While SUVs used to be the most dangerous vehicles on the road, improved safety features like electronic stability control (ESC) have made the segment equal to or better than the passenger car class. Pickup trucks have made huge strides as well. In 2016, Ford F-150 won a top safety pick award from IIHS, marking the first time a pickup ever took such an honor.
Nonetheless, the high clearance of SUVs and trucks makes these vehicles more likely to tip over when hitting an obstruction on the road. NHTSA rollover testing aims to assess each vehicle for its propensity to flip while driving, and the latest vehicles showed some flaws in this department. Here are the 10 SUVs and trucks that presented the highest risk of tipping over on the road.
10. Chevrolet Colorado
The 2016 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon both landed three stars out of five in NHTSA rollover tests. Rear-wheel drive models of the midsize pickups had a 22% chance of rolling over. That number went down slightly (21.4%) in four-wheel drive configurations, but both Canyon and Colorado ended up with four-star crash ratings overall because of the rollover score.
9. Cadillac Escalade
Anyone traveling in a Cadillac Escalade has a better chance of surviving than, say, a Kia Rio if the two vehicles were to collide. However, the 2017 rear-wheel drive Escalade showed a 22.9% chance of rolling over in NHTSA testing, putting it among the 10 worst trucks and SUVs on the market. Compared to large models like Toyota Sequoia or Lincoln Navigator, Escalade trailed the pack.
8. Chevrolet Tahoe RWD
GM’s Escalade platform can be found in the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe as well, and this SUV shares the Caddie’s 22.9% chance of rollover in NHTSA testing. Tahoe did feature perfect (five-star) scores in both side and front crash tests, but its three stars in rollover protection dragged its overall (four-star) rating. It’s among the big vehicles most likely to tip.
7. GMC Yukon
Yet another large GM vehicle showed up among those with the highest risk of tipping over on the road. The 2016 GMC Yukon, as well as Denali trims, had a 22.9% chance of rolling over in NHTSA tests. Rear-wheel drive Yukons fared better in side and frontal crash tests, but the less-than-great score in stability ranked it among the market’s worst.
6. Jeep Renegade
Jeep’s four-wheel drive models had the poorest scores for the Fiat Chrysler brand in rollover crash tests, and Renegade four-wheel drive models had a 23% risk in NHTSA tests. While this vehicle is unlikely to tip over steering out of the way of danger, it has one of the highest likelihoods for tipping over when running over an obstruction on the road.
5. Ford F-250
Despite the high safety marks for the flagship F-150, NHTSA tests revealed rollover issues with the F-250 in Super Crew 4×4 trims for the 2016 model year. The 23.7% risk put the top-selling nameplate in the bottom five in the latest round of tests. Frontal crash tests were not perfect for F-250, either, as it scored lower than most of the competition (three stars). We’ll have to wait and see if the 2017 (pictured) fares better.
4. Ram 2500
NHTSA tests on Ram 2500 four-wheel drive pickups for the 2017 model year revealed the same weakness Ford had in its heavier tier of trucks. This Ram model showed a 23.7% risk for rollover, which led to a three-star score in the test. As is common with a Fiat Chrysler vehicle, the 2016 Ram 2500 has had a few recalls since its release, so fleet owners have several things to consider before choosing this truck.
3. Toyota 4Runner
As far as large SUVs go, the Toyota 4Runner had the worst score of any tested by NHTSA in the rollover category. The 2017 model-year 4Runner had 24.6% risk of tipping over in both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models. Despite that shortcoming, there was a bit of good news on the safety front for the 2017 edition: According to Toyota, it will not use a Takata airbag.
2. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4WD
While every other SUV had a rollover risk below 25%, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for 2017 had a 27.9% risk according to NHTSA tests. The 2017 model had not been tested for frontal or side crashes at the time of writing, but the poor rollover rating was a bad omen. On the bright side, Fiat Chrysler confirmed the next Jeep Wrangler would not have the Takata airbags found in the 2016 edition.
1. Nissan NV3500
NHTSA classifies the Nissan NV3500 passenger van as an SUV, and in the rollover testing performed on the 2017 model it had the worst rating of any large vehicle (two of five stars). Though the frontal and side crash tests were not completed at the time of writing, we do know the NV3500’s rollover risk of 30.6% was the worst of any truck or SUV now on sale.
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