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Is Chevy’s safety rating for small trucks better than GMC’s?

Things to remember...

  • While the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado models and the 2017 GMC Canyon models both received similar safety ratings from the IIHS in most categories, there were a few noticeable differences
  • The safety rating of the small truck that you choose to buy could potentially influence the insurance premium rate that you are charged
  • All eight of the vehicles in the IIHS small truck class for 2017 received at least one poor rating, which is the lowest rating possible

Inexperience behind the wheel may be a major contributing factor to many small truck accidents, but even experienced drivers can be involved in a mishap or collision from time to time.

Remember that everything from reckless driving and off-roading to bad weather conditions and more could create a high-risk situation when you are behind the wheel of your new small truck.

Each of the small truck models on the market today has special safety features that are designed to keep you safer on the road in different ways. However, the presence of some features and their overall performance varies.

It can be challenging for a typical small truck buyer to determine which model is the safest to buy and drive, and you can turn to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Data Loss Institute for assistance in this area.

This reputable and established auto organization analyzes different classes of vehicles each year to determine their safety rating, including small trucks.

For those who are in the market to buy a small truck that is safer to drive than others, reviewing the details of the IIHS analysis can be eye-opening.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best deal on the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above to get started.

Table of Contents

Safety Ratings for the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon

Two of the more popular models in the IIHS small truck class for 2017 are the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado, and the IIHS reviewed two trim levels for each of these small trucks.

This includes the GMC Canyon crew cab and extended cab versions and the Chevrolet Colorado crew cab and extended cab models.

Analyzing each of the eight categories that were reviewed by the IIHS can help you to determine which model and trim level may be a safer option for you to drive around town in on a daily basis.

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There are five sub-categories in the IIHS Crashworthiness safety category. These four small truck vehicles, as well as four other small trucks, the following areas were analyzed

  • Roof Strength
  • Head Restraints and Seats
  • Side
  • Front Moderate Overlap
  • Front Small Overlap

The extended cab version of the GMC Canyon had only an average rating for the Side and Front Small Overlap categories.

In all other categories in the Crashworthiness section, the extended cab of the Canyon ranked at the “good” level, and the crew cab version of the Canyon ranked at the “good” level for all five of these sub-categories.

The 2017 Chevy Colorado crew cab also received a “good” rating for all five of the Crashworthiness sub-categories reviewed by IIHS this year.

The extended cab version of the Colorado, however, had an average rating in the areas of Front Small Overlap and Side, and it had a “good” rating for the other three sub-categories in this section.

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Unfortunately, all four of these small trucks had a poor rating in the two Crash Avoidance and Mitigation sub-categories.

All four received a “basic” rating for the Front Crash Prevention factor, which is the lowest possible rating doled out in this category. In addition, they all received a poor rating for Headlights.

Child Seat Anchors or LATCH

A final area that was analyzed by the IIHS for small truck safety is the LATCH category, which describes the overall ease of use of the LATCH for the child seat anchors. The Canyon extended cab was not ranked in this area.

The Canyon crew cab and the Chevrolet Colorado crew cab had a marginal LATCH rating, which is one grade higher than the lowest grade possible. On the other hand, the Colorado’s extended cab model had an average LATCH rating.

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

None of the eight small trucks analyzed this year qualified for the Top Safety Pick title issued by the IIHS, but some models had fairly good safety ratings comparatively. For example, both crew cab versions for the Canyon and Colorado had five good ratings out of eight.

The only other brand to accomplish this is the Toyota, and both double cab and access cab versions of the Toyota Tacoma shared this status.

When looking for a truly safe small truck to drive, consider taking a closer look at all three of these brands before finalizing your buying decision.

Many truck buyers analyze multiple factors before deciding which small truck to buy. These factors may include safety ratings as well as the following:

  • overall cost and value
  • innovative features
  • payload
  • style
  • fuel economy

Because the safety rating on a small truck model could affect your auto insurance premium cost, spending a few minutes today requesting and comparing truck quotes for the models that you are thinking about buying is a wise move.

This simple and easy step could result in truck insurance savings for the entire time that you own your next vehicle. Start comparing right now by entering your zip code below.


  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us
  2. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/class-summary/small-pickups
  3. http://www.gmc.com/trucks/canyon-small-pickup-truck.html
  4. http://www.chevrolet.com/trucks/colorado-mid-size-truck
  5. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/crash-testing-and-crashworthiness/topicoverview
  6. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/front-crash-prevention-tests
  7. http://www.chop.edu/pages/what-latch

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