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Dakota, Tacoma safest pickups
NHTSA's '05 model crash tests give Dakota, Tacoma top ratings; Silverado, Sierra get lowest scores.
April 6, 2005: 8:44 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The 2005 models of the Toyota Tacoma and the Dodge Dakota received the top safety ratings in both front and side crash tests, the government reported Wednesday, while the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra got the lowest ratings.

The rankings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also gave the Ford Ranger compact pickup and its sister vehicle, the Mazda B-series, relatively low ratings for the risk of a rollover.

The 4-wheel drive versions were given two stars out of a possible five, equating to a 30 to 40 percent chance of a rollover accident. The 2-wheel drive models of those pickups got only three-star rating, equal to a 20 to 30 percent chance of the vehicle rolling over in a single-vehicle crash.

All other pickups rated for rollover risks were given four-star ratings, equal to a 10 to 20 percent chance of rollover. But most of those rollover ratings were based on mathematical calculations of the vehicles' center of gravity.

Only the Dakota was put through an actual road test. The 4-wheel drive version was judged to have a 17.9 percent chance of rollover, while the 2-wheel drive Dakota was given a 19.1 percent.

The federal safety agency has not completed front and side crash tests or rollover ratings for all models of pickups.

Of those rated so far, only the standard 2-door Dakota pickup and the 2-door Tacoma got the best possible five-star ratings for both front and side impact.

The 4-door version of the Dakota received five stars for protecting the driver but only four stars for protecting the front seat passenger, and there was no side impact crash result available for that model.

Both the 2-door and 4-door models of the Ford 150 pickups, the nation's best-selling vehicle, as well as the 2-door and 4-door versions of the Dodge Ram pickups also got the five-star rating for front crash tests, but NHTSA has not released a side-impact result for that truck.

On the other end of the test results, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra got only a four-star rating for protecting the driver in a front-end crash, while they received three-star ratings for protecting the front-seat passenger. Side-impact crash results were not released for those trucks.

For more on auto news and how your vehicle measures up, click here.  Top of page

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