The F-150 going aluminium has proven to be a great idea, as the Ford became the only large pick-up to score the top rating in new front crash tests performed by the insurance industry.
There’s big competition between Detroit's Big Three – the Blue Oval, Chevrolet and Chrysler – and with safety being a big consideration when selecting a vehicle, this latest set of results is sure to have an impact on sales.
The F-150 SuperCab was the only one of nine pick-up trucks tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to earn a “good” rating on an influential new crash test. No wonder they call it the toughest, smartest, most capable and safest F-150 ever.
It didn’t do as well last year and so Ford added reinforcements to the 2016 SuperCab, such as high-strength steel tubes in the wheel wells and aluminium rocker panels on the sides to help absorb energy from a crash. It also added nylon reinforcements to the door hinges and it proved well worth it with the truck coming out with the best safety rating.
General Motors' offerings, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Double Cab and the GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab, earned “acceptable” overall scores. However, they both fared poorly on lower-cabin intrusion. The worst were the Ram 1500 Crew Cab and the Ram 1500 Quad Cab, according to the IIHS, with the door frame, instrument panel and steering column pushed back toward the driver in the crash test.
It is the first time the overall pick-up class has been put through the new small-front overlap test. It evaluates how they withstand crashes when their front quarters hit fixed objects. All the pick-ups allowed moderate to severe intrusion of vehicle structure into the cabin, putting occupants at risk for injuries – apart for the F-150.
“Ford is leading the way among large pick-up manufacturers when it comes to protecting people in a range of crashes and offering technology to warn drivers of imminent frontal crashes,” said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the IIHS Vehicle Research Center.