By their very nature, trucks offer a sense of safety and security that most other vehicle types simply cannot compete with. Their rugged look and reputation as the ultimate work vehicle evokes these feelings of durability and sturdiness. But how can you be sure the truck you think you want isn’t equipped with mere popcorn muscle? Our latest buying guide helps you identify which trucks live up to their billing when it comes to safety.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

  • In government crash tests, the Silverado was a top performer for safety, earning five stars for both frontal-impact safety and total side-impact safety.
  • The 2014 Chevy Silverado offers plenty of power with its brawy 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines, but the biggest improvement with this model is the upgraded 4.3-liter V6 that cranks out 285 horsepower, 305 lb-ft of torque and can tow up 7,200 pounds. For those who don’t take their weekend warrioring super seriously, this version of the Silverado may be for you.
  • While the ride and handling dynamics are an improvement over older models, the Silverado still lacks agility around turns and can feel stiff and jarring compared to competitors when taken off-road.
  • Says Edmunds: “A wide range of body styles, an overhauled interior and a lineup of powerful and fuel-efficient engines make the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado a solid pick in the full-size pickup class.”

2015 GMC Sierra 1500

  • Across government crash tests, the 2015 edition of the GMC Sierra 1500 earned a top five-star overall rating, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side crash safety. The IIHS also gave the Sierra 1500 its highest possible rating of “Good” in moderate-overlap frontal offset crash testing.
  • For individuals who plan on using their truck as an everyday vehicle, the Sierra 1500 offers a quiet ride with quality handling, making it nimble for its size around turns and tight corners. As an off-road vehicle, it holds up well navigating rugged terrain and sleep inclines.
  • Except for the SLT and Denali trims, a 4.3-liter V6 engine capable of 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque comes standard on all Sierra 1500s. When properly equipped, this V6 engine has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The Sierra 1500 also boasts an EPA estimated 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway).
  • Per Kelley Blue Book: “If you need a half-ton pickup with the most horsepower and a class-leading 12,000-pound trailer rating, the 2015 GMC Sierra full-size pickup has you covered. Bigger-than-life styling is augmented by a plush interior and a host of cutting-edge safety and communication features.”

2014 Toyota Tundra

  • Though it came up short in taking home a Top Safety Pick award, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did give the Tundra its highest rating of “Good” in overall crash testing. The Tundra also held its own when it came to braking, coming to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet, which is about par for the course in this segment.
  • Compared to previous models, the 2014 edition of the Toyota Tundra has interior materials that are of higher quality in appearance and feel. The back seat also provides ample legroom and headroom for bussing kids of all ages to and fro. For those behind the wheel, the audio and climate buttons and dials have been moved in closer for the driver’s comfort.
  • For individuals who are looking to use their pickup as a true multi-purpose vehicle, the Tundra comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that’s capable of generating 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque and comes standard on all four-wheel drive regular cabs. The downside, however, is that the Tundra gets only 15 mpg combined (13 mpg city/17 mpg highway).
  • Per Edmunds: “The 2014 Toyota Tundra remains a capable workhorse among full-size pickups, but even with this year’s updates, it lags behind newer rivals in fuel efficiency and ride comfort.”

2015 Ford F-150

  • With a long list of advanced safety features, the 2015 Ford F-150 is a true standout amongst competitors in its class. Equipped with single rearview and 360-degree multi-view cameras, along with rear parking sensors, the F-150 also comes with forward collision warning preparation which assists the vehicle’s braking system for maximum effectiveness, as well as a lane departure warning system and blind-spot monitoring.
  • There are a number of trim levels and engines types to choose from with the F-150, thus there are many EPA estimates for fuel economy. However, by and large, the F-150 performs rather well in this category, with the standard 3.5-liter V6 with four-wheel drive getting a combined 19 mpg.
  • In terms of driving impressions, those behind the wheel of the F-150 remark at how light and agile the truck feels, particularly when driven around corners and negotiating tight spaces.
  • Per Kelley Blue Book: “The all-new F-150 offers best-in-class towing and payload capacity, plus smaller displacement engines with impressive fuel economy. It’s built for hard work, yet has a quiet cabin filled with modern luxury amenities. It has a wide offering of cabs, engines, trim levels and interiors.”

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

  • Serving as the newest member appearing on this list, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado not only lays claim to impressive safety ratings (overall rating of four out of five stars in government crash testing), but the Colorado also shined during Edmunds brake testing, coming to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet. These results outperformed comparable Toyota Tacoma models that were tested.
  • On the open road, the Colorado offers a smooth, confident ride that belies its rough and tumble “truckish” nature. Its handling is responsive and remains balanced when operating around tight corners.
  • When it comes to comfort, the seats inside the Chevy Colorado offer terrific cushioning – particularly upfront – along with ample head and legroom for those long road trips. The Colorado also provides solid storage space underneath the rear seats, which is perfect for individuals hauling tools and gear that they’d rather not leave unprotected in the truck’s cab.
  • Per Edmunds: “With its refined demeanor and feature-laden interior, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado is a very appealing option for a midsize pickup or an alternative to a full-size truck. Midsize rivals surpass it off-road, but the Colorado’s new diesel engine is a game-changer.”

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