Ford SuperCrew Pickup Truck Fared Better in IIHS Tests than Extended Cab Model
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests for two models of the Ford F-150 found that while repairs are more costly, vehicles made with aluminum frames offer similar crash protection as those with steel bodies.
As a result of the high marks on safety tests, one of the two models, the F-150 SuperCrew, took home a 2015 Top Safety Pick award. The F-150 SuperCab also did well, but a marginal score for the small overlap front test kept it from also receiving high honors.
The SuperCrew isn't eligible for Top Safety Pick+ because it lacks an autonomous braking system.
While both models earned "Good" ratings for four out of the five tests, there was a stark difference between the SuperCrew and the SuperCab when it came to the small overlap test. The test simulates a crash in which the front corner of the vehicle comes into contact with a fixed object, like a tree or parked car, at 40mph.
The IIHS says that the SuperCrew's front-end structure crumpled in a way that spared the occupant compartment from significant intrusion and preserved survival space for the driver. Measurements indicated that there is a low risk of injuries to the driver's head, chest, legs and feet.
The SuperCab, however, didn't fare as well. According to the IIHS, the intruding structure seriously compromised the driver's survival space, and the toepan, parking brake and brake pedal were pushed back 10 to 13 inches toward the dummy. Additionally, the dashboard was jammed against its lower legs. Measurements indicated that there would be a moderate risk of injuries to the right thigh, lower left leg, and left foot in a real-world crash.
The top half of the dummy also took quite a beating with the steering column being pushed back nearly eight inches coming dangerously close to the dummy's chest. The dummy's head hit the instrument panel after sliding off the front airbag.
"In a small overlap front crash like this, there's no question you'd rather be driving the crew cab than the extended cab F-150," David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, said in a statement.
Ford told the IIHS that as a result of their findings, the carmaker will be evaluating possible changes to increase the truck's safety.
While trucks with an aluminum body offer similar crash protection as steel, the damage could come with an increased cost to repair. Additional testing found that the aluminum body had more extensive damage than the steel model and it would take more time to repair with pricier parts.