DETROIT -- The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have received five-star overall safety ratings from U.S. safety regulators, giving General Motors a marketing edge over rival pickups.
The Silverado and Sierra 1500, as well as the-top-of-the line Silverado High Country and Sierra Denali, were given the highest-possible five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
They are the first large pickups to receive an overall rating of five stars since NHTSA implemented a tougher rating system for the 2011 model year, GM said. The new ratings include tests for side pole crashes and crash avoidance technologies, for example.
GM’s pickups received five-star ratings on NHTSA’s frontal- and side-crash tests and four stars on the rollover test. The overall rating is a composite of those.
The 2013 Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra received overall four-star ratings. NHTSA hasn’t yet rated the 2014 Tundra, which is set for a September launch.
The outgoing 2013 Silverado and Sierra also received four stars. The ’14 pickups were launched in late spring.
NHTSA tested only the 2014 crew-cab models, which GM says will account for about 60 percent of its light-duty pickup sales.
“Silverado and Sierra set a benchmark for pickup truck safety by offering a full array of advanced features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a collision,” Gay Kent, GM general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness, said in a statement.
GM pointed to the trucks’ fully boxed frames, extensive use of high-strength steel and several high-tech safety features as factors in the top rating.
New safety features available on the trucks include:
- Safety alert seat, which warns the drive of a pending collision through a directional vibrations in the seat cushion.
- Forward collision alert, which audibly alerts the driver when the pickup is closing in too quickly on the vehicle ahead.
- Trailer-sway control, which senses when the trailer is swaying and intervenes through braking or reduced engine power.