The 2019 Ford F-150 dominated the latest round of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) pickup truck crash testing procedures, successfully besting its half-ton competitors and achieving the highest rating of "Good" on all measurable tests.
The IIHS' testing program included the new passenger side overlap test, which has been notoriously difficult to ace for many vehicles in recent years, due to its offset nature that pushes many structural components to its limits. We must note that during this round of testing, the Institute only used crew cab versions of the trucks tested.
“F-150’s smart engineering, plus the innovative combination of its high-strength steel frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body continues to demonstrate enduring customer benefits – from repeated class-leading crash test performance to best-in-class towing and payload,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.
Two other pickup trucks scored the highest rating of "Good" for the overall passenger and driver side overlap tests: the all-new Ram 1500 and the aging Nissan Titan. The Toyota Tundra, which hasn't been significantly refreshed in several years, received a "Marginal" rating for the overall driver side and a "Poor" rating for passenger side overall test, which are the lowest scores that can be awarded.
The biggest surprise of the test is by far the new Chevrolet Silverado and its GMC Sierra sibling. Like the Ram 1500, both trucks are all-new but received low marks in the passenger side structure portion of the crash test. And while they did receive the highest rating for the driver's side, they could only achieve a rating of "Marginal" for the passenger side test.
To help with crash resilience, Ford uses a patented extruded aluminum roof cross member and special wheel blockers to absorb and deflect the impact. The Ram 1500's new splayed frame rail up front also helps absorb critical energy in the case of a collision.
Interestingly, none of these half-ton pickups receive the special distinction of being a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+. Why? In order to receive the IIHS' top honors, a vehicle must score either an "Acceptable" or "Good" rating for its headlights' illumination performance. Unfortunately, none of the half-ton trucks present could achieve that.
Customers ultimately win here, because this type of testing encourages truck manufacturers to build safer trucks, and a safer vehicle is something everyone benefits from. You can view the full IIHS results here, which include the crop of midsize trucks on sale with the exception of the new Ranger.