Nissan Titan Scores “Marginal” on Small Overlap IIHS Test
Honda Ridgeline Remains Only Pickup With Top Safety Pick Plus Award
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released crash test information of every 2017 pickup it’s tested so far, revealing several that faced challenges in the agency’s difficult small overlap front collision. Included in that list was the 2017 Nissan Titan, which was rated as marginal in the test.
Injury measures on the IIHS dummy revealed a low risk of injuries to most body regions except the legs, which “indicate that injuries to the left lower leg would be likely in a crash of this severity and injuries to the left foot and right lower leg would be possible,” according to the institute. Further contributing to the Titan’s marginal score was a crash structure that collapsed somewhat, leading to 27 cm of intrusion at the lower leading edge of the front door pillar, 21 cm of intrusion near the foot-operated parking brake, and between 16 and 19 cm of intrusion in the upper interior.
Helping combat more serious injuries were dummy restraints that provided adequate protection, according to the IIHS. The front, front side, and curtain airbags deployed appropriately and prevented the dummy from slamming into the Titan’s interior hard points. The dummy’s movement was well controlled by the airbags and seatbelts, preventing secondary injuries after rebounding from the crash.
Aside from the marginal rating on the small overlap collision, the 2017 Nissan Titan was rated highly in other crash metrics. The IIHS gave the Titan good scores on moderate overlap front, side impact, and roof-strength tests, as well as on head restraints. However, front collision prevention technology is unavailable on the Titan. We don’t expect that to last, as Nissan is adopting the technology elsewhere in its lineup.
The IIHS released results of all 2017 pickups it’s tested so far, revealing one truck with the institute’s highest honor. So far, only the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a Top Safety Pick Plus, with high ratings in each safety metric for which the IIHS tests (small overlap front crash, moderate overlap front crash, side impact crash, roof strength, head restraints and seats, headlights, and front crash prevention).
The Ridgeline’s scores only apply to certain trims, as the RTL-E and Black Edition’s LED headlights are rated more highly than less-expensive Ridgelines. Furthermore, to get the Ridgeline’s “superior” front crash prevention rating, Honda buyers need to tick the box for Honda Sensing, which includes a front collision autobrake. (The same can be said of other pickups, whose collision avoidance technologies are often lumped in high trim levels or option packages.)
As the truck industry adapts to modern safety ratings, expect more pickups to join the Ridgeline at the top of the heap.