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Ford F-150 rated best in IIHS front crash tests

The 2016 Ford F-150 is the only full-size pickup truck to achieve the top score in the insurance industry’s new frontal crash tests.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that the vehicle — the best selling in the US for 37 years — was the only one to have a “good” rating.

Modified this year, the tests evaluated what happens when a pickup runs off the road and a portion of its front end hits an object like a pole or tree at 40 miles per hour.  Both crew cab and extended cab models of pickups from Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Ram and Toyota were tested since they are the most popular body styles sold today.  They were also tested because different body styles in previous years have varied in results.

In the 2015 model year, the first in which Ford switched from a steel to an aluminum body, increasing both fuel efficiency and increasing tow capability. In last year’s IIHS tests the extended cab version (SuperCab in Ford lingo) did not test as well as the F-150 SuperCrew.  Taking this very seriously, the company added high-strength steel tubes in the wheel wells and aluminum rocker panels to better absorb energy from a crash.

Other more minor modifications were also made, resulting in the outstanding safety rating for the 2016 model year.

This year, Ford is bring its aluminum-body Super Duty pickups to market.  The new model is designed to be event more robust than its predecessors.  Look for it in late fall.

 

Linda Water Nelson: