Trucks Trucks & SUVs

The Worst Truck for New Families

A 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro pickup truck sits on display during the Chicago Auto Show

Americans love pickup trucks. Every year, many families will buy a new one. The safety offered by a truck is the most important aspect for a family. One truck falls flat in this area though, and that’s the Toyota Tundra.

Safety matters for family trucks

Many people believe a larger car is a safer car, and this used to be the case. Nowadays, however, while the size of a vehicle does impact its safety, what drivers should look for are its safety features. Crash test results are also a good way to see how safe a car is when compared to others. 

But, because modern safety features like anti-lock braking systems and electronic stability control come standard or optional for most cars, the best way to compare models is to look at their crash test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, performs crash tests and the Tundra was given the worst rating of all large pickup trucks.

Where the Toyota Tundra fails

Compared to the other large pickups the IIHS tested, the Tundra was the only one to receive a grade that was less than good for its driver-side small overlap frontal crash tests. Unlike a regular frontal crash test, the small overlap frontal crash test tries to simulate what happens when the front corner of a car hits a pole or another car.

This is different than a regular frontal crash test because the passengers move in two directions. This is more challenging for a car’s safety systems but it’s also a realistic test. When the IIHS commenced overlap crash tests, most automakers didn’t do well. However, nowadays, it’s rare to see a car with a less-than-good grade. The Tundra, unfortunately, is one such car. 

The Toyota Tundra was given the second worst grade for its driver-side small overlap crash test. It received the worst grade for the passenger side. Compared to any other IIHS-tested truck, if your Tundra hits a pole, your passenger will be in the worst shape

Even if safety isn’t your top priority, the Tundra falls flat elsewhere, too. According to U.S. News, the Tundra is the worst large pickup truck for the 2019 model year. Funny enough, its safety rating was one of the highest given by U.S. News. When it came to its interior and performance though, U.S. News rated it poorly.

It could be worse for Toyota Tundra families

While the Tundra did receive the worst safety rating of all comparable trucks, it’s not a death trap by any means. The IIHS gave it good marks in other crash tests. In fact, the IIHS gave the Tundra a great grade for avoiding collisions with pedestrians. The only problem is, trucks that were safer than the Tundra overall also had a similar system and those systems also received a good grade.

Furthermore, while the IIHS gave the Tundra the worst grade for the small overlap frontal crash test, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Again, it did perform the worst compared to the other trucks. But, the main issue with the Tundra’s safety system in that the driver and passenger’s legs were not well protected.

Protection to the head, neck, and chest, however, was rated “good” by the IIHS. So, while the Tundra may not protect your lower body in those crashes, your upper body will be just as safe as if you were in other trucks.