Is GMC’s safety rating for large trucks better than Honda’s?

GMC's large trucks have worse safety ratings than Honda's large trucks. Expect to pay an average of $133 a month in insurance for a GMC Sierra and $125 for a Honda Ridgeline.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • While the 2017 GMC Sierra is highly rated in many areas, it does not hold up well to the 2017 Honda Ridgeline in the area of safety
  • Safety ratings can impact auto insurance costs as well as your well-being while driving in your truck
  • You’ll pay an average of $133 a month in insurance for a GMC Sierra and $125 for a Honda Ridgeline.
  • The IIHS has given the title of Top Safety Pick in the large truck class of vehicles to the 2017 Honda Ridgeline

Many people consider pickup trucks to be very safe to travel in because of their large size, but the reality is that any vehicle can be involved in a collision or another type of accident at any moment while you are cruising down the road.

Everything from unsafe road conditions and bad weather to the inexperience of the driver and more can result in an increased risk of an accident. With this in mind, it is imperative that you select a large truck model that has excellent safety ratings.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Data Loss Institute is one of the leading automotive resources for vehicle ratings, and it has analyzed the safety features of 12 of the top 2017 large truck models on the market today. Make sure to compare rates now with our free quote tool above!

Because the GMC and Honda trucks are so popular with consumers across the country, you may think that they would both have very similar and rather exemplary safety ratings from IIHS, but this is actually not the case.

The IIHS has examined the safety features in two Sierra 1500 models and in the Honda Ridgeline, and you may be surprised to learn that the Ridgeline has the highest safety rating in this class of vehicles while the two Sierra 1500 models fall short in many areas.

Which truck has the best crash rating?

The safety rating of the large truck that you decide to buy can affect your auto insurance cost throughout the entire time you own the truck. It can also play a key role in your safety on the road.

A closer look at the IIHS safety ratings for these two popular truck models is critical if you are trying to decide which model to purchase soon.

The IIHS has created a safety rating system with three primary categories and eight sub-categories. For each sub-category, vehicles received a grade of “poor” to “good” or of “basic” to “superior,” depending on the category.


The Crashworthiness category rates vehicles for their ability to protect occupants from injury in a crash situation, and it has five sub-categories.

The GMC Sierra double cab and crew cab models rank in the highest level of “good” for Front Moderate Overlap, Head Restraint and Seat, Roof Strength, and Side.

In addition, the double cab model of the Sierra 1500 has an “average” rating for Front Small Overlap, and the crew cab model has a “marginal” rating for Front Small Overlap. The Ridgeline has a “good” rating in all five of these sub-categories.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

The Crash Avoidance and Mitigation category features two sub-categories, and it indicates how well a vehicle could potentially avoid an accident or how the vehicle could reduce the significance of an accident.

Both of the GMC truck models have an “average” Headlights rating and a “basic” Front Crash Prevention rating.

The Ridgeline has a “good” Headlights rating and a “superior” Front Crash Prevention rating.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

LATCH is another category with no sub-categories, and it indicates the simplicity and ease associated with using a child seat anchor in the vehicle.

The Sierra 1500 double cab has a “marginal” rating for LATCH, and the Sierra crew cab has a “poor” LATCH rating. The Ridgeline rates “average” in this category.

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2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is the only large truck model to earn the title of Top Safety Pick. This coveted title is a testament to how thoughtfully designed the safety features in this truck are.

More than that, you may reasonably expect to pay less for truck insurance on the Ridgeline than on the Sierra 1500 models because of its excellent safety rating.

How to Decide Between the GMC and Honda Trucks

While the safety rating of your large truck is vitally important, it is not the sole factor that you should base your truck buying decision on.

Both GMC and Honda trucks have excellent style and wonderful features, and they both can provide you with an excellent driving experience.

As you explore the truck models more carefully, consider analyzing the fuel economy of each truck, the standard and optional features, and the different sales prices to help guide you into making a smart buying decision about which truck to purchase.

Analyze Truck Insurance Costs Before Making a Purchase

One final step that you need to do before you buy your next truck is to review insurance quotes for the top large truck models that you are thinking about buying.

For each model, obtain three to four insurance quotes from reputable providers that have great ratings from consumers.

By spending a few hours online shopping for truck insurance quotes, you can determine which truck is most affordable to insure, and you can determine which provider to buy your coverage from. Don’t miss out on our free quote tool below.

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