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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
'Good,' frontal and rear impact; 'moderate,' side impact and roof strength
Four stars overall
Crash tests haven't been entirely reassuring with the Ram 1500, though new safety technology keeps cropping up on its order sheet.
Prior Ram trucks had difficulty with the federal and insurance-industry crash tests, too. So it's a relative improvement that the most recent Ram 1500 (scores from 2013 haven't been officially carried over to 2014 yet) earns some "good" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS has yet to put the Ram through its side-impact tests, though, and when it comes to roof-crush strength, the Ram is rated as "marginal," with final numbers coming in below some passenger cars.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has in the past given the Ram 1500 some low, three-star scores for side-impact protection, but the current version gets four stars overall, including a five-star rating for side-impact protection.The usual airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control are standard on all Ram 1500 pickups. Every trim line also gets standard hill-start assist, which maintains braking until the gas is engaged on an uphill ascent, and trailer-sway control, which uses anti-lock braking to mitigate the wagging effect induced when towing.
On the features list, all models offer a rearview camera either as an option or as standard equipment; rear parking sensors are available or standard on all body styles except the regular-cab versions, and for 2014 front parking sensors also are available. The more expensive Laramie and Longhorn editions also offer adjustable pedals, a boon to shorter drivers in particular. Blind-spot detectors aren't offered, but large, folding trailer side mirrors enhance visibility, which is mostly excellent--though we still recommend the rearview camera due to the Ram's high tailgate.
Crash-test ratings have improved over time, but they still lag some of the best full-size pickups.