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

Honda's large truck safety rating is higher than Toyota's. According to IIHS safety studies, the Honda Ridgeline ranked higher than the Toyota Tundra in most safety categories.

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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 both the Toyota Tundra and Honda Ridgeline received the highest safety ratings issued by the IIHS in some areas, there are several areas where the Tundra has lower marks
  • The IIHS gave the award for Top Safety Pick for 2017 in the large truck category to the Honda Ridgeline
  • Safety ratings could play a direct role in the cost of your truck insurance, and you need to explore truck coverage rates before finalizing your buying decision

While some truck buyers know without a doubt and without any research required which truck they want to buy, many buyers are torn between at least a couple of models.

After all, many of today’s leading brands have appealing body styles, exceptional power, and other great features that can make them difficult to resist.

One important factor that many truck buyers overlook when selecting a new vehicle is safety. Every truck buyer needs to know what truck has the best crash rating. Some first-time truck buys may even be asking if pick-up trucks are the safest vehicle. The safer the vehicle the better your car insurance rates will be.  Make sure to compare rates with our free quote tool above! 

The safety rating and features in a specific model can play a direct role in your truck insurance premium cost as well as in your overall well-being on the road.

One of the easiest ways to learn more about the safety ratings for the top models that you are thinking about buying is to turn to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Data Loss Institute.

This reputable agency regularly releases safety analysis reports on different categories of vehicles, including large pickup trucks. This information may help you to make a more educated truck buying decision.

Safety Ratings for the Honda Ridgeline Truck and the Toyota Tundra Truck

Many truck buyers make the incorrect assumption that most safety ratings for top-rated pickup trucks are similar, but this is not actually correct.

The Honda Ridgeline ranks higher in most safety categories than other trucks that you may be thinking about buying, including the Toyota Tundra.

Understanding and reviewing IIHS safety ratings will help you find a safe vehicle that you can feel confident driving around town in on a regular basis.

Reviewing the Safety Ratings for the Toyota Tundra and Honda Ridgeline

Altogether, the IIHS analyzed the safety factors for a dozen large trucks in 2017, and this includes the Tundra and the Ridgeline.

The ratings issued by the IIHS for each of the three prime groups and eight sub-categories analyzed include scores that range from basic to superior or from “poor” to “good”.


When the IIHS reviewed the 2017 Tundra from Toyota, it gave the truck a “marginal” rating for Front Small Overlap, an “average” rating for Roof Strength, and a “good” rating for the categories of Head Restraints and Seats, Side, and Front Moderate Overlap.

The Ridgeline rated well with a “good” mark in each of these categories.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Another category is Credit Avoidance and Mitigation, which indicates how well the vehicle potentially avoids accidents or could reduce the severity of a collision.

The Tundra received a “poor” rating from the IIHS for Headlights, and it was not reviewed for a rating for Front Crash Prevention.

The Ridgeline, on the other hand, had a “good” mark for Headlights and a “superior” mark for Front Crash Prevention.

LATCH for Child Safety Seat Anchors

LATCH is the final category, and it indicates the ease of use for the anchors associated with child safety seats. Under the LATCH category, both the Tundra and the Ridgeline received a rating of “average.”

No truck in this vehicle class had a higher rating. Notably, the Ridgeline ranked considerably higher on a comprehensive level than any of the other trucks reviewed this year.

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

Each year, the vehicles in a specific category or class compete to earn the title of Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

Because the Ridgeline surpassed all of the other vehicles in the large truck class, the IIHS honored this Honda truck with the title of Top Safety Pick for 2017.

Safety is not the only factor that you should consider when buying your next pickup truck, though; if you want to make a thoughtful decision and truly enjoy all aspects of ownership, it’s important to compare safety ratings along with price, upkeep expectations, and insurance costs.

Is the Honda safer than the Toyota for large trucks in 2017?

The Honda large truck model for 2017 ranked substantially higher than the two Toyota models that were reviewed. The key safety test areas where the variations occurred were Front Small Overlap, Front Crash Prevention, Headlights, and LATCH.

While the superior safety features of the Ridgeline may be appealing to many truck buyers, the reality is that numerous other factors all need to be reviewed before you make your final decision.

A vehicle that ranks well in the area of safety may have a lower auto insurance cost over the years, but the power of the engine, the cost of the vehicle, and more can also influence insurance costs.

In addition, you need to analyze the sales price, customer reviews and comments, repair costs, and other important factors related to each truck before you decide which vehicle you intend to buy.

Review Multiple Truck Insurance Quotes before Buying

After you have analyzed each of these factors, you may be ready to sign on the dotted line and take ownership of your new truck.

However, before you make this final step, consider requesting new truck insurance quotes on a few leading models that you have been comparing.

Insurance costs can vary substantially, and you may find that one model is considerably more affordable to insure than others. This final step will help you to find a vehicle that has truly affordable ownership costs.

Don’t miss out on our free quote tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!