Toyota pickup ranks best in safety

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Best selling in Aqua hybrid

By Theodore Opara

THE Toyota Tacoma double cab, Tacoma access cab, Chevrolet Colorado crew cab and GMC Canyon crew cab earned top marks in a small-overlap front crash test of eight midsize pickups by the Insurance institute for Highway Safety.

The Colorado and Canyon extended cabs both earned “acceptable” marks, while the Nissan Frontier king cab and crew cab – the oldest vehicles tested – earned “marginal” ratings. IIHS said it tested two body styles of each pickup because results can differ between cab designs.

Toyota pickup

Although four of the eight pickups earned “good” ratings, none of the vehicles qualify for either of IIHS’s Top Safety Pick awards because they have poorly rated headlights and don’t have an automatic emergency braking system.

“This group of small pickups performed better in the small overlap front test than many of their larger pickup cousins,” David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, said in a statement. “The exception was the Nissan Frontier, which hasn’t had a structural redesign since the 2005 model year.”

Small-overlap crashes  account for about 25 percent of the serious driver injuries and deaths that occur in frontal impacts, IIHS says. The test involves 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side striking a 5-foot-tall barrier at 40 mph. It was introduced in 2012.

The vehicles are graded with either “good,” “acceptable,” “marginal” or “poor” ratings in seven categories.

Though not available in the Nigerian market, Toyota redesigned the Tacoma in 2016. The crew cab (which it calls the double cab) performed the best in the IIHS test.

The only category in which it did not earn a “good” mark was in the lower leg and foot area, where it earned an “acceptable” mark. It was also the only pickup in the group to earn a “good” structure rating.

The extended cab (called the access cab) earned an “acceptable” mark for structure due to “additional occupant compartment intrusion” during the crash, IIHS said.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua hybrid was the best-selling car in Japan in August, grabbing the top spot for the first time since November 2015, according to industry data released recently.

The country’s largest carmaker sold 10,870 units of its Aqua, down 3.1 percent from a year earlier after remodeling its design and engine.

Toyota’s Prius hybrid took second place, selling 10,417 units, down 40.5 percent, followed by Daihatsu Motor Co.’s Move minivehicle with 10,364 units, registering more than a twofold increase.

Honda’s N-Box minicar ranked fourth with 10,079 units, down 24.1 percent, followed by Nissan Motor Co.’s Note compact with 9,685 units, up 72.8 percent, the data showed.

Six minivehicle models ranked among the top 10 best-sellers, according to the data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

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