The small-overlap front crash test has proved particularly vexing to automakers since it was introduced in 2012. The test crashes a front corner of the vehicle against a stationary barrier at 40 mph, simulating the vehicle striking an object such as a tree. Many automakers have had difficulty passing the test.
The two diverging 2015 F-150 crash test results show why.
Comparing the two models, the SuperCrew received a top rating of “good” on every crash test it was subjected to by IIHS.
The SuperCab, however, earned a “poor” rating on structure and “acceptable” ratings on restraints and kinematics, as well as hip and thigh and lower leg and foot dummy injury measurements.
The results all together earned the SuperCab an overall safety rating of “marginal,” one mark above “poor” on IIHS’s four-grade scale.
The SuperCrew’s occupant compartment remained intact, IIHS said, and the crash-test dummy had a low probability of injury thanks to the pickup’s structural and in-cabin safety equipment.
However, in the SuperCab, “intruding structure seriously compromised the driver’s survival space,” IIHS said.
The brake pedals and toepan were pushed back between 10 and 13 inches toward the driver, and the steering column was pushed back nearly 8 inches toward the driver’s chest. The crash-test dummy’s head “barely contacted the front airbag before sliding off to the left and hitting the instrument panel,” IIHS said.
The IIHS does not plan to test the regular cab F-150, which has a very similar underlying structure to the SuperCab.