The ease with which modern cars can reach triple-digit speed figures is also a factor, even though restrictions are still in place. Finally, pickups are not just a workhorse anymore, but have become stylish vehicles that many persons who like the outdoors consider when choosing their next car.
That means that while making a safe pickup hasn’t become this target group’s main priority, it has definitely moved up the ladder. People want to feel risk-free in their cars, no matter what type they are, and you can’t just rely on the size and fear-factor of your vehicle forever.
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline has managed something that fewer and fewer vehicles will in the future, and that is to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This has made the Ridgeline the first and only pickup that has ever achieved such a feat.
The truck was joined by the Honda Accord Sedan (with Honda Sensing and projector beam halogen lights) and the Honda Pilot (with Honda Sensing and LED headlights), with three more Honda models earning the Top Safety Pick rating as well.
Under the new standards imposed by IIHS, fewere and fewer vehicles manage to qualify for the top rating, and that’s becuse the Institute introduced a new criteria that evaluates the contender’s headlights. Thus, the number of Top Safety Pick+ vehicles in 2016 has gone down to 38 from 79, with Toyota accounting for nine of them, and Honda coming in second with five.
The clip below shows the small overlap crash test at 40 mph, and even though the car looks seriously shaken up, it’s worth noting that the passenger cell is unphased, meaning everything we see is all controlled deformation (crumple zones). That headlight flying out seemed a bit extreme, but, hey, we’re no experts.
It may not help Honda sell a lot more pickups, but having a Top Safety Pick+ shows you are the type of manufacturer that cares about the wellbeing of its clients, which should help with any loyalization attempts.