheel drive version. 

For the 4WD model, you get 19 mpg on city roads and 24 mpg when traveling on the highway. Other engines available within all the trim levels are a 3.0-liter V6, a 5.7-liter V8, and a 6.2-liter supercharged V8. As far as towing capacity is concerned, the Ram 1500 has the ability to tow 12,750 lbs when the truck is properly equipped. 

2021 Ram 1500: features fit for a family


Only 1 Toyota Car Is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ In 2023

With the tradesman, you get a rearview camera system standard, but that’s about it. There are, however, plenty of optional items you can get with the model. For instance, Ram offers forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, surround-view parking camera system, parking assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear cross-traffic alert. 

Most of its higher trims offer those features as standard, though, so you should be able to find a used Ram 1500 truck Crew cab pickup with at least some of those items.  

As for what makes it a good family vehicle, look at its cabin. First, the doors swing open wide enough for easy access to the interior. The cab is spacious, with plenty of headroom and legroom for all passengers. It also offers an 8.4-inch display as standard, but those buying the truck new could opt for a 12-inch screen instead. 

Buying a safe, used family truck from 2021 isn’t all that difficult because there was only one pickup that year that earned a Top Safety Pick award. A truck with lots of passenger space, decent fuel economy ratings, and top safety scores, how could you go wrong?