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Pickup trucks aren’t just limited to workhorse duties, particularly among modern models. Light-duty trucks are expected to be viable family haulers. As such, safety becomes a strong consideration when shopping around for a new truck. And only three trucks earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety for 2024. They include the Toyota Tundra, Rivian R1T and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

The Tundra and Santa Cruz’s inclusion is no surprise given their brands’ history of performing well in IIHS criteria. Sixteen models within the Hyundai Motor Group — which includes Hyundai, Genesis and Kia — earned a Top Safety Pick award for 2024. Toyota and Lexus combined for 12 awards.

To note, the Toyota Tundra earns two spots on the Top Safety Pick award list this year. The Tundra crew cab and extended cab models are both awarded. The Rivian and Hyundai are only available in crew cab configuration.

Both Tundra cab models earned generally good scores, though they were subjected to different testing regimens.

The Tundra crew cab earned the IIHS’ top crashworthiness rating in three of four categories. However, it earned the lowest possible score in the organization’s updated moderate overlap front test. The crew cab model was rated “poor” overall for its risk of potential injuries for rear passengers in a moderate overlap front crash. The IIHS noted the rear shoulder belt moved “too far” upward, posing a risk for head or neck and chest injuries. The rear lap belt moved from the pelvis to abdomen, “increasing the risk for abdominal injuries.”

The Tundra extended cab scored “good” in the IIHS’ original moderate overlap front test, which is less stringent than the updated version.

Both configurations earned acceptable, one rank below the top score, for the Tundra’s pedestrian front crash prevention system. Headlights for the SR, SR5 and Limited trims were ranked acceptable, while other trims received the highest rating.

The Tundra crew cab earned the top score for its seat belt reminders. Its “ease of use” for the rear LATCH system is acceptable.

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked at dusk
2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

All 2022-24 Hyundai Santa Cruz models earn a Top Safety Pick award. The compact pickup was not subjected to the updated moderate overlap test but earned the top score for the original test. It earned a good rating in the small overlap front and updated side crash tests.

It is rated acceptable for its pedestrian front crash prevention system, seat belt reminders and ease of using its LATCH system. Its headlights earn the top rating.

The Rivian R1T is the only all-electric pickup on the 2024 Top Safety Pick awards list. Its award applies to all 2022-24 models.

The R1T scores top marks in its three crashworthiness categories, including the less-stringent original moderate overlap test.

Its headlights and LATCH system ease of use earned the top rating. Its pedestrian front crash prevention system earns an acceptable rating.  

Source: [IIHS]