By on November 8, 2018

Image: IIHS

You win some, you lose some. For Fiat Chrysler, the new Ram 1500 represents more of a win, both in terms of quality, drive experience, and especially crash ratings, which just rolled in from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The previous-generation 1500 lost marks in two areas: driver-side small-overlap front impacts (a weakness it shares with FCA’s rear-drive passenger cars) and roof strength. Both of these tests earned the 2018 1500 a “marginal” rating from the IIHS, sinking its overall score. FCA engineers clearly did their homework — the new truck aced all crash tests. Too bad about those peepers, though.

Announced Thursday, the 2019 Ram 1500 relegates those marginal ratings to the past, scoring a “good” rating in all six IIHS crash tests.


“The new Ram 1500 also earns a good rating in the passenger-side small overlap test,” the IIHS said. “The previous version hadn’t been tested for passenger-side protection. Both small overlap ratings apply to trucks built after July, when the cab mounts to the vehicle frame were improved.”

Image: IIHS

The previous-gen Ram showed its age when stacked up against competing domestic pickups; its roof strength was the worst tested in its segment. Now there’s accolades all around, and the institute provided a further nod for Ram’s optional front crash prevention system. “In IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, the vehicle avoided a crash,” the institute stated.

Unfortunately for FCA, engineers didn’t work magic on the Ram’s headlights, which earn the same marginal rating as last year’s model. This keeps the new 1500 out of the running for the highly marketable IIHS Top Safety Pick award. (It’s certainly not alone in the foiled-by-lights camp — headlamp performance is generally quite bad. Maybe proposed changes to federal rules will help things.)

For a back-to-back comparison of old and new Ram 1500 generations, here’s the tests for your viewing enjoyment.

[Images: IIHS]

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