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Minivans and pickup trucks are all but polar opposite vehicles of each other. Where minivans are built to shuttle around as many people as possible, pickup trucks are mostly seen as utility vehicles. Sure, some pickup trucks today are built with luxurious interiors and are not much more than fancy SUVs, but most American pickup trucks are used in commercial settings as work trucks.

However, despite these differences, there is one surprising area that pickup trucks and minivans have in common. Here is everything you need to know about the common flaws found in both minivans and pickup trucks.

Trucks and minivans don’t really have a lot in common

When it comes to similarities between pickup trucks and minivans, there is not a ton that is similar between these vehicles. The vast majority of these vehicles are built on entirely different platforms.

Pickup trucks are mostly built using a body-on-frame, rear-wheel drive setup with a solid rear axle. This gives pickup trucks a rugged feel while driving, and durability that will last decades. Of course, this means that pickup trucks don’t always have the best traction in slippery conditions with the driving wheels being found in the lightweight rear end, but pickup trucks are strong and built for work.

Minivans are an entirely different story. Minivans are typically built using a unibody, front-wheel drive setup. This means that the body and the frame are one unit, and the front wheels drive powertrain gives drivers the feel of being the wheel of a traditional car.

Minivans are also built with comfort in mind. They might not be the most powerful vehicles, but many of them seat up to seven passengers comfortably, with a ton of cargo space if needed.

Both vehicle types have a common flaw

While pickup trucks and minivans have hardly anything in common, they do have one thing in common; common low crash test ratings. According to the IIHS, minivans, and pickup trucks, both perform poorly overall in rear passenger safety.

Minivans in particular, often perform well when it comes to front seat safety, but for rear seat safety, where children typically sit, these safety ratings are very low.

For pickup trucks, these ratings are similar, with large pickup trucks receiving good ratings for side impact safety, but not for rear passengers. The IIHS shows that pickup trucks offer a solid amount of safety, but lap belts in the second row of pickup trucks have a good chance of “submarining” passengers, which is where passengers slide down in the seat.

What types of cars have good rear seat safety?

While minivans and pickup trucks both suffer as a whole in rear seat safety, not every vehicle in these two classes is doomed to a poor score. If you are shopping for a minivan, the Toyota Sienna offers the best amount of protection, although it does have a poor score in the rear passenger restraint category.

If you are shopping for a pickup truck and rear passenger safety is a concern, the Ram 1500 crew cab and the Toyota Tundra have the best safety ratings.

While minivans and pickup trucks don’t have a lot in common, they do both have a lot of work to do when it comes to rear-passenger safety going forward.


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