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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Front impact: "good." Side impact: "marginal."
Front Impact: two stars. Side impact: five stars. Rollover: four stars. Overall: three stars.
NHTSA and IIHS ratings for the 2011 Ram are good for a pickup; the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) rates the Ram 1500 "good" in frontal offset crashes and "marginal" in side impacts. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) rates the new Ram three stars overall under the new 2011 rating system, with frontal crash ratings of two stars in the standard-cab model doing most of the damage to five-star side-impact and three or four-star rollover ratings. Crew Cab models rate the same.
The conflicting scores between IIHS and NHTSA ratings may cause some confusion for buyers, but there's no doubt the Ram comes with a full complement of active and passive safety gear: dual front and side airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control are all standard.
Like other pickups, the Ram doesn't offer high-tech safety features like blind-spot detection though the optional rear-view camera is handy and welcome due to the Ram's high ride height reducing rearward visibility. Optional large, folding trailer side mirrors enhance visibility as well.
The 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 has mixed, but generally good, crash-test scores and useful options like a rearview camera.