Ford’s F-150 Super Cab pickup truck is the only large pickup truck in 2016 to get a “top safety pick” rating following the tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency said Tuesday. The crash tests conducted by IIHS, the research arm of the insurance industry, are becoming more influential in guiding vehicle safety design. Just as automakers strive to get top ratings on federal crash tests, similarly, they do this for IIHS tests as well.
Ford F-150 Super Cab – best of all
According to IIHS, the only pickup that scored an overall “good” rating in the small overlap crash test was the aluminum-body 2016 Ford F-150 Super Cab. Last year, IIHS tested both versions of the F-150 and found that the extended car SuperCrew tested “good,” while the SuperCab did not. Therefore, Ford made changes to the SuperCab to win the top truck rating this year, the IIHS said.
The IIHS designed a test to simulate what happens when a vehicle strikes a tree or another vehicle with just the driver’s side fender. In such tests, two of Fiat Chrysler’s pickups, the Ram 1500 Quad Cab and the Ram 1500 Crew Cab, secured marginal overall ratings, says a report from Reuters. The IIHS said that the marginal ratings were also given in the latest round of tests to a model from GM and Toyota.
Fiat Chrysler said, “Our vehicles were designed for real-world performance and no single test determines overall, real-world vehicle safety. Every FCA US vehicle meets or exceeds all applicable motor-vehicle safety standards.”
Aluminum or steel: Which is better?
For the 2015 model year, the Ford F-150 went to a lighter-weight aluminum body. GM has questioned the strength of this aluminum in its advertisements, and one of the ads shows that when a bear menaces them, people prefer to use a steel cage for protection rather than the one made of aluminum, says the Reuters report. GM chose not to respond to questions about the test results.
Acceptable ratings have been allotted to the extended cab versions of GM’s Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota’s Tundra Double Cab model, in the small overlap test. Toyota said it is “evaluating the test results with the goal of finding new ways to continuously improve the performance of Toyota trucks and to further enhance the safety of our vehicles.”
The IIHS said it plans to test the 2016 models of the Nissan Titan and the Honda Ridgeline pickups later this year.