CRASH TESTS: 2016 Ford F-150 – Aluminum Beats Steel

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Ford’s 2016 F-150 is crowned the pickup safety leader, after new IIHS testing reveals it is the top large pickup in key tests.

IIHS Ford F-150 crash test 16

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) has just completed a comprehensive new round of testing for full-size pickup trucks.  The new testing by IIHS covers two popular large pickup configurations – crew cab and extended cab.

This new testing came from the IIHS discovering that Ford was only reinforcing the forward structure of the crew cab (called SuperCrew by Ford) in past years.  Ford also adapted and changed its design to meet the new testing.

The result? The 2016 Ford F-150 SuperCab and SuperCrew were the only full-sized pickup trucks to earn a top score in the difficult small frontal overlap test.  The F-150 also had top marks for roof crush protection.  Thus, the F-150 is the only pickup to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation for 2016.

Pickup truck small overlapp results IIHS 16

The IIHS added the small frontal overlap test after data revealed that many deadly crashes involved just the front corner of the vehicle striking an object like a telephone pole. Since the crash structure of vehicles was weak on the outside corner, many cars and trucks had difficulty meeting the rigors of this new test.

Only the Ford F-150 could earn a “Good” rating on this year’s pickup truck testing.  The Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra scored “Acceptable”, but only in their crew cab trims.  The Ram 1500 performed comparatively poorly.

iihs ram small frontal footwell 16

All but the Ford trucks suffered some structural intrusion in the lower footwell.  Commenting on this, IIHS said in its report that “Measures taken from the dummy in all but the F-­150 indicated a likelihood of serious lower leg, ankle and foot injuries.”

The above image shows the Ram footwell intrusion after testing.   In the case of the Ram, the dummy’s head also partially missed the airbag.

Additionally, rollover accidents account for 44% of pickup truck crash deaths.  That is why the roof crush test is considered a key test for pickups.  The testing results released today show that the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra all earn a score of “Good” on this important test.  The Ram only scored Marginal.  The Nissan Titan has not yet been tested, but IIHS plans to test its new design later this year.

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